Didem Doğan

Pantheon, the temple of all gods

We are at the Piazza de la Rotonda, the Pantheon stands right in front of us. How many times we’ve been here, gone inside, looked at the sky outside the oculus, the big hole in the middle of the dome, or sit outside and counted the pillars in front of it… A Mekka for the students of architecture, an inspirational model for many buildings like the White House, or the mosques in Istanbul with their similar domes, one never gets bored of watching this magnificent building. At the entrance gate it’s written M. AGRIPPA L. F. COS. TERTIUM FECIT, meaning “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it.” It was built in 25th century B.C. as a pagan temple, but the structure we see today was given by the Emperor Hadrian between 118-128 A.C. The continuity between the pagan religion to Christianity and Romans’ recognition of this transition is important. The multiple gods standing on the walls of the temple left the place to saints in Christianity. Not only in the Roman period, but also in Latin colonies, the elements of the pagan religions like the candomblé in Brazil with its African deities, Orishas, were used during the transition to Christianity; Synchretism is not unique to Romans…

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