Sunday, March 18, 2012 at9am from the Via dei Fori…
The word Pantheon is a Greek word and means ‘of all gods’. Since its edification in 27 before Christ, Pantheon has been a wander for every generation that comes to pass. It is believed to have been built for the seven Roman pagan gods and on the site where the body of Romolo, founder of Rome, flew by eagle to heaven.
The structure was first built by Agrippa the son-in-law of the Roman Emperor Augustus in 27 B.C. And left his mark right on top of the entrance. The headline reads: M. AGRIPPA L. F. COS. TERTIUM FECIT translated, Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it.
In the following century, fire damaged parts of the lower porch section and foundation. Later, Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the Pantheon from 118 to 128 A.D. without changes to the original pagan temple.
In 609 after Christ Roman Catholic intervened, brought in martyred Christians’ bones into the temple and changed the pagan temple to Church of Santa Maria and Martyres.
Every part of the structure is astonishing. That is the bronze doors (7 meters high), the interior, the oculus (opening of the dome), the decor and the diameter (43 m) of the dome equalling the height of the building bottom to top. What a story to unravel?
Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, has called Pantheon ‘Angelic and not human design.’ The artist seems to exaggerate in admiring the architects, even if he himself can’t tell what an ‘Angelic design’ is.