thanatophobia (than-ət-ə-ˈfō-bē-ə)

Thanatos was the primordial Greek god of death. "Angel of Death" by Evelyn DeMorgan, 1881.

To continue our Halloween theme this month, let’s take a look at another phobia. Thanatophobia is the fear of death. Thanatos was the primordial Greek god of death. It was said that he appeared to mortals when the time for them to die was imminent in order to guide them to the Underworld. No one could escape death, therefore Thanatos was feared by all.

Thanatos is often depicted in art as a young man with wings, symbolizing the ability to guide souls to the Underworld. Other symbols include a sheathed sword representing a peaceful passing and a reversed torch representing the end of life.

Other words that are derived from Thanatos are “thanatology” and “euthanasia.”

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