The Pantheon -Temple of all the Roman gods
The Pantheon in Rome is the most complete surviving building of ancient Rome, and is one of the greatest spiritual buildings of the world. It was originally built as a Roman Temple in 27-25 BC on Rome’s Campus Martius, by the magistrate Marcus Agrippa. He built the original pantheon as an honour to all the gods and Augustus. It was also constructed as a place of worship for a number of major deities. It is said there were statues of both Augustus and Marcus Agrippa at the entrance way of the original building. This original temple burned down in 80 AD. Marcus Agrippa used travertine in its construction, and was damaged irreparably by a fire. The Pantheon was then rebuilt by Emperor Domitian. Unfortunately, 30 years later, the building was struck by lightening and burnt down again. The Pantheon was then commissioned to be rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 118 AD as a Catholic Church. Emperor Hadrian gave The Pantheon a completely different design, its structure is deceptively simple. The Pantheon was built to a much larger scale and with a circular design. Although Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the newly designed Pantheon, he had a Latin inscription carved across the frieze, giving credit to Marcus Agrippa. It reads: M AGRIPPA L F COS TERTIUM FECIT, which translates to - “Built by Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, third consul for the third time, built this” There are two main features to The Pantheon, the porch and the rotunda. At 43m wide and 43m high, it is a perfect sphere resting in a cylinder. It is made of concrete reinforced with strips of glazed bricks. Each brick is stamped with Emperor Hadrian’s insignia. The walls on the inside are either solid marble or incrusted with marble. The vast rotunda is as tall as it is wide and is supported by walls that are 19 feet thick. The entrance leads to the interior of the Pantheon and its round shape makes up the supporting drum for the oculus. A nine meter wide oculus pierces the...
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