Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Retro slides: Rome, April 1989 -- the temples Pantheon, Portunas and Hercules Victor

The Forum Boarium is the location of two small but remarkable Roman temples.  This is the Temple of Portunas, protector of sailors and harbors, built around 80 BC.  

A short distance away is the small, round Temple of Hercules Victor, the oldest marble statue in Rome (2nd century BC).  Inside was a statue of Hercules.
 At the time, some restoration work was being pursued.
The spectacular Pantheon was so named because it was dedicated to all the gods.  Hadrian began the construction in 118 AD;  it was completed just seven years later in 125 AD.  Remarkably, the building is almost completely intact.
 The massive dome is constructed of concrete.  The coffers were designed to reduce its weight.  The oculus is open to the elements.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, all three of these remarkable structures survived because they were converted to churches. Here, you can get a sense of the grand scale of the ancient structure.