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Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Pantheon, eye of Rome, and its glimpse of the sky

The Pantheon, eye of Rome, and its glimpse of the sky: The only natural light source of the Pantheon in Rome is its Oculus, a large opening at the top of the vault. Some literature proposed that the rays of the sun, passing through the Oculus, were actng as they could do in a huge sundial. The sun has been also imagined as being involved during some rituals made by the Roman emperors in the temple, to emphasize the celebratons of the foundaton of Rome. Besides to the sun, the temple could also have been linked to the heavens and the stars passing close to the Zenith. Inside this temple, which we could imagine as a huge eye, the gods were guarding the moton of the universe, Mundus, of which the city, Caput Mundi, was the head. In fact, a possibility exists that the architect who planned the temple had been inspired by the form of the human eye to create a building representatve of the link between Rome and the heavens, exactly in the place where Romulus ascended to them. In this artcle, besides proposing this idea, we give also some simulatons made by means of the sofware planetarium Stellarium, of the night sky and the stars visible through the Oculus at the tme of the Emperor Hadrian, who built the temple that we see today.