~ miscellaneous ~
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How old is it?
timeline of the most important monuments of ancient Rome
The Colosseum and the Pantheon are ancient Rome's most famous buildings, but which of the two would you think is older?
Everybody knows that Rome was not built in one day: actually, it took several centuries, both BC and AD. Such faraway epochs and extremely long time intervals are difficult to focus on. Time is so dilated that it seems to flatten, the years elapsed between dates are perceived as much shorter intervals than they really are, and centuries overlap confusingly. For instance, it is difficult to imagine that the so-called Temple of Vesta (actually, the Temple of Portunus) and the Arch of Constantine, both 'Roman monuments', were built almost at the same time distance elapsed between the discovery of the American continent by Columbus and our present days. Doesn't it sound amazing, in these terms?
The table below lists in chronological order the main ancient monuments still standing or their remains, built during an age generically described as 'Roman', but actually spanning over 1.200 years, from the foundation of Rome in 753 BC (alleged date) to 476 AD, when the military officer Odoacer, of Germanic origin, upthrew the last emperor Romulus Augustus and became king, putting an end to the Roman Empire. Most rulers are also shown, for further reference.
The column on the right, instead, features a parallel timeline of important events concerning Rome and the rest of the world, measured backwards from our present days (shortly after year 2000), for the same time length as the Roman civilization. Surprisingly, the timeline goes back up to the age of Charlemagne, i.e. the early Middle Ages!
By the way, the answer to the opening question is that the Pantheon should be considered the older of the two landmarks, having been first built in 27 BC. But since it was completely destroyed by fire twice and rebuilt on both occasions, the last time in c.AD 125, the building we see today really dates to about half century after the making of the Colosseum, which was officially opened in AD 80.
· NOTE ·
in the table, ..... indicates some missing minor emperors