The Theatre Picture

Antique Theatre

The theatre, in Grek style, was built on a hill slope, probably during the Flavian Period, in 62 AD after the earthquake of 60 AD. The facade is 300 foot long (92 m) the full extent of which remains standing. The theather, which was under construction during the Hadrianus period (117-138 AD), was finished in 206 AD during the Severian Period. In the cavea there are 50 rows of seats divided into 7 parts by 8 intermediate stairways. The diazome, which divided the cavea into two, was entered by two vaulted passages (vomitarium). The Imperial lodge at the middle of cavea and the 6 food high (1.83 m) wall surrounding the orchestra are particulary impressive. In 352 AD the orchestra was probably transformed into a colimbetra for aquatic shows, which had become fashionable. The scene-building, which is 12ft high (3.66 m), had 5 doors and 6 niches. In front of these there were 10 marble columns, decorated with alterne rectilinear and curved segments. The wall behind the scene was decorated with three rows of columns one behind another. The columns on the front row do not have grooves and stood on octagonal bases.

The theatre friezes depich mythological scenes; the birth of Apollon and Artemis and the religious ceremonies held in honour of them; the disports of Dionysos, Satyr and Menad; the musical contest between Marsyas and Apollo; fights between Gods and giants (Giganthomochi); the abduction of Persephone by Hades and daily scenes such as the athletic competitions. On the architrave of the main entrance the Imperial family attending the coronation of Septimus Severus is shown. The different styles of the friezes suggets that they were carved in a variety of periods by adherents of differents artistic traditions. Hellenistic influence is particularly abvious in the detailed friezes depicting mythological friezes clearly show the influence of the Pergamum school of art (e.g. the reliefs of the Zeus Atlar). The decoration of the scene boilding resembles that of the Perge, Side and Nysa theaters.
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