4Pantheon inscription back The inscription reads M.AGRIPPA.L.F.COS.TERTIUM.FECIT, meaning "Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, Consul for the third time, built this."In fact, Agrippa's Pantheon was destroyed by fire in 80 AD, and the Pantheon was completely rebuilt in about 125 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, as date-stamps on the bricks reveal. Presumably some or all of the facade, including the inscription, survived from the old Pantheon.back
5Pantheon interiorThe Pantheon is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to all the gods of the Roman state religion, but has been a Christian church since the 7th century AD. It is the only building from the Greco-Roman world which is completely intact and which has been in continuous use throughout its history.
6Pantheon domeOnce the Romans learned to use concrete, they were able to mould on the ground their rounded tops for their buildings and hoist them into place on top of a rotunda. The Pantheon is just such a structure with an opening at the centre top of the dome. Because this opening is not covered, the floor is slightly concave with a drain at the centre so as to catch the rain when necessary.The dome has a span of 43.2 m, the largest dome in the world until Brunelleschi's dome at the Florence Cathedral of
7Pantheon dome (detail) Note the advanced construction technique – this shape minimises the weight of the dome while retaining the ribs needed for structural strength.back