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|The theater dates back to 16/15 B.C.
Seating in the Roman Theater was determined by
one's status in society. The "orchestra pit"
was reserved for only those of the highest class,
senators and high officials. The top rows (very
deteriorated and in the photo below, appear to
look like a back wall) were for the slaves and
the very poor.
rendering of the theater and the
amphitheater from the interior door of
The amphitheater and theater are situated
right next to each other and can be
accessed from the museum through an under-the-road tunnel. I guess in Roman times
it would have been thought to be one big
to the right-Western entrance to the
The Amphitheater (Arena):
stairs to get up to the amphitheater's
Gladiators entered the arena
through one of two large corridors.
shows large arched corridor, the entrance
for the gladiators. On each side of this
corridor are small rooms, most likely a
holding area for animals.
While there were paid gladiators
(ex-soldiers), most participants in the
arena were either condemned prisoners or
A view of
the second gladiators' entrance and the
|The "fossa arenaia" is the
large cross shape depression in the
center of the arena. In Roman times, this
area would have been covered with wooden
planking and stored the caged animals and
equipment for staged presentations. Under
a renovation, this area received a waterproof lining and then apparently
was flooded with water for some events.
While death was the central theme of the
amphitheater, make no mistake about it, it was
also about theater (and making money). Wild
animals from Asia and Africa were imported to
make spectacular entertainment. Gladiators who
fought animals were given the special name of
By the late 400's A.D. the amphitheater was no
longer in use, and its wall became the source for
the raw material to construct other buildings.