Majmuna's Tombstone
February 11, 2016 2:01 PM   Subscribe

"Oh he who looks upon this tomb! I am already consumed inside it, and dust has settled on my eyes. On my couch in my abode there is nothing but tears, and what is to happen at my resurrection when I shall appear before my Creator?"

Majmuna died on 21 March 1174, possibly in North Africa, possibly on Malta. The island itself had been conquered by Arabs in 870, and although conquered again by the Normans in 1070, Muslims remained on Malta until at least 1249.

Certainly by 1772 her tombstone was on Gozo, sister island to Malta, when its presence gets a mention and an illustration in Giovannantonio Ciantar's Malta illustrata ovvero descrizione di Malta isola del Mare Siciliano e Adriatico. In 1799, Russian/Polish diplomat and polymath Count Andrey Italinski managed to tease out a partial translation of the kufic script.

It is currently in the Gozo Museum of Archaeology.

For a discussion of the stone's modern history and an interpretation of the inscription's basit meter and Respighi's aborted hopes of setting it to music, check out Giovanni Bonello's essay, New Light on Majmuna's Tombstone. (pdf)
posted by BWA (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Man, that is a serious epitaph. I think when I die I'll just have them put on "WITNESS MY DESOLATION" in all caps.
posted by selfnoise at 2:20 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Selfnoise, you should think bigger.
posted by sourcequench at 2:28 PM on February 11, 2016

I'm thinking "look on my works, ye mighty, and despair".

That's gone real well in the past.
posted by Itaxpica at 2:33 PM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

(Crap, sourcequench beat me to it)
posted by Itaxpica at 2:33 PM on February 11, 2016

Do you want to spend all eternity so unoriginal?
posted by cjorgensen at 4:19 PM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I read that as Marijuana's Tombstone and expected a very different story.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:13 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm going with WITNESS ME!!! and a 40' foot jet of flame.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:22 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by Oyéah at 5:34 PM on February 11, 2016

Wow! Sir Thomas Browne would be proud to have written that.
posted by ostro at 6:17 PM on February 11, 2016

II was thinking "Well, I didn't expect that!" for my epitaph.
posted by evilDoug at 6:38 PM on February 11, 2016

(Checks couch for coins)
posted by clavdivs at 7:33 PM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

My epitaph will be "I know you had sex last night." Awkward for the grandkids, yes, but worth it for the occasion freaked-out passerby.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:35 AM on February 12, 2016

Like Mr.Encylopedia, I read the title as "Marijuana's Tombstone." And now I have "Marijuana's tombstone, short and stout" going through my head to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot." And now so do you.
posted by lore at 1:46 PM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Cooler than me?   |   Thinking Outside the Bike Box Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments