North Africa, Spain, The Roman Empire

Debod, a Ptolemaic temple in Madrid

The Templo de Debod was once located in the south of Egypt, in Lower Nubia, very close to the first cataracts and to the religious centre dedicated to the Goddess Isis, on Philae Island. This region, bordering with the powerful realm of Meroe, was the object of a dispute between the Egyptian and Meroite Governors up to the 1st century BCE, when Rome definitely established the frontier of Maharraqa. As of the 3rd century CE the region came under the control of the desert nomads and Roman control was lost.

Construction of the temple was started by Adijalamani, king of Meroe, at the beginning of the 2nd century BCE. He constructed a chapel dedicated to the Gods ’Amón of Debod’ and Isis. The chapel, decorated with reliefs, is one of the few monuments that makes reference to the life of this monarch. Subsequently, Ptolemy VI built new rooms around the original nucleus and gave it an appearance that bore more resemblance to its current appearance. His successors, Ptolemy VIII and Ptolemy XII ordered the construction of two side chapels, or naoi, also dedicated to Isis and Amón.

After Egypt was annexed to the Roman Empire, emperors Augustus, Tiberius and, possibly Adrian, decorated the entrance of the temple and added a special chapel, the mammisi. The temple was abandoned with the closure of the sanctuaries to Isis in the 6th Century. Debod in Madrid. Construction of the great Aswan Dam began in 1960. The huge lake that was created, more than 500 Kilometres in length, brought about the end of the archeological monuments and sites of the Lower Nubia, forever submerged under its waters.

At the request of Egypt and Sudan, UNESCO made an international plea for help to save the temples and monuments that were in danger. Four of the temples and monuments that were saved were donated by Egypt to the countries that contributed most to the salvage tasks. In 1968 Spain recieved the Templo de Debod in gratitude for its help in saving the temples of Abu Simbel. In 1970 the ashlars arrived in Madrid and were installed on the site of the former Cuartel de la Montaña

 
Sources and further reading:  http://templodedebod.memoriademadrid.es/eng/cronologia.html

https://irminsuldigital.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/el-templo-de-debod/

The Song in the film is ’Principles My Ass (new version)’ by Hands Of Doom.

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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Italy, The Roman Empire

An Altar to Peace

When I returned to Rome from Gaul and from Spain, in the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Publius Quintilio, having brought to a satisfactory finish my works in these provinces, the Senate decreed that there should be consecrated in the Campus Martius an altar to the Augustan Peace and ordered that the officials, priests and vestal virgins should celebrate a sacrifice at it every year.”

In these words from Res Gestae, Augustus himself described the Senate’s decision to honour him with an altar to Peace, following the sucessful campaigns North of the Alps in 16-13 BCE, having subjected both the Reti, the Vindelici and effectively put the Alpine passes under Roman rule. Augustus also had recently visited Spain, finally at peace, where he founded several new colonies and had received new tributes for Rome.

The official ceremony and dedication of Ara Pacis took place on the 30th of January in 9 BCE. According to Cassius Dio the Senate initially planned to build the altar within the Curia, but instead the northernmost part of the Campo Martius was chosen, a recently urbanised vast field, previously mostly used for military exercise of infantry, cavalry and gymnastics of the Roman youth.

The Altar of Augustan Peace is a richly decorated altar, standing within a sculpted marble enclosure.  The reliefs on the upper part of the monument represented various subjects relating to the legendary founding of Rome, such as Romulus and Remus and a double procession unfolds along the monument’s length: Augustus, members of the imperial family, priests, magistrates, and senators. A fragment of this procession is currently in the Louvre, portraying a family with two children. Their identity has not been firmly established, although they may be members of the emperor’s own family.

The altar depicts the Augustan state religion, it’s lower frieze consisting of vegetal works signaling abundance and prosperity and a new peaceful age. The coninous frieze of the north and south panels is a confident display of the participants of a sacrificial ceremony; Romans in togas wearing laurel crowns, senators, priests, magistrates, lictors, the occasional slave or freedman, along with women and children, normally not portrayed in these circumstances. At least two of the little boys might be foreign princes, on account of their gallic and asiatic costumes. The base is adorned with acanthus scrolls intertwined with swans (birds sacred to Apollo who was a protector of Augustus). These luxuriant natural elements evoked the peace and prosperity that Augustus had brought to Rome.

On the southern panel the Emperor himself is in the process of performing the ritual accompanied by his closest family in tow, a symbol of the the stability and guaranteed succession of the regime. The shorter western and eastern panels, pierced by entryways to the altar are adorned by mythological motifs pertaining to the founding of Rome, it’s people and gods like mother earth, godess roma (or perhaps venus), the mythic forebearer Aeneas who also might be the first king after it’s founder Romulus who along with his brother Remus is seen suckling the she-wolf that legend has it once nurtured them.

Song in the film is Sungam Zorba by Hands Of Doom and animations made by Altair4.com

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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France, The Roman Empire

Glanum: Celts, Greeks and Romans

Glanum was founded in the 6th century BCE by the Salyens, a Celto-Ligurian tribe, on the flanks of The Alpilles, a small mountain range about 20 km  (12 miles) south of Avignon, just outside present day Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It was a  fortified town or oppidum, (a term still in use ever since Caesar’s conquest of Gaul) known for it’s healing springs. Glanum later became a Roman city in Provincia, modern day Provence, until its final abandonment in 260 CE.

It’s known for two particularly well-preserved Roman monuments, known as Les Antiques; a mausoleum and the oldest triumphal arch in France, both from the 1st century BCE. The Salyens, Provence’s largest Celto-Ligurian tribe, first built a rampart of stones on the peaks surrounding the valley of Notre-Dame-de-Laval in the 4th century BCE, then Glanum was constructed in the valley with a shrine to the Celtic god Glanis built around the spring. Glanum grew until the 2nd century BCE when another city wall was added.

The town kept a strong Celtic identity with statues and pottery telling us of residents named Vrittakos, Eporix, Litumaros, and local god Glanis and his companions the Glanicae, similar to the Roman Matres with goddesses Rosmerta and Epona. Celtic customs where upheld, such as the displaying severed heads of enemies at the city gate and cooking utensils found in the ruins shows the inhabitants favoured boiling pots over frying pans setting them apart from other Mediterranean tribes.

Glanum had early contacts with Massalia (present day Marseille), a Greek colony founded around 600 BCE, resulting in Hellenic influences in both art and architecture. 2nd century wars with Massalia however meant the Greeks soon called upon their Roman allies. In 125 BCE the Salyens were defeated by the Roman consul Flaccus, and again the following year by Sextus when much of Glanum was destroyed. The town prospered again, thanks to its popular springs, Glanum minted silver coins and new monuments were built until another rebellion against Rome in 90 BCE. This was crushed again, this time by the Roman consul Caecilius, and public buildings were yet again destroyed and replaced by more modest structures.

In 49 BCE Caesar captured Massalia, and after the civil wars a general romanization of Provence began. Emperor Augustus created the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis in 27 BCE and gave Glanum latin citizen status. This was when Les Antiques where both built, the triumphal arch built slightly after the mausoleum between 25-10 BCE. Thet are shown at the start of the film (on the top of the page).

During the late 1st century BCE, and the early first centruy CE, a forum, temples, and a curved stone arch dam was built, Glanum Dam, the oldest of its kind, along with an aqueduct, supplying the fountains and baths in the town. Glanum became less prosperous than other Roman colonies such as Arles, Avignon or Cavaillon but still had several impressive buildings clad in marble by the 2nd century CE.

Glanum was finally overrun and destroyed by the Alemanni in 260 CE and subsequently abandoned, its inhabitants moving just a short distance north into the plain to found what later became Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Glanum then became a source of stone and other building materials. Since the Roman sewers and drainage sytem was not maintained, the ruins were eventually flooded and became covered with mud and sediment. “Les Antiques,” remained famous however, and where eventually visited by Charles IX of France, who had the surroundings cleaned up and maintained in the 16th century.

Some excavations were made around the monuments by the marquis de Lagoy in the Vallons-de-Notre-Dame who found sculptures and coins. Further excavations began in the 19th century culminating in 1921, when the architect of historic monuments, Jules Foremigé began working on the site and remained there until 1941. Archeologist Pierre LeBrun discovered the baths, the basilica, and the residences of the northern town between 1928 – 1933. Henri Roland worked on the Iron Age sanctuary, to the south from 1942-69, excavating the area from the forum to the sanctuary. The objects he discovered are on display today at the hotel de Sade in the Saint-Remy-de-Provence. New excavation and exploration work began in 1982, devoted mainly to preservation of the site, and to exploring beneath sites already discovered for older works.

Sources: on site information signs and Private Tours Blog: http://bit.ly/22hYg3T

The songs in the film are *Volgaz’ and ’Soulburner’ both by Hands Of Doom.

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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France, The Roman Empire

The best Roman Theatre in Europe

Provence has much to offer history buffs interested in the Roman Empire. Several monuments are as beautiful as they are well-preserved. Pont Du Gard overlooking the Gardon River, Arles Amphitheater, the Mausoleum of the Julii and Triumphal Arch at Glanum outside Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and The Roman Theatre of Orange are some of the most magnificent Roman buildings anywhere in the world.

The Roman Theatre from the 1st century CE is a great example of this incredible state of preservation and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the heart of the Rhône Valley it’s particularly known for the still remaining stage wall, a feature usually lost making it the best-preserved Roman theatre in all of Europe. The original roof and marble plaques covering the structure are missing along with damages in the wall from erosion through the years but the impressive stage wall still stands. It gives a unique perspective on what these theaters would actually have looked like. The stage wall formed the backdrop for comedies, farces, musical works and tragedies during antiquity, and the theatre is still used for concerts. Its comparatively superb condition is in fact owed to that its been kept in continuous use throughout the ages.

”La plus belle muraille de mon royaume.” 

Louis XIV once described the postscaenium or the exterior facade as ”the finest wall in my kingdom.” The wall is 103 metres long,  37 metres high and 1.80 metres thick and the interior side is divided into three levels. The first comprises three doors which open out onto the stage and secondary doors which open onto the corridors or rooms without any access to the interior. On the second level, the wall is bare of any decoration. You can see the stone corbels which supported the roof structure and a deep groove, the remains of the anchoring for the tiles on the roof. A blind arcade on the wall embellishes the third level. With the exception of the central arch and the arches located in line with the basilicae (towers positioned each side of the stage), each has a cavity that lets light into the passage located inside the wall. At the top, there are two rows of 43 corbels which supported the velum, a large canvas canopy that protected spectators from the sun and rain.

In 1996 several tons of rubble were cleared and since then only a few large blocks have collapsed, caused by the constant flow of rainwater which hollow out deep fissures in the wall, damaging the stage floor as well. The first attempts at restoration began in the 19th century, and a new stage roof was later added to protect the site preserving its authenticity: sheltering the facings threatened with ruin, while strenghtening it in the more fragile parts.

It became a fortress in the Middle Ages when the town took possession of the buildings and built dwellings there. It was not until the 19th century that the Theatre was restored to its former glory thanks to major clearance and restoration works undertaken by the State. By 1869 it was ready to stage events again and function as originally intended.

The original stage roof was destroyed by fire in the 4th century, and the wooden roof was designed to protect the stage and the stone towers and walls from the elements. Rather than pay for an approximate reconstruction of the original wooden roof, a decidedly contemporary form of protection was chosen, making it possible to protect the unique facing of the wall. A project to reduce the impact on the ancient structures as far as possible was composed of a main beam 60 metres long, supporting most of the load of the rectangular 16.7 metres wide roof. A glass covering on the roof with a fine metallic fabric dressing under the roof.
The stage wall, the frons scaenae was important as it helped to properly project sound and comprised the only architectural décor in the theatre. During the performance it did not change, but some mobile items and props were installed to create the illusion of movement, space and perspective. Its original height of 37 metres has been entirely preserved. The wall was richly decorated with slabs of multicoloured marble, statues in niches, friezes and columns.

 In 1931, excavations under the stage enabled the columns currently in place to be restored to their original position. Originally there were 76 of them. The stage wall is also arranged in three levels. At the centre of the first level is the Royal Door or valva regia. Reserved for the principal actors, it was topped with a frieze decorated with centaurs, the remains of which are on display at the Museum of Orange. This door is surrounded by niches which were adorned with statues. Narrower, the side doors called “hospitable” doors were used for the actors’ entrances and exits. The second and third levels, comprising columns, are purely decorative.

The central niche houses the imperial statue of Augustus measuring 3.55 metres in height. This niche almost certainly contained a representation of Apollo and it’s likely the triumphant emperor was only substituted at a later date, replacing an original statue of Apollo. Augustus is dressed in a general’s coat, the paludamentum imperatoris, and is holding his staff. It serves as a reminder that to preserve peace throughout the Roman Empire everyone must respect its laws.

The Song in the film is ’Principles, My Ass’ by Hands Of Doom. Some images made using Google earth and illustrations by jeanclaudegolvin.com

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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Italy, The Roman Empire

The Colosseum

The Flavian Amphitheatre is the greatest monument from the Roman Games. It has become a lasting symbol for western civilization, much like the Parthenon in Greece, a sentiment captured in these famous lines by Lord Byron:

”While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; And when Rome falls – the World.”

Perhaps civilization will both stand and fall along with the eternal city and its Colosseum, but its massive scale and mythical status aside, it was simply the largest amphitheatre anywhere in the Roman world for spectacles and bloodsports. Some other venues actually came close to it in size however and every large Roman city had an amphitheater during the height of Empire. The average Roman Circus was even larger and some could fit several Colosseums worth of spectators. The elliptical shape of the arena floor probably offered the best way for experiencing gladiatorial combat. The lack of corners where gladiators could become trapped increased the tension making the fights more entertaining. The circus was instead used mostly for chariot racing. There are many known instances though where the Romans choose many different venues for the same popular games.

The rising importance of the Roman Games during the first two imperial dynasties help explain why the Colosseum was built. The Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 BCE – 68 CE) began with the first Roman Emperor Augustus who had 3,500 animals killed while also staging gladiatorial games described by Suetonius as unprecedented on all levels. As Caesar before him, Augustus then had an artificial lake made on the Tiber’s western shore staging a sea battle, reenacting the Battle of Salamis. It was even fitted with a small island in the middle just like at the Bay of Salamis and filled with ships and 3,000 soldiers. His successor Tiberius went in the opposite direction, making massive budget cuts and limiting state involvement in the games, largely transferring them to the private sector. This led to a badly designed wooden amphitheatre collapsing during a packed private game with supposedly gruesome death rates as a result.

Caligula, third Emperor of Rome, was an innovator in the games. During his short and notorious reign he decided to have a small pool constructed on Saepta Julia behind the Forum where he felt gladiatorial games would have more suitable surroundings. When the basin was complete only a single ship could actually fit making Caligula subject to ridicule from the masses. He had further plans for a larger venue in the same place behind the Forum, but his successor Claudius disliked the idea and cancelled the project. Claudius, the fourth Emperor, arranged many games, often attending them himself with reportedly great enthusiasm. He even enjoyed the midday executions where criminals where sentenced to damnatio ad bestias and thrown to wild animals between the more popular animal hunts and gladiatorial combats.

In 52 CE 19,000 rowers and soldiers fought against each other at Lake Fucine in the largest naval battle ever staged during the games. According to Tacitus, the doomed combatants had fought well making Claudius unsure weather to have them go on fighting to the last man, have them all killed, or perhaps spare the remaining men. Rising from the sidelines he then started running back and fourth along the riverbank. Claudius suffered a limp and the sight of the Emperor on the beach supposedly caused great amusement among the crowds of spectators. After enough men had either been killed or wounded Claudius decided to spare the survivors. This particular game was surrounded by a large Roman military force carefully monitoring the unfolding events.

Nero, fifth and final Emperor of the Julio-Claudians, did much to develop the games during his time in power. He introduced new elements in the program he thought would amuse the audience and felt as Caligula before him that a new, better venue was needed for the games. He built a large wooden arena in the Campus Martius and as many of his predecessors staged a sea battle, filling his new wooden arena with water. A variety of fish and marine animals where thrown in as Nero gave the starting signal for a battle between Athenians and Persians, a popular theme at this time. Nero’s wooden arena was destroyed in the great fire of Rome in 64 CE. After his death the Flavians had his palace demolished and it’s adjacent private artificial lake filled in where they instead built the Colosseum. A clear signal that this part of the inner city now belonged to the people of Rome and that the new Emperor had a different style. A colossal statue of Nero remained from the previous palace, and was incorporated into the new architectural layout, giving rise to the name the ”Colosseum”. The building was originally referred to as the Amphitheatrum Flavium or Amphitheatrum Caesareum.

The Flavian Dynasty began with Vespasian’s rule (69-79 CE) who’s rise to power had been far from obvious. He did’t belong to the traditional power elite of the Roman nobility but instead came from the Ordo Equestris, the knightly class. His career during Claudius’ reign culminated with a consular office in the year 51. During Nero his career took off again and he was appointed proconsul of Africa in 63-64. He accompanied Nero on his trip to Greece and in the year 67 he was given the task of restoring order in Judea and Galilee. When a power struggle erupted in connection with Nero’s suicide Vespasian initially stayed out, before managing to gather support from one Roman legion after another until he soon came into possession of most of them. He was bestowed imperial status and associated privileges on December 22 in the year 69 CE.

Vespasian would build much in Rome during his following nine years as Emperor. Beside the Colosseum he also built the Temple of Claudius commemorating the previous dynasty. To finance this he increased taxes, for among other things the public toilets. When the urinal slowly started to return to European cities during the 19th century, they were thus called Vespasiani in Italy and Vespasiennes in France. His son Titus criticized the urinal tax and as a reply he supposedly got a coin inserted under his nose by his father asking him if he thought it smelled? Titus replied in the negative and Vespasian replied in turn that the coin had come from the urinals. Pecunia non olet (money doesn’t smell) is a saying associated with his rule. Vespasian was mindful of his spending, but no expenses seems to have been spared for the games. Building the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome represented a monumental undertaking, along with a second amphitheatre slightly smaller in size with the same name in Pozzuoli. When Vespasian had secured both his position of power, his succession, and had managed to collect enough tax revenue (as well as the spoils of war from Jerusalem) he immortalized his dynasty’s reputation with the Colosseum, as Martial obsequiously called a world wonder:

”Let barbarous Memphis speak no more of the wonder of her pyramids,nor Assyrian toil boast of Babylon; nor let the soft Ionians be extolled for Trivia’s temple; let the altar of many horns say naught of Delos; nor let the Carians exalt to the skies with extravagant praises the Mausoleum poised in empty air. All labor yields to Caesar’s Amphitheater. Fame shall tell of one work in lieu of all. “

Vespasian would die before the inauguration of the Colosseum however and his son and heir Titus was left to oversee one hundred days of unbroken games in the capital, which was probably on an unprecedented scale. Titus short reign (79-81 CE) was halted by a sudden illness soon followed by death. His fell ill already during the closing ceremonies for the inauguration. According to Cassius Dio Titus was quite generous during these games towards the spectators and had wooden balls thrown into the stands bearing the name of a particular item. It could be food, clothing, silver or gold items, horses, other livestock or slaves. Anyone who received a wooden ball could go to the responsible officer and collect their prize. This practice continued during his successor Domitian’s reign. Titus was reportedly along with Caligula, Hadrian, Lucius Verus and a few others one of the few Emperors to actually appear in the arena as gladiators.

Footage from the Colosseum taken in 2015. Additional footage and animations from a NOVA PBS documentary titled ’Roman Death Trap’ and its extended version ’Secrets of the Colosseum’ (Scenes from these documentaries were actually filmed during my visit).

The full documentary offers a possible reconstruction of the trap door elevators in the arena floor, probably used during animal hunts and the particularly hair-raising executions using wild animals. Song in the film is ’Carnival’ by Hands Of Doom.

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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Spain, The Roman Empire

Roman Zaragoza

Caesaraugusta is the only Roman city bearing the full name of its founder, Caesar Augustus. Its thought to have been founded in 14 BCE, perhaps 23rd December, coinciding with the 54th birthday of the Emperor. Caesaraugusta received the status of tribute-exempt colony of Roman citizens. During the 1st and 2nd century CE it experienced a period of splendour in which large public works were undertaken. The Roman City Walls, Theatre and River Port are just some of the remains from the Roman period still visible in Zaragoza where the former colony’s commercial, economic and cultural activities took place.

The Roman Theatre was discovered by chance in 1972 when construction of a new building began on Verónica street. After archeological campaigns Zaragoza City Hall took over the final excavations 1998-2002, and the museum was built. Of the Roman buildings from Caesaraugusta, the theatre is the best preserved of the city. For 200 years it was a meeting place, a focal point for social life and leisure activities for both the city and its surrounding area, transmitting the cultural, political and religious values of the Roman Empire.

Its location, at the highest point of the city meant that it overlooked a line of monumental buildings of which important archeological remains are preserved in the city’s different museums: the forum and its area devoted to the river port, and the public baths. The theatre, built in the 1st century within the town perimeter, stood out from the rest of the buildings as a point of reference in an essentially flat landscape. As time passed the theatre’s activity declined and during the 2nd half of the 3rd century the building was looted for its materials that were then used to build the nearby city wall during a period of political instability. Visiting its ruins today its difficult to appreciate the grandiosity of the building which once stood some 25 metres high, the hight at which the present roof has been installed.

During the demolition of a series of old buildings in 1989, remains of the Roman River Port were discovered, from the northeast boundary of the Roman Forum of Caesaraugusta. The structures remaining from this sector of the forum, dating from between the end of the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE, are the arches of a spectacular facade oriented toward the river, leading onto a vestibule and the flight of steps that joined the port docks and the forum square. In some of the ashlar stones in this sector there are still the quarry marks made by the builders: soldiers belonging to the VI Victrix legion which, together with the IV Mecedonia legion, founded the city of Caesaraugusta.

The Ebro River was navigable in Antiquity from the town of Vareia (Logroño) and its banks were dotted with wharfs and large ports. The port of Caesaraugusta occupied most of the right bank of the city along a straight, protected stretch of quiet waters after a tight meander. The port became the most supplying point in the centre of the valley. Imported goods were brought upstream from Dertosa (Tortosa) a sea and river port. The raw materials of the valley were transported downriver towards the Mediterranean. The coins minted by Dertosa bear images of the boats that sailed the Ebro in Roman times. Cables were used to pull the boats upriver, an activity requiring great physical strength and which was still used well into the 20th century.

Information and illustrations from Museums of the Ceasaraugusta Route and ‘Alexander Omega’ by Hands Of Doom.

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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Italy, The Roman Empire

Pantheon: A temple to all the gods

The Pantheon is the best preserved architectural monument of ancient Rome. It’s long history notwithstanding it had a somewhat rough start. It was first commissioned by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in 27-25 BCE under Augustus rule. That building was then destroyed in a fire, rebuilt under Domitian and in 110 CE lightning struck causing it to burn down again. It was finally rebuilt to its present form under Hadrian around 125 CE and it still bears Agrippa’s inscription above the portico as Hadrian would often commemorate the original builder during his own restorations.

M·AGRIPPA·L·F·COS·TERTIVM·FECIT

“M[arcus] Agrippa L[ucii] f[ilius] co[n]s[ul] tertium fecit,” meaning “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, made [this building] when consul for the third time.”

The Pantheon’s interior, though restored extensively during the Baroque period, is of  incalculable significance, both historically and architecturally. Its dome, the largest in Western Europe before The Renaissance, continues to inspire admiration for the sheer ingenuity and splendor of Roman civilization. It has remained a place of perpetual worship for nearly two millennia. The marble flooring and much of the interior survive from Hadrian’s time (with extensive restoration in places) and there were once numerous marble statues of all the most important Roman gods.

The Pantheon’s original function is not clearly known but it’s probably safe to assume it was commissioned by Agrippa in honor of the emperor Augustus. It’s innovative architectural features echoes both other temples and the spaciousness of public baths. Two monumental statues (probably of Augustus and Agrippa) each occupied sizable niches in the outer façade on both sides of the entrance. The statues themselves are of course long gone along with many other valuable materials removed through the ages.

An famous example of the pillaging that went on is how the original bronze-ceiling of the portico was stripped by Pope Urban VIII in the 17th century and later used (at least in part) by Bernini in creating his baldachin above the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Pantheon and it’s riches possibly functioned as a tribute to the emperors. By being dedicated to all the Roman gods it could perhaps facilitate public appearances by the emperor in surroundings suited for the status of both themselves and their deified predecessors.

Animations in the film by http://idialab.org and ‘Space Pneumonia’ is by Hands Of Doom.

Journey Thru History, Perseus Records ® 2016

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