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Located in Rome, Italy, the Pantheon is a unique structure with a debatable history. Many historians have argued over its exact age and the reason why it was built. Critics and admirers alike have also pondered on its beauty and design. Famed renaissance architect Serlio wrote the Pantheon was, “the most beautiful…and the best considered of Rome’s ancient buildings” (Davies 133). Whatever the controversy it brings, the Pantheon’s design has influenced architecture since the Renaissance. (Hannah 489). With its distinct circular structure its place in Rome makes it a treasure to be admired and studied. The Pantheon’s long history brings to light many questions about how it is one of the famous wonders of the world.
Cassius Dio, a Roman Senator, and historian wrote a book called “Roman History”. His account is the most information the world has about the Pantheon’s name and origin:
“It has this name, perhaps because it received among the images which decorated it the statues of many gods, including Mars and Venus; but my own opinion of the name is that, because of its vaulted roof, it resembles the heavens. Agrippa, for his part, wished to place a statue of Augustus there also and to bestow upon him the honor of having the structure named after him; but when the emperor wouldn't accept either honor, he placed in the temple itself a statue of the former Caesar and in the ante-room statues of Augustus and himself.”
Dio might have mistaken the Pantheon’s history because of Hadrian’s rebuilding of the Pantheon, but his interpretation for its construction has the closest answer to the question: Why was it built? Its history is a marvel upon itself when trying to look back at its origin.
When Michelangelo first saw the Pantheon, he sta...

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...e. Its reason for being a wonder of the world like the Pyramids in Egypt, can be credited to the fact that it was a monument built during an era where people recorded history, yet there is no actual recorded history concerning its true origin. The world has only Dio’s and Pliny the elder’s interpretation of the Pantheon, yet it is still not conclusive on how and why it was built in the first place. Its legendary origins have stories claiming the first Roman citizens built the original Pantheon where the current one is at; to it being built in honor of Romulus, the mythological founder of Rome. As a final point, the Pantheon will always be debated about unless there is a certified artifact from its original time period that describes the purpose and reasoning for its construction. Until then, people will continue to search for answers and conclude their own opinion.
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