The most important Roman theaters in the world

Nowadays, there are many options available that show us the ancient civilizations of the past. One example is the Roman theaters. Although many people choose to go personally and take a private tour of Rome, the truth is that there are many other Roman theaters in the world that highlight the beauty of this ancient empire that gives us a glimpse into the past. Therefore, below, we will present some of these theaters.

1. Roman Theater of Orange (France)

This Roman theater dates from the first century A.D. and is located in the colony Julia Firma Secundanorum Arausio. It has the peculiarity that it is one of the few Roman theaters in the world that still has a complete stage wall. In spite of its age, it still has its original dimensions: 103 meters long and 37 meters high. 

This theater has a capacity to hold almost 10,000 spectators. The series of seats are in three types of levels: the first was intended only for the highest local authorities; the second was for the free people who had Roman citizenship, and the third and farthest away was the place where slaves, foreigners and lower members of society were.

2. Great Theater of Ephesus (Turkey)

This is another of the most important Roman theaters in the world. It is a work whose origin is Hellenistic and was erected on the Panayi hill, and was modified several times while the empire still ruled. The site was used for religious discussions, gladiator fights, plays and concerts.

Although it was built before the Roman conquest, it was during its period as an imperial province that its structure was enlarged. It has a cavea with more than 66 rows of seats, which makes it the largest theater in Turkey. Its seats have backs and were made of marble. Generally, these were reserved for the most important people of the city.

3. Theaters of Jerash (Jordan)

Jerash or Gerasa is a city that belongs to the Decapolis, and is one of those that are still well preserved. In it, there are two Roman theaters whose construction took place between the first and second centuries A.D. These are the Great Theater of the South and the North Theater.

The Teatro del Norte hosted mostly small performances. Many of them could hold up to 1,600 people. Over the years, the traces left by the Romans still remain on the site.

4. Roman Theater of Cartagena (Spain)

The theater of Cartagena is one that recalls the imposing monumental architecture that belonged to the time of Caesar Augustus. The elements that define the building are the bases, cornices and capitals. The building was constructed with different types of materials, but one that stands out is the Pentelic marble from Greece.

Around the third century it was no longer used, so many of its pieces were used to build the surrounding buildings. There are even some of its remains that can be seen in the cathedral of Santa María la Vieja. It has a capacity for 7,000 people.

5. Roman Theater of Palmyra (Syria)

This theater was built during the second century in the center of the semicircular arcaded square. It used to open to the southern gate of the city of Palmyra. The city was named a World Heritage Site and became a very important point on the Silk Road, to the point of being known as the pearl of the desert. 

The Romans conquered it in the 1st century and it was an important strategic point thanks to its abundance of natural products. However, due to the wars in Syria, the monumental city has been damaged and part of the theater scene is destroyed. 

6. Ancient Theater of Arles (France)

The theater was built at the end of the first century B.C. shortly after the Roman colony in this area was founded. In the original design, three parts were included, one of them was the cavea, the space where the spectators were; another was the scene, where the protagonists acted, and the third was the wall, whose function was to close the monument and decorate it.

Teatro de Arlés – Teatros romanos

This was built on the hill of Hauture, during the rule of Emperor, Augustus and was dedicated to the god Apollo. Its wall had 3 heights in which there were up to 100 Corinthian columns, 33 rows of tiers and figures that are now in museums. The place remained in operation until the 5th century and stands out as one of the first stone theaters of the Roman world.

7. Great Theater of Pompeii (Italy)

Inside Pompeii, a theater was found in the vicinity of the Triangular Forum, it was founded at the end of the third century B.C. And over time it was remodeled many times. Its appearance is much more modern than other classical theaters and many of its details still show the influence of the Greek empire. 

The shape of the theater is horseshoe-shaped, instead of semicircular. The odeon was buried after the eruption of Vesuvius during the year 79, but was later discovered during the archaeological excavations carried out in ancient Pompeii.

8. Roman Theater of Mérida (Spain)

One of the best known and most important is the Roman theater of Mérida, which is an element that tells us about the splendor of Rome during the Augusta Emerita colony age. In the enclosure, up to 6,000 spectators could stay, and in the scaena there were two superimposed rows with columns, friezes, cornices and statues. In turn, on the stage there was a reproduction of the goddess Ceres. Its construction was promoted by the consul Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and its inauguration took place between 16-15 BC.

Posted in Europe.