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Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Great-grandfather of Nero
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a boyhood friend of Augustus and a renowned military commander on land and sea, winning the famous battle of Actium against the forces of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra. Declared Augustus' successor, Agrippa's brilliant career ended when he predeceased Augustus in 12 B.C. He was married to Augustus' daughter Julia; father of Gaius and Lucius Caesars, Agrippa Postumus, Julia and Agrippina Senior; grandfather of Caligula, and great-grandfather of Nero.
|First commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, the Pantheon was a temple dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 A.D. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.|