Roman Theatre

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Roman Theatre-

We look at Athens because we have the most sources
Most important form of entertainment
Very open, did not really need money to go to the theatre •Profound religious associations
Played an important political role
Stage was, like the agora, democracy was discussed and displayed in front of the Romans •Romans owed a lot to the Greeks in terms of theatre. They were very influenced by the Greeks •We see this in the architecture of the theatre

But Romans were more technologically advanced than the Roman •Greek theatres built into hillside
Romans built theatres on vaulted structures, which eliminated the need for a hillside

Roman Theatre: Architecture-

“Cavea” → sitting area, auditorium
“Pulpitum” → the stage
onot very high
oplace where actors acted
o(most acting in Greek theatre was done in the orchestra(circular)) o“orchestra”→ semi circular now, used for seating the most distinguished guests •“Frons” → as high as the cavea, its ends at connected with the cavea to make a semi-circle

earliest theatres in Italy were built by the Greek colonies in Southern Italy •For a long time, Romans resisted in importing this form of entertainment •When they conquered Italy in 3rd century BC (??), they adopted it, but it was still perceived as being foreign •Theatres were only built as temporary wooden structures to be dismantled after show ended at the beginning oThought it would become a meeting place for Greeks against Romans and did not want to provide them with that space

Famous theatres: Built by Octavia in honor of his adopted son Marcellus, also Theatre of Balbus •“Ludi scaenici” → religious celebration on the stage, so part of the “ludi” → religious festivals put on by the state (animal sacrifices, chariot races, theatrical shows) •A new genre aside from tragedies and comedies emerged

Roman Theatre: Types of Shows-

Pyrrhic dances
oHad some military connection
oNamed after Achilles...
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