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The Parthenon & Pantheon - Essay Example

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Both the pantheon and the Parthenon were built as places of worship and were both used by the people who built them as temples to their Gods. The Parthenon was built between 447 BC and 438 BC by the ancient Greeks whereas the pantheon was built by the Romans between 118 and 128 CE…
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The Parthenon & Pantheon
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Download file to see previous pages Both the pantheon and the Parthenon were built as places of worship and were both used by the people who built them as temples to their Gods. The Parthenon was built between 447 BC and 438 BC by the ancient Greeks whereas the pantheon was built by the Romans between 118 and 128 CE. Thus because of this, we are able to see the influence of the Greeks on the roman art through comparing the two structures. A part from being places of worship the two temples share other common characteristics. However, they also have a number of differences in terms of function, themes and ideology. The two structures still stand today and serve as a proof to the skills of the architect, artisans and administrators who inspired and gave people pride to practice architectural works. Therefore, in this work we compare these two famous historical monuments so as to realize the importance of knowledge of context and culture in understanding and interpreting art. The Parthenon The Parthenon was a temple built by the Greeks on the Athenian Acropolis. It was dedicated to the goddess Athena who was considered by the Greeks as their patron. The construction of Parthenon started in 447 BC and ended in 438 BC, although its decorations went on until 432 BC (Moffett Wodehouse and Fazio, 83). The Parthenon was built to replace the older temple of Athena (pre- Parthenon or older Parthenon) which was destroyed during the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The Parthenon was later on changed into a Christian church in the fifth century AD. The church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Moffett Wodehouse and Fazio, 85). However, in 1687, the Parthenon and its sculptures were severely destroyed after an Ottoman Turk ammunition dump in the temple was ignited by the Venetian bombardment. Some of the sculptures that survived the destruction were later sold to the British Museum in London in 1816. The sculptures which came to be known as the Elgin marbles or the Parthenon marbles are now displayed in the museum (Mobile Reference, 112-114). The temple remains the most important surviving building in Greece. Its decorations and sculptures are considered as some of the great art works of the Greeks. The building is regarded as a symbol of democracy and one of the greatest cultural monuments in the world (Moffett Wodehouse and Fazio, 85). The Parthenon was rectangular in shape with a lot of low steps and a colonnade of highly decorated Doric columns around it. The structure was built in the ratio of 4:9 in breath to length. The entire structure including the roof was constructed using fine white marble. It is also important to note that Doric was not just a style of columns but an architectural style. Therefore, the Parthenon was built in Doric style (Mobile Reference, 115). The Pantheon The pantheon was originally built by Marcus Agrippa between 27 and 25 BC. It was built to commemorate the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra by Actium (Bunson 410). However, this original temple was burned down in 80 AD and the pantheon was reconstructed by Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD. Hadrian provided the basic plan, an architectural design for the building. This second temple was dedicated to all the Roman gods (DuTemple 16). The pantheon was dedicated to the church of St. Mary and the Martyrs in 609 AD by pope Boniface IV. This dedication prevented it from being destroyed like other pagan temples and enabled it to survive the middle-Ages (Bunson 410). The pantheon gave the Romans pride and reaffirmed their strength and wealth (DuTemple 9). The pantheon design was highly influenced by the Greek because the Romans highly admired art and architecture of the Greeks. The influence is evident in construction of the portico in front of the structure. The portico is rectangular in shape and utilizes the columns of the Corinthian order. The pantheon is circular in shape. It consists of a portico, a porch which leads to the entrance, with huge columns made of granite. The columns are Corinthian in style. The Corinthian ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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