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Apollonia: Theater


The theater of Apollonia. Photo Marco Prins. Apollonia: city in the Cyrenaica, port of Cyrene.
  
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Apollonia's theater lies east of the city, just outside the walls. It was built in the third century BCE and is one of Apollonia's oldest monuments. By then, it was not as close to the sea as it is now; the noise of the waves was probably very distant. The twenty-eighty tiers of seats are still there.

A stage wall was added during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian (81-96). At the same time, a low wall was built, surrounding the orchestra (the semicircular space in front of the stage); this suggests that the theater was now also used for gladiatorial contests. .

In 365, Apollonia suffered heavily from a big tidal wave, and the theater was suddenly a lot closer to the sea. The noise of the waves must have made normal performance impossible, and the stage wall was demolished in the fifth century, to reuse the columns in the Eastern Basilica

In the background of the photo, you can see the remains of an immense mole that closed the eastern harbor.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
History Photos
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2008
Revision: 1 January 2009
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