Pantheon Versus Parthenon

Topics: Pantheon, Rome, Ancient Rome, Roman Empire Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: January 14, 2013
The Pantheon is early architecture from Rome, Italy commissioned by Marcus Agrippa as a temple to all of the gods of Ancient Rome. The building is made from concrete and granite, though it was rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. This structure is often compared to the Parthenon created by Iktinos and Kallikrates in Pericles’s Acropolis in Athens between 447-438 BC. The comparison is made because the Pantheon is heavily influenced by the Parthenon from the Greek Classical Era. Both the Parthenon and the Pantheon came from two different cultures and two different time periods, but yet share many similarities in their overall symbolism and meaning. Greek influences in the Pantheon appear in its façade with its columnar porch, pediment, and frieze. However, one can tell that the Pantheon is strictly Roman by the design of the dome, the attention to interior detail, the use of concrete versus white marble, and the idea of using the temple for many gods.

After the Greeks were conquered by the Romans, they were forced to assimilate into the multicultural Roman Empire. In doing so, the Romans gained all Greek art and used it to inspire are of their own. In result, structures like the Pantheon were heavily influenced by Greece stylistically. For instance, its façade of eight Corinthian columns was clearly a bow to the Greeks. The Greeks were not only the inventors of the Corinthian columns, but they featured an almost identical façade in their Parthenon. Both structures fronts demonstrate a façade containing a pediment and a columnar porch with 8 columns. All elements of the façade originate with Grecian art.

However, though the Pantheon may be similar to the Parthenon, there are also several factors that make it stand out as strictly Roman. For example, behind the columnar porch there is an immense concrete cylinder covered by a huge hemispherical dome. This was revolutionary even for the Romans. Anytime one sees a structure like this dome, where there is an...
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