Academic Master


Compare and contrast the Parthenon of Athens and the Pantheon in Rome in terms of construction, form, function, size, and purpose.

Roman Architecture

The ancient architecture was unique depending on the region of origin, bringing out significant differences between the Parthenon and the Pantheon. The first contrasting element is that the Pantheon was constructed to symbolize Rome’s extensive influence. In contrast, the Parthenon was built to represent Greek victory over the Persians (Class notes: Mystery Surrounding the Pantheon Origins). In addition, the Parthenon is in Greece, whereas the Pantheon is in Italy. Furthermore, the Parthenon was designed with the outer columns being the dominant feature of the building. In contrast, the Pantheon has a sizeable domed rotunda and ceiling, which are the dominant features. Moreover, the Pantheon has been reconstructed after destruction by fires and lightning, whereas Parthenon stands in its original state. Furthermore, the Parthenon and Pantheon were constructed in different centuries, with Parthenon being built in 447 B.C.E. and the Pantheon between 126 and 128 A.D.

There are several similar features of Rome’s and Athens’s pantheon and Parthenon. These buildings are similar because they are made of marble, and their names are of a Greek origin (Class notes: Early Christian art and Architecture). In addition, both buildings were constructed for worshipping purposes despite the two empires having different gods. Moreover, the Parthenon and Pantheon were built with massive materials that required much effort to move and install. Besides, similar features on the Pantheon suggest that the Romans borrowed part of the design from the Greeks.

The design of the Pantheon took a circular shape incorporating a portico supported by massive granite columns. The structure comprises bricks, granite, and marble and the dome takes up over 4000 metric tons of concrete. The Parthenon mainly stands on ionic columns, and its design incorporates a rectangular floor primarily made of marble and a limestone base. The Pantheon spans 142 feet in diameter and rises 71 feet above its ground, whereas the Parthenon measures 229 by 98 feet and towers 45 feet above its base. The Pantheon is a popular tourist attraction site used as a Roman Catholic church, whereas the Parthenon is used as a museum.



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