I ended up going out last night to get some apple-cinnamon gelato and then staying up late at the Ghirabaldi Monument, so I was a bit tired this morning. We started at the Pantheon today (where, by the way, there was a giant bunny walking around, apparently named Miffy—rather surreal). Agrippa built the original (as evident in the inscription), but the surviving version is Hadrianic, and was the last free-standing natural concrete dome until 1958. While it may have been a temple to all the gods (and their statues may have been in the niches), it seems it is where Hadrian held legal court. We then walked to Piazza Navona, which occupies the space of the Stadium of Domitian, inaugurated by games in 86 AD. A stadium is not a circus, but is used for running, Greek-style games, gladiatorial combats, and the like; apparently, Christian persecution was common here. Next we saw the Column of Marcus Aurelius, modeled on that of Trajan, but not built on as sturdy ground. There is a neat depiction of the so-called “Miracle of the Rain” in the battle against the Quadi in 174—Professor Lusnia referred to it as a “winged Cousin It.” Finally, we discussed the Temple of Matidia (which Hadrian built for his mother-in-law!) and visited the Hadrianeum, or Temple of the Deified Hadrian, dedicated by Antoninus Pius.
We got an unexpected short day because of an afternoon museum strike. I did some shopping at a chocolate shop, then grabbed a caprese panino at a nearby spot with Blaise and Will. I used the free afternoon to go to the grocery store, do some laundry, relax a bit, and go for a run. For dinner, we had salad, yummy pasta with tomato sauce and cheese chunks, potatoes, fish, and fruit. I also went out for a chocolate gelato before bed.