Monday, May 3, 2010
DAY ELEVEN: MEMENTO MORI
"Throughout the ages coffins, skeletons, and death heads (skull and cross-bones) have been used to symbolise the imminence of death and our own mortality.
Within the fourteenth century came the Bubonic Plague, which swept out some twenty five million people, one third of Europe by the beginning of the sixteenth century. Death was very much a part of every day life. Prior to this Death had been represented as the devil, horned and cloven-hoofed, forcing the sinful into the the mouth of hell. Between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries Death began to take on a more familiar and human form, the skeleton, which was soon to appear in jewellery.
First rings were made with inscriptions such as; 'C'est mon ure' (my hour has come) and ESPOIRIER DE MY SANS FYNE (Pray for me always), to remind the wearer of the approach of death and the need to prepare for it. "
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