She walks the planet and reaps her terrible harvest. It embodies all the fears of humanity and all the worst expectations. Songs are dedicated to her, films are made about her. It was her black hoodie and sharp braid that became the talk of the town.
However, it is not entirely clear where exactly in the imagination of people the image of a skeleton, dressed in loose black robes, and with a sharp braid came from. However, you can figure it out if you wish.
In the middle of the fourteenth century, from Asia to Europe, right up to North Africa and the island of Greenland, there was a death with a scythe in the form of a bubonic plague. According to one version, it appeared somewhere in the Gobi Desert, as a result of a sharp climate change as a result of the Little Ice Age.
First, China and India were amazed, then Europe got acquainted with this terrible phenomenon, where it penetrated together with traders and Mongol conquerors. According to the most conservative estimates, about 60 million people became victims of the plague. Then there were repeated pandemics in 1361 and 1369.
Medieval medicine could not cope with the plague, and this led to the flourishing of superstitions, pagan cults, and persecution of poisoners. It was during these times that the first image of death, familiar to modern people, appeared. For the first time he made itself felt in Germany in the form of an allegorical plot in painting and literature - "The Dance of Death". Then, during the Renaissance, the image became familiar to the whole of Europe.
A special contribution was made by Albrecht Durer, an internationally renowned engraver who created more than one work of art. Many of his works have as an example the now canonical depiction of death. She walks on the ground and mows people down like ears of rye. This manner of depiction was adopted by other masters and gradually developed to the present state. Nowadays, hardly anyone imagines death differently, at least in the European environment.
In ancient Greek, ancient Egyptian ideas, the ear was identified, among other things, with the person himself. How seeds fell into the ground, how a sprout was born from the dirty ground, how it gathered, threshed, turned into bread.
Everything was filled with deep meaning. The ascending ear also had a phallic symbol and peculiar metamorphoses of father and son. As soon as the ear was cut off, as if a husband was dying, and torn to pieces by a flail, he went into oblivion to be reborn as a new son.
Of course, death with a scythe is a clear symbolism of the reaper, cutting people off like ears in a field, and reaping his great harvest.