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Ad Sanctos
(1,947 words)

In the 3rd century CE, there was a development in the devotion to the martyrs. Close to their tombs the cultus took place. There was born a desire to be buried close to the martyrs – as close as was possible. In the 4th century CE, after the period of the persecutions, burial inside the catacombs developed as a practice. One would want a burial as close as possible to the relics of the martyrs. This idea was expressed with different terminology: ad sanctos, retro sanctos, ad sanctum Cornelium, ad dominum Caium, and so on. An inscription, preserved at Velletri, but from the Rome of the year 319 CE…

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di Berardino, Angelo, “Ad Sanctos”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 24 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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