King of Terrors

The Jona Armitage Tombe, 1738, Granary Burying Ground, Boston

Many symbols in the graveyard are meant to remind passersby that life is short and that all will die.  These images are called Memento Mori and are a call to “remember death“.  The skeleton is one of these symbols.  The skeleton above is carrying a scythe, a weapon with which the lives are cut down in the Divine Harvest.  When the skeleton is depicted with a scythe, arrow, spear, or darts, the figure is referred to as the “King of Terrors”.  Here the King of Terrors is depicted sitting on another skeleton, representing death’s victory over life.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts

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