What is a pantheon? Roman and Greek pantheons

The word "pantheon" has several definitions, one way or another related, in this article, all its meanings are analyzed in detail.

What is a pantheon?

The word "pantheon" comes from the Greek pan("all") and theos ("god"), which is a common name for all gods belonging to any religion or mythology. The ancient Greeks and Romans so called the temple dedicated to all the deities. Also, this definition is suitable for designating a monumental building, a building where outstanding personalities rest. Most often this word is used to refer to a group of gods of one or another mythology (Sumerian, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Slavic and others). The beliefs of ancient civilizations, unlike more modern religions, are characterized by a large number of deities belonging to different spheres of society's life.

what is a pantheon

The Pantheon in Rome

On the question "what is a pantheon" in Rome for sureanswer "the temple of all the gods." It is a unique landmark of the modern capital of Italy, an architectural masterpiece of Ancient Rome. It was erected during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. e., in the last heyday of the Empire. The Roman pantheon became the reconstruction of the "temple of all gods", which was built by Mark Agrippa. His name as the first builder is immortalized on the building. This is the largest dome church of that era, and up to the XIX century it could not be surpassed. The Pantheon in Rome (pictured in the article) is a model of the domed architecture of the temples. Many tried to copy it, but could not get around it in its scale and grandeur. It looks very massive. Monolithic blind walls along the perimeter pass into the front portico, consisting of two rows of giant columns, entirely hewn of granite. The dome of the Pantheon is a marvel of engineering at that time. It is made in the form of a regular hemisphere, its diameter is 43 m, the height of the dome is equal to the height of the walls. In the center of the dome is the so-called eye of the Pantheon - a huge round window with a diameter of 9 m. It is the only light source in the rotunda - the main hall of the Pantheon. Along the marble walls of the rotunda are niches in which were originally statues of the upper Roman deities, and now - burials of famous personalities and altars. When Rome adopted Christianity, the Pantheon was abandoned, and the gilded bronze covering of the dome and portico were taken to other temples. Later, in 609 AD The Roman Pantheon was given under a Christian church. Since that time in it have started to bury outstanding figures of culture and arts, and also members of royal families. There is, for example, the shrine of Raphael, the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, and others.

Roman pantheon

Gods of Ancient Rome

One version of the answer to the question: "What is a pantheon?" Is a collection of deities of one or another mythology, in this case it will be a question of the Roman. It was in honor of the gods of antiquity that such a miracle was built as the Roman Pantheon, which was mentioned earlier. The Romans were incredibly practical and adopted the best from different nations, neighboring or conquered. They adopted the gods of the main pantheon from the ancient Greeks and, renaming them, wrote them into their basic dogmas. Unlike ancient Greek, the ancient Roman deities did not have their Olympus, they were often depicted as symbols. Jupiter, Mars and Quirin constituted the main triad of the pantheon, reflecting the three main functions of society: religious-priestly, military and economic. Besides them there was a host of other gods, lower gods and spirits. Various gods have patronized all spheres of human life and the environment. There were, for example, the gods of the seas, forests, hunting, fertility, farming, cattle breeding, home; the gods who guarded life, helped in childbirth, cared for children, kept a marriage and many others. Among the most famous: Janus - the creator of the world and the human race, Jupiter - the supreme, the god of thunder and lightning, the patron of the emperors, Pluto is the god of death and the underworld, Neptune is the god of the seas and the entire water space, Vulcan is the patron of the blacksmith's craft and the god of fire, Mars is a warrior, although initially he was a god of fertility. It is believed that he is the father of Romulus and Remus - the founders of Rome, therefore he is recognized as his protector and patron. Also known are Mercury, Minerva, Venus, Bacchus, Phoebus, who were part of the main pantheon of the Roman gods.

pantheon in rima photo

Ancient Greece

In ancient Greek mythology is very importantcomponent is a peculiar and confusing genealogy. Chronological order of events is also important. Initially, Chaos was the basis of the universe, from which, with the help of Eros, Uranus and Gaia (heaven and earth) appeared, they became spouses. They were born giants and cyclops, which Uranus was thrown into Tartarus. Next came the Titans, the most famous of which were: Themis (goddess of justice), Mnemosyna (goddess of memory), Ocean, Ray and Kronos, who began to rule the world and married Reye. According to the prophecy, his own children were to be overthrown, so he swallowed all his born children. But his wife saved the younger, Zeus, whom she hid. When Zeus grew up, he forced his father to return the other swallowed children. Then there was a war between the gods and the titans, in which Zeus and other gods helped win the giants and the Cyclops, which he returned from Tartarus. Zeus became the supreme god of heaven, thunder and lightning, ruling over all that exists. Together with his brothers and sisters, he lived on the holy mountain Olympus. The Greek pantheon consists of twelve major Olympic gods: Zeus himself, Poseidon (the god of the seas), Hera (his wife, goddess of marriage and family), Hades (god of the kingdom of the dead), Ares (god of war), Aphrodite (wife of Ares, goddess of love and beauty), Athena (the goddess of wisdom), Demeter (goddess of fertility), Hephaestus (god of blacksmiths and artisans), Artemis (goddess of hunting), Hermes (god of trade and eloquence), Dionysus (god of winemaking). In addition to them, there are also other deities, spirits, nymphs.

Greek pantheon


In this article, we have obtained a detailed answer to thethe question: "What is the pantheon?" - on its main examples. Of course, in addition to the Greek and Roman pantheons, there are also Egyptian, Sumerian, Slavic and many others in the cultures and mythologies of various peoples. They are worthy of study and close attention, but their detailed analysis should be devoted to a separate article.

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