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This statue, Apollo Belvedere, is found in the Vatican Museums. It is a 2nd century Roman copy of a Greek original.
Taken: Jun 13, 2007
The Laocoon group (1st C B.C., Hellenistic) is in the Vatican museums. Laocoon warned the Trojans against Greeks bearing gifts, so was punished by the pro-Greek gods.
The Pantheon, \"temple of all the gods,\" is the best preserved ancient building in Rome. The inscription says built by Agrippa, but after it was destroyed by fire, Hadrian remodelled it (between A.D. 118 and 125).
On the outside of the rotunda are 16 columns of Egyptian granite, arranged in two orders of eight columns each. Because it became a church in the 7th C it was never \"quarried\" by locals.
Inside is a vast hemispherical dome (142 ft high and wide) equal in radius to the height of the cylinder. A circular opening, the oculus, lets in the only light.
The light coming in the oculus moves around the inside walls during the day, highlighting various areas.
Today the Pantheon interior is lined with tombs, ranging from a monument to Raphael to huge marble and porphyry sarcophagi holding the bodies of Italian monarchs.
The Arch of Constantine, next to the Colosseum, is one of Imperial Rome\'s last monuments. Built to celebrate his AD312 victory which he attributed to the vision he had of victory in the sign of Christ.
Taken: Jul 8, 2006
The Arch of Constantine was built in AD315, just a few years before he moved the capital of the Empire to Byzantium.
There is nothing Christian about the arch; most of the reliefs were from earlier pagan monuments!
More detail from the reliefs on the Arch of Constantine
Approaching the Colosseum: the large holes you see are from people chipping away at corners to get at the copper rods that had been used to hold blocks together.
Rome\'s greatest amphiteater was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian in AD72. It could hold up to 55,000 people, who were seated according to rank.
The structure was finished by using Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian tiers. These tiers inspired many Renaissance architects, who plundered the building, using its marble to build palaces and part of St. Peter\'s.
Imagine seats on the slanted areas, and a huge sailcloth awning, supported by poles, on the upper story that sheltered spectators from the sun.
Internal corridors allowed the large crowd to move freely and be seated quickly. Entry routes and stairs led to seats at the various levels.
The floor of the Colosseum is missing, exposing underground passages.
Animals were kept in cages under the floor and then lifted up in elevators; they\'d pop out from behind blinds into the arena. The gladiator didn\'t know where, when, or by what he\'d be attacked.
Imagine cages of animals with gladiators moving around down here. At the inaugural games in AD80, over 9,000 wild animals were killed!
Looking out from one of the arches of the Colosseum: this is the Domus Aurea, where Nero\'s Golden House once stood.
A closer view of Nero\'s golden house. The remains of his palace are now all underground (under this hill).
Another view from a Colosseum arch
Ruins of the Temple of Venus and Rome (looking out from a Colosseum arch)
The columns mark the entrance to the Roman Forum--you can make out the Arch of Titus to the far right. (Photo taken from an arch in the Colosseum)
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