ABSTRACT. Current medical theory states that all, or almost all, suicide is the result of mental disorder. The aim was to explore the work of Marcus Aurelius, to understand the view of suicide that was held when Stoics philosophy was at its apogee. Appropriate literature was examined. Marcus Aurelius (a leading Stoic philosopher and successful Roman Emperor) wrote that adverse circumstances, in particular, being unable to live in accordance with one’s beliefs, was sufficient justification for suicide. His work is an important link in the history of suicide. pp. 53–58

Keywords: suicide; suicide prevention; history of medicine; philosophy

How to cite: Pridmore, Saxby, and Svetlin Varbanov (2016), “Marcus Aurelius on Suicide,” American Journal of Medical Research 3(2): 53–58.

Received 24 March 2016 • Received in revised form 19 April 2016
Accepted 19 April 2016 • Available online 10 May 2016


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Department of Psychiatry,
School of Medicine,
University of Tasmania, Hobart
Department of Psychiatry,
Medical University of Varna

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