What religious role has the Pantheon played in Roman History? Well, the Pantheon has played a religious role of a temple to worship gods and it has always been a type of propaganda for Roman Religions, such as Ancient Roman Religion and to Catholicism. The word pantheon comes from the Latin word pántheios which means of all gods (pan- PAN- + the(ós) god + -ios adj. Suffix). The Pantheon, had four different religious stages, first there was an "Ancient" stage, which was when the Pantheon was there to worship gods and goddesses of the Ancient Roman Religion; then there was a "Medieval" stage, which was when it became a Christian Church; also, it became a tomb, for those painters who painted pictures in the ceilings and walls of the Pantheon, through the "Renaissance" stage; and finally, there is a "Modern" stage which is represented "today", the Pantheon is used to bury those kings and queens of passed years and it is still used celebrate masses and weddings. At one point, Peter Conolly and Dodge Hazel state, "
the Pantheon is the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history and it has represented religion in all times" (The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome, 228). This makes reference to all those stages, the Pantheon went through and how the Pantheon has gone through them well-preserved, becoming one of the greatest images of Christianity in the world. According to historians Janson, H. W. and Anthony F. Janson in their book, History of Art, "As its name suggests, the Pantheon was dedicated to "all the gods" or, more precisely to seven planetary gods
" and "
and then became a great Christian building to worship just one god" (224). This also refers to, the way the Pantheon has changed its roots, as it started as a seven god building and finished as a one god building (Jesus Christ).
According to Samuel Ball Platner and Ashby Thomas in their book, The Topological Dictionary of Ancient Rome, "
but it seems probable that the temple was built for the glorification of the gens Iulia, and that it was dedicated in particular to Mars and Venus, the most prominent among the ancestral deities of that family" (383). Although it is said that the Pantheon was build to worship seven gods as seven different planetary gods, it said that the Pantheon was mostly made to worship two gods, in particular, Mars and Venus. Although, they also state the following "Agrippa completed the building called the Pantheon. It has this name, perhaps because it received among the images which decorated it the statues of many gods, including Mars and Venus; but my own opinion of the name is that, because of its vaulted roof, it resembles the heavens." (The Topological Dictionary of Ancient Rome, 383). This quote shows what people said years ago of what was the purpose of the Pantheon, and what is the statement some historians say these years; the difference is that before people said it was made to worship gods and today historians say that it was made because of its ceiling and its shape and how it was made to look like or be like the heaven, which represents the seven planetary gods and goddesses.
At one point, in the web page "Pantheon in Rome" it is stated that "In AD 608, The Byzantine emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV to turn it into the church of Santa Maria ad Martyres, thus ensuring its survival". This shows that at some point the building, called the Pantheon, goes to the hands of the Catholic Church, and makes the building be preserved through history until Today. Also, According to Samuel Ball Platner and Ashby Thomas in their book, The Topological Dictionary of Ancient Rome, "The building's consecration as a church saved it from the abandonment and spoliation which befell the majority of ancient Rome's buildings during the early medieval period"; referring to how important was its change of stage, going from a...
Bibliography: -Conolly, Peter, and Hazel Dodge. The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome/Peter Conolly, Haze Dodge. Oxford [England]; New York: Oxford UP, 1998.
-Crystal, Ellie. "The Pantheon - Rome 's Masterpiece." The Cultural Traveler. 8 Sept. 2006. Crystalinks. 20 Apr. 2007 .
-Janson, H. W., and Anthony F. Janson. History of Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1991.
-Platner, Samuel Ball, and Thomas Ashby. A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. London: Oxford UP, 1929. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/. 13 Apr. 2007 .
-University of Bern. "Pantheon in Rome." Karman Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. 8 July 2006. Philosophisch-historische Fakultät. 17 Apr. 2007 .
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