Ancient Roman Catacombs Essay

Ancient Roman Catacombs Essay

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Ancient Romans used multifarious methods of consecrating the dead; however, the most common method was burial in catacombs. In ancient Rome, a majority of the dead were buried in catacombs, which is a compilation of burial sites with several underground passageways and side recesses for tombs (Safra and Aguilor-Cauz, 943). The catacomb in which one was buried was determined by if the deceased was of Christian, Jewish, or Pagan culture.
Initially, the Christian Catacombs of San Sebastiano were found in the Via Appia, in Rome. The catacombs were thought to be named after Emperor Diocletian, who ruled midway A.D. 284-302 and revolted against Christianity. Consequently, this escapade ultimately caused his death (“Rome's Catacombs”). San Sebastiano can be found resting above the catacombs that are below the thirteenth century church. Recently, a newly built altar was added and now lies on Diocletian's remastered tomb, which rests above the first one (“Romes...”). Several Christians were thought to be buried here, some of which included Peter and Paul, who were thought to be buried in the back of the tomb. Recent discoveries prove that another crypt for Quirinus, a christian martyr, was found; however, “Domus Petri” (Home of Peter) has been carved above the altar in the tomb for several centuries (“Rome's...”). In relation, San Sebastiano held a chapel, called Triclia, specifically for Peter and Paul. Past Visitors carved prayers into the walls of the tomb for the two martyrs (Safra and Aguilor-Cauz, 944). Inside the tomb was a bust of San Sebastian, which was dedicated to an artist by the name of Bernini (See card 4). Some of the paintings in the tomb included a painting of Peter and Paul, “The Crucifixion”, “Massacre of the Innocents...


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...ltural Heritage/Culture and Leisure. Roma Capitale, 2007. Web. 26 Apr. 2014. http://mobile.060608.it/en/culturali/beni-archaeological/catacombe-ebraiche-di-vigna-randanini.html.
“CATACOMBS OF ST. CALLIXTUS, THE.” The Catcacombs of St. Callixtus. Salesian Institute of St. Callixtus, Rome. The Christian Catacombs of Rome. The Salesian Institute St. Callixtus, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. http://www.catacombe.roma.it/en/catacombe.php.
Nardo, Don. The Ancient Romans. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 2011. Print.
“Rome’s Catacombs.” Rome.info Roman Catacombs, Catacombs of Rome. Partnerships for Sustainable Development, 2014. Web. 07 Apr. 2014. http://www.rome.info/ancient/catacombs/.
Safra, Jacob E., and Jorge Aguilor-Cauz. “Catacomb.” The New Britannica Encyclopedia. 15th ed. Vol. 2. Chicago/New Delhi/Paris/Seoul Sydney/Tainei/Tokyo: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007. 934-44. Print.

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