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Regio VIII



The Theater could hold 5,000 spectators. Built in the Samnite period during the second century B.C., it underwent several reconstructions.


Its current shape essentially dates back to the restoration carried out in the Augustan period by the architect Marcus Artorius Primus thanks to the munificence of Marcus Holconius Rufus and Marcus Holconius Celer, according to the inscriptions. The construction on a hill-slope is typical of Greek architecture. The seats of the ordinary spectators were located inside the cįvea, the wider seats at the bottom had comfortable chairs (bisellia) were for important people, while the two lateral boxes (tribunalia) over the entrances of the orchestra (vomitoria) were reserved for very important people. 


The background of the stage consisted of an architectonic faēade with three doors imitating a building. Originally the chorus danced and sang in the orchestra. Inside, under the curved frame of the building there are blocks with holes; here is where the poles holding the curtain (velįrium) used to be inserted. The curtain was operated with ropes and pulleys. Tragedies (Euripides, Seneca, Livy Andronicus, etc.), comedies (Menander, Plautus, etc.), farces (atellane) and pantomimes were performed at the theater. During the break the public used to meet inside the broad square portico behind the stage, which was called the Gladiators' Barracks, because it was used as such during the last years of the city.


Marina Gate | Imperial Villa

Antiquarium | Temple of Venus

Basilica | Curie

Comitium | Doric Temple

Gladiators' Barracks | Odéion

Theater | Samnite Palęstra

Temple of Isis | Temple of Zeus Melichios

Temple of Mefite

House of Cornelio Rufo | Via dell'Abbondanza

Via Marina | Via dei Teatri

Via del Tempio di Iside


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