Italica, Theater

Italica: Roman colony in western Andalusia, not far from Seville. Its theater is partly overbuilt.

The site of Italica has for a substantial part been excavated. Among the oldest remains are the Small Baths and the theater, which could accommodate about 3,000 people. They predate the rebuilding of the city by the emperor Hadrian. However, this ;part of the city, which may have been the quarter of the common people, is now largely overbuilt by the village of Santiponce.

The next four pictures represent the fine decoration of a column that was once in the theater. The third figure represents a satyr, the other three are dancing maenads (ecstatic women). Satyrs and maenads are associated with the cult of the Greek god Dionysus, who, in his Athenian form, protected tragedy and comedy. Monuments like these are found on several places in the Mediterranean world (e.g., Ptolemais in the Cyrenaica), and are believed to have been inspired by the funeral monument of the Athenian playwright Euripides.