The Silence Stages

Since 2005 I have been visiting more than 430 ancient greek and roman theatres around 18 countries, taking photographs and information. These blog is dedicated to all that experience.



Desde 2005 he visitado más de 430 teatros y odeones, griegos y romanos en 18 países, tomando fotografías y recopilando información. Este blog está dedicado a toda esta experiencia.



Monday, 31 December 2012

Athenae (Athina)

ATHENAE (Athina), ancient Achaia, modern Greece.



COORDENATES: 37º58’30.86’’N // 23º43’23.28’’E
TIPOLOGY: Roman odeon, known as Odeon of Agrippa. Urban.
DATE: Last I B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS: In 150 A.D. was transformed for public lectures.
CAPACITY: 1.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north. Auditorium square 25 x 25 m., 19 rows of seats in 6 cunei. Overall dimensions of the building 51,3 x 43,2 m.
ORCHESTRA: 18,5 m., paved in polychrome marble.
STAGE BUILDING: Pulpitum 25 x 3 m. Proscaenium rectilinear. Scaenae frons is rectilinear too, with three doors. There are three marble statues in the place, well preserved, they were part of the decoration; drum columns too of the Corinthian order.
LOCATION: The Roman odeon of Agrippa is in the Agora.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006. // Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995. // Izenour, George. Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity. Yale University Press, 1992.


 
OUT OF PRINT: In Athens the Gods are still alive, but they are deaf to the cries of their people... “Because gods perceive future things, men what is happening now, but wise men perceive approaching things” wrote Philostratus in his “Kife of Apollonius of Tyana”... but, where are the wise men nowadays?


 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Iulia Concordia Sagittaria (Concordia Sagittaria)

IULIA CONCORDIA SAGITTARIA (Concordia Sagittaria), ancient Regio X, modern Italy.

COORDENATES: 45º45’31.93’’N // 12º50’26.10’’E
TIPOLOGY: Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: I A.D.
TRANSFORMATIONS: Scaenae frons reformed in last I A.D.
CAPACITY:
CAVEA: Facing east south-east. 80 m. diameter. Maenianum: Ima cavea with 16 rows of seats; summa cavea: ?
ORCHESTRA: It was transformed for amphitheatre games.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium was rectilinear. Porticus post scaenam traces found.
LOCATION: The place of the ancient Roman theatre is west of Concordia Sagittaria, 60 klm. south-west from Udine.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Tosi, Giovana; “Gli edificio per spettacoli nell’Italia romana”. Roma, Quasar, 2003. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
OUT OF PRINT: Also nowadays there´s not visible remains of the Roman theatre, in 1879 excavations revealed some traces;one century later, in 1980, new excavations reveled part of the scaena wall. Nothing visible today, but special for me, iConcordia Sagittaria was the first “theatre” I visited in my four travels to Italy

Friday, 21 December 2012

Scupi (Skopje)

SCUPI (Skopje), ancient Moesia Superior, modern FYR of Macedonia.



COORDENATES: 42º01’01.80’’N // 21º23’36.90’’E
TIPOLOGY: Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: II a.D.
TRANSFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY:
CAVEA: Facing south-west. 98 m. diameter. Built against hillside, lower cavea rested on annular corridors.
ORCHESTRA: 28 m. diameter.
STAGE BUILDING: In scaenae frons, regia door in a curved niche, hospitalias in rectangular niches. Columnatio in Corinthian order. There is a passageway that connect stage building with orchestra.
LOCATION: Ancient theatre is west of modern Skopje.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: “Anticki teatar na tlu Jugoslavije”, Novi Sad, 1881. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006. // Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
OUT OF PRINT: I will not forget my visit to ancient Scupi...in the evening I visited the roman theatre, by night Spanish national football team won the World Championship.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Colonia Patricia Corduba (Córdoba)

COLONIA PATRICIA CORDUBA (Córdoba), ancient Baetica / Hispania, modern Spain.


COORDINATES: 37º52’55.14’’N // 4º46’41.41’’W
TIPOLOGY: Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: Last I B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY: 10.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing south-east. 124 m. diameter. Maenianum: Ima cavea with 14 rows of seats, number 10 and 11 are preserved, divided in 6 cunei.; Media cavea with 20 rows of seats divided in 12 cunei; Summa cavea with 6 rows. There is an axial vomitorium that leads directly  to the orchestra and bisects the ima cavea.
ORCHESTRA: 31 m. diameter.
STAGE BUILDING:
LOCATION: The remains are inside Archaeological museum, in Jerónimo Paéz square.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: “Jornadas sobre teatros romanos en Hispania” Grafisur, Córdoba, 2006. // “El teatro romano. La puesta en escena” . Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, 2003.

OUT OF PRINT:
“Or perhaps you think I am equal to you and indecisive to the destiny”
               -Lucano, “Farsalia”-

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Metropolis (Yeniköy, Torbali)

METROPOLIS (Yeniköy, Torbali), ancient Ionia / Asia Minor, modern Turkey.

COORDENATES: 38º07’26.28’’N // 27º19’28.91’’E
TIPOLOGY: Greek theatre. Urban.
DATE: III B.C. ¿?
TRANSFORMATIONS: Scene building restored in Roman times.
CAPACITY: 2,600 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing south.east. Maenianum: Ima cavea with 11 rows of seats in 7 cunei; Summa cavea does not reach the semicircle, with 8 cunei some of them with 12 rows, other with 8 rows.
ORCHESTRA: 12,2 m. diameter. Paved in color marble. There are 4 thrones for dignitaries with griffin´s feet and lion´s claws and 2 cylindrical altars.
STAGE BUILDING: The stage is 5,3 m. wide. Proscaenium: there are 8 colums preserved in site
LOCATION: Theatre is south-east of the acropolis hill, north-west of Yeniköy, 4 klm. south-west from Torbali, 30 klm. north from Ephesos.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Yilmaz, Yasar; “Anadolu Antik Tiyatrolari”. Istanbul, Yem Yanin, 2010. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.

 
OUT OF PRINT: Metroplis was a great surprise... in my first travel to Turkey, although it had been yet excavated, i did not know its existence; second time I were in Ionia land, I found not only a great theatre, ima cavea very well preserved, with marvellous stone thrones for dignitaries, like in Priene or Amphiaron, and altars too; it was a great award, the day before returning to the great Epheso. But Metroplis had other great surprise for me, after visiting the ancient Greek theatre I took a round for the city remains and, oh my god!, I meet with something i did not have notice about... the remains of an ancient odeon or bouleuterion that had being recently excavated... that evening I won the lottery.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Derventum (Drévant)

DERVENTUM (Drévant), ancient Gallia Aquitania. modern France.

COORDINATES: 46º41’35.13N // 2º31’21.35’’E
TIPOLOGY: Rural ritual Gallo-Roman theatre. Not urban.
DATE: Last I or first II A.D.
TRANSFORMATIONS: III and IV A.D.
CAPACITY: 5.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing south-west. 85 m. diameter. Rest on hillside. There were three maeniana: Ima cavea with 10 rows of seats in 4 cunei.
ORCHESTRA: 27 m. diameter, surrounded by podium, 2,6 m. high.
STAGE BUILDING: Scene building 18,5 x 7 m. It was roofed by 4 Doric columns.
LOCATION: Ancient Derventum is in modern Drevant, 45 klm. south of Bourges.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Grenier, Albert; “Manuel d’archeologie Gallo-Romain”. Paris, Éditions A. Et J. Picard, 1958. // Landes, Christian (Ed.); “Le gout du theatre a Rome et en Gaule romaine”. Musée de Lattes, 1989. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.

OUT OF PRINT: I spent one winter crossing France searching for the ancient stages...

““It is snowing on my roof and on the trees. The wall and the garden are white,
the path black, and the house has given way without a sound.
It is snowing.

            –Pierre Reverdy-

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Akrai (Palazzolo Acreide)

AKRAI (Palazzolo Acreide), ancient Magna Graecia / Sicilia, modern Sicilia,  Italy.

COORDINATES: 37º03’27.27’’N // 14º53’40.77’’E
TIPOLOGY: Greek theatre. Urban.
DATE: Late III B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS: Roman stage and orchestra.
CAPACITY: 700 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north. 37,5 m. diameter. Semicircular cavea. Only one maeniana with 15 rows of seats in 9 cunei.
ORCHESTRA: 19,2 m. diameter, paved in limestone in Roman times.
STAGE BUILDING: Pulpitum is 13,7 x 2,6 m. Roman stage 1,2 m. high, with curved niches. Evidence of thyromata.
LOCATION: The theatre is next to the bouleuterion. Ancient Akrai is west of Palazzolo Acreide, 50 klm. west from Syracuse.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Mitens, Karina; “Teatri greci e teatri inspirati all’architecttura greca in Sicilia e nell’Italia Meridionale c. 350-50 a.C.”. Roma, L’Erma di Bretschneider, 1988 // Tosi, Giovana; “Gli edificio per spettacoli nell’Italia romana”. Roma, Quasar, 2003. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
OUT OF PRINT:
“Where are my bay-leaves?
Come, Thestylis; where are my love-charms?
Come crown me the bowl with the crimson flower o’ wool”
     -Theocritus of Syracuse-

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Letoon (Kumluova)

LETOON (Kumluova), ancient Lycia / Asia Minor, modern Turkey.

COORDINATES: 36º19’55.09’’N // 29º17’23.87’’E
TIPOLOGY: Greek theatre. Not urban.
DATE: First half of II B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS: Rebuilt in II A.D.
CAPACITY: 5.700 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north-west. Built in hollow. 79 m. diameter, cavea exceeds semicircle. Maenianum: Ima cavea with 16 rows of seats in 12 cunei, top rows with continuous back; Summa cavea with 17 rows in 20 cunei. Frieze with bearbead heads of Dionysos in east doorway arched.
ORCHESTRA: It was surrounded by podium. Not excavated.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium with Doric half-columns; Scaenae frons had two-storey columnatio.
LOCATION: Theatre is part of Xanthian sanctuary of Letoon, the sanctuary is in modern Kumluova, 4 klm. south-west from Kinik, 70 klm. south from Fethiye.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Yilmaz, Yasar; “Anadolu Antik Tiyatrolari”. Istanbul, Yem Yanin, 2010. // Bean, George; “Lycian Turkey”. London, Ernst Benn, 1978. // Freely, John; “The Western Mediterranean coast of Turkey”. Istanbul, Matbaacilik ve Yayincilik A.S., 1997. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006. // Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
OUT OF PRINT:
“If it had happened short or long time ago
I do not know
if we did this trip
or just seems to me
I do not know”
                        -Nâzim Hikmet-

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Seressi (Oum el Abouad)

SERESSI (Oum El Abouad), ancient Africa Proconsularis, modern Tunisia.
COORDINATES: About 36º09’58.52’’N // 9º46’26.40’’E
TIPOLOGY: Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: Imperial Roman times.
TRANFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY:
CAVEA: Facing south-west. Three rows of seat preserved.
ORCHESTRA: 22 m. diameter.
STAGE BUILDING: 22x12 m.
LOCATION: Theatre remains are west of ancient town. Oum El Abouad is in C46 road, 85 klm. north-east from Mactaris.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Lachaux, Jean-Claude. “Théâtres et amphithéâtres d’Afrique Proconsulaire”. Aix en Provence, Édisud, 1979. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
 
 
 
OUT OF PRINT:
“Heroically
one hero strips his heroism to the air
to smoke a little of sad, lonely
in exile”.
     -Youssef Rzouga”-

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Delos (Dilos Island)

DELOS (DILOS), ancient Achaia, modern Cyclades, Greece.

COORDINATES: 3Gº23’52.96’’N // 25º16’14.96’’E
TIPOLOGY: Cultic greek theatre. Urban. It´s not the big theatre in Delos, is the small one associated to the Sanctuary of the Syrian gods.
DATE: Last II B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY: 500 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing west. Built against hillside, 20,6 m. diameter. Cavea exceeds semicircle. Maenianum: 12 rows of seats in 5 cunei.
ORCHESTRA: 10,6 m. diameter, paved in mosaic.
STAGE BUILDING: there´s not traces. Probably never had.
LOCATION: The theatre is in Delos island, south-east in the ancient city; the theatre is part of the Syrian gods sanctuary, 0,25 kllm. north-east from the big Greek theatre.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Nielsen, Inge. “Cultic theatre and ritual drama”. Aarhus, Aarhus University Press, 2002. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
 
 
OUT OF PRINT: The theatre did not belong to the sanctuary originaly, but was constructed in the enlargement carried out in 113-104 B.C.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Heloros (Eloro)

HELOROS (Eloro), ancient Magna Grecia / Sicilia. modern Italy.

COORDENATES: 36º50’28.05’’N // 15º06’20.93’’E
TIPOLOGY: Greek theatre. Urban.
DATE: IV B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY: 1.200 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing south. 45 m. diameter. Built against hillside. It had 15 rows of seats (11 are visible) in 5 cunei (there are only remains of three). Cavea exceeds semicircle.
ORCHESTRA: 15 m. diameter.
STAGE BUILDING:
LOCATION: Theatre is south of the city, close to the stream. Eloro is 2 klm. south from Lido di Noto, about 40 klm. south from Siracusa.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Mitens, Karina; “Teatri greci e teatri inspirati all’architecttura greca in Sicilia e nell’Italia Meridionale c. 350-50 a.C.”. Roma, L’Erma di Bretschneider, 1988. // Maggi, Stefano; Troso, Cristina. “Guida all’Italia archeologica”. Casale Monferrato, Piemme, 2007. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
OUT OF PRINT: The ancient theatre of Heloros is close to the beach... the morning I visited Heloros I wished to have my plastic rake, bucket and shovel to dig it.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Elis (Ilida)

ELIS (Ilida), ancient Eleia / Acaya, modern Greece.

COORDENATES: 37º53’36.65’’N // 21º22’32.33’’E
TIPOLOGY: Greek theatre. Urban.
DATE: First half IV B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY: 8.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north-west. 104 m. diameter. Cavea exceeds semicircle. Built on natural slope. Rows of earth terraces in steps, divided into 7 cunei; later stones steps placed on top of ramps. Paradoi remains well preserved.
ORCHESTRA: 21 m. diameter.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium supported by Ionic columns. Stage was 22x2,8 m. The scene building was 22 m. long but with wings at sides, ramps, 46 m.
LOCATION: Ancient theatre is north of agora, close to Dionysos temple.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995. // Mee, Christopher; Spawforth, Anthony; “Greece. Oxford archeological guides”. Oxford University Press, 2001. // Arias, Paolo Enrico; “Il teatro greco fuori di Atene”. Firenze, G.C. Sansoni, 1934.
 
 
OUT OF PRINT: When I visited Elis ancient theatre there were scholars and archeologists working on it... it was like a group of Childs making a castle in the sand... that seems to be Elis one, a theatre of sand.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Arretium (Castelsecco / Arezzo)

ARRETIUM (Castelsecco / San Cornelio / Arezzo), ancient Regio VII, modern Italy.

COORDINATES: 43º26’40.98’’N // 11º54’00.93’’E
TIPOLOGY: Roman cultic theatre. Not urban.
DATE: II B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS:
CAPACITY:
CAVEA: facing south-west, 45 m. diameter. There are remains of 4 lowest rows of seats, now covered.
ORCHESTRA: 12,5 m. diameter, paved in stone slabs.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium was rectilinear, also the scaenae frons. Pulpitum was 18 x 6,5 m.
LOCATION: The theatre is connected with temple, 105 m. away, in the hill of Castelsecco, san Cornelio, 4 klm. south from modern Arezzo.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Tosi, Giovana; “Gli edificio per spettacoli nell’Italia romana”. Roma, Quasar, 2003. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
 
  
OUT OF PRINT: When I visited the place I was not sure that the theatre were there, I was not sure I was in the right place... but it was, I could check it months later, checking some plans.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Kaunos (Dalyan)


KAUNOS (Dalyan), ancient Caria / Asia Minor, modern Turkey.

COORDINATES: 36º49’31.41’’N // 28º37’23.57’’E
TIPOLOGY: Greek theatre. Urban.
DATE: II B.C.
TRANSFORMATIONS: scene building I B.C., rebuilt in roman times in II A.D.
CAPACITY: 5.500 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing south-west. Built against hillside. 73 m. diameter, exceeds semicircle; Maenianum: Ima cavea with 18 rows of seats in 9 cunei; Summa cavea with 15 rows in 9 cunei. Top rows in ima and summa with continuous stone-back rest.
ORCHESTRA: 21 m. diameter.
STAGE BUILDING: Hellenistic proscaenium remains with 16 Doric columns.  
LOCATION: Near foot of acropolis hill. 2 klm. south-west from modern Dalyan, crossing the river.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Yilmaz, Yasar; “Anadolu Antik Tiyatrolari”. Istanbul, Yem Yanin, 2010. // Bean, George; “Turkey beyond the Maeander”. London, Ernst Benn, 1971.// Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006.// Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995.
 
 
OUT OF PRINT: After tasting the silence of ancient Kaunos an old woman, dressed severly in black, crossed me to the other side, in her small boat, to Dalyan. She was about 80 years old, paddled slowly, slowly, slowly as you have to savor Kaunos. From the river I could hear the call to pray, and something in my chest was recorded in fire for ever... I was the protagonist of a film by Angelopoulos.