Taceant colloquia; effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors...


Staff member
I made a trip to the Vancouver Police Museum in my city, which is housed in a former police building. In the autopsy room (which, once upon a time, was an actual autopsy room), there was this sign over the door:

Taceant colloquia; effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae.

Apparently this was the standard inscription in autopsy rooms in the Western world. I am not quite sure what they meant by that, North America and Europe or only North America.

police-museum_autopsy-latin1 (3).jpg
police-museum_autopsy - phrase.jpg

It does seem strange to use such a grim inscription. After all, human beings get accustomed to anything. It is rather unlikely that one could maintain consistently solemn attitude, even if it is in the morgue.


New Member
The last part is a perfect hexameter. The original seems to be at Padua (the world's oldest university). See:
I can't comment on the latin details, but Padua is not the world's oldest university. Bologna is, founded in 1088. The photo may be the correct one (I haven't been there, but I have been to Bologna's anatomy theater, and that is not it). I read the history on the U of Padova's website, and it was interesting that a group from Bologna went to Padova to start it up, in 1222. What Padua has, as the oldest, is the permanent anatomical theatre.


Civis Illustris
Apologies, Meg; I added the word university unthinkingly.

As for the translation, the first part seems tongue-in-cheek to me (medics the world over have a peculiar sense of humour); the second part is this is the place where death is happy to come to the aid of life (sc. paradox and irony).


Civis Illustris
Also I heard that the oldest university is in Egypt, if you consider it an university back then, Idk well.