Circular domed temple erected on the Campus Martius between c. AD 118 and 125 (see fig.). Preserved almost intact, it is a unique achievement in Roman architecture and one of the most celebrated buildings in all architectural history. It was converted into the church of S Maria ad Martyres in AD 609. Study of brick stamps and limited excavations in 1891–2 show that the whole structure was built by Hadrian. The inscription on the porch entablature stating that it was built by M. Agrippa refers to an earlier Pantheon under the present one, a dynastic monument to honour Augustus and the Julio-Claudian family. Despite the importance of the building, the only ancient reference to it is by Dio Cassius (early 3rd century AD), who mistook it for the earlier building of Agrippa and referred to the building as a temple dedicated to many gods (History of Rome, LIII.xxvii.2).
Fikret K. Yegül