Remember you must die.
Ancient Rome: The concept dates back to ancient Rome. During a Roman triumph, a slave would whisper 'memento mori' in the ear of victorious generals to remind them of their mortality and to prevent arrogance and hubris.
Medieval Europe: During the Middle Ages, the phrase became a cornerstone of Christian thought, encouraging individuals to live a moral life to prepare for the afterlife. It was often depicted in art through symbols like skulls, timepieces, and wilting flowers.
Renaissance Period: Artists during the Renaissance used 'memento mori' themes in their works to represent the transient nature of earthly life and possessions.
Modern Interpretation: Today, the phrase continues to resonate, reminding people of the ephemeral nature of life and urging them to focus on what's truly important.