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while evidence of practice by widows of kings only appears beginning between the 5th and 9th centuries CE.
The practice is considered to have originated within the warrior aristocracy in India, gradually gaining in popularity from the 10th century AD and spreading to other groups from the 12th through 18th century CE.
In the 1886 published Hobson-Jobson, Henry Yule and Arthur Coke Burnell mention the practice of Suttee (sati) as an early custom of Russians near Volga, tribes of Thracians in southeast Europe, and some tribes of Tonga and Fiji islands.
Yule and Burnell also compiled a few dozen excerpts of historical descriptions of sati, the first being of Ceteus (or Keteus) mentioned above in 317 BC, and then a few before the 9th century AD, where the widow of a king had the choice to burn with him or abstain.
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.
Among the fallen was one Ceteus, the commander of Eumenes's Indian soldiers.
Diodorus writes that Ceteus had been followed on campaign by his two wives, at his funeral the two wives competed for the honour of joining their husband on the pyre.
As an example where the widows vied for the honour to die with their common husband, the 5th-century BCE historian Herodotus mentions the Krestones tribe among the Thracians. de Silva, Christian missionaries in Sri Lanka with a substantial Hindu minority population, reported "there were no glaring social evils associated with the indigenous religions-no sati, (...).
The woman found to have been held highest in the husband's favour while he lived had her throat slit on his grave, the surviving wives reputedly regarding it as a great shame to have to live on. There was thus less scope for the social reformer." Chinese sociology studies that followed suggest that the practice was historically more widespread, far removed from India (near the Korean peninsula), and found among the Manchu people of China where a widow would ritually commit suicide after her husband died (Chinese: xunsi, congxun).