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Sati appears in Hindi and Sanskrit texts, where it is synonymous with "good wife"; Sati designates therefore originally the woman, rather than the rite; the rite itself having technical names such as sahagamana ("going with") or sahamarana ("dying with").

Anvarohana ("ascension" to the pyre) is occasionally met, as well as satidaha as terms to designate the process.

After the older wife was found to be pregnant, Eumenes's generals ruled in favour of the younger.

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In modern times, Buddhist nuns have used self-immolation as a form of protest.

Thich Nu Thanh Quang, a Buddhist nun publicly burnt herself to death in front of Diệu Đế Pagoda in central Vietnam, as a mark of protest against the Vietnam War.

Such rituals as widow sacrifice/widow burning have, presumably, prehistoric roots.

Early 20th-century pioneering anthropologist James G. Frazer, for example, thought that the legendary Greek story of Capaneus, whose wife Evadne threw herself on his funeral pyre, might be a relic of an earlier custom of live widow-burning.

When inevitably many of these love marriages turned sour, the woman would often poison the husband and find a new lover.

To end these murders, a law was therefore instituted that the widow should either join her husband in death or live in perpetual widowhood.The practice of self-immolation and other forms of public suicide by widows were observed, for example, in Fukien province of southeast China, in some cases in duress after a rape attempt and in other cases voluntarily without duress.The Chinese Buddhist asceticism practices, states James Benn, were not an adaptation or import of Indian ascetic practices, but an invention of Chinese Buddhists, based on their unique interpretations of Buddhists texts.Modern historians believe Diodorus's source for this episode was the eyewitness account of the now lost historian Hieronymus of Cardia.Hieronymus' explanation of the origin of sati appears to be his own composite, created from a variety of Indian traditions and practices to form a moral lesson upholding traditional Greek values.A description of sati appears in the Greek 1st-century BCE historian Diodorus Siculus's account of the war fought in Iran between two of Alexander the Great's generals, Eumenes of Cardia and Antigonus Monophthalmus.

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