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After about this time, instances of sati began to be marked by inscribed memorial stones.According to Axel Michaels, the first clear proof of the practice is from Nepal in 464 AD, and in India from 510 AD.In India, the earliest of these memorial stones are found in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh; the largest collections date from several centuries later and are found in Rajasthan.
The term sati was originally interpreted as "chaste woman".
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").
Anvahorana ("ascension" to the pyre) is occasionally met, as well as satidaha as terms to designate the process.
Few reliable records exist of the practice before the time of the Gupta empire, approximately 400 AD.
In 317 BC Eumenes' cosmopolitan army defeated that of Antigonus in the Battle of Paraitakene.
Among the fallen was one Ceteus, the commander of Eumenes' 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.while evidence of practice by wives of dead kings only appears beginning between the 5th and 9th centuries AD.The practice is considered to have originated within the warrior aristocracy on the Indian subcontinent, gradually gaining in popularity from the 10th century AD and spreading to other groups from the 12th through 18th century AD.The practice was particularly prevalent among some Hindu communities, then the practice was outlawed in 1829 in their territories in India (the collected statistics from their own regions suggesting an estimated 500–600 instances of sati per year), followed up by laws in the same directions by the authorities in the princely states of India in the ensuing decades, with a general ban for the whole of India issued by Queen Victoria in 1861. The Indian Sati Prevention Act from 1988 further criminalised any type of aiding, abetting, and glorifying of sati.) is derived from the name of the goddess Sati, who self-immolated because she was unable to bear her father Daksha's humiliation to her husband Shiva.