Differences Between Greek and Roman Theaters

Differences Between Greek and Roman Theaters

Greek and Roman theaters are the most commonly seen ancient theaters in Anatolia. There are also some Greco-Roman theaters that are hybrids of these two styles. I prepared this article for travelers who needs an answer to the question ”What are the differences between Greek and Roman Theatres?”. Let’s have a look at the differences between Greek and Roman theatres;

  • While the orchestra in Greek theaters had a horseshoe-shaped plan, in Roman theaters the orchestra was made into a semicircle.
  • The Greek theater’s cavea (enclosure) rests on a mountain slope.
  • The Roman theatre, on the other hand, is embodied in the vault and arch system which suppports its seats.
  • In Greek theatre, the orchestra section exceeds the semicircular plan.
  • The orchestra in the Roman theater is semicircular.
  • The stage in Greek theaters is single-storey. Roman theaters, on the other hand, can have two or three floors.
  • Since Roman theaters do not have religious characteristics, wealthy people always have reserved places in the orchestra. Games during Roman era included entertaining themes.
  • In the Greek theater architecture, the background of the plays usually looked at a natural landscape.
  • In Roman architecture, on the other hand, the stage didn’t have to face anywhere, because a tall scene building was always built in the background.
Aspendos Theater Seating
  • The stage in the Roman theater is closer than in the Greek theatre.
  • In the Greek theater, the entrances to the spectators were made from the gates on both sides of the theater building.
  • In the Roman Theater, entrances could be provided from many places due to the effective use of arch and vault architectural technique. Spectators passing through the vaulted passages under the caveas reach the ailes by stairs, and thus the spectators had an easy access at the entrances and exits. Possible stampede has also been avoided.
  • In Greek theaters, the official ideology of the state was instilled in people with plays, and even the current administration could resort to various encouraging methods for people to come to the theaters.
  • In Greek theaters, the stage building and the scene was low and flat.
  • In Roman theaters, the height of the scene and steps were the equal.
  • The nature of Greek theaters is simplicity.
  • Roman theaters, on the other hand, are quite spectacular. It is quite common for the stage building to be multi-storey. Columns, protrusions and ostentatious sculptures were quite common in Roman theaters.
Visit Theater of Ephesus with Ephesian Tour Guide Hasan Gulday

Visit Greek and Roman Theaters of Turkey with Licensed Tour Guide

Theaters have always been one of the biggest and the most attractive ruins to explore in Turkey’s ancient cities. Contact me to learn more about ancient theaters of Anatolia and to hire a licensed professional Turkish tour guide in Turkey. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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