Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name given to certain recesses for dead bodies in the Roman catacombs, consisting of a deep niche cut in the rocky wall and arched above, a sarcophagus being hewn from the rock under the arch. The flat cover of the sarcophagus may sometimes have been used as an altar. Such tombs were often richly ornamented.
- From Latin arcus ("arc, arch") and solium ("sill, place of state"). (Wiktionary)
“The term arcosolium was applied by the primitive Christians to one form of the tombs that exist in the Roman catacombs.”
“A species of tomb similar in all respects but one to the arcosolium is the so-called sepulchrum a mensâ, or table-tomb; in this a rectangular niche takes the place of the arch.”
“In the Macellum, the arcosolium (vaulted alcove) in Room 3, discovered last week, had plaster on all three walls and on the remains of the vault.”
“This limestone block, used in Imperial times for carving an arcosolium tomb, has flowed about 1 km from its place of origin.”
“It consists of a kind of vaulted alcove or arcosolium (1.88 by 1.11 meters) that was plastered inside.”
“In _arcosolium_ tombs the receptacles are benches cut in the wall, like the berths in a steamer's cabin.”
“However, all tombs of this period fall into two groups, _kok_ tombs and _arcosolium_ tombs.”
“+ The arcosolium or monumentum arcuatum, which was formed by cutting in the tufa wall of the wider spaces in the catacombs, an arch-like niche, over a grave or sarcophagus.”
“In some instances, as in the "papal crypt" and the crypt of St. Januarius, the front wall of the arcosolium tomb was constructed of masonry.”
“One of the most interesting examples of an arcosolium adorned in this manner may be seen in the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus; in the lunette the miracle of Cana is represented as a symbol of the Eucharist, while on the arch a baptismal scene and a symbol of baptism - always associated with Eucharistic symbols - are depicted on either side of”
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