Deuotio an potius mors uoluntaria? Suïcidale patronen in boek 9 en 10 van Vergilius' Aeneis



A close reading of two important scenes from books 9 and 10 of Vergil's
Aeneid, reveals that the deaths of Euryalus and, more markedly,
Nisus can be regarded as altruistic suicides (using E. Durkheim's typology).
Mezentius' final act is an egoistic/anomic suicide. The text signals
a suïcide by using 'moriturus'. The focalisation used by the narrator
makes the reader sympathize with the suicidal characters. Trying to
understand these deaths as suicides, is more fruitful than seeing them as
instances of some sort of secularised 'deuotio'.