Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Autochthones (Gk. autos, self, chthon, earth), sprung from the soil; a term applied to those Greeks (as the inhabitants of Attica) who claimed to have inhabited their country from time immemorial - as contrasted with e.g. the Dorians, who had immigrated into Laconia. The corresponding Latin word is aborigines.

Auto da Fe (Portuguese, act of faith), the ceremony accompanying the public declaration of the sentence passed on heretics and certain other criminals by the Inquisition. The condemned persons (barefooted, each wearing a fantastic robe called the San Benito, and a pointed cap) walked to church in procession headed by Dominican friars with the flag of the Inquisition, and followed by carts carrying fantastically decorated coffins containing the bones of malefactors. After hearing a sermon on the true faith they were formally delivered to the secular power, and a few hours later were burnt alive. The most famous auto da fe took place at Madrid in 1680.