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The Christianisation of Rome

The Christianisation of Rome

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Published by Andrew Owen

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Published by: Andrew Owen on Mar 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/28/2013

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Catacombs
The ancient Christians did not usethe term "catacomb". This is aword of Greek origin, meaning"near the hollow".
The Romans applied it to a localityon the Appian Way, where therewere caves for the removal of tuffblocks.
Nearby were dug the catacombs ofSaint Sebastian. In the ninthcentury the term was extended toall cemeteries, with the specificsense of underground cemetery.
 
Catacombs
From the middle of the second century anincrease in Christian converts is confirmed bythe large no. of catacombs or undergroundburial chambers they created.
These became venues for meetings.
 
What was the reason for
catacombs
Christian belief in theresurrection of the bodyprohibited cremation
Could not use theColumbaria or cemeteriesof lower class Romans whocremated their dead andplaced the remains in urnswhich were then put inniches in walls many tiershigh.
Also a belief in segregationfrom other burial customswhich were pagan.
Could and did purchaseland out of which they dugcatacombs according toplans. Often tookadvantage of local quarriesas starting points.
Niches carve outsometimes 4-5 layers deepwith chapels for funeralfeasts.

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