Get £5 off on orders over £50 - Use Coupon 'Nifty Fifty'

What does Memento Mori mean?

What does Memento Mori mean

What does Memento Mori mean?

What does ‘Memento Mori’ mean? This is Latin phrase which translates as ‘remember that you (have to) die’ or sometimes just ‘remember death’.

Memento Mori an important concept in Stoic Philosophy, a school of thought founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in 301 BC and of prominence in the Classical Age of history in Europe. Famously, Seneca in his ‘Moral Letters to Lucilius‘ makes numerous references to the importance of meditating on death, as does Marcus Aurelius in his ‘Meditations’. 

This thinking about death is not intended in a morbid or depressive way but rather as an encouragement to rise above the daily and unimportant or consequential. 

It is an idea to help keep matters in perspective and to remind us that our time is not infinite. The logic of this is to make the very best use of the time we have. 

A simple way to think about this, encouraged by author Ryan Holiday (‘The Daily Stoic’) in his own meditations on the concept, is to encourage people to ‘treat our time as gift and not waste it on the trivial and the vain’. Another way to view this is that we all die each day on the basis that the time elapsed can never be recovered and the remainder is of an unknown but limited length – so make the best possible use of it!


Marcus Aurelius in ‘Meditations’: “you could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think”.

Seneca: “Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance the books each day”. 


Amor Fati – What does the Stoic concept of ‘Amor Fati’ mean?

Epictetus – Who is Epictetus?


Holiday, Ryan: ‘Daily Stoic Blog

Aurelius, Marcus: ‘Meditations

Seneca: ‘Moral Letters to Lucilius‘ 

Amor Fati Shirt

Amor Fati Shirt @highspeedhistory

Stoicism since 301 BC Shirt @highspeedhistory

Amor Fati Shirt @highspeedhistory

Gaius Gracchus Shirt @highspeedhistory

1 Comment

Comments are closed.

High Speed History

The History Store

Your cart is empty.