Brill’s New Pauly

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(1,037 words)

[German version]

A. Function, architecture, development

Derived from the ancient local name of the underground Christian burial complex S. Sebastiano (coemeterium catacumbas from Greek katà kýmbas, ‘near the hollows’) by the via Appia near Rome, the underground  necropoleis, rediscovered in Rome since the 16th cent., were also called catacombs instead of coemeterium or crypta. As differentiated from smaller, private  hypogaea , catacombs in modern research are understood to be large…

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Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) and Zimmermann, Norbert (Vienna), “Catacombs”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 29 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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