An epitaph (from the Greek: “on the gravestone”) is a text that remembers the dead. The earliest known epitaphs were written by ancient Egyptian scholars and inscribed upon individual sarcophagi and stone coffins. The Greeks introduced epitaphs in verse to which the Romans added morbid curses intended to ward off grave robbers.
The nineteenth century was obsessed with these literary curiosities. Countless epigraph anthologies were published that, more often than not, contained mostly doggerel rhymes and poor tomb jokes. [Read more…] about Literature & Immortality: Booksellers, Copyrights and Epitaphs