What is epitaph?

  • (noun): An inscription on a tombstone or monument in memory of the person buried there.
    See also — Additional definitions below


An epitaph (from Greek ἐπιτάφιον epitaphion "a funeral oration" from ἐπί epi "at, over" and τάφος taphos "tomb") is a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial. An epitaph may be in poem verse; poets have been known to compose their own epitaphs prior to their death, as W.B. Yeats did.

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Some articles on epitaph:

Curia (wife Of Quintus Lucretius) - Epitaph
... Her husband writes in an epitaph on a large tombstone called "Laudatio Turiae" of her qualities, Why should I mention your domestic virtues, your loyalty, obedience, affability, reasonableness, industry in working ...
Straight Faced - Epitaph Years
... departure in 1997, the group enlisted David Tonic and Kevin Norton and signed with Epitaph Records to release Conditioned, their third LP ... Pulling Teeth, was released on Epitaph in 2000 before the group disbanded some time thereafter ...
Epitaphs in Music
... In a more figurative sense, music in memory of deceased people has been composed ... Igor Stravinsky composed in 1958 Epitaphium for flute, clarinet and harp ...
This War Is Ours - Release History - Deluxe Special Edition
... Region Date Label Via pre-order USA April 23, 2010 (2010-04-23) Epitaph Via pre-order April 24, 2010 (2010-04-24) Epitaph In stores April 27, 2010 (2010-04-27) Epitaph ...
Swift's Epitaph
... "Swift's Epitaph" is a translation by Irish poet William Butler Yeats of Jonathan Swift's epitaph, which Swift wrote for himself in Latin ...

More definitions of "epitaph":

  • (noun): A summary statement of commemoration for a dead person.

Famous quotes containing the word epitaph:

    That land is like an Eagle, whose young gaze
    Feeds on the noontide beam, whose golden plume
    Floats moveless on the storm, and in the blaze
    Of sunrise gleams when Earth is wrapped in gloom;
    An epitaph of glory for the tomb
    Of murdered Europe may thy fame be made,
    Great People! as the sands shalt thou become;
    Thy growth is swift as morn, when night must fade;
    The multitudinous Earth shall sleep beneath thy shade.
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

    But since Thy loud-tongu’d Blood demands Supplies,
    More from BriareusHands, than Argus Eyes,
    I’ll tune Thy Elegies to Trumpet-sounds,
    And write Thy Epitaph in Blood and Wounds!
    —James Graham Marquess of Montrose (1612–1650)

    Here lies John Knott:
    His father was Knott before him,
    He lived Knott, died Knott,
    —Unknown. Epitaph on John Knott (l. 1–3)