It's a question that most people have not thought about: How would they kill themselves without using any weapon (or anything that could be classified as a weapon)? It would be almost impossible, unless you are some native body expert, but I don't think there were such things a long time ago.

I'm sure people from ancient times got depressed and were possibly willing to kill themselves, but how? The arms are not used (they got no power) and the legs can't reach the head. Any other part of the body wouldn't work.

Starvation is off the list, as I already thought of it.

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    $\begingroup$ You can always hang yourself. Or take poison. Or throw yourself into a bonfire. Or jump off a cliff. Or attack a large predator such as a lion or bear (well, grizzlies, at least - black bears will usually run away). $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Apr 23 '17 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! I am not sure if I understand your question. People could just jump from a high cliff for example if you forbid the use of weapons. But why would people in the past not be able to use weapons to kill themselves? And do you really need the "blood"-tag? $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Apr 23 '17 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ Necessary because your question is a bit unsettling: iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres $\endgroup$ – Thorsten S. Apr 23 '17 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ Most people worked very hard to NOT die. To avoid dehydration, exposure, starvation, infection, drowning, robbers, etc. Simply stop trying quite so hard to avoid it, and death may come fairly quickly. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Apr 23 '17 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Kilisi If I realistically know nothing about Cato, you know realistically nothing about depression in former times. Those people earlier could have killed themselves like flies for no reason at all, couldn't they? You cannot have it both ways. $\endgroup$ – Thorsten S. Apr 23 '17 at 23:36

There are any number of different ways for someone to kill themselves. A weapon is hardly required.

They could bash their head on a rock, jump off a cliff or out of a tall tree, use any number of poisons, slit a wrist or neck with a sharp flake of rock, drown themselves, strangle themselves, irritate a predator or venomous animal into attacking, etc...

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it's the reason for strait jackets and padded cells in asylums, totally naked people could kill them selves just by running head first into a wall or punching themselves in the throat. $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Apr 23 '17 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ Slitting requires something that could be classed as a weapon. I agree with the rest of your answers, though. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Apr 24 '17 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel ... or a slightly rough surface and a good deal of determination. $\endgroup$ – TheSexyMenhir Apr 24 '17 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel you could chew open an artery fairly easily though if you knew where to do it. $\endgroup$ – Perkins Nov 15 '18 at 21:57

There were plenty of things you had to be careful about. Annoy the wrong person of power and they would strike you down without a second thought. Wander out too late and you've a good chance of getting attacked for your money. Go into the forest after dark and something will see you as a nice meal.

There were more things willing to kill you back then...you just have to give them an easy opening and they'll (quite literally) jump at it.

Aside from that there are cliffs to jump from, rivers to drown in or just signing up for the army.

More things you have to remember to avoid really...

  • $\begingroup$ Just sign up for the army.... nice $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Apr 23 '17 at 22:54

You tagged this ancient history, but if there aren't weapons, we're talking PRE-HISTORY. Because us humans have had some form of weapon for a very long time.

I do not understand what you mean by this:

The arms are not used (they got no power) and the legs can't reach the head. Any other part of the body wouldn't work.

So I am going to ignore it. Because as I read it, people can't use their arms, and by extension they can't actually use their hands for any purpose? And they aren't very flexible?

Humans can jump off a cliff pretty easily or run themselves into a tree, drown themselves (which will be easy to if you can't use your arms to swim), or if they know what's poison eat that (don't need hands), or find a predator lair, go on your own, and get eaten (still don't need hands).

The suggestion of rope is strange from another poster. Because I am certain that rope strong enough to hold a human's weight doesn't pre-date weaponry.

And while you say that you wouldn't want to use anything that might be classed as a weapon, something as simple as a pencil or a rock can be used that way. A swimming pool can be used that way.


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