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Aspendus


Interior of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins. Aspendus: ancient city in southern Turkey, best known for its well-preserved theater.

The theater of Aspendus, one of the main tourist attractions in southern Turkey, was a gift to the city by two men, Crispius Crispinus and Crispius Auspicatus, brothers, during the reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180).

The building was designed by an architect named Zeno. Its forty rows of seats were made of marble. The capacity was about 15,000 people, who could watch a tragedy, comedy, or a gladiatorial contest. That the gift of the Crispius brothers was rather exceptional, becomes obvious when we take into account that 15,000 people was also the capacity of the theater of Miletus, which was a metropole.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The stands of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins. View from the top of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins. Interior of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins. Exterior of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins.
Seats View from the top Gallery on the top Exterior
Stage of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins. Exterior of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins. Model of the Aspendus Theater.Museo nazionale della civiltą romana, Rome (Italy). Photo Jona Lendering. A figurine from Aspendus. Archaeological Museum of Antalya (Turkey). Photo Jona Lendering.
The stage Exterior A model (Museo nazionale della civiltą romana, Rome) A figurine from Aspendus (Archaeological Museum of Antalya)
Detail of the cornice of the stage of the theater of Aspendus. Photo Marco Prins.
This is the center of the pediment. It shows the god Dionysus, the patron of tragedy and comedy, between floral scrolls.

A satellite photo can be found here.
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 21 Dec. 2008
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