Ephesus Grand Theater is probably the second most famous artifact in Ephesus, Turkey, fallowing the library of Celsus. Grand theater has a capacity of twenty-four thousand people. This capacity is based on the size and sitting style of the Ephesian who lived back in those days. When shows organized today, the theater can hold up to three thousand people. Today concerts are very common in these kinds of venues but back then the main purpose of this theater was hosting plays.
The theater has three floors in total. Each floor was added in different periods in parallel with the wealth and magnificence of the city rising. Emperor Nero erected the second floor of this theater in the first century by decorating it with sculptures, carvings and various artistic structures. In the second century, Septimus Severus ensured the construction of the third floor of the Ephesus theater. The completion of today’s Ephesus Antique Theater took place between 98 and 117 AD.
Most of the plays were tragedies, and they were mainly targeting plebs who regular people of the Roman Empire who were subjected to state propaganda. Tickets were cheap for regular seats and any man, even a slave, could afford to watch a show. The theater was the main entertainment for the people who lived back in ancient Ephesus. Unfortunately, they did not let any women act, so they only had actors on the stage, and if there is a role requiring a woman a man used to dress like a lady and act. Today, Most of the original seating of Ephesus Ancient Theater can be seen and used. Some parts and the first floor of the scene building can be seen.
The seating areas of the Ephesus Antique City Theater are covered with fine marbles. Some of these marble-covered seating areas are paved with rough stones, while some parts are covered with Roman mortar.
This is the same theater mentioned in the Holy Bible where Apostle Paul used to preach to Ephesians. Apostle Paul faced the great uproar of Artemis cult mentioned in ”Acts 19:30” in Ephesus theater. I hope you will see this magnificent piece of history in Ephesus and feel the breeze coming from Arcadian street while thinking about how it was life back in those days. See you in Ephesus soon, Hasan Gülday.
But when a god sends harm, no man can sidestep it, no matter how strong he may be.― Sophocles, Electra
Mortal fate is hard. You’d best get used to it.― Euripides, Medea