Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

COLISEUM

A building in Rome also known as the Flavian Amphitheater. It was begun in A.D. 72 by Vespasian (9-79) and completed in A.D. 80 by Titus (39-81). It is now in ruins. Its form is elliptical, 620 feet long, 525 feet wide, built four stories 157 feet in height. A special terrace was reserved for privileged spectators, a private gallery for the emperor, seats in tiers for ordinary citizens, and standing room for all the rest. It could seat 45,000. During the Middle Ages it was used as a stronghold by the Frangipani; later it came into possession of the municipality. Much of its walls were removed for their stone until Pope Clement X declared it a shrine, sanctuary of the martyrs who gave their lives within its limits during the persecutions. It is now a place of pilgrimage for visitors to Rome. (Etym. Latin colisseus, huge, gigantic, colossal.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 14 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 15 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 20 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17