Art of the Ancient World, C. 5000 B.c.e.–400 C.E.

Ancient Greek Art

What is the Theater at Epidaurus?

The Theater at Epidaurus (c. 350 B.C.E.) was an example of ancient Greek civic architecture meant to be enjoyed by the general public. The art of the theater was an important part of ancient Greek culture and religion, as religious ceremonies were incorporated with music and dance, and performed in public spaces. Greek drama, including tragedies and comedies, were performed in outdoor spaces like the Theater at Epidaurus. At the heart of the theater was the circular orchestra, the central performance area. Fifty-five rows of semicircular tiered seats were carved into a hillside, which allowed as many as fourteen thousand spectators a good view of the orchestra. The design of the Theater at Epidaurus is so effective that it is still in use today, and the acoustics are so perfect that no electrified sound system is needed when performances are held at the site.


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