The relevant texts by Augustine are Against Gaudentius (a Donatist bishop) and City of God 1.17–27.


See further Jacques Bels, “La mort volontaire dans l’oeuvre de saint Augustin,” Revue de l‘histoire des religions 187 (1975), pp. 147–180.


The best study of suicide in Greco-Roman antiquity is by Rudolf Hirzel, Der Selbstmord (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1967). Of the enormous literature on the subject, I mention only a few noteworthy studies: Alfredo Alvarez, The Savage God: A Study of Suicide (New York: Random House, 1970), pp. 45–75; Yolanda Grisé, Le Suicide dans la Rome antique Montreal: Bellarmin, 1982); and John M. Rist, Stoic Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1969), pp. 233–255.


Philo, The Embassy to Gaius 236.


Josephus, The Jewish War 3.362–382.


Josephus, The Jewish War 7.320–388.


See further Fred Rosner, “Suicide in Biblical, Talmudic, and Rabbinic Writings,” Tradition 11/2 (1970), pp. 25–40.


In Acts 16:27–28, Paul is said to have prevented the suicide of his Philippian jailer, no doubt in order to convert him.


Augustine, On the Trinity 4.16.


Fragment 29 in Cora E. Lutz, “Musonius Rufus: ‘The Roman Socrates, ’ ” Yale Classical Studies 10 (1947), pp. 132–133.


Epictetus, Discourses 1.9.13–15, in W. A. Old-father, tr., Epictetus, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann, 1925).


There are so many contradictions between the Paul of the Book of Acts and the Paul we know from his own letters—differences in theology, biography, chronology and geography—that it makes quite impossible to accept Luke’s narratives at face value. See the famous study of this problem by John Knox, Chapters in a Life of Paul (Macon, GA: Mercer Univ. Press, rev. ed. 1987).