Violence is a complex and not yet fully understood cultural phenomenon. It has ecological determinants as well as genetic roots. There is an ‘archaeology’ of human evil behaviour, which travels as a dominating theme through our past, leaving us with many disturbing questions about human nature. The better known historic evidence concerns past rulers and tyrants who used methods of intimidation, ... [Show full abstract] torture and execution, or threats of eternal condemnation. After their departure, they left traditions of Machiavellian prescriptions for their successors. We are now experiencing the era of terrorism: we fear threats — real or imagined — on a daily basis. We are also, finally, becoming aware of the less recognized evidence: the avalanche of domestic and community violence.