Female Suicides In Greek Mythology

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Suicide, Myth, Ancient Greek, Herodotus, Pythagoreans


Historical sources and literal texts from Ancient Greece provide important information on views concerning suicide. Generally speaking, the Greeks made a distinction between honorable and dishonorable suicide with regard to motives and conditions. Suicide was often a response to social pressures and was commited because of a desire to defend one’s honour or for the welfare of the general or a certain part of the society.  On the other hand sometimes suicide was condemned absolutely as the Pythagoreans did.

The suicidal behaviour might be seen in Greek mythology as well. It is the past or probable incidents that motivated the mythological characters to commit suicide. However motives behind suicidal acts of women are slightly different from men’s. They are unfulfilled love, the death of a relative (especially male) and fear of humiliation. Furthermore it appears that more women than men commit suicide Most of these women hang themselves. While some female characters jump from height, others commit suicide by self- stabbing, drowning or poisoning. On the other hand some methods are not known.

Our aim in this study is to introduce some of the female characters who commit suicide in Greek myths. These women may be divided in two groups. While the first group include women who commit suicide because of the past events, the second group consists of characters who kill themselves to prevent a probable catastrophe or alter the future.


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How to Cite

Demiralp, D. (2023). Female Suicides In Greek Mythology. Atlas Journal, 9(52), 18–23. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10334825