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Glossary of Selected Things
Related to
Louis L'Amour's The Walking Drum


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CATACOMBS---Catacombs are in many European cities. Catacomb was originally the name of a particular district in Rome. Later the word referred to the subterranean burial places for Christians in the Roman Empire. Unlike the Romans, the Christians did not practice cremation because they believed in raising of the dead. But the Christians could not do any kind of burial within the Roman city limits so they used pagan burial cemeteries outside the city wall. The construction of the catacombs started, they were used initially for both internment of the dead and for memorial services. By the Fifth Century, they were no longer used for burial. The Christians started using the catacombs for secret passages for the practices of religion. By the Ninth Century, they had no use for catacombs. In The Walking Drum the catacombs are used as secret passages.

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