How the dome of the Pantheon must have glistened under the glare of the Roman sun when it was covered with gilded bronze tiles!
Sadly, the tiles were plundered in the middle of the 7th century by the Byzantine emperor Constans II (r. 641-68), fifty or so years after the Pantheon had been consecrated as the church of Santa Maria ad Martyres.
The tiles were later replaced by sheets of lead.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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