Roman Skull with Obol in Mouth
Upon death, ancient Greek culture called for placing a coin, or obol, in the mouth of the deceased to pay Charon for rowing him/her across the River Styx to the afterlife.
Citizens of Tournai Bury Their Dead
Miniature from a folio of the Antiquitates Flandriae, depicting the citizens of Tournai, Belgium burying those who died of plague during the Black Death. By Pierart dou Tielt (c. 1340-1360 CE). Made c. 1353. (Royal Library of Belgium)
Danse Macabre in St. Mary's Church, Beram
"Dance of the Dead" fresco from the Church of St. Mary in Beram, Croatia. Painted by Vincent of Kastav, 1471. Artwork depicting the "Danse Macabre" motif became popular in Europe after the Black Death.
Norse Ghosts & the Afterlife
The best-known vision of the Norse afterlife is that of Valhalla, the hall of the heroes where warriors chosen by the Valkyries feast with the god Odin, tell stories from their lives, and fight each other in preparation for the final battle...
History's Deadliest Pandemics
Please note that this image was published in March 2020 and the numbers for the Covid-19 Pandemic are out of date. For up-to-date information on the pandemic please visit the WHO website. A diagram showing the relative estimated deaths...
Three Doctors Attend a Man with the Plague
Woodcutting of a plague-stricken man lying in bed, attended by three physicians. From the Pestbuch, a 16th Century CE medical treatise by Hieronymous Brunschwig (c. 1450-1512 CE). (Courtesy of the Historical Medical Library of The College...
The Plague by Arnold Bocklin
The Plague by Arnold Böcklin, 1827–1901 CE. (Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland)
17th-century Depiction of Plague Doctor
A depiction of "Doctor Schnabel" ("Schnabel" is literally German for "Beak"), a plague doctor in Rome. The illustration appeared in a 17th -century German satirical manuscript. The engraving was first published by Paul Fürst (1608–1666...
Giovanni Boccaccio & Florentines Who Have Fled from the Plague
Illustration from a medieval manuscript Giovanni Boccaccio, Le Decameron. Translated from the Italian by Laurent de Premierfait Bruges, Master of 1482 and follower (illuminators); c. 1485 CE Manuscript reference: The Hague, KB, 133 A 5...
Painting by Pieter van Laer, c. 1635 CE Alte Pinakothek