CHAPTER VII. CHRISTIAN CEMETERIES.1

Sanctity of tombs guaranteed to all creeds alike. -- The Christians' preference for underground cemeteries not due to fear at first. -- Origin and cause of the first persecutions. -- The attitude of Trajan towards the Christians, and its results. -- The persecution of Diocletian. -- The history of the early Christians illustrated by their graves. -- The tombs of the first century. -- The catacombs. -- How they were named.-- The security they offered against attack. -- Their enormous extent.-- Their gradual abandonment in the fourth century. -- Open-air cemeteries developed in proportion. -- The Goths in Rome. -- Their pillage of the catacombs. -- Thereafter burial within the city walls became common. -- The translation of the bodies of martyrs. -- Pilgrims and their itineraries. -- The catacombs neglected from the ninth to the sixteenth century. -- Their discovery in 1578. -- Their wanton treatment by scholars of that time. -- Artistic treasures found in them. -- The catacombs of Generosa. -- The story of Simplicius, Faustina and Viatrix. -- The cemetery of Domitilla. -- The Christian Flavii buried there. -- The basilica of Nereus, Achilleus and Petronilla. -- The tomb of Ampliatus. -- Was this S. Paul's friend? -- The cemetery "ad catacumbas." -- The translation of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul. -- The types of the Saviour in early art. -- The cemetery of Cyriaca.-Discoveries made there. -- Inscriptions and works of art. -- The cemetery "ad duas Lauros." -- Frescoes in it. -- The symbolic supper. -- The discoveries of Monsignor Wilpert. -- The Academy of Pomponio Leto.

THE Roman law which established the inviolability of tombs did not make exceptions either of persons or creeds.

____________________
1
Principal authorities: -- Philip de Winghe: Cod. biblioth. Bruxell. 17872. -- Panvinius: De Cœmeteriis Urbis Romæ. Rome, 1568. -- Antonio Bosio:

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