An Ancient Roman Near-Death Experience: Cleodemus (Historical NDE of the Month) + UPDATE
This is an interesting NDE related by the Roman writer, Lucian of Samosata, in the 2nd century CE. It's clear that Lucian didn't believe in NDEs and the account is found in a satire that ridicules people who believe in supernatural events.
While we don't know if the account of Cleodemus’s NDE was based on an actual occurrence, it nevertheless reminds us of the important fact that people have known about the phenomenon throughout human history. It also reveals perceptions of them by certain ancient skeptical thinkers, which is something of a rarity, showing us how debates surrounding the interpretation of NDEs have been current for centuries.... and still rage on.
UPDATE on the Historical Anthology of Near-Death Experiences: I've been resisting my completist urge to gather *all* the cross-cultural and historical NDEs into a single massive volume. But the impracticality of that (and the problems it would cause for having it published in an affordable volume) have led to a slight change of tack. So starting with this account of Cleodemus, the Historical NDE of the Month will now feature accounts that will *not* be featured in the Anthology.
This means more exclusive content for you, my beloved Patrons. It also means that the book will not be filled with stuff you've already read! Taking inspiration from from the great literary anthologists, the goal is (1) to make sure that as many regions and cultures are represented as possible in order to really highlight the diversity of accounts, while also showing that the occurrence of NDEs is universal; and (2) choosing accounts that are the most interesting and even entertaining.