The Pantheon May Have Been a Roman Sundial

In this month’s Numen, a journal of history and religions, recently published the findings of historians who have theorized that the famed Pantheon of Ancient Rome served the purpose of ancient time-keeper.

The structure, first built by the Roman Emperor Augustus in the first century, was rebuilt in the 2nd century by the Emperor Hadrian. The coffered, concrete dome (the distinguishing feature of the building) contains a central opening – termed the “oculus” (Latin for “eye”).

Panini Painting of the Pantheon Interior

Historians have noted several solar events aligning with the Pantheon’s oculus on the March equinox and on April 21 (the traditional founding date of the city of Rome).

You can read more about the solar alignment findings in this month’s Numen or in this article in the Telegraph.

2 thoughts on “The Pantheon May Have Been a Roman Sundial

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