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Mortality, Symbol Of

The ancient Egyptians introduced a skeleton at their feasts, to impress the idea of the evanescence of all earthly enjoyments; but the skeletons or deaths' heads did not make their appearance in Grecian art, as symbols of mortality, until later times, and on monuments of no artistic importance. In the earliest periods of ancient art, the Greeks and Romans employed more pleasing representations, such as the flower plucked from its stem, or the inverted torch. The moderns have, however, had recourse to more offensive symbolization. In their hatchments or funeral achievements the heralds employ a death's head and crossed bones, to denote that the deceased person is the last of his family. The Freemasons have adopted the same symbol, and in all the Degrees where it is necessary to impress the idea of mortality, a skull, or a skull and crossed hones, are used for that purpose.

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MORTAR, UNTEMPERED See Untempered Mortar

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