Theater of Dionysus
The Theater of Dionysus, built into the natural hollow of the south slope of the Acropolis,
was the world's first theater built of stone and the
birthplace of Greek tragedy. This is where the
dramatic contests in the Greater
Dionysia were held. Originally a place to honor
the god Dionysus
in dance and song, in the fifth century the plays of Aeschylus,
and Aristophanes were performed here.
By the middle of the fifth
century there was scenery
in the background, usually in the form of a building.
The theater was built in several phases, each of which
corresponded, essentially, to the developments in ancient
drama. What remains today dates to the Roman Empire
and could seat 17,000 spectators. The classical Greek theater would
have had a circular "orchestra" (literally, "dancing
space", the flat, paved area in front of the stage
where the chorus
sang and danced) instead of the semi-circular orchestra
which remains today.
Click on the thumbnails below in order to see pictures of the Theater of
Dionysus and other remains around the area. Use your browser's back button
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© All pictures are Copyright 2000 Grisel Gonzalez and Jeff