Drawing & Prose in 18th Century Death Register
- Gil Kubancsek came upon an intriguing 18th century drawing the in
Banska Bystrica, Slovakia Roman Catholic death registers (microfilms
of the originals.) It shows the "Grim Reaper" accompanied by a
grave. The drawing is surrounded by Latin prose which is profoundly
filled with despair and suffering. Frankly, I found it quite
surprising since the church's ministry is one of salvation and
forward-looking rather than this fatalistic view of life. Making it
more perplexing is that most of these registers were kept by the
parish priest. It remained in the church until it was absconded by
the government authorities in 1948 and placed in the state archives.
Our desire is to understand the motivations of the writer. We are
now seeking a historical context into which we can frame this
piece. Events of a Political, Social, Religious, Catholic,
Health/Pandemic,(and so on) nature may provide the context we need.
Any comments you might have would be greatly appreciated.
We scanned the images, posted them, along with the original Latin
and best English-translation we could render, at my web site. The
page can be found at