Excerpt from The Archaeology of Rome, Vol. 12: The Catacombs So many popular delusions are current on the subject of the Roman Catacombs, that it is difficult to obtain a hearing for a plain, unvarnished tale, in which the truth has been the only object sought for. These popular delusions are t confined to one party or one side, there are extremes both ways, and both are equally erroneous; they have unfortunately been made use of as weapons of polemical controversy, and the conclusions wished for on each side have been jumped at without proper examination of the foundations on which they are built. The same tests must be applied to the legends respecting them that are applicable to all other legendary history, and they cant be received as authentic without examination. The origin of the name of Catacomb, to begin with, is one of the questions long discussed and still undecided; but as the name is medieval only, and t that by which they were originally called, it does t seem very material: the original name was Cemeteria, and like many other words this had a double signification, one general, the other specific; the general name was that of a tract of ground applied for the purpose of interment, the specific name was a particular burial-vault, called also a cubiculum, which was usually sold in perpetuity to a particular family, without reference to the religion of its members. In one instance only, as far as has been ascertained, it was given to the holders of a particular office; the bishops of Rome in the third century had their own special cemetery or burial-vault, in the general burial-ground of the family of Calixtus. S. Anicetus, bishop and martyr, A.D. 174, and Bishop Soter, A.D. 189, were buried in this Catacomb; and Bishop Zephirinus in his own cemetery, near that of Calixtus; on the Via Appia. S. Calixtus himself was t buried in the cemetery that bears his name, but in that of Calepodius on the Via Aurelia. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.