Corinth Monument: Theater
Collection:   Corinth
Type:   Monument
Name:   Theater
Description:   The theater was a place in which dramatic and musical events were staged. In the Roman period staged fighting was added. The theater has several phases. The original structure was built late in the 5th century B.C. and had permanent seats but only a wooden stage building. This was supplemented with a new orchestra and stage structure in the Hellenistic period. Early in the reign of the Emperor Augustus the building was adapted to Roman tastes. In the early 1st century A.D. the pitch of the seats was made steeper and the uppermost portion received a covered stoa. The stage building was rebuilt in the Hadrianic to early Antonine period. It had arched niches decorated with relief sculpture showing gods fighting giants, Greeks fighting Amazons and the Labors of Heracles. In later antiquity theatrical tastes changed and the orchestra was converted into a gladiatorial arena. The lower seats of the orchestra were cut back to create a vertical face separating the audience from the combatants. This barrier once preserved frescos showing lions, a bull, a leopard and men fighting animals. A scratched inscription beneath one lion refers to the story of Androcles and the lion. The orchestra was later waterproofed to enable the staging of water shows such as staged sea battles.
In the courtyard to the east of the stage is an inscription reused in the floor. The letter cuttings were designed to receive cast bronze letters. It reads “ERASTUS PRO AEDILITATE S P STRAVIT” or “Paved by Erastus at his own expense in return for his Aedileship.” A chamberlain (oikonomos) of Corinth called Erastus was mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Romans 16.23. Many believe the inscription and the book refer to the same person.
Site:   Corinth
City:   Ancient Corinth
Country:   Greece
References:   Publications (15)
Plans and Drawings (71)
Images (59)
Objects (109)
Notebooks (14)