Monday, November 4, 2013

The Olympus on Earth

                The Roman Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome. The Roman Pantheon is a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. It was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian about 126 AD. The Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda. The Pantheon is the greatest building in western architecture. It is remarkable for both its engineering and for its manipulation of interior space.

                One of the most fascinating features of the Pantheon is the architecture. The structure of the Pantheon is comprised of a series of intersecting arches that detail mosaics and sculptures. The mosaics are darkly painting with hints of bright pallets. Romans had perfected the
use of arches which helped sustain the weight of their magnanimous buildings. The arches are sometimes built onto columns to help support the weight of the ceiling. The detail in the high ceilings and floors allow the interior to seem bigger than it is already.

                There are not any windows inside the building. The only source of light is an opening at top of the dome called an oculus. The whole is 27 feet in diameter and opens to the sky. Skylight shines down into the building like a ray of sunshine.  Throughout the day, the light from the opening moves around this space in a sort of reverse sundial motion. The interior of the dome of symbolized the heavens.The interior is filled with intricate squares and circles that detail the interior. The checkerboard floor pattern (of circles) contrasts with the squares in the dome. The squares on the dome seem to make the illusion that the dome looks taller than it actually is. The oculus also serves as a cooling and ventilation method. During storms, a drainage system below the floor handles the rain that falls through the whole.

                The Pantheon is a magnificent building that inspires me to become more interested into Roman architecture. The scientific and mathematical advanced techniques are interesting, making me ponder, “How did Romans even come up with this idea”.  The innovating detail put into the monument, helped show me how advanced and creative Romans were and motivates me to stay that creative and think ‘out of the box’.

Picture source from Google Images(The Pantheon)
-Kiarra Sims-Jean


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