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Re: Holy Bones

It was nearly midnight when I posted the email on the spur of the moment. Mea culpa to a typo.


On 10/1/2013 3:11 AM, Jocelyn Falconnet wrote:
Thank you for your suggestions, Dan. As a Parisian, that seems especially interesting.

As a sidenote, though: be careful with the French spelling.

"Empire de la Mort" means literally "Empire of the Death" and figuratively "Influence of the Death". "Empire de la Morte", however, means "Empire/Influence of the She-Dead".

A significant difference !

For those who don't know, this is a reference to an alexandrine verse of the French poet Delille which is written on the frontispice of the entry of the Paris catacombs:


Interestingly, because "MORT" can be either "mort" or "Mort", it may refer to either "death" or "Death".

To conclude, here is a brief French course for people working on dead bones:

- le mort  = the he-dead, the it-dead*
- la morte = the she-dead
- la mort  = the death
- la Mort  = Death

Best regards,

* = especially useful for paleontologists... I mean, regarding the material they are working on, of course.

Le 01/10/2013 07:28, Dan Chure a écrit :
I just purchased two books that, while not paleontological in nature,
might still be of interest to members of these lists.  After all, most
followers of vrtpaleo and DML have spent a significant amount of their
lives and careers looking at, measuring, analyzing, photographing, and
writing about bones.  The books are

Paul Koudounaris 2011. The Empire of Death. A Cultural History of
Ossuaries and Charnel Houses.  Thames and Hudson: 224 pages.

Paul Koudounaris 2013. Heavenly Bodies. Cult Treasures and Spectacular
Saints from the Catacombs. Thames and Hudson: 190 pages

Theauthor has a PhD in art history from UCLA.  These books look at the
origin and evolution in how human bones have been amassed in European
churches and cities, sometimes by the millions, and usedmake statues and
emblems to decorate churches across Europe. For example  8 foot
widechandeliers, composed entirely of bones, hanging inchapels or a coat
of arms composed entirely of human bones. This started in the late 16th
century and continued until the latter part of the 19th century.  The
text is extremely informative and the photos are quite stunning.

I won't waste time trying to describe these books. I would suggest
visiting the authors' website Empire de la Morte at
http://empiredelamort.com/  which has info and photos about the books
and photos of many sites not in the books.