These structures, however, are of comparatively minor importance in point of dimensions and decoration; they were apparently designed as places of sepulture for local chieftains, whose domains were afterwards incorporated in the Athenian realm by the vuvoucccr,u6 (synoecism) attributed 1/ Attal}is y?
The original term, catacumbae, however, had no connexion with sepulture, but was simply the name of a particular locality in the environs of Rome.
The original designation of these places of sepulture is crypta or coemeterium.
West of Bagdad, on the Euphrates road, in or by a grove of trees, stands the shrine and tomb of Nabi Yusha or Kohen Yusha, a place of monthly pilgrimage to the Jews, who believe it to be the place of sepulture of Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest at the close of the exilian period.
Mark's narratives of the sepulture by Joseph of Arirathea and of the empty tomb are taken as posterior to St Paul; the narratives of the infancy in Matthew and Luke as later still.
Distinct rank was accorded to aldermen, and in the Liber Albus we are told that " it is a matter of experience that ever since the year of our Lord 1350, at the sepulture of aldermen, the ancient custom of interment with baronial honours was observed."
See Cerf, "Pierre Cauchon de Sommievre, chanoine de Reims et de Beauvais, eveque de Beauvais et de Lisieux, son origine, ses dignites, sa mort et sa sepulture," in the Transactions of the Academy of Reims (1896-1898).
The primary idea of sepulture appears to have been the provision of a habitation for the dead; and thus, in its perfect form, the barrow included a chamber or chambers where the tenant was surrounded with the prized possessions of his previous life.
The prevailing mode of sepulture in all the different varieties of these structures is by the deposit of the body in a contracted position, accompanied by weapons and implements of stone, occasionally by ornaments of gold, jet or amber.
After a temporary sepulture elsewhere his remains were transported on the 12th of August to the cloister of St Florentin according to his wish.
Their relics are then collected and buried "sicut hodie illic est cernere," in a spot where "to this day" no meaner sepulture is permitted.