n. A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated.
The bones of Agamemnon are a show,
And ruined is his royal monument,
but Agamemnon's fame suffers no diminution in consequence. The monument custom has its reductiones ad absurdum in monuments "to the unknown dead" — that is to say, monuments to perpetuate the memory of those who have left no memory.
(also: The Devil's Dictionary)
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