Year: 1980 Source: London: Peter Owen, 1980. p.7-32 SIEC No: 19911153

Alvarez surveys the history of attitudes toward suicide, from the nonpunitive outlook of many primitive groups & the strongly prosuicide view of Stoic Greece & Rome, through the Middle Ages’ categorical repudiation of suicide, to the 18th century’s defense & the Romantic era’s glorification of it. Alvarez traces the origins of the Christian antisuicide position to Augustine’s reactions to the “suicide mania” of the early Christian martyrs, in the 4th & 5th centuries A.D. (35 refs.)