Portal:Death

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Skull and Crossbones.svg

Introduction

The human skull is used universally as a symbol of death.

Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or major trauma resulting in terminal injury. In most cases, bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.

Death – particularly the death of humans – has commonly been considered a sad or unpleasant occasion, due to the affection for the being that has died and the termination of social and familial bonds with the deceased. Other concerns include fear of death, necrophobia, anxiety, sorrow, grief, emotional pain, depression, sympathy, compassion, solitude, or saudade. Many cultures and religions have the idea of an afterlife, and also hold the idea of reward or judgement and punishment for past sin.

Selected article

A condemned prisoner being dismembered by an elephant in Ceylon. Drawing from An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon by Robert Knox (1681).
Execution by elephant was, for thousands of years, a common method of capital punishment in South and Southeast Asia, and particularly in India. Asian elephants were used to crush, dismember, or torture captives in public executions. The trained animals were versatile, able to kill victims immediately or to torture them slowly for a prolonged period. Employed by royalty, the elephants were representative both of absolute power and the ruler's ability to control wild animals.

The use of elephants to execute captives often attracted the horrified interest of European travellers, and was recorded in numerous contemporary journals and accounts of life in Asia. The practice was eventually suppressed by the European empires that colonised the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. While primarily confined to Asia, the practice was occasionally adopted by western powers, such as Rome and Carthage, particularly to deal with mutinous soldiers.

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Pride
Credit: Source:http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~aeimhof/seelefr.htm; Uploaded by Matanya

Pride of the spirit is one of the five temptations of the dying man, according to Ars moriendi. Here, Demons tempt the dying man with crowns (a medieval allegory to earthly pride) under the disapproving gaze of Mary, Christ and God. Woodblock seven (4a) of eleven, Netherlands, circa 1460.

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Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt - Anatomy lesson of Dr. Willem van der Meer.jpg
Danse macabre by Michael Wolgemut.png
Rudolf Schiestl (1878-1931) - Tod von Basel.jpg

Anniversaries of death

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Disasters and accidents

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Quote

"Either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. ...Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is to gain; for eternity is then only a single night."

Plato "The Apology" Socrates, Sec. 40

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