ETYM French relique, from Latin reliquiae, pl., akin to relinquere to leave behind. Related to Relinquish.
Supposed part of some divine or saintly person, or something closely associated with them. Christian examples include the arm of St Teresa of Avila, the blood of St Januarius, and the True Cross. Buddhist relics include the funeral ashes of the historic Buddha, placed in a number of stupas or burial mounds.
In medieval times Christian relics were fiercely fought for, and there were a vast number of fakes. The cult was condemned by Protestant reformers but upheld by the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in the mid-16th century. Parallel nonreligious examples of the phenomenon include the display of the preserved body of Lenin in Moscow, Russia.
An object that as survived from the past.
Überbleibsel; in der Biogeographie Überrest einer altertüml., fr. weiter verbreiteten Art an begrenzten, isolierten Stellen (lebendes Fossil), z.B. Mammutbaum in Kalifornien, Brückenechse in Neuseeland.