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Catacomb   Listen
noun
Catacomb  n.  A cave, grotto, or subterraneous place of large extent used for the burial of the dead; commonly in the plural. Note: The terms is supposed to have been applied originally to the tombs under the church of St. Sebastian in Rome. The most celebrated catacombs are those near Rome, on the Appian Way, supposed to have been the place or refuge and interment of the early Christians; those of Egypt, extending for a wide distance in the vicinity of Cairo; and those of Paris, in abandoned stone quarries, excavated under a large portion of the city.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Catacomb" Quotes from Famous Books



... handle a spade at home, pathetically uncouth, with mouths agape and eyes expressing every grade of uncontrolled emotion—from wildest joy to downright idiotcy. How one realizes, down in this cavern, the effect upon some cultured ancient like Rutilius Namatianus of the catacomb-worship among those early Christian converts, those men who shun the light, drawn as they were from the same social classes towards the same dark underground rites! One can neither love nor respect such people; and to affect pity for them would be more consonant with their religion ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... great distinction betwixt Heathens and Christians was, that the former burned their dead, and placed the bones and ashes in urns; whilst the latter always buried the corpse, either in a coffin or, embalmed, in a catacomb; so that it might be restored at the last day from its original dust. There have frequently been dug out of the barrows which contain Roman urns, ancient British stone coffins. Bede mentions that the Saxons buried their dead in wood. Coffins both of lead and iron were constructed at a very early ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 45, Saturday, September 7, 1850 • Various

... the Catacomb of St. Calixtus, the entrance to which is alongside of the Appian Way, within sight of the tomb of Cecilia Metella. We descended not a very great way under ground, by a broad flight of stone steps, and, lighting some wax tapers, with which ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... night in Punta Alta, and I employed myself in searching for fossil bones; this point being a perfect catacomb for monsters of extinct races. The evening was perfectly calm and clear; the extreme monotony of the view gave it an interest even in the midst of mudbanks and gulls, sand-hillocks and solitary vultures. In riding back in the morning we came across a very ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... find a suitable bed of stone; and this was done with so little regard for his predecessors, that the workmen were sometimes obliged to change the direction of the excavation in order not to invade a neighbouring catacomb. The designer's plan was a mere sketch, to be modified when necessary, and which was by no means intended to be strictly carried out. Hence the plan and measurement of the actual tomb of Rameses IV. (fig. 156) differ ...
— Manual Of Egyptian Archaeology And Guide To The Study Of Antiquities In Egypt • Gaston Camille Charles Maspero

... these catacomb-like vaults should have been so ghostly reminiscent and suggestive of the terrors associated with the "Jack Shepards" and "Jonathan Wilds," whose successors lived in Dickens' day. One very great reality in connection with its ...
— Dickens' London • Francis Miltoun

... street—dainty slippers on blackened cobblestones, light laughter tinkling under the thunder of the "L," human brightness brushing past the human shadows from the midnight dens —made contrasts picturesque as a pageant in a catacomb. ...
— The Perils of Pauline • Charles Goddard

... the premises together. All the way back to the town I thought—should I, or should I not, take the house? Seen as I had seen it, it was a ghoulish-looking place—as weird as a Paris catacomb—but then daylight makes all the difference. Viewed in the sunshine, it would be just like any other house—plain bricks and mortar. I liked the situation; it was just far enough away from a town to enable me to escape ...
— Animal Ghosts - Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter • Elliott O'Donnell

... as holiday-making school-boys and boarding-misses, and government-clerks in their swift-speeding vacation, and elderly gentlemen vainly striving to enjoy their first fretful continental trip, usually think proper to descant upon. Of such manuscripts the world is clearly full; no catacomb of mummies more fertile of papyri; no traveller so poor but he has by him a packet of precious notes, whereon he sets much store: every tourist thinks he can reasonably emulate clever Basil Hall, in his eloquent fragments of ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... fossil body was not the only one in this immense catacomb. We came upon other bodies at every step amongst this mortal dust, and my uncle might select the most curious of these specimens to demolish ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... muffled drum; mortuary, undertaker, mute; elegy; funeral, funeral oration, funeral sermon; epitaph. graveclothes^, shroud, winding sheet, cerecloth; cerement. coffin, shell, sarcophagus, urn, pall, bier, hearse, catafalque, cinerary urn^. grave, pit, sepulcher, tomb, vault, crypt, catacomb, mausoleum, Golgotha, house of death, narrow house; cemetery, necropolis; burial place, burial ground; grave yard, church yard; God's acre; tope, cromlech, barrow, tumulus, cairn; ossuary; bone house, charnel ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... hastily traversed the vault, elevating the light so as to reveal the contents of each cell. One circumstance filled him with surprise and dismay—he could nowhere perceive the coffin of his daughter. In vain he peered into every catacomb—they were apparently undisturbed; and, with much internal marvelling and misgiving, Peter gave up the search. "That vision is now explained," muttered he; "the body is removed, but by whom? Death! ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... in the resurrection, "which you all know already," destroys in great measure the force and sublimity of this vision. Besides, it does not seem, in the common people at least, to have been much more than a mongrel Egyptian-catacomb sort of ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge



Words linked to "Catacomb" :   capital of Italy, Roma, tunnel, Italian capital



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