Building the World

Monuments, Memory, and Culture


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Monument to love, built by 20,000 artisans using 43 different kinds of jewels, the Taj Mahal is Shah Jahan’s memorial to his beloved wife, Arjumand Banu Begam, also known as Mumtaz Mahal. The lovers met as teenagers and parted only when Mumtaz died on the battlefield (she traveled with him, no matter the circumstances) giving birth. Roman poet Horace wrote in his last ode, 3.30.1: Exegi monumentum aere perennius – “I have built a monument more lasting than bronze.” Poetry, music, libraries, laws, endowments, buildings, monuments, art – how should we honor, and remember? What is the role of memory in culture?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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