Rome's Pantheon – from paganism to Christianity Essay

Rome's Pantheon – from paganism to Christianity, 491 words essay example

Essay Topic: time, top, act, transfer

take long until Christianity became the official religion of Rome. In 380, with the Edict of Theodosius, the emperor Theodosius pronounced that all citizens of the empire were Christian, and outlawed paganism. Pagan temples were shut down, proscribed and outlawed, and Jews were tolerated under this act. It only took 67 years after Christianity was recognized to spread into the Roman Empire.
The first building converted from a pagan temple to a Christian temple was the Pantheon. The Pantheon is a pagan temple that was dedicated to all the gods, as the word Pantheon means. Agrippa celebrating Caesar's victory over Marcus Antonious and Cleopatra at Actium, built the first building in 27BC. In 80AD the Pantheon was damaged in a fire and restored by Domitian only to be damaged by fire again when it got struck by lighting in 110AD (Macadam and Barber, 163). After it was burnt down again the second Pantheon was built by Hadrian beginning around 118AD and was completed by 126AD . The only known part to be left from the original is the inscription "M AGRIPPA L F COS TERTIUM FECIT" which translates to "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it.", meaning Agrippa just financed it being built. The second Pantheon, which is the one still standing today, designer is unknown, it is assumed to be Hadrian himself or Apollodorus of Damascus who was a Trajan engineer and friend of Hadrian.
The second Pantheon was designed bigger than the first, 142 feet in diameter and featured a triumphal arch, with a portico styled as a courtyard. The courtyard led to a staircase that guided to the entrance, as it is known today. The courtyard was destroyed over time and the original level where the staircase use to be is now under ground. The pedimin, which is the triangular feature that sits on top of the building, use to have a design featuring possibly an eagle but it is now long gone, probably stolen when the barbarians raided. The building still features the original bronze doors. The Pantheon is located in what is currently called the Piazza della Rotonda.
In 609 AD the Pantheon became the first pagan temple to be converted to a Christian church. Byzantine Emperor Phocas legally transferred possession of the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV (Niederer, 4). The Pantheon is the only pagan temple with documentation of a legal transfer from state to church. Niederer proposed it was the first temple to be converted because of the importance and grandiloquence of the building its self. Then the Pantheon was dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres via Pope Boniface IV (Macadam and Barber, 164) after it became property of the Church. One of the reasons the church is believed to be in such a well-preserved state is because of the church possessing it. It can be concluded that the Pantheon was chosen to be the first building to be converted to show State-Church cooperation, and the support for

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