The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Author: Aleisha Olson

This lesson will explore the Pantheon as one of the main technical and artistic achievements of Ancient Rome.

See More

Try Sophia’s Art History Course. For Free.

Our self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

27 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

245 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 21 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


This lesson discusses the sense of artistic space and technical innovations used in the construction of the Pantheon.


Image of the Pantheon, Creative Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pantheon_rome_2005may.jpg; Image of Vertical Panorama of Pantheon, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pantheon-Sta-01.jpg ; Image of Interior of Pantheon, Photo by Stefan Bauer, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pantheon_floor_drainage.jpg; Image of Dome of Pantheon, Image by Matthias Kabel, Creative Commons,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pantheon_cupola.jpg

Terms to Know
  • Coffers

    Square-shaped elements in the surface of a ceiling or dome, with both a decorative and practical function of lightening the weight.

  • Corinthian Order

    The most recent of the three classical orders of column and also the most refined and decorative, marked by acanthus leaf decorations at the capital.

  • Dome

    A vaulted roof element, having a rounded, semicircular or elliptical shape.

  • Drum

    A cylindrical stone that forms part of a column.

  • Oculus

    An “eye” or round hole in the top of a dome that lightens its weight and allows natural light to come in.

  • Rosettes

    Rose-shaped elements, often in the middle of coffers.