12 October 2010
The Duke of Wolfenbüttel, imprisoned by Napoleon, revived the Order of the Death's Head (Totenkopf), founded in 1652 by the Duke of Württemberg-Oels. The revival of this order apparently was realised in the rising of the Black Legion of Germany that defeated Napoleon. The Death's Head was on the headgear of all the Brunswick Hussars. Knights and ladies of the Order had to devote their life to contemplation on the "secrets of God and Nature" and the meaning of life in accordance with the maxim of "Memento mori" (translation: 'remember you will die' or 'be mindful of death'). Religious insignia consisted of a silver or white enamel totenkopf, suspended with a black neck ribbon with silver embroidered words "Memento mori" and a silver ring with a skull worn on the left hand. The Order expired upon the death of the prince Sylwiusz in 1664. It was revived by his granddaughter Elizabeth Luiza Fr. Saksonii-Merseburga in 1709 as a sisterhood, only to expire again after her death. The spirit of this order has lived on, and has been used by many more generations of armies. The Totenkopf is an eternal reminder that death is certain.
Posted by Laguna Beach Fogey at 05:13