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martyrium


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(pl. martyria).

1 Structure, usually circular or polygonal, built over the tomb of a Christian martyr, so essentially a mausoleum. Hundreds of Christian churches owe their existence to martyria, which took their form from well-established Roman funerary types (exedrae, octagons, rotundas, etc.). The complex martyrium at Hierapolis in Phrygia, Turkey (early C5), had a plan derived from Nero's Golden House, Rome (C1).

2 Place in a church where Relics are deposited.

3 Structure created on a site where witness to the Christian faith was borne.

Colvin (1991);Cruickshank (ed.) (1996);Grabar (1972)

Subjects: Architecture.


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