48. Swirling The Ashes

08 Mar

FACT: Artemisia II of Caria was both the wife, and sister, of the Greek king Mausolus. She loved him deeply throughout the whole of their marriage and mourned his death. In fact her grief was so extreme that many educated Greek rhetoricians did sing the king’s praises, for only a good man, they reasoned, could inspire such grief.

However her grief went far beyond terminal sobbing. The most lasting and well known product of her grief the construction of a fantastically large Mausoleum in tribute. In actuality, the tomb was so grand that the word ‘mausoleum‘ comes from this tomb she had built for her king Mausolus. Furthermore it was in fact so grand in its final form that Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, a list also including the Sphynx and the Pyramids of Giza.

In addition to producing the fantastic monument that created a new word and an entry into one of the most prestigious lists of all time, she performed one more act which was spurred by her grief.

Every day, upon receiving her daily drink, she would collect the cremated remains of her husband’s body. From their vessel she would draw a small amount, and mix it into her drink. She would then drink it. This continued on through every day of her two year reign of power. She suffered an early death due to the pure stress put on her by her husband’s death.

She died of a broken heart.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Trivia


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