I've recently found, to my surprise, that pantheon in English also means:
- a group of persons most highly regarded for contributions to a field or endeavour, i.e. : the pantheon of modern physics.
This connotation is quite intuitive given the origin of the term:
- c. 1300, from Pantheon, name of a temple for all the gods built in Rome c. 25 B.C. E. by Agrippa (since 609 C.E. made into the Christian church of Santa Maria Rotonda), from Greek Pantheion (hieron) "(shrine) of all the gods," from pantheion, neuter of pantheios, from pan- "all" (see pan-) + theios "of or for the gods," from theos "god" (see theo-). Sense of any group of exalted persons is first found 1590s.
Thinking about an Italian term with the connotation of a highly regarded group of people, the only that comes to mind is élite, a French expression.
Ironically pantheon, a term from Ancient Rome, is used only in English with that connotation, while in Italian a we need a French term to convey the same concept.
Is there an Italian term with the same meaning but with a connotation and usage as effective and common as élite?