In Rome, one doesn’t should look terribly laborious to search out historical buildings. However even within the Everlasting Metropolis, not all historical buildings have come all the way down to us in equally fine condition, and virtually none of them have held up in addition to the Pantheon. As soon as a Roman temple and now a Catholic church (in addition to a formidable vacationer attraction), it provides its guests the clearest and most direct sense potential of the majesty of antiquity. However how has it managed to stay intact for nineteen centuries and counting when a lot else in historical Rome’s constructed surroundings has been misplaced? Historical-history Youtuber Garrett Ryan explains that in the video above.
“Any reply has to start with concrete,” Ryan says, the Roman number of which “cured extremely laborious, even underwater. Sea water, the truth is, made it stronger.” Its energy “enabled the creation of vaults and domes that revolutionized structure,” not least the still-sublime dome of the Pantheon itself.
One other necessary issue is the Roman bricks, “extra like thick tiles than fashionable rectangular bricks,” used to assemble the arches in its partitions. These “helped to direct the gargantuan weight of the rotunda towards the masonry ‘piers’ between the recesses. And because the arches, made nearly solely of brick, set rather more shortly than the concrete fill by which they have been embedded, they stiffened the construction because it rose.”
This hasn’t saved the Pantheon’s flooring from sinking, cracks from opening in its partitions, however such comparatively minor defects may hardly distract from the spectacle of the dome (a feat not equaled till Filippo Brunelleschi got here alongside about 1300 years later). “The architect of the Pantheon managed horizontal thrust — that’s, prevented the dome from spreading or pushing out the constructing beneath it – by making the wall of the rotunda extraordinarily thick and embedding the decrease third of the dome of their mass.” Even the oculus on the very prime strengthens it, “each by obviating the necessity for a structurally harmful crown and thru its masonry rim, which functioned just like the keystone of an arch.” We might now not pay tribute to the gods or emperors to whom it was first devoted, however as an object of architectural worship, the Pantheon will certainly outlast many generations to return.
Associated content material:
Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the e-book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.