By Timothy David Hill
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Extra resources for Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and the Self in Roman Thought and Literature (Studies in Classics)
Its relationship to Cicero’s other statements on self-killing, however, is not immediately clear. M. fm Page 35 Monday, June 21, 2004 3:18 PM Cicero 35 of 2, 4, and 6. There is nothing in the texts themselves to warrant such a weighting, – and the synthetic unity of the anangke interpretation is thus highly artificial and vulnerable to collapse under even the slightest breath of Quellenforschung criticism. This is not to say that Cicero’s thinking on self-killing is in fact self-contradictory or incoherent.
The characters of the Satyrica adopt and abandon personae in rapid succession throughout the work, and, despite the transience of these roles, are willing to define these, in an entirely amoral fashion, through attempts at suicide. Petronius’ own death, a systematic and prolonged parody of the political suicides characteristic of his era, confirmed both that he was fully capable of acting in accordance with the most stringent requirements of the aristocratic aesthetic, and that he did not in fact choose to do so.
In the writings of Levinas this universality appears again, not as the basis, but the aspiration, of the self, which seeks to justify itself to the widest possible range of alterities. fm Page 18 Monday, June 21, 2004 3:30 PM 18 Suicide and Self in Roman Thought and Literature writers, however, there is nothing “Archimedean” about the self at all. It is an entity quite precisely definable in the case of aristocrats in terms that will not necessarily appear justifiable to any but an audience of other aristocrats.
Ambitiosa Mors: Suicide and the Self in Roman Thought and Literature (Studies in Classics) by Timothy David Hill