Peisithanatos is the second and final album by the German black metal band Nyktalgia, released in 2008. The title is Greek for Death-Persuader (written in Greek as πεισιθάνατος) and was used in reference to the philosopher Hegesias of Cyrene, who argued in his surviving writings that while happiness would ideally be the goal of life, it was unattainable and thus the best a person could hope for was the avoidance of pain and suffering. Hegesias also concluded that external stimuli were irrelevant to a person's emotional state, as the rich could be unhappy just as the poor could, and the free could be as unhappy as slaves. External sources of pleasure, Hegesias concluded, had little effect on a person's mental state, and as a result, action was irrelevant, and so was life itself, which could thus be regarded as no more desirable than death. The Roman philosopher Cicero wrote that Hegesias' book Death by Starvation, now apparently lost to history, contained depictions of human misery that were so overpowering that they incited many people to commit suicide. Hegesias was also apparently forbidden from teaching as a result. Some scholars have speculated that he may have been influenced by the teachings of Buddhism, which were known in the Hellenic world at the time through missionaries to Cyrene and Alexandria, although his conclusions about life were obviously more pessimistic than the Buddha's.
Other song titles:
Nyktalgia - German for nyctalgia, a form of nocturnal bone pain experienced by syphilis patients
Nekrolog - German for obituary, derived from the Greek iνεκρολογία (nekrología, literally "death knowledge")
Pavor nocturnus - Latin for night terror, a form of sleep disorder distinct from garden-variety nightmares
The length for "Pavor nocturnus" listed on last.fm is currently incorrect; the song actually runs for 12:09.
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