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.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod 5 hours ago
Dominican theologians assess proposals for divorced and remarried 6 hours ago
The ‘Pope Francis effect’—changing the way the world sees the papacy 7 hours ago
Renewal with God Behind Us: Man Determines All July 28
Introducing the Church Fathers July 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21