Tuesday, December 6, 2011

memento mori

memento mori [məˈmɛntoʊ ˈmɔraɪ] n.

1.) A reminder of death or mortality, especially a death's-head.
2.) A reminder of human failures or errors (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: New Latin memento mori, be mindful of dying : Latin memento, sing. imperative of meminisse, to remember + Latin mori, to die.

"—Bardolph: Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.
—Falstaff: No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many
a man doth of a Death's-head or a memento mori: I
never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and
Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his
robes, burning, burning" (Henry IV Part One, William Shakespeare, 1597)

(Youth with a Skull, Frans Hals, ~1627)


D4 said...

Another kick ass band name right there.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

In Japanese or Zen gardens, a single leaf is often placed beside a well or small fountain as a memento mori.

Kristina P. said...

I was an avid X-Files fan, and there was an episode with this name. I didn't know what it meant!

Bibi said...

Ah, memento mori. I remember a class that was all about this. Snowflakes and skulls and hourglasses and who knows what. Now every time I see some kid blow soap bubbles I think about death. Fun fun.

Oh oh, another one for you, while we're on the subject: vanitas painting.


I use this phrase daily having to point out sculptured skulls to visitor's. 'O look there's a momento mori', but I prefer the symbolism of bubbles, ephemeral and bursting suddenly just as death comes to many, metaphorically speaking.

i_love_weed said...

i agree with d4, kickass indeed :D

MRanthrope said...

Memento Mori...awesome album from sludge/black metal band Withered.

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