The Stones of the Pantheon

by Yolanda Chapa Zambrano
[student, Rome Sketchbook course, spring 2011]

The Roman Empire, 2nd century ad.
The materials used in the decorations of the Pantheon symbolically represent the extension of the power of Rome. The marble used for the covering inside the Pantheon was a “Government program translated into stone” (Andrae). The interior is covered with marble and other kinds of stone that were brought from all over the empire. The provenance of the stone from the four corners of the Empire expresses the conquests of Egypt, Asia, Carthage and Gaul.
interior of Pantheon
The marbles used in the Pantheon include: the purple Imperial Porphyry that was from Egypt, the Docimian Pavanazzetto from Asia Minor, Numidian yellow from Carthage, gray granite from the area of Gaul, and green Lapis Lacadaemonis from Greece. These different colored marbles form a floor pattern, and are placed in relation to the walls and the columns, once again showing an architectural space that is designed according to the laws of geometry and mathematics.