Pantheon (religion)

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ancient temple fronted by eight huge pillars
A pantheon in its sense as a "temple", this one built in 2nd-century Rome

A pantheon (from Greek πάνθεον pantheon, literally "(a temple) of all gods", "of or common to all gods" from πᾶν pan- "all" and θεός theos "god") is a set of all the gods of a particular polytheistic religion, mythology, or tradition.

Max Weber's 1922 opus Economy and Society discusses the link between a pantheon of gods and the development of monotheism.

Pantheon can also refer to a temple or sacred building explicitly dedicated to "all deities", avoiding the difficulty of giving an exhaustive list. The most known such structure is the Pantheon of Rome, first built between the years 27 BCE and 14 CE. The building standing today was constructed on the same site around 126 CE. It was dedicated to "all gods" as a gesture embracing the religious syncretism in the increasingly multicultural Roman Empire, with subjects worshipping gods from many cultures and traditions. The building was later renovated for use as a Christian church in 609 under Pope Boniface IV.

Since the 16th century, "pantheon" can also refer in a secular sense to the set of a society's exalted persons.[1] For example: "Mick Jagger was exalted into the pantheon of rock megastars."

See also[edit]

Further information: List of deities

Specific pantheons of deities

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This practice is hinted at in previous references; for example, Jove of the proto-Indo-European pantheon (whose other linguistic forms are "deus" and "divus") meant 'god, rich man'. Today the word "pantheon" 'of or for the gods' is reflected in the journalistic meme that refers to financial titans as "Masters of the Universe".

Further reading[edit]

  • Wrigley, Richard & Craske, Matthew (2004), Pantheons: Transformations of a Monumental Idea. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., ISBN 0-7546-0808-5.