The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of History: Christian or Catacombs, you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
Catacombs What Are The Catacombs? The catacombs have played an important part in Catholic history. They were built as underground cemeteries, but later became a place where Christians could worship freely, to escape from government persecution. The catacombs also served as a place for some of the earliest Christian art. The Catacombs were also referred to as sleeping places because the Christians of that time believed that when you die, you sleep before being resurrected, just as Jesus did. Catacombs are found mostly in Rome. Others are found in the Italian cities of Chiusi, Bolsena, Naples, as well as in eastern Sicily, Northern Africa, and Malta. They are very large in size. There were many floors and went down deep into the ground. History The catacombs were built during the first through the fifth centuries. As ancient underground cemeteries used by Roman Christian communities, some were also used by Jewish communities. They made tombs or coffins that are called sarcophagi. Christians did not believe in cremating because they did not want to destroy God's creation. The catacombs provided a common place to bury Christians. In the early stages of the catacombs, Christians would gather around and celebrate the funeral rites of the dead. They would also celebrate the anniversaries of martyrs and whoever else had died and had been placed in the tombs. The catacombs were protected by law when the emperors Constantine and Licinuis in February 313. Christians no longer had to be afraid of professing their religion. They were now able to build churches in and out of the city. They were allowed to buy plots of land without being afraid of being crucified. They continued to bury the dead in catacombs. Then later in the fifth century, the church built cemeteries for the dead and special basilicas for the dead saints. The catacombs were made out of galleries or passages with side places or compartments for tombs. The general idea of the catacombs was not created by the Christians, but it was adopted from an existing technique of excavation. They modified it, or changed it, by adding floors and bigger tombs and rooms. The catacombs were made possible by donations from local wealthy Romans. Some others started as private tombs, that were already in place for family members, but they later expanded them into catacombs. They did this by buying more plots of land and then extending the existing tomb. The catacombs continued to grow at a quick rate. When the barbarian Goths and Longobards invaded Italy in the early 4th century, many of the monuments and some of the catacombs were destroyed. The catacombs were not protected by law anymore, but instead were illegal. The Pope at this time ordered people to go and take their belongings to churches and stay there. If the Christians were caught worshipping in secret they were hanged or crucified. The catacombs could no longer be visited. Then centuries later, exploration of the catacombs began by Antonio Bosio in the early 1600's. His work was then later carried out by Giovanni Battista de Rossi. Catacombs and Spirituality The catacombs are a spiritual place for Christians, because they are the resting place for thousands of martyrs. The early Christians beheld a great witness to Christ because they shed their blood for Jesus. They did not want the catacombs to be just a symbol of death. They wanted them to resemble life and the joys of life. They expressed their spirituality with paintings and inscriptions on every wall in every passage way. This strengthened their faith in God. The Christians of this time did not spend their whole life underground. They lived normal lives just like ordinary people. They showed their faith in other places too. It was the catacombs that gave them the support and strength to go through with the persecutions of being Christians. The got the inspiration that they needed to continue by the reminder of the dead martyrs that laid in the tombs. In the catacombs they painted drawings that represented Christocentric spirituality. The Christians that painted the artwork, wanted Christ to be at the center of their lives. Whatever is in the catacombs, may it be the tombs built for the martyrs or the drawings on the wall, Christians of this time wanted everything to be in God's image. There is one particular painting, that can still be seen today that has an image of Mary. In this image, the Madonna, Mary, is carrying Jesus and there is an arrow pointing to a shinning star overhead. In another painting, Mary has Jesus on her knees and the Magi are bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. The Magi are in other paintings and drawings throughout the catacombs. The Magi are also in different sculptures. There is a sacramental spirituality to the catacombs. Before there were catacombs and large churches, Baptisms were done at home or in secret. The catacombs provided a pla

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on History: Christian

St. Franciss of Assisi

Saint Fancis of Assisi Saint Francis was born in 1182, in Assisi Italy. His real name is Giovanni Francesco Bernardone, but his father wanted him to be called Francis. He received very little ed...

read more
Christan Faith Baptism

subject = Christan Faith title = Baptism Baptism Part I History Baptism is the door to life and to the kingdom of God. Baptism in Christian churches, the universal rite of initiation, perfor...

read more
Augustin, Zosimas, and Mary of Egypt

Augustine, Zosimas, and Mary of Egypt Zosimas and Mary were two people from completely different worlds, yet they found commonality in their faith. And, while having different backgrounds and ori...

read more
Constantine; A Christian Hero

Christianity’s history is filled with division, controversy, and conflict. One of the most important people who contributed to the lasting success of this diverse religion was Constanti...

read more
Hinduisim And Christianity

Two religions, both very different and both very similar. Siddhartha Guatama also known as Buddha (“Enlightened One”) was the founder and probably the most influential person of B...

read more
Jesus, Paul, And Mohammed Comparison Of Their Impacts On Society

Michael Hart is an amateur historian and also the author of The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. In this book Hart lists in order the people he believes to be the top 100 ...

read more