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Memento mori, Roman, 199 BCE-500 CE

Memento mori translates from Latin as “Remember you must die”. This is a special type of memento mori called a larva convivialis, given to revellers at a banquet or feast. Even when the Romans were enjoying themselves, they still were reminded of their own mortality. The bronze skeleton is just over 110 mm high. For an unknown reason the right leg of the articulated skeleton has been substituted for a left arm. This is an extremely rare example.

Object number:

A629420

 

Glossary:

Glossary: skeleton

The bones or bony framework of an animal body considered as a whole; also, more generally, the harder (supporting or covering) constituent part of an animal organism.

Glossary: memento mori

Symbols intended to remind the viewer of death. Memento mori are often objects such as skulls or hourglasses, but can also be written inscriptions.

Glossary: articulated

Something that has two or more sections linked by a flexible joint.