(statement that lies above about the one who lies below)
2. A short speech or piece of writing celebrating the life of a recently deceased person: "The politician was asked to read the epitaph that the newspaper editor had written honoring the local city mayor who had died last week."
"An elegy is also known as a commemoration or a memoir for someone who has passed on."
"Sometimes an epitaph is a monumental lie."
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In the mythological age of the Roman gods, the world was divided into regions, each ruled by a god. The Infernal Regions, Hades, Death, and Cemeteries fell to the governance of Pluto, son of Cronus and Rhea.
As a reward for this rather solemn obligation, he was given the guardianship of riches, of all the precious metals, and stones that are buried deep in the earth.
The appearance of Pluto on earth was never a happy event, because his mission was always to take back to his kingdom the spirits of the dead. Riding up from the bowels of the earth in a chariot drawn by four coal-black steeds, he inspired fear in the hearts of humans.
Pluto's kingdom was almost impossible to reach without his permission, since it was located deep in the underworld guarded by huge Cerberus, the three-headed dog.
Near Pluto's throne were placed the seats of his three judges, Aeacus, Minos, and Rhadamanthus, who questioned the newly-arrived souls. These hearings were enacted before Themis, the blindfolded, impartial goddess, whose sword of justice hung above the new arrvials.
If the souls were proven to be good, they were led away to the Elysian Fields; if not, they were forever committed to the infernal regions of Tartarus. While the souls were being judged, Pluto, it is said, amused himself by writing their epitaphs.