I thought I had found two examples of honor killing in ancient literature, although people online have disagreed with me.

  1. In Livy, the killing of Verginia by her father Verginius in ancient Rome might have been fictional, but was probably at least based on events that had actually occurred. So the issue would be whether when something like the Verginius episode did happen, it fits the modern definition of honor killing.

  2. Whether or not the Odyssey is fictional, would an event like Telemachus's killing of the woman slaves who were disloyal to Odysseus be considered an honor killing? (Telemachus does give his "honor" as a reason for hanging them rather than killing them with a sword).

Also, there's at least one other kind of honor killing in modern times: the killing of a family member who rejects the family religion. Is there any example of this in ancient history as well?

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    What is "honor killing"? Please cite all non-trivial assertions. – Mark C. Wallace Mar 6 '17 at 0:07
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    Would infanticide count for this, because perceived deformities or weaknesses were definitely cause for infanticide across the Mediterranean. – user2259716 Mar 6 '17 at 20:51
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    Will you be providing a definition of 'honor killing'? I will need yours before proceeding to answer your question. – D. M. Morgan Mar 15 '17 at 14:08
  • The article on honor killing in Wikipedia gives some background, saying, for one thing, that the killing is a protection of the honor of a family. But if there are historians who have made a special study of honor killing and know whether or not the concept and practice have or have not changed over the centuries, I would prefer to go by their definitions. But I don't even know how, when or where honor killing originated. That's why I asked the question. – Richard Peterson Mar 15 '17 at 23:35

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