Archaeological sites ASKLEPIEION OF EPIDAURUS (Ancient sanctuary) ARGOLIS - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Ancient sanctuaries

The Sanctum of Asklepios: Asklipiio Epidavros

In the picturesque valley with a magical environment, where there were natural and healing sources, the sanctum of Asklepios was built in ancient times. It developed, over the years, to become the famous therapeutic center where many of the patients came from everywhere to the god "Deliverer", as they called him. Symbols of the Asklepios were the snake, the stick and the pot of therapeutic fluid. In the valley, at first, appeared a prehistoric settlement. The king of Epidavros "Malo" built then the first sanctuary in honor of Apollo of Maleata.
According to the local tradition, Asklepios was son of Apollo and Koronidos, daughter of the Thessaly king, Flegia. Askelpios was born at the Tithio rock, where his mother left him because she feared the anger of her father Flegia. So she left the child and a goat found and suckled the baby and the dog from the flock notified the shepherd, who found the infant. Then the first mountain was named Tithio in honor of the goat and the next mountain named "Kinos" in honor of the dog that found him. The influence and the brilliancy of Asklepios as the most important therapeutic god, brought huge economic power to the sanctuary during the 4th and 3rd century b.c, and the large group of buildings in the area materialized. Under the cover of these monumental buildings, the whole worship took place.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Municipality of Epidavros URL below, which contains image.


Sanctuary of Asklepios

  The Sanctuary of Epidavros is one of the most significant religious and therapeutic centers of Ancient Greece. The sanctuary was dedicated to worshipping the God, Asklepios, whose adoration brought him from Thessaly to the city of Epidavros in the 6th century B.C. A hospital was gradually appended to the sanctuary for the ill in addition to a Spa. Every four years (nine days following the Isthmia celebration) gymnastics and drama competitions took place in this area in order to honor Asklepios. Asklepios' splendor lasted throughout, the course of Ancient Times approximately. It did, however, undergo a second prosperous phase during the 2nd century B.C. upon, Pausanias' visit, a traveler. The excavations within the Epidavros area began in 1879 and continue today within various sections of the area. Until now, the archaeological mattock has discovered a plethora of structures: the Tholos, the Gymnasium, the Palaestra, the Stadium, the «Katagogeion» Hotel, the Thermae, and the Temple of Artemis . The structures however, that stand out within the area are the Temple of Asklepios and the Ancient Epidavros Theatre.
  The Doric Temple of Asklepios was built during the period 380 - 375 B.C. by the Architect Theodotus. In its construction, Corinthian poros stone was utilized, excluding of course the sculptures and the decorated areas as well as the waterspouts, which are made of marble. A trench tracing the length of the wall was located on its right side, which was not unusual to the hospitals treating the ill whilst it was also a significant instrument in the ritual for advice. Later, they filled it with dirt. The Temple's interior contained an ivory and gold statue of Asklepios that was the work of artist from Paros, Thrasimides. In 1988, UNESCO enlisted the monument in its World Heritage List of Monuments.
  The Epidavros Theatre was built in the 4th century B.C. by the Architect and Sculptor, Polikleitos Junior. He is renowned for his exceptional - practically perfect - acoustics, exhibited by the Theatre. He is also famous for the actors' dialogues and the Chorus that played in the orchestra. The Orchestra is clearly heard from the highest Theatre seats above. The Orchestra, along with the Chorus as was usual in those days, is similar to all other theatres in that it is circular and was constructed from dirt (a characterizing trait of theatres of the Hellenistic Period). Also, the Orchestra's basis contained a drainage trench (2 meters in width) that assisted in collecting rainwater. It is the only theatre in which the Orchestra has been preserved and is in such excellent condition. The Altar, however, has not been preserved, which was located in the center of the Orchestra. The koilon (its right side has been rebuilt) maintains an occupancy rate of 14.000 spectators. The 34 rows of seats, which are located at the lower end of the Theatre, have not been replaced and were constructed by following their original structure. On the contrary, the 21 rows located in the upper section of the Theatre were added later during the Roman years. The Stage was located behind the Orchestra and exactly opposite the Koilon. This was the area the actors used to change costumes and is referred to as the Proscenium. Only ruins are evident now. Access to the Orchestra was available from the two parodoses (on the right and left sides), which maintained monumental gates that were only recently reconstructed. Today, the Epidavros Theatre continues to give ancient drama performances, which comprise the most significant art and cultural events of the summer season.

This text is cited May 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs URL below.


Ancient theatres

Ancient Theater of Asklepiou Epidavros

Is it one of the most important and beautiful archeological places around Greece. In a green plain, surrounded by friendly mountains, a place of worldwide brilliancy and culture, the Ancient theatre at the side of mountain Kinortiou, the miracle of Epidavros, was built by the architect and sculptor Argous Poliklito the last. It built in two separate stages, the first at the end of the 4th century b.c. and the second in the middle of the 2nd century, when the famous three part characteristic of the Greek Theatre was finalized in Epidavros: concave - orchestra - stage. The highest distance of the concave is 58m while the diameter of the orchestra is about 20m. There are two friezes that separate into 13 stairs and 12 benches at the lower level and into 23 benches and 22 stairs at the upper level.
The theater displays the perfect form of the antique architecture, impressive with its beauty and symmetry. The capacity of the theatre is about 15.000 seats. The systematic excavation was started in 1881 by the archeologist Panagioti Kavvadia. The wonderful acoustics are the attraction of large number of visitors each year. Here, every summer, the Festival of Epidavros is held with famous performances of ancient drama and comedy.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Municipality of Epidavros URL below, which contains images.


The Theater at the Asklepieion of Epidaurus

The building of the Theater
   The famous theater seems to have been built around the end of 4th century BC, as part of an extensive building programme. Its architect remains unknown, although Pausanias mistakenly identifies him with Polykletos, the famous sculptor. This missidentification testifies to the fact that even since antiquity the theater at Epidaurus was considered as one of the very best in the ancient world, due to its elegance and beauty. The theater was originally designed to serve the production of Greek drama as established in 5th century Athens. It was built probably in two phases, in any case closely following the initial plan. The edifice was constructed entirely of two types of stone: grey-pink limestone for the cavea and soft tufa covered with stucco for the stage building and the retaining walls. The fine acoustics of the theater is a natural consequence of the accuracy and geometry of its design.
Description of the Theater
   The orchestra (or dancing floor) has the shape of a perfect circle, with a diameter just above 19,50 meters. A circular base still preserved at its exact center most probably held an Altar to Dionysos, called Thymele. The orchestra was the performing ground for the "choros" of the Greek drama.
   Symmetrically placed within the circle of the orchestra are the three geometrical centers of the concave seat wedges forming a triangle with two very closed and one very wide corner angle pointing to the auditorium. The one exactly coinciding with the center of the orchestra is also the center of the 8 central wedges of the lower part, while the two sets of wedges at either side have their centers located at each distant corner of the triangle, on a line parallel to the Stage. Being extensions of the seat wedges of the lower part, those at the upper part follow the same geometry. This choice of geometrical features enables better visibility, without disturbing the impression of a perfect shape. The lower part of the auditorium has 34 rows of seats and the upper 21, bringing the total to 55, with a capacity of about 14000 spectators. As in most hellenic theaters, the lowest row of seats has the form of a continuous throne, reserved for state officials, priests, and other important personages. Through a pair of drains at both ends of the circular corridor between the orchestra and the lowest row of seats, the rain water running down from the stone cavea was driven into an underground drainage system and carried away.
   The auditorium had a slope of about 26 degrees. Strong lateral retaining walls held both of its side limits facing outwards to the stage building. A tower of unknown function crowned their top at either side. The two oblong passages left between the retaining walls and the stage building at either side formed the "parodoi" (passageways). Spectators taking their seats at the lower part of the auditorium would enter the theater through them, and so would the "choros" during the performance. Two imposing gateways made of stone, with pilasters carrying an ionic entablature, architecturally linked the stage building to the auditorium. Each had twin openings, one leading directly to the orchestra ground, the other onto the stage via a ramp. Metal grills placed within these openings secured the theater, when not in operation.
   In its final phase during the late Hellenistic period the stage building was a two-storey structure with a single storey projection towards the orchestra. The stage building consisted of the following parts:
1. The "Proskenion" (fore-stage) This was a single-storey projection towards the circular orchestra raising to a height of 3.5 meters. Its side facing the spectators had the form of an elegant colonnade in the ionic order, with gate-like wings at either end.
2. The free, flat space exactly above the proskenion was called "Theologeion". There the main "hypocritae" (actors) would act their parts of the drama during the performance. The theologeion was accesible from both sides via the ramps entered through the openings at the gateways.
3. Behind the proskenion and the theologeion lay the stage proper, a two-storey building. Its groundfloor was called the "Skene" (stage) and had four columns carrying the upper floor called "Episkenion" (over-the-stage). The front side of the episkenion facing the spectators was open, with four pillars that covered the span from side to side. The openings between the pillars were blocked with hanging "pinakes" (backcloth screens) carrying painted settings appropriate for each play.
Recent history of the Theater
   The theater at Epidaurus was uncovered by the Athenian Archaeological Society, which excavated the site around the turn of the century. The auditorium survived the delapidation of all building material suffered by any structure standing above ground during Middle Ages, due to landslide or gradual silting that covered it with soil. On the contrary, almost nothing survived of the stage building itself except scattered architectural members, thankfully enough to allow archaeologists and architects to reconstruct its form at least on paper. Apart from a summary report by the archeaologist P. Kavvadias in his general book dedicated to the results of the excavations at Epidaurus, the theater was thoroughly measured and studied by Armin von Gerkan and Wolfgang Mueller-Wiener of the German Archaeological Institute. The results of their studies were published in "Das Theater von Epidauros" (W.Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart, 1961).
   The present state of the theater is the result of extensive restoration work carried out during the 20th century. Restoration included complete rebuilding of the collapsed retaining walls, and the gateways as well as reconstruction of the lateral seat wedges.
   Since the beginning of the current decade the Greek Ministry of Culture has undertaken additional restoration work focusing on the auditorium and the gateways. At the same time concerted efforts are made to enhance the protection of the theater against overworning, by regulating the access of visitors and its use during the summer festivals. After World War II the Greek Tourist Organization initiated a Summer Festival of Greek Drama, which for years has been a major cultural event.
   Lately the whole site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, including the theater, was enlisted in the List of International Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Foundation of the Hellenic World URL below, which contains images.


Theatrum. As the Greek drama sprang from the choral dances round the altar of Dionysus, so the architectural form of the Greek theatre was developed from the circular dancing-place, the orchestra. At first there was no chorus distinct from the general body of worshippers, all of whom were free to join in the dance. As soon as a regular Chorus was instituted, it became necessary to reserve a circular space of ground for it. A ring of stones sufficed to mark off this circle. The altar of Dionysus was placed at its centre. The spectators stood around it, and watched the dance. So long as the dramatic element was limited to a dialogue between the Chorus and one actor, that person could stand on a raised place in the middle of the Chorus, and address himself to various points of the circle in turn. But when Aeschylus added a second actor, it became necessary that the actors should play towards some one side. It was no longer possible that the spectators should form a complete circle. They were now arranged in a semicircle, or something like it. But the whole circle of the dancing-place was still, as of old, kept clear for the Chorus. The actors stood facing the spectators, not within the circle of the dancing-place, but on the further side of it. Behind them was the tent or booth (skene) in which they dressed. It was an easy improvement to conceal this tent from the spectators by a wooden screen, which could represent the front of a house, or such other background as suited the play. This screen was the proskenion--that which masked the skene. In the matured theatre the term was retained, though its primitive sense may have been forgotten. The proscenium was the background visible to the audience, whether this was a temporary wooden structure, or, as in later times, a permanent wall. Then skene came to denote that part of the theatre which belonged to the actors, as distinguished from orchestra, the place of the Chorus. Thus the kommos, a lyric dialogue between Chorus and actor, is defined by Aristotle as threnos chorou kai apo skenes (Poet. 12): and he uses the phrase epi skenes where we should say, on the stage (ib. 24).
  The oldest theatre of which we have any knowledge is the Dionysiac theatre at Athens. It has generally been supposed that a permanent stone theatre existed in the Lenaion, or precinct of Dionysus, from the early years of the 5th cent. B.C. This belief rested on a passage in Suidas (s. v. Pratinas). He states that in the 70th Olympiad (500-496 B.C.) Pratinas was exhibiting tragedy, in competition with Choerilus and Aeschylus, when the wooden benches (ikria) on which the spectators were standing happened to fall; and, in consequence of this (ek touton), a theatre was built. But the history of the Dionysiac theatre has been placed in a new light by the recent researches of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens. The excavations, begun in 1886, have yielded the following results, according to Dr. W. Dorpfeld:
(1) In the 5th cent. B.C., and down to about 330 B.C., the precinct contained no permanent building for scenic purposes. There were in it two temples of Dionysus (Fig. 1, D, E, see inside URL below), both to the south of the present theatre. The older of these (D), which was the more northerly, dated from a time before Peisistratus. Close to it, on the N.E., was a circular orchestra, about 78 feet in diameter, of which traces have been found under the buildings erected by Lycurgus. This orchestra was then the only permanent provision for drama. All scenery, therefore, was temporary; and the spectators sat on wooden benches. It is observed that Andocides, in the speech on the Mysteries (399 B.C.), speaks of the conspirators whom he observed within the precinct of Dionysus as apo tou odeiou katabainontas eis ten orchestran, not eis to theatron ( § 38): and the latter word, when used by Aristophanes, always means the spectators.
(2) The first permanent building for drama in the Lenaion was that completed by Lycurgus, about 330 B.C. It consisted of a stone wall with two small wings, like towers, projecting from it on right and left (A, A); the length of the wall between them was about 65 ft. 7 in. The temporary decorations (of wood, with linen hangings) were erected in front of this wall, and supported by the wings. Behind the wall was an oblong room, extending somewhat beyond the wings, and serving for the use of the actors. A portico (C, C), opening on the precinct of Dionysus, ran along the south side of it. The new orchestra was to the north of this building. Dr. Dorpfeld supposes that it formed, like, the older one, a complete circle, and that there was no raised stage; the actors stood on the same level with the Chorus. Rows of stone seats for the spectators were now constructed. After the time of Lycurgus no change, except of detail, took place in the auditorium.
(3) At some later date, which cannot be fixed, a permanent stone proscenium (B), adorned with columns, and about 10 or 12 ft. high, was built in front of the wall with projecting wings which Lycurgus had erected. As the wings no longer served a practical purpose (in supporting the temporary scenery), they were annexed to the new proscenium, a part being cut off the front of each, so as to bring them more nearly into line with it.
(4) An architrave-inscription found in the theatre shows that it was modified and embellished in the reign of Claudius, by whom Nero seems to be meant. It was probably at this time that the orchestra received its present pavement of Pentelic and Hymettos marble; the significance of the diamond-shaped figure traced in the centre is uncertain. To this period also is referred the erection of a raised stage, supported in front by a sculptured wall.
(5) The latest recorded changes in the Dionysiac theatre are associated with the name of a certain Phaedrus, and took place probably in the 3rd cent. To these belong the existing front wall of the stage, adorned with sculpture of an earlier period; also the balustrade which now separates the auditorium from the orchestra, and the partial covering of the orchestra-canal with marble flags.
  It is maintained by Dr. Dorpfeld that, not only in the Dionysiac theatre, but in all theatres of the Greek type, the actors stood on the same level with the Chorus; a stage raised above the orchestra was a Roman invention; and where such a stage occurs in a theatre of Greek origin, it is a later addition, made under Roman influence. The Roman raised stage, he thinks, was developed, when a Chorus was no longer used, by depressing the level of the circular orchestra in that part of it--the part furthest from the actors--where the Chorus formerly stood. This startling theory is based chiefly on the nature of the proscenium as it appears in the remains of some Greek theatres. The theatre of Epidaurus (Fig. 2, see inside URL below), built about the middle of the 4th century B.C., is the best-preserved example of the Greek type; excavations have lately been made in it by the Greek Archaeological Society (1883).
  The orchestra forms a complete circle, defined by a ring of flat stones. Beyond this circle, on the side furthest from the audience, are remains of a wall, about 12 ft. high, adorned with Ionic half-columns, and flanked by slightly projecting wings; there was one door in it, at the middle point. This wall must have been either the background of the scene, or the front of a raised stage. It is argued that it must have been the background, because (a) 12 ft. would be too great a height for a stage; (b) the width of the stage--about 8 ft.--would have been too small; (c) there is no trace of steps leading from the top of the wall to the orchestra. A similar wall occurs in the theatre at Oropus, and is identified as the proskenion by an inscription which it bears. The theatre in the Peiraeus affords another example.
  On the other hand, several considerations tell in favour of the received view, that Greek actors, at every period, had a raised stage.
(1) The statements of the architect Vitruvius, who wrote about 20 A.D., is decisive, so far as the Roman period is concerned. He states that the Greek theatre had a raised stage, about 10 or 12 ft. high, but narrower than the Roman; the Greeks, he says, called logeion. Vitruvius uses the-word proscaenium to describe this stage; and the same use of the term occurs in other writers, both Roman and Greek. Dr. Dorpfeld is therefore reduced to assuming that Vitruvius has made a mistake, confusing the background of the scene in a Greek theatre with the front of a raised stage. But it is absurd to suppose that Vitruvius should have made such a blunder about the Greek theatres of his own day; and that, having accurately described a raised stage which did not exist, he should also have invented a name for it, logeion.
(2) The theatre at Megalopolis in Arcadia has been excavated by members of the British School at Athens (see an account by Mr. W. Loring in the Report of the School for 1890). The date of the theatre may be placed in the second half of the 4th century B.C. Here there is a raised stage, of which the height was originally about 6 ft., and the width about 18 ft. A flight, of steps, extending from end to end of it, led down to the orchestra. That it was a stage, and not a background, is proved (a) by these steps, (b) by the fact, that access was given to it by three doors in the wall behind it. There is no reason to doubt that this stage is of the same date as the auditorium. A later Roman stage has been found in front of it. By this example, then, the existence of a raised, stage in a Greek theatre of the 4th century B.C. is placed beyond doubt.
(3) With regard to the 5th century B.C., it was not to be expected that any remains of a raised stage should be found; temporary wooden structures would leave no trace. The Greek plays do not supply any literary evidence which can be deemed conclusive. There are some passages which indicate that the place where the actors stood was accessible to the Chorus (e. g. Soph. Oed. Col. 836 ff.); -as would be the case, if we supposed a stage with steps leading up to it, as at Megalopolis. Among the passages which seem to imply a raised stage, we may notice Ar. Vesp. 1514, where Philocleon says, atar katabateon g' ep' autous. This may, indeed, be rendered, I must enter the lists against them; but it also implies some change of position, more marked than such as would consist in moving merely from one spot in the orchestra to another, and would be most naturally explained by a descent into the orchestra from the stage. Some vases of Lower Italy, referable to the period 300-100 B.C., depict scenes from the Old Attic Comedy acted on a raised logeion. Plato (Symp. p. 194 A) speaks of the tragic poet Agathon as anabainontos epi okribanta meta ton hupokriton. This probably refers, not to a performance in the theatre, but to the proagon. Still, it shows that the idea of placing actors on a raised platform was familiar to Athenians of the 5th century B.C. Even in the days before Thespis, when one member of the Chorus held a dialogue with the rest, he was mounted, we are told, on a kind of table (eleos: Pollux, iv. 123). A recent writer suggests that the source of this story may have been a Comedy in which the beginnings of Tragedy were burlesqued (Hiller, Rhein. Museum). If this were so, it would only show that some sort of raised stage was conceived as necessary for even the most primitive form of drama.
   Lastly, there is a strong a priori objection to the theory that actors and Chorus stood on the same level. The Chorus were usually drawn up in ranks facing the actors. With his cothurnus and mask, a tragic actor would still not overtop the Chorus by more than a head. Hence, a view of the actors would have almost been wholly denied to spectators whose seats were in the middle part of the lowest row. But those were the seats assigned to the most distinguished persons. This argument cannot be met by saying, as Dr. Dorpfeld does, that the Chorus was usually divided into hemichoria (leaving the actors visible between the two groups). Such an arrangement was not usual, but very exceptional. It may be allowed that, when the stage came to be as high as 12 ft., permanent means of communication between stage and orchestra cannot have existed, though temporary wooden steps might be employed at need. But before stages of that height came into use, such communication had ceased to be requisite, since the Chorus had no longer an active part in drama.
Vitruvius gives the ground-plan of a Greek theatre as follows. Describe a circle for the orchestra, and in it inscribe three squares. One side of one of these squares will represent the front line of the stage (A B). A parallel tangent to the circle will be the back wall of the stage (C D). The stage (pulpitum, logeion) must be not less than 10, or more than 12 feet high. Next, parallel with A B, draw a diameter of the circle, E F. It will be seen in the diagram that at E and F the semicircle is so continued as to make a horse-shoe, ending at G H. The curves which thus continue it are segments of circles described from E and F as respective centres, with E F as radius. This is known as the construction from three centres, viz., E, F, and the centre of the orchestra. The auditorium is shut in by lines which bisect the right angles at I and K. The space between G H and C D is a raised stage.
  The 4th century B.C. was the period at which stone theatres became usual in Greece. We may now proceed to consider their characteristics more in detail.

The orchestra.
  It has been seen that, even in the matured theatre, the dancing-place was still a complete circle, as in the old days of the cyclic choruses. Its central point was sometimes marked, either by a small pit (as at the Peiraeus), or by a stone (as at Epidaurus). Such marks probably indicate the spot on which the altar of Dionysus was to be placed. The word thumele, a place of sacrifice, means in classical poetry either a shrine, or, more specifically, an altar. Lexicographers and scholiasts often mention a thumele in connexion with the theatre; but they do not agree as to what it was, nor do they furnish any certain clue. The most probable conclusion is that the thumele was the altar of Dionysus, in the centre of the orchestra. Another view is that the name thumele was transferred from the altar to a platform in the orchestra on which the altar was placed, and that this platform was the station of the Chorus,--connected by steps with the lower level of the orchestra (konistra) and with the higher level of the stage (logeion). It is true that the use of thumele to denote a kind of stage was current in later times, when thymelici, music-hall artists, were distinguished from actors proper (Isidore, Orig. xviii. 47). But this use arose under Roman influences, and cannot be assumed for the Greece of the 5th or 4th century B.C. A channel, to carry off rain-water, often surrounded the orchestra, being bridged by stones at the points from which the stairways led up to the seats.

The Auditorium.
   In default of a special term like cavea, this is sometimes called theatron: though that word, when it does not mean the whole building, more often denotes the spectators (as we speak of the house ). In the older Greek theatres the public entered by the side-passages (parodoi) between the proscenium and the orchestra,--the same which the Chorus used. Sometimes, indeed, we find an alternative mode of access, viz. by a path traversing high ground, and leading directly to one of the upper tiers: this was the case at Athens, but it was exceptional. A crowd entering by the parodoi would find the pressure greatest at the mouths of the semicircular passage between the orchestra and the lowest row of seats,--before the spectators had distributed themselves to the several parts of the house. This fact helps to explain a peculiarity of construction. The lowest row of seats is not, as a rule, completely concentric with the orchestra, but is usually so contrived as to leave a wider space at the points just mentioned. A further advantage of this arrangement was that it afforded a better view to those who sat at each end of the semicircle.
  Flights of steps ascending from the orchestra to the highest tier of seats divided the auditorium into wedge-like segments. The Greek word for such a segment was kerkis, which properly meant radius; the Latin term was cuneus. A further division into upper and lower zones was effected by passages called diazomata, girdles (praecinctiones), which ran completely round the semicircle. At Epidaurus there is only one diazoma, which is not half-way between the lowest and highest tier, but nearer to the latter; and, while the lower zone (between the diazoma and the orchestra) is divided into only twelve kerkides, the upper contains twenty-two. At Athens only one diazoma can now be traced, but there may have been another: the number of kerkides is thirteen. The word diazoma can denote, not only the passage itself, but the zone which it marks off: thus the eleventh row in the upper zone is expressed by to hendekaton tou deuterou diazomatos bathron. zone is also used in that sense. Above the highest tier, another open passage ran round the house. The term ikria properly denoted the wooden benches on which, in the earlier times, the spectators sat (cf. Ar. Ach. 24 f.: ostiountai . . . peri protou xulou). When stone seats were introduced,--which at Athens does not appear to have occurred before the time of Lycurgus (c. 330 B.C.),--such seats were founded, where it was possible, on the natural rock of the slope. At Athens, as at Megalopolis, artificial substructions were required in several parts, and this must almost everywhere have been the case, more or less. The material used for the seats varied much. Sometimes it is marble, as at Iassus in Caria and Perga in Pamphylia; at Athens and in the Peiraeus, it is (for the ordinary seats) a white limestone, finely wrought; while the smaller provincial theatres were often content with coarser stone and workmanship. The tiers of seats were called bathra or anabathmoi. At Athens the space allotted to one person was indicated merely by a line engraved on the stone (as at Sparta by a groove): it is described as hedra, topos, chora, chorion, or simply thea (thean agorazein, katalambanein).
  The privilege of proedria in the theatre was given chiefly to four classes of persons: (1) certain priests and priestesses, among whom the priest of Dionysus was foremost: (2) certain magistrates: (3) foreigners who were honoured in an official character, as presbeis or theoroi: (4) citizens or foreigners who were honoured in their personal capacity, as benefactors of the state. For such persons special seats were provided, like armchairs, called thronoi or kathedrai. At Athens these chairs, made of Pentelic marble, occupy the whole of the lowest row, while others are placed in different parts of the house, though in no case higher up than the twenty-fourth row; those assigned to priests or officials bear their titles; thus the central chair of the semicircle is inscribed, "Iereos Dionysou Eleuthereos". According, to one recent view, the chairs in the lowest row date from the time of Lycurgus; it has more generally been supposed that all these chairs are of the Roman age,--as all the present inscriptions certainly are. At Epidaurus several rows of seats with backs and arms were assigned to those who enjoyed proedria. Elaborate ornament was often applied to such chairs,--the feet being shaped like lion's claws,--the front or back carved with mythical subjects in relief, etc.
  The acoustic properties of a Greek theatre would be naturally good, since the actors had a high wall behind them and a rising slope in front. Vitruvius, indeed, says that artificial aid was sought from brazen vessels, which the Greeks call echeia, so placed in the auditorium as to reverberate the voices of the actors. He even speaks of these resonators as being nicely adapted to the required musical pitch (ii. 1, 9). The theatre at Aizani in Cilicia has a series of niches above the diazoma: and similar niches exist elsewhere. According to one view, these niches held the echeia, while another connects them merely with the substructions of seats. The statement of Vitruvius leaves no doubt that echeia were used, at least sometimes, in the theatres of his own day: but it remains uncertain whether such a device was employed by the Greeks of an earlier time.
  The outer wall enclosing the auditorium ordinarily followed the curve of the semicircle, unless the nature of the ground caused some deviation. At Athens the auditorium was partly bounded on the N. by the steep rock of the Acropolis, while the rest of its boundary was formed by strong walls of conglomerate. Where the external appearance of these walls became important, viz. in the S. and S.W. portions, they were cased with finely-wrought limestone. The general outline at Athens was that of a large segment of a circle, described from a centre considerably N. of the point which served as centre of the orchestra: for a small distance at the S.W. corner the curve passed into a straight line. Examples also occur in which the walls enclosing the auditorium were rectangular, as at Cnidus, and in the smaller theatre at Pompeii. The walls flanking the seats at each end of the semicircle were either carried in a single sloping line from the topmost tier to the orchestra, or built in a series of steps corresponding with the tiers. In the best Greek period such walls were not exactly parallel with the line of the proscenium, but started inwards a little, towards the centre of the orchestra. This was the case at Athens and at Epidaurus.

Scenic Decoration.
   The testimonies on this subject are of two classes.
(1) Notices in writers chiefly belonging to the Roman age, especially lexicographers and scholiasts. Among these the most important is the grammarian Julius Pollux (flor. 170 A.D.), in his Onomasticon, book iv., sections 128-132 (peri hupokriton skeues). As has lately been shown by Rohde, the source principally used by Pollux was a work by Juba, a writer of the later Alexandrian age, entitled Theatrike historia, in at least seventeen books; while Juba, in his turn, had sources going back to Aristophanes of Byzantium (200 B.C.), but not further. The besetting fault of Pollux, in abridging from this ample material, seems to have been an omission to distinguish between the normal and the occasional resources of the stage.
(2) The second kind of evidence is that derived from the Greek dramatic texts themselves. This source, scanty as it is, is the principal one on which we have to rely in regard to the practice of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. Not long ago it was the custom to treat the notices. in Pollux and the other late authorities as if they could be applied without reserve to the great age of Athenian Tragedy and Comedy. A more critical study has shown the. need of greater caution in this respect. It is not difficult to suppose that, when dramatic poetry had; culminated, the art of scenic decoration may still have been very rude, while it is probable that much of the apparatus described by late writers had its origin under the Diadochi or the Empire. The history of our own stage could show a similar, course, from the triumphs of poetry to those of mechanism.
  In the extant plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, the action most often takes place in front of a house, with a practicable door; sometimes in front of a temple, a cottage, a tent, a cave, or a rock. Painted linen hangings, erected on a wooden frame, would have sufficed for such a background. Aristotle, in sketching the growth of Tragedy, says that Aeschylus added the second actor, and made the dialogue predominate over the choral part, while Sophocles introduced the third, actor and the use of scenen-painting (skenographia). Now, this last fact must have stood out clearly in Athenian tradition, which Aristotle had every means of knowing, when he thus coupled it with the other novelty as an invention distinctive of Sophocles. It is usually assumed, even by recent writers, that Aristotle is here irreconcilable with Vitruvius, who ascribes the introduction of scene-painting to Aeschylus. Such an assumption is not, we think, necessary. The words of Vitruvius (vii. praef. 11) are: primum Agatharchus Athenis, Aeschylo docente tragoediam, scaenam fecit et de ea commentarium reliquit: and he then goes on to say how the stimulus given by Agatharchus. led Democritus and Anaxagoras to develop principles of perspective. The phrase, while Aeschylus was exhibiting tragedy, merely describes Aeschylus as contemporary with the innovation. Sophocles first exhibited in 468 B.C., twelve years before, the death, of Aeschylus. Aristotle and Vitruvius are reconciled if we suppose that Sophocles introduced skenographia the early days of his career; a fact which will also help us to understand why that improvement was peculiarly associated with this name. Even before Agatharchus had made a beginning of artistic skenographia, some ruder kind of drawing may have been used. Thus in the Persae of Aeschylus (472 B.C.) the palace was probably indicated. In the Ion of Euripides (circ. 421 B.C.), where the scene is laid at Delphi, the Chorus of Athenian maidens point with admiration to the sculptures which adorn the front of the temple. We may suppose that some, representation of these, though not perhaps a very elaborate one, appeared on the proscenium.
  With regard to massive decoration, as distinguished from a painted background, the objects required by the texts are simple, such as altars, statues of gods or, heroes, rocks, and seats. But the texts further prove that certain mechanical appliances were available at need.
(1) The ekkuklema was a small movable stage on wheels, which could be rolled forward through the door in the proscenium. There was room on it for three or four persons, and it was low enough to allow of an actor stepping off it with ease. The most frequent use of the ekkuklema was when the corpse of a person slain within the house was to be shown to the audience,--sometimes with the murderer standing beside it. The moment at which the ekkuklema was pushed forward is often, though not always, marked in the text by a reference to the opening of the door.
Examples are:--in Aesch. Ag., Clytaemnestra is thus shown standing by the corpses of Agamemnon and Cassandra; in Cho., Orestes with the corpses of Aegisth us and Clytaemnestra: in Soph. El., Orestes and Pylades with the corpse of Clytaemnestra; in Ant., the corpse of Eurydice: in Eur. Here. Furens, Heracles with the corpses of his wife and children; in Hippol., the corpse of Phaedra.
   But this was not the only case in which the appliance was used: it could also be employed for any tableau in the interior of a house. Thus in Aesch. Eum. the Pythia speaks. the prologue in front of the temple, and then the ekkuklema is used to show Orestes at the omphalos within. Similarly in Soph. Ai., when Tecmessa opens the tent, this machine serves to display Ajax prostrate amid the slaughtered cattle. As appears from some passages, the ekkuklema could be pushed far enough forward to admit of an actor entering, or making his exit, at the door behind it. It should be noted that the use of the ekkuklema is not merely an inference from later writers and from hints in Tragedy, but is proved by the two parodies in Aristophanes, where Euripides and Agathon are wheeled out, and are then once more withdrawn fiom view (Ach. 408 ff., ekkuklethet' . . . ekkuklesomai: Thesm. 265,eskuklesato). The exact nature of the exostra is uncertain, but it was evidently akin to the ekkuklema, differing from it, possibly, only in the mode of propulsion.
(2) Machinery for showing persons in the air was required by the appearances of the gods, and in some other cases, -as when Medea is, seen above the palace in the chariot given to her by the Sun (Eur. Med. 1319), or when Trygaeus soars aloft on his beetle (Aristoph. Pax, 80). Two different contrivances seem to have been used: both were, of course, concealed by the proscenium. One was an apparatus worked by a wheel (trochos) and ropes. (aiorai), and called aiorema, -which was used when the person was to be seen gradually rising into the air, or descending from above. As Trygaeus rises into the air, he begs the operator to be carefult: o mechanopoie, proseche ton noun hos emhe (Aristoph. Pax, 174). So in fragment 3 of the Daedalus the machinist is thus directed, ho mechanopoios, hopote boulei ton trochon i elan anekas, lege, chaire, phengos heliou. The other device was a sort of platform, projecting from the wings at the back of the proscenium, close to its upper edge. This was the so-called theologeion, used when the apparition of a god or hero was to be sudden, as it is in Soph. Phil., and in Eur. I. T., Helen., Suppl. The kremathra in which Socrates is suspended (Aristoph. Nub. 218) is a burlesque of the tragic appliances.
(3) Akin to the theologeion must have been the contrivance used when a person is to appear on the roof of a palace (as the watcher in Aesch. Ag.: Antigone and the paedagogus in Eur. Phoen., etc.). A wooden platform, high up behind the proscenium, would have sufficed: according to Pollux, it was called a distegia.
  These seem to be the only forms of decoration or mechanism which can certainly be inferred from the texts of the tragedians and of Aristophanes. They are all compatible with a temporary wooden structure, and with a comparatively simple phase of scenic art. When, in the course of the 4th century B.C., permanent stone theatres became usual in Greek lands, the general character of scenic decoration was perhaps not at first affected thereby. Behind the proscenium there was now a permanent wall, forming the front of the building assigned to the actors. But the proscenium itself probably continued, for a time, to be temporary,--a wooden structure, with painted hangings. In the Dionysiac theatre, as Lycurgus left it, two small tower-like wings project from each end of the permanent back wall. These, it is conjectured, were designed to facilitate the erection of the wooden proscenium.
  It may have been at this period that periaktoi were first introduced. These were triangular wooden prisms, revolving on a pivot (whence the name), with scenery painted on each of their three faces. One periaktos was placed at the left wing, and another at the right. They took the place of modern side-scenes, and also served to indicate changes of scene, according to a regular conventional method. The periaktos on the spectator's right hand represented the locality in which the action was taking place. The periaktos on his left hand represented a region outside of that locality. If, for instance, the scene of the play was laid at Delphi, the Tight-hand periaktos would illustrate that place, while the other might represent the road leading to Athens. The same rule governed entrances and exits: a Delphian would come on from the right, a stranger from the left. If the scene was to be changed from one spot near Delphi to another in the same vicinity, the lefthand periaktos would be turned so as to present a new face, but the right-hand one would be left unaltered. If the scene was shifted from Delphi to Athens, both periaktoi would be turned. The first case was technically a change of topos: the second, of chora.
  There are only two Greek plays in which it is necessary to assume a chance of scene. In the Eumenides the action is transferred from Delphi to Athens: in the Ajax, from the front of the hero's tent to a lonely place on the sea-shore. It is probable that, in the first of these examples, the change was merely symbolised, by substituting the bretas of Athena for a statue of Apollo; while the building painted on the background was identified, first with the Delphian temple, and then with the Erechtheum. In the second example, if the background was a landscape, nothing was required, but to remove the hangings which represented the tent. The use of periaktoi in the 5th century B.C. cannot be proved from the dramatic literature. On the other hand, they would have been found peculiarly convenient when the old wooden proscenia, with painted hangings, were replaced by stone proscenia adorned with sculpture. At Epidaurus there is such a proscenium, with Ionic half-columns, which is probably of a later date than the rest of the building; and the small wings which slightly project from it at each end may have served, according to a probable conjecture, for the reception of periaktoi. In the Dionysiac theatre a permanent proscenium was similarly introduced, after the time of Lycurgus. The projecting towers of his scene-building (noticed above) then became wings of the new structure, like those at Epidaurus. There is no evidence that, in addition to revolving scenery, the Greek theatre had scenes which could be shifted on grooves; though the Roman stage, as Servius tells us, had both (scaena versilis--scaena ductilis: on Georg. iii. 24).

Entrances for the actors.
   Pollux speaks of three doors in the proscenium, the central one being called thura basileios, because the chief persons of the play used it. Vitruvius confirms this statement. Ruins of the Hellenistic or Roman age show sometimes three doors, sometimes five. In the latter case, the two extreme doors may have opened, not on the stage, but on spaces at either side of it (paraskenia), used by actors waiting for their turns, or by officials. In the theatre at Megalopolis (4th cent. B.C.) there were three entrances to the stage. Only one entrance is traceable in the remains at Epidaurus, Zea, and Oropus respectively. It is on a level with the orchestra; hence those who disbelieve in a raised stage regard it as the entrance for the actors. But it may have passed beneath a raised stage, serving to give the employes of the theatre a direct access to the orchestra. How many doors there may have been in the painted hangings of the old wooden proscenia, we cannot tell. The 5th century texts show that, besides the door or doors in the proscenium, there were also entrances for the actors from the sides, right and left.
  Pollux says that when ghosts appeared on the scene they came up either by anapiesmata (our trap-doors ), or by the charonioi klimakes. It has generally been supposed that these klimakes led from the orchestra to the stage. This is the case at Megalopolis, where the steps extend along the whole front of the logeion. Another theory is that they connected the stage with a passage beneath it, invisible to the spectators.
  No curtain was used in the Greek theatre. When a play opened with a group in position (such as the suppliants in the Oed. Tyr.), the actors must have simply walked on to the scene, and assumed that position. When one play followed another, and the background had to be changed, that change took place before the eyes of the spectators. In such matters we cannot judge the feelings of Athenians, assembled at the Dionysia, by the requirements of modern playgoers. At Athens dramatic idealism went hand in hand with scenic simplicity.

The Administration of the Theatre.
   A Greek theatre was the property of the state, and the performances in it were acts of public worship, under state control. At Athens, in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., drama accompanied two Dionysiac festivals,--the Lenaea, in January, and the Great Dionysia, in March. (We are not here concerned with the Rural Dionysia, in December,--at which, during this period, no new pieces seem to have been acted.) At each festival, both Tragedy and Comedy were produced; but the Lenaea was peculiarly associated with Comedy, and the Great Dionysia with Tragedy. There was a period, indeed, of some fifty years, dating from the first institution of the Great Dionysia (circ. 478 B.C.), during which Comedy alone appears to have been produced at the Lenaea.   The cost of the performances at each festival was defrayed from three sources.
(1) The theatre was let by the state to a lessee, who received the money paid for admission, and in return undertook certain charges. One of these, as appears from an extant document, was the maintenance of the building in good repair. Hence the classical name for the lessee, architekton (Dem. de Cor. 28): later writers call him theatrones (Theophrastus), or theatropoles (Pollux). He was also bound to provide a certain number of free seats (as for the persons entitled to proedria): but for these he was probably reimbursed by the Treasury. The provision of scenery, and of costume for the actors (excepting the choreutae), appears also to have devolved upon the lessee. He was certainly charged with the custody of the scenery and of all the theatrical dresses and properties. He also paid the cashiers, the persons who showed spectators to their places, and all other employes of the theatre.
(2) The second source of contribution was the choregia. For each festival the Archon Eponymus appointed as many choregi as there were competing poets; at the Great Dionysia the number was usually three for Tragedy and three for Comedy. The choregi were chosen from men nominated by the ten Attic tribes in rotation. The duty of the choregus was to furnish one chorus of fifteen persons for Tragedy, or of twenty-four for Comedy. He provided a suitable place for their training (choregeion), and maintained them till the festival was over. If the poet did not train them himself, the choregus had to find a chorodidaskalos. He had also to supply the flute-player (auletes) who preceded the Chorus on entering or quitting the orchestra, and played the occasional music. He purchased the costumes, masks, etc., for the Chorus. But his task was not finished when the Chorus was trained and equipped. He had also to supply any mute persons (kopha prosopa) that might be required for the piece.
(3) The third contributor was the state. When a poet had applied to the Archon for a Chorus, and his application had been granted, the Archon next assigned to him three actors, who were paid by the state. It did not rest with the poet to decide which of these three should be protagonistes, etc.: he received them from the state already classified according to merit, as actors of first, second, and third parts. This classification rested ultimately on special agones in which actors were directly tried against each other, and which were distinct from the performances at the festivals. If a poet ever required a fourth actor (probably a very rare case), he could only go to the choregus, who might make an extra grant (parachoregema). The state also paid the marshals (rhabdouchoi) who kept order in the theatre, and who were stationed in the orchestra. Lastly, a certain honorarium (distinct from the festival-prizes) was paid by the Treasury to each of the competing poets, according to the order in which they were placed by the judges.
  The character of the dramatic contests as solemnities conducted by the state was strongly marked in the forms of procedure. A few days. before the Great Dionysia, the ceremony called the proagon ( prelude ) was held in the old Odeion near the Enneacrunos. The competing poets, with their respective choregi, were then formally presented to the public; the actors and choruses were also present, in festal, but not in scenic, attire; and the titles of the plays to be produced at the approaching festival were officially announced. When the first day of the Great Dionysia arrived, the dramatic contests were preceded by the transaction of some public business in the theatre. It was then that crowns of honour were awarded for public services, and that the orphans of Athenians slain in war were presented to the citizens. In due course a public herald summoned the first on the list of competing poets. He entered the orchestra, attended by his choregus and chorus) and poured a libation at the thymele to Dionysus. His procession then withdrew; the orchestra was once more empty (until the Chorus should make its dramatic entrance); and the play began. One prize for Tragedy and one for Comedy were awarded by ten judges, taken by lot from a large number of persons whom the senate (with the choregi) had chosen from the tribes. At the close of the contests, five judges (taken from the ten by a second ballot) announced the awards. The successful poets were then crowned, before the audience, by the archon. Shortly after the festival, a public meeting, for business connected with it, was held in the theatre. Any complaints of misconduct which might have arisen were then heard; and officials who had distinguished themselves received public commendation.

The Audience.
   According to a recent estimate, the Dionysiac theatre was once capable of seating about 27,500 persons. It must be remembered that all the upper tiers have been destroyed, and that the ancient capacity was enormously greater than it would appear from the seats which still exist. Plato was using round numbers when he spoke of more than 30,000 Greeks as present in the Dionysiac theatre at the tragic contests (Symp. 175 E), but it is quite conceivable that the number was sometimes nearer to 30,000 than to 20,000. The vast theatre at Megalopolis could hold, according to one modern computation, no fewer than 44,000 persons. Such numbers become intelligible when we consider that the Greek drama was essentially a popular festival, in which the entire civic body was invited to take part. Even young boys were present, both at Comedy and at Tragedy. Women were certainly present at Tragedy; and a fragment of Alexis shows that, in the 4th cent. B.C., they were admitted to the performances of Comedy also. This, however, was the Middle Comedy -very different, in some respects, from the Old Comedy of Aristophanes. It would be a natural inference from the seclusion in which Athenian women lived that they were not admitted to the Old Comedy. But against this a priori argument may be set another,--viz. that, at the Dionysia, Tragedy and Comedy were merely different sides of one agon: those who could participate in one were entitled to share in the other. A line drawn on grounds of decorum would dissever elements which, in the Dionysiac idea, were inseparable. There is no conclusive literary evidence. But one passage in Aristophanes (Pax 964 ff.) cannot be naturally explained except on the supposition that women were present. Another passage in the same play (Pax 50 ff.) speaks, it is true, of males only: but that is, obviously, because the speaker, a slave, is describing his despotes to actual, or future, despotai. At Athens the metoikoi were admitted to the theatre. (Their exclusion fiom the Lenaea is not proved by Aristoph. Ach. 507 f., even if v. 508 be sound.) Foreigners were also admitted, whether officials or private persons.
  In the earliest days of Athenian drama, admission was doubtless free of charge; payment may have been introduced after the expulsion of the Peisistratidae, when the city began to find the cost too heavy. In the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. the price of admission for one day was two obols, or not quite 4d. Pericles introduced the system by which the state paid two obols to each citizen for each day of the Dionysiac festivals, in order that he might attend the theatre. This theorikon was partly defrayed from the tribute of the allies, and probably began about 454 B.C. It was distributed by the demarchs in the several demes; and, though it was first devised in the interests of the poor, the only condition of obtaining it seems to have been inscription on the lexiarchikon grammateion of the deme. The number of persons receiving the theorikon in 431 B.C. has been computed at 18,000. In its later and wider form (as extended to non-dramatic festivals) the theorikon became an abuse: in its original form it was substantially a state-grant in aid of education. All seats were of the same class, except those reserved for persons who had the right of proedria, and who paid nothing. (Cf. Dem. de Cor. 28.) The places of payment were probably in the parodoi leading to the orchestra. Specimens of ordinary Greek theatre--tickets are extant. These are small leaden coins, bearing on one side some emblem of the theatre, such as a Dionysus with a tripod, or an actor's mask; and on the obverse, the name of an Attic tribe, or a numeral... Another kind of theatre-ticket also occurs. This is a small round mark of bone or ivory, bearing on one side some artistic device (such as the head of a deity), and on the other a number (never higher than 15), in both Greek and Roman figures. These were tickets, of the Imperial age, for persons who had proedria. The numbers probably indicate divisions of the house.. How far such division was carried is uncertain. It is a probable conjecture that at Athens a certain portion of the house (perhaps a whole segment, kerkis) was allotted to each of the Attic phulai. This is confirmed by the occurrence of tribal names on the leaden tickets noticed above; also by the fact that the choregia was organised on a basis of tribes; and, lastly, by the analogy of Roman colonies in which certain cunei of the theatre were assigned to certain curiae. The members of the senate sat together in a definite part of the Dionysiac theatre (to bouleutikon, Aristoph. Av. 794). For youths between the ages of 18 and 21, a space was similarly reserved (to ephebikon).
  The performances began in the morning, and lasted till evening; but it is attested by the comic poet Pherecrates -who gained his first prize in 438 B.C.- that the spectators had usually taken the morning meal (ariston) before they came (Athen. x. 464 e). In the next century, however, we hear of performances beginning at daybreak (Aeschin. in Ctes.76). The older Athenian custom was for all the spectators to wear wreaths (as at a sacrifice); but this had perhaps gone out before 350 B.C. As the whole day was spent in the theatre, the visitors brought light refreshments (tragemata) with them. Choregi sometimes courted popularity by a distribution of cakes and wine: and Aristophanes has pilloried those rival poets who employed slaves to throw nuts about the house. An Athenian audience was closely attentive,--detecting the slightest fault of speech,--and highly demonstrative. Loud clapping of hands, and shouts of applause, expressed their delight; disapproval found vent in stamping with the feet, hissing, and hooting (klozein). Never, probably, has the ordeal for an actor been more severe than it was at Athens. Persons of note who entered the house were recognised with frank favour, or the reverse. Indeed, the whole demeanour of Athenians at the Dionysia appears to have been marked by a certain sense of domestic ease, as if all the holiday-makers were members of one family.
  From the latter part of the 4th century B.C. onwards, it became usual to produce drama, not merely at the Dionysia, but on any occasion of special rejoicing; a result partly due to the personal taste of Alexander the Great for theatrical shows of every kind. Hence the theatres gradually lost that sacred character which had been theirs so long as they were set apart for the worship of Dionysus. A further consequence was that they began to be used for various entertainments which had nothing to do with drama, such as the exhibitions of conjurers or acrobats, and, in the Roman age. gladiatorial shows, or combats with wild beasts. Even in the 5th century B.C., indeed, cockfighting had been held on one day of the year in the Dionysiac theatre, -a custom which legend connected with an omen seen by Themistocles in the Persian wars: but this -unlike the later innovations- was consistent with the religio loci, since the cult of Asclepius had points of contact with that of Dionysus. Thus the proagon of the Dionysia (noticed above) was held on the day, and near the place, of the sacrifice to Asclepius.
  Mention has been made of the meetings for public business held in the Dionysiac theatre just before and after the Great Dionysia. In the latter part of the 5th century we hear of [p. 820] the citizens convening the ecclesia in the theatre at Munychia, and in the Dionysiac theatre itself, when, under the Four Hundred, the Pnyx was not available (Thuc. viii. 93 f.). By 250 B.C. it had become usual to hold ordinary meetings of the ecclesia in the Dionysiac theatre; though the elections of magistrates (archairesiai) continued to be held on the Pnyx. From the 5th century B.C. the theatre had been the regular place for the bestowal of public honours, such as crowns. In later times a theatre was often also the scene of an exemplary punishment. One of the earliest instances is the execution of Hippo in the theatre at Messana, of which place he had been tyrant (circ. 338 B.C.; Plut. Timol. 34). Sepulchral inscriptions, of the Roman age -sometimes commemorating Christians- have been found both in the Dionysiac theatre and in the Odeum of Herodes Atticus; whence it has been conjectured that, in late times, burials occasionally took place within those precincts. As statues of Themistocles and Miltiades stood in the Dionysiac theatre, so, at every period of Greek antiquity, such places were adorned with monuments of statesmen and soldiers, no less than of poets, musicians, and actors. This was in accord with the true idea of the Greek theatre, which was not merely the home of an art, but also a centre of civic reunion.

THE ROMAN THEATRE.

  Rome possessed no theatre of stone till 55 B.C. Just a century earlier such an edifice had been in progress, when P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica procured a decree of the senate for its destruction (Liv. Epit. 48). The spirit of the Roman veto on permanent theatres was one which refused to regard the drama except as a passing frivolity. Wooden theatres were erected, and pulled down when the occasion was over. But before the middle of the 1st century B.C. these temporary structures had already begun to show a high elaboration. The building put up by the aedile M. Aemilius Scaurus in 58 B.C. contained 80,000 seats; the proscenium was adorned with pillars of marble and statues of bronze; and the whole work seems to have possessed every element of grandeur except permanence. The old interdict had already lost its meaning; and three years later Pompeius was allowed to erect, near the Campus Martins, the first theatre of stone. The model is said to have been the theatre of Mitylene, and the number of seats 40,000. The theatre of Marcellus, built by Augustus, and named after his nephew, was also of stone, and could hold 20,500 persons. A third such building, with a capacity of 11,510, was completed in 13 B.C. by L. Cornelius Balbus. These are the trina theatra of Suetonius (Aug. 45). Meanwhile many provincial towns in Italy and elsewhere had long possessed stone theatres, built or altered under Roman influence.
  The Roman type of theatre is simply the Greek type modified in certain particulars. The ground-plan is thus described by Vitruvius (see image inside URL below). In a circle, of the same diameter which the orchestra is to have, inscribe three equilateral triangles. Take one side of any triangle, and let this be the back wall of the stage, scaenae frons (A B). A diameter of the circle, drawn parallel with A B, will represent the line dividing the stage from the orchestra (C D). The seats for the spectators are arranged round the orchestra in semicircles concentric with it. The five points above the line C D, where the angles touch the circumference, are the points from which five flights of steps lead up to the seats, dividing them into six cunei. Above the first zone, or semicircular passage (praecinctio), the seats are divided into twelve cunei by eleven stairways. Just above the points C and D, access is given to the orchestra by two vaulted passages which pass under the upper rows of seats (E, F). The platform of the stage is prolonged right and left, so that its total length (G H) is equal to twice the diameter of the orchestra. In the back wall of the stage there are to be three doors, the positions of which are marked by the points I, K, L. Thus the distinctive features of the Roman theatre are these two:
(1) The orchestra is not, as in the Greek theatre, a circle (or the greater part of it), but only a semicircle. The diameter of the orchestra is now the front line of a raised stage. Consequently the auditorium, also, forms only a half-circle. The primary cause of this change was that the old Dionysiac chorus had disappeared; the orchestra, therefore, had no longer a dramatic use.
(2) In the Greek theatre the auditorium and the scene-buildings were not architecturally linked. The parodoi were open passages between them. In the Roman theatre the side-walls of the scene-building were carried forward till they met the side-walls of the auditorium. By this organic union of the two main parts the whole theatre was made a single compact building.
  These two main differences explain the other points in which the Roman theatre varied from its Greek original. Thus:
(i.) Having closed the openings afforded by the parodoi, the Romans needed some other access to their semicircular orchestra. Here the arch served them. By cutting off a few seats in the lower rows at the angles right and left of the stage, they obtained height enough for vaulted passages, which ran under the auditorium into the orchestra.
(ii.) The solid unity of the Roman theatres lent itself to the Roman taste for decoration of a monumental character. The permanent Greek proscenia, though usually adorned with columns, had been simple. But the richest embellishments of architecture and sculpture were lavished on the Roman proscenia, in which two or more stories were usually distinguished by carefully harmonised modes of treatment.
(iii.) A similar magnificence was shown in the external facades. Greek theatres had usually been erected on natural slopes. A Roman theatre was more often built on level ground. The auditorium rested on massive substructions, of which the walls were connected by arches. From the open spaces thus afforded, numerous wide staircases ascended, beneath the auditorium, to the several rows of seats. Corridors, opening on these staircases, ran along the inner side of the semicircular wall which enclosed the auditorium. The exterior of this wall was adorned with columns, having arcades between them, and rising in three or more successive stories, divided by architrave and cornice. Thus, while the architectural significance of a Greek theatre depended wholly on the interior, a Roman theatre had also the external aspect of a stately public building.
  With regard to the internal arrangements of the Roman theatre, the following points claim notice.
(1) The raised stage (pulpitum, logeion) is in some instances on a level with the lowest row of seats behind the orchestra, as at Aizani in Cilicia and Aspendus in Pamphylia. Sometimes, again, the stage is rather higher, but the (originally) lowest tow of seats has been abolished, leaving the stage still level with those seats which are actually lowest: this is the case at Pergamnum and Assus. In a third class of examples, the stage is higher than the lowest row of seats,--as it is at Orange. The Roman stage in the Dionysiac theatre at Athens is of this class.
(2) Awnings were spread over the theatre to protect the spectators from sun or rain.: These were usually called vela: the term velaria occurs only in Juv. iv. 122. Pliny, who describes them as carbasina vela (made of linen), says that they were introduced by Q. Catulus, in 78 B.C. (xix. 23). They were supported by masts (mali), fixed to the outer walls of the theatre by massive rings or sockets, which can still be seen at Orange or Pompeii. Between the masts were cross-beams (trabes), for greater convenience in unfurling the vela. Such awnings were of various colours, as yellow, red, darkblue (Lucr. iv. 75 ff., where see Munro).
(3) Until the play began, the stage was concealed by a curtain; which was then lowered. The place into which it sank, just inside of the front line of the stage, can be seen in the larger theatre at Pompeii. At the end of the piece the curtain was drawn up. Hence, where we say, the curtain rises, the Romans said, aulaeum mittitur or subducitur: the curtain is up, aulaeum premitur: the curtain falls, aulaeum tollitur. The word siparium (from the rt. of sipharos, top-sail, supparum) meant a folding screen. Apuleius (150 A.D.) describes a kind of, ballet as beginning when the curtain had been lowered, and the screens folded up (sipariis complicitis, Met. 10, p. 232; cp. ib. 1, p. 7). If these screens were within the curtain, the reason for using them along with it may have been to heighten the effect of a tableau by disclosing it gradually. In the later parts of the piece, they may have served to conceal sceneshifting. Another use is also possible. Theatres of the Macedonian and Roman period sometimes had two stages, the higher being used by the regular actors, the lower by mimes or dancers; and the latter may have been concealed by the siparium, as the other by the aulaeum.,The word siparium is regularly associated with comedy or mimes. (Seneca, de tranq. An. c. 11, 8; Juv. Sat. 8, 186.)
(4) Allocation of seats. The orchestra was reserved for senators. As a special mark of distinction, foreigners (usually ambassadors) were occasionally admitted to it (see Tac. Ann. xiii. 54). The rest of the auditorium was called cavea. The Lex Roscia, proposed by the tribune L. Roscius Otho in 67 B.C., provided that the fourteen rows of seats in the cavea nearest to the orchestra should be reserved for the equites--excluding any who should have become bankrupt (Cic. Phil. ii. 44). Owing to the large number of equites who had been ruined by the civil wars, Augustus decreed that the privilege given by the Lex Roscia should be enjoyed by any eques who had at any time possessed, or whose father had possessed, the amount of the equester census, viz. 400,000 sesterces (Suet. Aug. 40). This is probably the Lex Julia Theatralis meant by Pliny (xxxiii. 8). Augustus farther assigned special portions of the cavea to (1) women; (2) praetextati, i.e. boys who had not yet assumed the toga virilis, and their paedagogi; (3) soldiers; (4) married men belonging to the plebs. This was a premium on marriage, like others provided in the Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea. In some provincial theatres the town-councillors (decuriones) had seats of honour (bisellia) on the rows next the orchestra. Corresponding to the royal box in a modern theatre was the tribunal, immediately over the stage on the spectator's left. This was occupied by the emperor, or by the president of the performance. A corresponding responding tribunal on the left side was assigned to the Vestals, among whom the empress sat. Thus, from the Augustan age onwards, the contrast between a Greek and Roman theatre was extended to the arrangements for the audience. Instead of the simple Greek distinction between those who had or had not proedria, the Roman auditorium exhibited an elaborate classification by sex, age, profession, and rank.

Odeum.
   The term oideion, denoting a species of theatre appropriated to musical performances, occurs first in a fragment of the comic poet Cratinus (circ. 450 B.C.), with reference to the Odeum of Pericles (Thraittai, fr. 1); but it may have been in use from a much earlier time. The oldest recorded example is the Skias at Sparta, which is said to have been round, and to have been named from the resemblance of its top to a sunshade (skias or skiadeion: Etym. Magn.). It was said to have been built by the architect Theodorus of Samos (circ. 600 B.C.). On its walls the Spartans hung up the cithara of the famous musician, Timotheus of Rhodes (circ. 400 B.C.),--not as an honour, but as a stigma, because he had marred the ancient simplicity of the instrument by increasing the number of its strings. In the latter part of the 2nd century A.D. the Skias was still used as a place for public assemblies (Paus. iii. 12, 10). No traces of it remain. The circular brick building of which ruins still exist near the Eurotas seems to have been originally an Odeum, modified perhaps, with a view to other than musical performances, in the Roman age of Sparta.
Athens   possessed three oideia:
(1) The oldest of these stood near the fountain Enneacrunus by the Ilissus. Its origin is uncertain, but has been conjecturally referred to Peisistratus, or even to Solon. The most probable inference from the notices concerning it is that it was a semicircular building, arranged on the general plan of a Greek theatre, but with a roof. It was in this Odeum that the proagon was held before the Great Dionysia, as described above. This, too, is the Odeum to which Aristophanes refers as being used for a law-court (Vesp. 1109); the scholiast on that passage identifies the place with the scene of the proagon. The same building must be understood when we read of the Odeum as a rendezvous or a lodging for troops (Xen. Hellen. ii. 4, 9, 24), and as place for the distribution of corn (Dem. c. Phorm. 37: [Dem.] in Neaer. 52). It appears to have been restored, or built anew, by Lycurgus (circ. 330 B.C.); for the words of Hypereides (fr. 32, oikodomese de to theatron, to oideion) cannot well refer to the Periclean building,--then little more than a century old.
(2) The Odeum of Pericles stood a little S.E. of the Acropolis and N.E. of the Dionysiac theatre: modern houses cover its probable site. Plutarch preserves a tradition that the shape of the building was intended to recall the tent of Xerxes (Per. 13). The fact that the top rose to a peak--like that of the Spartan Skias, as we may suppose--apparently prompted the joke of Cratinus, when he described Pericles, the Zeus with peaked head (schinokephalos), as toideion epi tou kraniou echon (Thraitt. 1). These notices at least prove that the form was round, and such as to suggest a tent. In the conception of Pericles, the new Odeum, like the new temple of Athena, was associated with the Great Panathenaea. As the final act of the festival was celebrated in the Parthenon, so the Odeum was the place for the performances with which the festival began,--contests of flute-players, singers, and rhapsodes. The Odeum of Pericles was completed about 444 B.C. It was burnt down in 86 B.C. by Aristion, the tyrant of Athens, when he fled before Sulla to the Acropolis. The restoration of the building by Ariobarzanes II. (Philopator), king of Cappadocia, about 60 B.C., is the last recorded incident in its history. It is remarkable that Pausanias speaks as if, at the time of his visit (circ. 155 A.D.), the old Odeum by the Ilissus was the principal building of its kind in Athens (i. 14,1). He refers to the Odeum of Pericles merely as a structure (kataskeuasma) said to have been built in imitation of the tent of Xerxes, and does not even name its founder (i. 20,4).
(3) The third Odeum at Athens was built by the eminent rhetorician Herodes Atticus, in memory of his second wife, Appia Annia Regilla, who died before 161 A.D. It had not been commenced when Pausanias described Athens; but he mentions it in speaking of the Odeum at Patrae, which was, he says, second only to that of Herodes (vii. 20,6). The Odeum of Herodes stood on the south slope of the Acropolis, W. of the Dionysiac theatre. Considerable remains still exist. It was not a round building, but a theatre of the ordinary Roman type, with a roof superadded. Hence Philostratus describes it as to epi Rhegillei theatron (Vit. Soph. ii. 1, 5, cf. 8), and Suidas (s. v. Herodes) as theatron huporophion,--the Latin theatrum tectum. It was distinguished by the great splendour of the internal decoration. The ceiling was of cedar,--with probably an open space for light in the middle. The seats in the cavea were cased with marble, and divided into an upper and lower zone by a diazoma. The floor of the orchestra was inlaid with marble mosaic-work. The proscenium, which had three doors, was decorated with columnar arcades, in four successive storeys, and with statuary. A similar mode of decoration, though less elaborate, was applied to the external facade. Behind the proscenium spacious accommodation was provided for the performers. Philostratus mentions a smaller theatre in the Cerameicus at Athens, called, after its founder, the Agrippeion, which seems to have been used for rhetorical declamations rather than for music or drama (Vit. Soph. ii. 5, 3 and 8, 2).
  The building of Pericles and that of Herodes Atticus illustrate the twofold relation of the ancient Odeum to the ancient theatre. (1) The circular Odeum, such as that of Pericles, was the place for music or recitation, as the Greek theatre for drama or chorus. From an artistic point of view, it was the supplement of the Greek theatre. (2) The semicircular Odeum, such as that of Herodes, was merely a roofed Roman theatre; and, as such, it was used not only for music, but for other entertainments also, such as mimes, or even regular drama. In the Roman period the first type continued to exist along with the second. Trajan built a round Odeum at Rome (Paus. v. 12, 4, theatron mhega kukloteres), called oideion by Dio Cassius (lxix. 4). In many instances where an Odeum is mentioned, the type to which it belonged remains uncertain.
  In conclusion, it may be useful to enumerate some of the more important Greek and Roman theatres of which remains exist. The following list is mainly based on that given by Dr. A. Kawerau in Baumeister's Denkmaler. A fuller enumeration, with references to the topographical and archaeological literature in each case, will be found in Dr. A. Muller's Lehrbuch der griechischen Buhnenalterthumer (1886).

I. Greece Proper.
Attica.
1. The Dionysiac theatre at Athens. Excavated in 1886 by the German Archaeological Institute.
2. Theatre at Zea in the Peiraeus. Excavated in 1880 and 1885 by the Greek Archaeological Society. The orchestra was surrounded by a canal, like that in the Dionysiac theatre.
3. Theatre at Oropus. Excavated in 1886 by the Greek Archaeological Society. The proscenium, with one door, remains.
4. Theatre at Thoricus. Excavated in 1886 by the American School. Remarkable for the irregular curve of the orchestra, which recedes more than anywhere else from the form of a semicircle, and approaches that of a semiellipse.
Epeirus.
1. Theatre at Dramyssus. The cavea well preserved. It had two diazomata.
2. Theatre at Elatria (now Rhiniassa). A great part of the cavea remains.
Sicyonia.
Theatre at Sicyon. Excavations begun in 1887 by the American School.
Argolis.
1. Theatre at Epidaurus. Excavated in 1883 by the Greek Archaeological Society. The best-preserved and finest example of a Greek theatre of the classical age. It was built about 350 B.C. by the younger Polycleitus (Paus. ii. 27, 5).
2. Theatre at Argos. The central part of the cavea was hewn from the rock; sixty-seven rows of seats remain, separated by two diazomata. The two ends of the cavea were formed by substructions of rude masonry.
Arcadia.
1. Theatre at Mantineia. Notable as an exception to the rule that Greek theatres were built on natural slopes. Here the cavea rested on an artificial mound supported by polygonal walls.
2. Theatre at Megalopolis. The largest known to Pausanias (ii. 27, 5). The site was a natural slope, but recourse was had also to an artificial embankment at each horn of the auditorium. Excavations begun here in 1889 by members of the British School at Athens have disclosed the stage and the lowest portion of the seats.

II, Islands of the Aegean Sea
The older theatre at Delos is that in which the segment of a circle formed by the curve of the cavea most largely exceeds a semicircle. The Cretan theatres at Gortyna, Hierapytna, and Lyctus are among those which have the niches intended, as some have supposed, for echeia (see above).

III. Asia Minor
Among the theatres of the later Greek or Hellenistic age, those at the following places show a peculiarity in the curve of the cavea like that noted above at Delos: Side (Pamphylia), Myra (Lycia), Telmissus (do.), Iassus (Caria), Aizani (Cilicia). The last-named theatre affords another example of the niches mentioned above. Other interesting theatres of the same period are those of Pergamum (excavated in 1885 by the German Expedition) and Assus (excavated in 1883, for the American Archaeol. Institute, by Mr. J. P. Clarke). The Roman theatre at Aspendus (Pamphylia) is the best-preserved ancient theatre in existence. The proscenium has five doors.

IV. Italy
1. The two theatres at Pompeii. The larger shows a peculiarity in the four lowest rows of seats, which are separated from those above, and appear to have been the places of honour. The stage is also of interest. The smaller theatre was roofed.
2. Theatre at Falerii. One of the best preserved. It was finished in 43 B.C.

V. Sicily
Theatres at Syracuse, Acrae, Catana, Tauromenion, Tyndaris, and Segesta. The general characteristic of the Sicilian theatres is that they were founded in Greek times and afterwards modified, or reconstructed, under Roman influences.

VI. France.
The Roman theatre at Orange (Arausio) is well preserved. The reconstruction of it by A. Caristie (Monuments antiques a Orange, Paris, 1856) conveys a probably just idea of its original beauty. In one respect it forms an exception to the ordinary Roman rule; for use was made of a natural slope to support the cavea.

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Perseus Site Catalog

Epidauros

Region: Argolid
Periods: Dark Age, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman
Type: Sanctuary
Summary: Sanctuary of Apollo and Asklepios and an Asklepieion or healing center.

Physical Description:
   
On the E coast of the Argolid, the health spa and religious center at Epidauros maintained a bath, hotels and dwellings for the priest-physicians as well as a tholos building, temples, stoas, gymnasium, palaestra, stadium and a theater. The theater is one of the best preserved ancient structures in Greece and is now used for modern presentations of ancient Greek drama. The Asklepieia (athletic and dramatic festival) was held every 4 years. Epidauros is claimed as the birthplace of Asklepios and it was the most celebrated center of his cult.
Description:
   
Traditionally the region of Epidauros is said to have first been inhabited by the Carians. There existed, in Archaic or earlier times, a cult of Malos in the region, but the establishment of a sanctuary to Apollo and Asklepios is not older than the 6th century B.C. It appears that the sanctuary was first dedicated to Apollo and that only in the 5th century B.C. did Apollo's son Asklepios gain prominence. At the end of the 5th century B.C. and throughout the 4th century the Asklepieion grew in fame and influence. Every 4 years (9 days after the Isthmian Games) the Panhellenic Asklepieia Games were held. At ca. 380 B.C. poetry and music contests were added to the competition. During the 4th century the cult of Asklepios spread throughout the Greek world. Epidauros was claimed as the birthplace of Asklepios and more than 200 new Asklepieia were built (most notably at Athens, Kos, and Pergamon). Also at this time the previously unadorned sanctuary at Epidauros was filled with votive offerings and monuments. Fame and prosperity continued throughout the Hellenistic period. In 87 B.C. the sanctuary at Epidauros was looted by Sulla and in 67 B.C. it was plundered by pirates. In the 2nd century A.D. the sanctuary enjoyed a new upsurge under the Romans and the worship of new gods from the East was introduced into the sanctuary. In 395 A.D. the Goths raided the sanctuary. Although the cults of the ancient gods died out under Christianity, the sanctuary at Epidauros was known as late as the mid 5th century A.D. as a Christian healing center.
Exploration:
   
Excavations: P. Kavvadias and V. Stais of the Greek Archaeological Society began in 1881, the French School of Archaeology for a short time just after W.W. II, and J. Papadimitriou in 1948-51.

Donald R. Keller, ed.
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Perseus Building Catalog

Epidauros, Abaton (Dormitory)

Site: Epidauros
Type: Stoa
Summary: Two part stoa; forming part of northwest boundary of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios, north of the Temple of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 400 B.C. - 350 B.C.
Period: Late Classical

Plan:
Two part stoa. Earlier eastern section was a two-aisled stoa opening south with Ionic inner and outer colonnades. The later, western extension was two-storied; the lower level reached by an outside staircase to a court on its southern side. The extended stoa had 29 Ionic columns on the southern face and 13 inner columns. Octagonal pillars in the lower level. The lower floor of the western extension was enclosed by a wall with doors and decorated with Doric pilasters. A stone balustrade filled the openings between the Ionic columns of the upper level. There were probably wooden dividers between the inner columns of both stoas.

History:
Also known as the Enkoimeterion, the stoa was used as a dormitory for those awaiting Asklepios' advice. The later two-storied western extension was probably Roman.

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Epidauros, Anakeion

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Rectangular building; attached to the north side of the Roman House, to the east outside the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 350 B.C.
Period: Late Classical

Plan:
On the west a pronaos of 4 Doric columns in antis (3 openings) led to an open court.

History:
Previously identified as a Roman temple to the Egyptian Asklepios and Apollo (mentioned by Pausanias), this sanctuary is now believed to have been dedicated to the Dioskouroi (the twins Castor and Pollux).

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Epidauros, Auxiliary Buildings

Site: Epidauros
Summary: Two rectangular buildings; on the southern side of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, southeast of the Tholos.
Date: ca. 480 B.C. - 338 B.C.
Period: Classical

Plan:
Two small, adjoining rectangular buildings. The western building a single room. The larger, eastern building divided into a large inner room and a smaller entrance. A connecting structure of 3 parallel walls formed 2 small square areas.

History:
The buildings have not been positively identified, but may have served as storage or residences. A later Roman wall was built over the structures.

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Epidauros, Baths

Site: Epidauros
Type: Baths
Summary: Rectangular buildings; east of the Abaton (Dormitory) and north of the Temple of Asklepios, in the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 500 B.C. - 400 B.C.
Period: Archaic/Classical

Plan:
Two simple, rectangular buildings; the western one divided into 2 parts.

History:
Possibly the 1st baths in the sanctuary, the baths may have had religious and curative uses. The water came from the sacred well of Asklepios southwest of the Baths. A later Roman wall was built over the remains.

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Epidauros, Doric Fountainhouse

Site: Epidauros
Type: Fountainhouse Summary: Small prostyle building; on the eastern edge of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, between the Northeast Stoa and the Anakeion.
Date: ca. 250 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Small rectangular tetrastyle prostyle building opening south with a gathering basin on its northern side and draw basin on the southern side.

History:
Rebuilt in the 2nd century A.D.

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Epidauros, Fountainhouse

Site: Epidauros
Type: Fountainhouse
Summary: Fountainhouse with a circular niche; west of the Roman cistern, in the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas.
Date: Unknown

Plan:
Rectangular room on north, opening north, with 3 rooms leading off. On the southern side were a nearly circular room, perhaps with a fountain, and a nearly rectangular room. On the east a small rectangular room.

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Epidauros, Greek Baths

Site: Epidauros
Type: Baths
Summary: Rectangular building; south of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios and of the Gymnasium.
Date: ca. 300 B.C. - 280 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Many rooms with bathtubs and basins.

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Epidauros, Gymnasium

Site: Epidauros
Type: Gymnasium
Summary: Courtyard surrounded by stoas and rooms; south of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 280 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
In the center was a square peristyle court with 16 columns to a side. Behind the northern side of the peristyle was an interior colonnade of 20 columns, and beyond this a long, narrow hall, an ephebeum or exercise room, with a small rectangular exedra (probably a shrine) in its rear wall. Behind the southern side of the peristyle was a wall with doors leading into a long room (probably a dining room) with a central colonnade and 2 rooms at each end. Behind the eastern and western walls of the peristyle were various rooms, the largest on each side having a central colonnade with the one on the east probably serving as a dining hall. An enormous, later propylon on the northern side was the main entrance, with 2 smaller entrances on the eastern side.

History:
Dinsmoor refers to this building as the Palaestra. In Roman times an Odeion was built over the ruins of the Gymnasium.

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Epidauros, Katagogeion

Site: Epidauros
Type: Guest House Summary: Large square building with courts; northwest of the Theater, about midway between the Theater and the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 320 B.C. - 300 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Four square peristyle courts with 10 Doric columns to a side. The two-storied Doric peristyles formed portico entrances to the surrounding 160 rooms. Around each courtyard ran a channel for water.

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Epidauros, Northeast Stoa

Site: Epidauros
Type: Stoa
Summary: Group of narrow buildings forming the northeast corner of the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 325 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A narrow court surrounded by colonnades and rooms on all but the eastern side.

History:
Coulton tentatively identifies this as the Stoa of Kotys. His reconstruction includes a two-aisled portico, Doric outer colonnade and Ionic inner colonnade, on the south and west sides. Colonnade on the north side may have been of wood. The area immediately south of this complex is lined with dedications.

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Epidauros, Odeion

Site: Epidauros
Type: Odeion Summary: Small, roofed theater; built on the ruins of the Gymnasium, south of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: Unknown
Period: Roman

Plan:
Walled, roofed theater with cavea facing west and a two-storied stage building. Mosaic paved orchestra less than a complete semi-circle.

History:
Built on the ruins of the earlier Gymnasium, the northeast corner of the Odeion and the northwest corner of its stage were the same as those corners on the peristyle court from the earlier building.

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Epidauros, Old Temple of Asklepios

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Square building with court; in the Sanctuary of Asklepios, southeast of the Temple of Asklepios.
Date: Unknown

Plan:
Rooms around a court. Extant various interior walls from later uses.

History:
Originally this area may have been sacred to Apollo, whose altar stands to the west. Later, when the area was sacred to Asklepios, the open area was surrounded on 3 sides by rooms, perhaps serving as dormitories. Many dedications surround the building, and it forms a boundary to the open air sanctuary to Asklepios that occupies the southeastern corner of the Sanctuary of Asklepios. Parts of the building were rebuilt and in use during the Roman period.

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Epidauros, Palaestra (misidentified)

Site: Epidauros
Type: Palaestra
Summary: Large rectangular building; just outside the southern perimeter of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios, east of the Temple of Artemis.
Date: Unknown

Plan:
Small porch entrance on western side led through a short passage to a rectangular room with 4 pillars and 4 half-columns dividing the area into 3 aisles. There was a narrow hall with 4 columns on the north side and many smaller rooms around the other sides. A 2nd passage and entrance opened on the south.

History:
Misidentified as the Stoa of Kotys. Kavvadias considered this building a palaestra with an open court, constructed in Classical times. Roux suggests that the building was built by Antoninus and used by a religious group. Roux believes that the central court had an opaion roof, and a circular bath area at the south side of the building. The stone tables and benches on the north side of the central room were brought from elsewhere.

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Epidauros, Palaestra (with Stadium)

Site: Epidauros
Type: Palaestra
Summary: Complex of buildings; southwest of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios, north of the stadium.
Date: Unknown

Plan:
Large courtyard with colonnade facing south toward the stadium and entered by a passage on that side. Various other rooms. An entrance also on the north side.

History:
Function uncertain, may have housed athletes or been a palaestra.

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Epidauros, Propylon

Site: Epidauros
Type: Gate
Summary: Gate building; located on the northwest, outside the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 350 B.C.
Period: Late Classical

Plan:
Hexastyle, prostyle Ionic colonnades at north and south ends of the rectangular platform. Between the walls on the eastern and western sides was a 4 x 5 inner colonnade of Corinthian columns. The Propylon was approached on both ends by ramps.

History:
Before the 4th century A.D. the Sanctuary of Asklepios was not enclosed by a peribolos wall, thereafter the Sacred Way passed through this Propylon which marked the entrance to the sanctuary.

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Epidauros, Roman House

Site: Epidauros
Type: House
Summary: House; adjoined the Anakeion, just outside the east wall of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: Unknown
Period: Roman

Plan:
Colonnaded larger courtyard with a well and surrounded by rooms. Smaller courtyard to the east surrounded by rooms. North wall shared with Anakeion.

History:
May have been a priests' house or a place for important guests to stay.

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Epidauros, Sacred Fountainhouse

Site: Epidauros
Type: Fountainhouse Summary: Narrow rectangular building; on the eastern edge of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, between the Northeast Stoa and the Anakeion, west of the Doric Fountainhouse.
Date: Unknown

Plan:
Narrow building entered from the west by a courtyard leading to a vaulted chamber has a draw basin at its eastern wall. Storage cistern in rear wall.

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Epidauros, Priests' House

Site: Epidauros
Type: House
Summary: Building with a courtyard; south and east of the Stoa of Apollo Maleatas, in the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas.
Date: Unknown
Period: Roman

Plan:
Complex of several rooms, most of them nearly rectangular.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Roman Cistern

Site: Epidauros
Type: Cistern
Summary: Large oblong cistern; located southwest of the Priests' House, in the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas.
Date: Unknown
Period: Roman

Plan:
Rectangular shape.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Stadium

Site: Epidauros
Type: Stadium
Summary: Rectangular area; southwest of the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 480 B.C. - 338 B.C.
Period: Classical

Plan:
Rectangular area with starting line on the west and finishing line on the east surrounded by water channel with settling basins. Stone seats on the north and south sides.

History:
Earth banks were built up to supplement the slopes of a natural ravine, and to create the original seating. The stone seats and staircases were added during Hellenistic and Roman times. A paved platform on southern slope could have been for victors or to seat honored guests, with a possible judges' bench opposite the finishing line. A Hellenistic vaulted passageway under seats led to a possible Palaestra to the north. Small stone pillars marked the stadium into 6 equal parts and Hellenistic lane markers were later added to the finishing and starting lines. Contests held in the stadium included: running events, broad jumping, discus, javelin, wrestling, boxing and pankration (a type of wrestling in which striking was allowed). Performances may have been held here before the Theater was built.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Stoa of Apollo Maleatas

Site: Epidauros
Type: Stoa
Summary: Stoa; on the north side of the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas.
Date: ca. 280 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
One-aisled stoa with colonnade of Doric attached half-columns facing south. Stone screens in the intercolumniations. Massive back wall was a retaining wall.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Temple of Aphrodite (Temple L)

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Small prostyle temple; east of the central Sanctuary of Asklepios, west of the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas.
Date: ca. 320 B.C. - 280 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Ionic prostyle temple with pseudo-peripteral cella, 4 x 7 columns. All but 6 outer columns were attached to the cella walls. A ramp on the east led over 4 steps to a tetrastyle prostyle porch of 6 columns and the cella. The interior of the cella was lined with Corinthian columns which nearly touched the walls.

History:
An excavated statue of Aphrodite with a sword (attributed to Polykleitos the Younger, 2nd century B.C.) may have stood near this temple.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Temple of Apollo

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Temple; southwest of the Stoa of Apollo Maleatas, in the Sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas.
Date: ca. 350 B.C.
Period: Late Classical

Plan:
Small cella opening east onto a pronaos, distyle in antis. Adyton at the west end of the cella and a ramp on the east.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Temple of Artemis

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Prostyle temple; southeast of the Temple Asklepios on the edge of the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 330 B.C. - 300 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A cella opening east onto a hexastyle prostyle pronaos of Doric columns. Ten Corinthian columns lined the cella interior on 3 sides. A ramp and paved area on the east connected the temple to an altar.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Temple of Asklepios

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Peripteral temple; northeast of the Tholos, in the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 380 B.C. - 375 B.C.
Period: Late Classical

Plan:
Small Doric peripteral temple, 6 x 11 columns, with a cella opening east onto a pronaos, distyle in antis. Inside the cella was a colonnade of unknown order with 4 columns at the rear and 7 along the sides. A ramp on the east led into the pronaos. A paved area led east from the ramp to the Altar of Asklepios. The altar south of this building is an Altar of Apollo.

History:
Alternative reconstructions of this building show no interior colonnade. It was dedicated to Asklepios and designed by the architect Theodotos. The temple displaced an earlier Temple of Asklepios farther southeast in the sanctuary.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Temple of Themis

Site: Epidauros
Type: Temple
Summary: Prostyle temple; southwest of the Propylon, between the Propylon and the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 320 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A cella opening east onto a tetrastyle prostyle pronaos. Inner colonnade of Corinthian columns on 3 walls. Ramp on east led up to the pronaos over a three-stepped platform.

History:
Alternative reconstructions show the pronaos distyle in antis.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Theater

Site: Epidauros
Type: Theater
Summary: Theater; located southeast of the Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 350 B.C. - 300 B.C.
Period: Late Clas./Hell.

Plan:
Cavea, orchestra and skene. A round orchestra defined by a low curb with an altar stone in the center. A paved depression between the orchestra and the cavea was a used as an ambulatory. The cavea of 55 rows of seats was divided vertically by 13 staircases reached through the doors at either end of the scene building. The diazoma divided the cavea into 21 upper, steeper rows of seats and 34 lower rows. The lowest row of seats had back supports and was reserved for honored guests. The scene building, which may have been added later in the Hellenistic period, was two-storied. On its southeastern side, facing the cavea, was a one-storied stage. The stage rested on 14 pillars with engaged Ionic half-columns. Between all but the 2 central pillars were painted wooden panels used as a back drop during performances. There were slightly projecting wings and a ramp at each end of the stage. At the far end of each ramp, and almost perpendicular to it, were gateways, each with 2 doors, one leading through the parodos to the orchestra and one leading to the ramp. The lower story of the scene had 10 pillars along its northwestern front and four along its central axis. At either end were two square rooms. The upper story also had two square rooms at each end, but no central pillars.

History:
Designed by Polykleitos the Younger, in the 4th century B.C., the seats were wide enough to allow those sitting in the upper rows to rest their feet on the lower seats without touching the persons below. Originally seating 6,210, the expansion of 21 rows above the diazoma allowed the theater to accommodate about 14,000. The best preserved theater in Greece, with unparalleled acoustics. Modern performances are held here.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Tholos

Site: Epidauros
Type: Tholos
Summary: Circular building; southwest of the Temple of Asklepios, in the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: ca. 360 B.C. - 320 B.C.
Period: Late Classical

Plan:
Circular building with outer colonnade of 26 Doric columns and inner colonnade of 14 Corinthian columns. Leading to the east entrance, which had windows at either side, was a ramp over the three-stepped platform. Beneath the floor of the Tholos was a labyrinth reached by a hole in the center of the floor.

History:
Also known as the Thymele, the activities of the cult of the Hero Asklepios took place here, and the labyrinth below may have housed sacred snakes. Pausanias wrote that Polykleitos the Younger was the architect. The building had elaborately carved architectural elements and fine paving of black and white limestone. Dinsmoor states that the paving was marble.

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Epidauros, Water Reservoir

Site: Epidauros
Type: Reservoir
Summary: Rectangular structure; west of the Temple of Themis, outside the central Sanctuary of Asklepios.
Date: Unknown

This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


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