Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Vessels generally made of clay, and furnished with ears or handles. Amphoræ were used for various purposes, but especially for holding wine. Several monuments of the catacomb of St. Calixtus contain representations of amphoræ. A fragment of one of these represents a boat with sails attached to a trident, and a cargo consisting of two amphoræ on the prow a dove is perched, with the usual olive branch. A fresco also, of the catacomb of Pontianus, represents a boatman on the Tiber with a cargo of amphoræ. Both representations evidently allude to the calling of the deceased; the dove in the former case with the branch of the olive is a symbol expressing the belief that the deceased was already in possession of everlasting peace. Fragments of amphoræ have been found in the catacombs, one of which, now in the Lateran museum, is inscribed with the words: "Vivas in Deo". The handle of an amphora in the Kircherian Museum at Rome has the monogram of Christ. The same monogram, engraved between two palms, appears on the neck of an amphora discovered in excavations on the Via Nazionale, at Rome. Altogether about sixty of these utensils have been found inscribed with emblems peculiar to the Christians. A few of the most interesting of this category, containing the monogram, belong to the collection of amphoræ found in the cellar of the house of SS. John and Paul on the Coelian.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:15-27
15 'I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
82 Bless the Lord, all the human race: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:34-36
34 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, ... Read More