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Not a good idea[edit]

[Posts on or before 21:20, 12 November 2001 (UTC) and 15:43, 25 February 2002 (UTC) edits]

I'm inclined to think that a list of epitaphs is not a good idea.

I'd agree, I guess as wikipedia is not a dictionary this entry should be deleted.Alternativly it does provide for another avenue into the Biographies!
I also agree that a list of epitaphs is suboptimal, but I wouldn't delete it. Hopefully as it develops someone might put together a history of how epitaphs have been viewed and used over time, which would be a very interesting article. A list would provide material for that article.
That's a constant difficulty of working on Wikipedia. Almost any subject, however remote, has the potential of eventually gaining an interesting and informative article. Which leads me to the observation that the Wikipedia will *always* have stubs. But imagine what arcane, hidden corners of Knowledge will be explored. --Dmerrill
Apparently a terrible and unforgivable violation has occurred on this article. It has come to the attention of the self appointed guardians of deletionist style that people have been including multiple examples, and even worse still, these examples are informative, interesting, and fun. This cannot be allowed to continue or people might start to become interested or even enthusiastic. Instead lets all be retentive, rigid, uncreative and as boring as bat guano.
Because we're fetishistically deletionist trolls our pedantic impulses need to be rationalised so i suggest the following.
1. Roam around from article to article like an opportunistic life form never contibuting anything but deletions.
2. Cite obscure wikipedia codes that you dont understand and are inapplicable anyway.
3. Complain about this entry.
4. Move on to your next target.
In order to assert our intellectually retarded precepts lets ascribe to ourselves the Lady Macbeth code of article cleansing.
Ooo i cant get the blood off my hands so i'd better keep cleaning.
Apologies to Shakespeare.
--Theo Pardilla 13:24, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Refactoring continuity note - The preceding post 'DANGER...' by User:Theo Pardilla was responded to in the 'Removal of famous epitaphs' section by User:HelloAnnyong with posting 'At least one other person...'--Theo Pardilla 13:02, 29 March 2008 (UTC)


I deleted the weird news story. As per my invisible source comment, Ananova has been known to pull stories out of their rear ends, so I say this goes until it can be confirmed by another independent news source. --Gus 00:24, 2005 Jan 7 (UTC)

Terrible article[edit]

This is a terrible article now. We need an explanation of the term and history of it. Now examples... -- 02:06, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I disagree, I found the page to be inspiring with the examples, but it is lacking history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:08, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, at least at this stage of the articles development. The article can be improved by sectionalising, for example, humour, family, work, religious and so on. A narrative can be used to tie together or group styles. An historical timeline or discusion would be helpful as would a comparison of different cultures. --Theo Pardilla 09:40, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Removal of famous epitaphs[edit]

I see that my removal of the epitaphs was reverted. Theo, could you perhaps explain your rationale behind it? Perhaps WP:TRIVIA was not the right guideline to use as justification, but certainly you can't deny that the entire section is completely unsourced. The page has been marked as missing citations since December 2006. If no one could find any sources between then and now, then the page needs to be trimmed down. Per WP:PROVEIT, "Any edit lacking a reliable source may be removed, but editors may object if you remove material without giving them a chance to provide references." I think sufficient time has been given to finding sources. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 13:58, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Refactoring continuity note - The following post 'At least one other person...' by User:HelloAnnyong is a response to the post 'DANGER...' by User:Theo Pardilla in the 'Not a good idea' section.--Theo Pardilla 13:02, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

At least one other person has posted here about how they think that there shouldn't be a list of epitaphs. You haven't given any good reason as to why these epitaphs are "notable" and should be on here. Given that these two epitaphs also make an appearance on your user page, it seems like you have some ulterior motive in keeping them on here. Perhaps you can give me a decent reason why they should stay on the page? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 13:57, 28 March 2008 (UTC)


We need a link to Funeral oration (ancient Greece) (epitaphios logos). I'm dubious about the Greek now quoted as meaning "on the gravestone" - it looks like a nominative to me, ie just meaning "gravestone". But I don't know. Johnbod (talk) 15:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

TFD describes it as "Middle English, from Old French epitaphe, from Latin epitaphium, from Greek epitaphion, from neuter of epitaphios, funerary : epi-, epi- + taphos, tomb." Hmm. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 15:40, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
right - I think "epi" is "on", so is the gravestone on the tomb, or the epitaph on the gravestone=tomb? Maybe it's ok; I'll stick the link in anyway. Johnbod (talk) 15:58, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Request for a third opinion[edit]

Basically, the question is whether or not this section should be included on this page. Although references can be cited for the two epitaphs listed there, there's nothing inherently notable about them. There's already been one revert over their removal, so I'm requesting a third opinion so as to nip this in the bud before it grows even more. It should also be noted that the user who readded these two epitaphs also has them in their user page. So what do you think - should they be included or not? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 14:11, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, forgot to include this. See #Not a good idea and #Removal of famous epitaphs for a little more discussion. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 14:13, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Third Opinion - I see nothing inherently wrong with providing examples, nor do I see anything in policy to prevent it. That said, the "examples" being discussed here are neither particularly notable (such as one of a famous person), nor typical. As a result, they actually detract from the article. More typical examples might give info on what Epitaphs usually are, much as the way the photo at the top of American black bear gives a fairly typical example (instead of, say, a photo of a rare albino black bear, which occurs much further down). So the examples, if given at all, should first seek to document the most common forms, then maybe notable examples and, lastly, (if the article ever gets there) a small minority of the examples might be of the type being discussed here. - Mdsummermsw (talk) 15:03, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

I see no harm in few examples, in fact the article should have some. I'm not sure about the one that I think is from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam as translated by Edward FitzGerald (poet), so at best about 4th hand. How about the Spartans at Battle_of_Thermopylae#Epitaph_of_Simonides, or Sir Christopher Wren ?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnbod (talkcontribs) 15:59, March 28, 2008
I'm not against examples, so long as they contribute something. The Thermopylae one used to be on this page, but it was removed when I knocked this page down from being essentially a huge list. I guess the next question is, what set of criteria do we use to determine if an epitaph is notable, and how do we prevent this page from being a WP:MEMORIAL or just a big list? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 16:11, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I've looked at the list as at 27 june 07. Most are fairly famous and appropriate, though biased to English. Some are not actual epitaphs at all, in the sense of actually being used on tombs (Byron on Castlereagh at the end). Surely the answer is to create List of epitaphs and just have a few sample ones here? I think the list should have no trouble at AfD Actually I see Wikiquotes has a huge list, which we should link to. Johnbod (talk) 16:52, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that's a good idea. Thanks for adding that on. My current proposal on how to move from here:
  1. Remove the current list of Notable epitaphs.
  2. Add the following:
Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
O xein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti têde
keimetha tois keinôn rhêmasi peithomenoi
Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
that here, obedient to their law, we lie.
— Simonides's epigram at Thermopylae

3. Find one more epitaph to add.
Thoughts? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 17:04, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
One possible addition: the text on the Tomb of the Unknowns. According to the Wiki article, the text is:


Seems like a pretty decent example of an epitaph. Just an idea... — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 17:13, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I think typical, rather than famous, should be the emphasis - leave those to wikiquote. Some long pompous C18 or 19th one would be good, for someone not notable. But the Spartans should go in. Johnbod (talk) 17:19, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
C18 or 19th? Eh? — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 17:27, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
18th century .... standard abbreviation. Johnbod (talk) 18:18, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry. First time I've seen that... — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 19:17, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

So.. it's been nearly two weeks and nothing's changed. Since no one has tried to make the article any better, I've removed the extra stuff. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 03:48, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Refactoring talk pages[edit]

User:Athaenara has recently refactored this talk page but at the same time moved comments from one section to another and in doing so changed the flow and context of users comments. I have reverted these changes to my posts (((Reverting minor accidental (or disruptive) misrepresentation of other editors' opinions or sneaky vandalism through Refactoring by User:Athaenara))) however it is up to other users to decide whether their particlar subsequent posts context or meaning requires post refactoring restoration. Please refrain from Refactoring of talk pages as these changes are disruptive for the reasons given here.--Theo Pardilla 13:02, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion for additional example[edit]

by: George Gray

I HAVE studied many times The marble which was chiseled for me- A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. In truth it pictures not my destination Buy my life For love was offered me and I shronk from its disillusionment; Sorrow knocked at my door, but I dreaded the chances. Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life. And now I know that we must life the sail And catch the winds of destiny Wherever they drive the boat. To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, but life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire- It is a boat longing for the the sea and yet afraid.

Malanjor (talk) 21:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)Malan

Virginia Woolf's epitaph[edit]

I changed Virginia Woolf's epitaph from all caps to match what appears in her book The Waves which is the original source of the quote. I believe that is a more authoritative than Besides inscriptions are frequently written in all caps just because it's easier to carve capital letters in stone not because that's the author's intent. Shakespeare's epitaph for example is also carved in all caps.

In my edit I referenced a photo of what I said was her "actual tombstone". That is not the tombstone of the famous Virginia Woolf but another person with the same name. There's no way I know of to edit that so I'm putting it here. I cannot find any references online of her actual tombstone. Vroo (talk) 04:54, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Widely used Latin epitaph[edit]

This Epicurean epitaph in Latin was widespread in the Roman world, so it might be worth a mention:

"Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo" (often inscribed as the acronym "NFNSNC" on tombstones)

English translation: “I was not; I was; [now] I am not; I do not mind.”

From the website of the British Humanist Association:

The views of the Greek philosopher Epicurus were highly influential in Ancient Greece and Rome. His followers included the Roman emperor Hadrian, and his ideas were passed on by Cicero, Plutarch and Lucretius. This epitaph, based on his philosophy, can still be seen on many ancient gravestones of the Roman Empire, and is often used at humanist funerals

Abvgd (talk) 18:37, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps add to "not to be confused with..."[edit]

I have observed that there seems to be confusion between this word and "epithet." Would it be appropriate to add this to the clarification tag at the top? Please feel free to go ahead and do so if it seems relevant and useful. As always, I submit to the wisdom of the community.

Zach the Wanderer (talk) 03:56, 7 December 2011 (UTC)