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THE PANTHEON/Agrippa & Hadrian Biographies

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Author Topic: THE PANTHEON/Agrippa & Hadrian Biographies  (Read 4867 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2008, 06:26:26 pm »

                             







                                                                A N C I E N T




Agrippa's Pantheon was destroyed along with other buildings in a huge fire in 80 AD; the current building dates from about 125 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, as date-stamps on the bricks reveal. It was totally reconstructed with the text of the original inscription ("M·AGRIPPA·L·F·COS·TERTIVM·FECIT" meaning, "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, built during his third consulate") which was added to the new facade, a common practice in Hadrian's rebuilding projects all over Rome. Hadrian was a cosmopolitan emperor who traveled widely in the East and was a great admirer of Greek culture. He seems to have intended the Pantheon, a temple to all the gods, to be a kind of ecumenical or syncretist gesture to the subjects of the Roman Empire who did not worship the old gods of Rome, or who (as was increasingly the case) worshipped them under other names. How the building was actually used is not known.







Cassius Dio, a Graeco-Roman senator, consul and author of a comprehensive History of Rome, writing approximately 75 years after the Pantheon's reconstruction, mistakenly attributed the domed building to Agrippa rather than Hadrian. Dio's book appears to be the only near-contemporary writing on the Pantheon, and it is interesting that even by the year 200 there was uncertainty about the origin of the building and its purpose:

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. (Cassius Dio History of Rome 53.27.2)

The building was later repaired by Septimius Severus and Caracalla in 202 AD, for which there is another, smaller inscription. This inscription reads "pantheum vetustate corruptum cum omni cultu restituerunt" ('with every refinement they restored the Pantheon worn by age').
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 06:33:00 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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