Roman Theaters

by: Treyvon Thomas and Morgan Westhoff

Theater of Pompey

The theater of Pompey was made of complete stone as it was one of the first theaters the Romans had built to last in 55 BC. The Theater had been built under the powerful general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, known as Pompey. It had been located on the Southern section of ancient Rome's Campus Martius, the Field of Mars. Sadly, in today's time the theater is no longer and has now been completely covered by new buildings.

Theater of Marcellus

The theater of Marcellus was also completely mad out of stone and was built in 13 BC by Augustus Caesar. It was first constructed to provide entertainment for Roman citizens. The theater was built next to the pre-existing temple of Apollo, who was the god of the arts and the sun. The theater of Marcellus is still standing today.

Similarities and miscellaneous information.

The stage or pulpit was made of stone and tiles, and was surrounded by a five foot high wall that held in water for nautical spectacles and also protected the crowd from the bloodshed of gladiatorial fights. The scaenae frons, which was behind the pulpit, was also made of stone and often decorated with columns, statues, and golden ornaments. The theater were open air and had awnings to block the sun and protect the crowd. In the crowd there were vendors selling food and cushions. As well as awnings to provide shade they also has showers so the patrons could keep cool during hot days. The only part to have a roof was the scaenae frons, which was protected from the weather by the small roof. As well as protecting the scaenae from the weaher the roof also improved acoustics for the actors, projecting their voices into the crowds. Although today actors are treated with the utmost respect, the Romans treated their actors much differently. For starters all actors were male and had to wear elaborate mask to show emotions. To the Romans, acting was not a noble enough life style and so the actors were treated poorly.

Mordern counterparts

Today there are many theaters, amphitheaters, and arenas that resemble these once great signs of Rome. Examples of such wouold be the Norva in Norfolk VA and farm bureau live in virginia beach VA.


3d Reconstruction of the Theater of Pompey. Digital image. 3d Reconstruction of the Theater of Pompey. N.p., 30 Sept. 2012. Web. 7 May 2015.

Leacroft, Richard, and Helen Leacroft. "Roman Theater." Theatre and Playhouse: An Illustrated Survey of Theatre Building from Ancient Greece to the Present Day. London: Methuen, 1984. 27+. Print.

Mosaic depiction actors. Digital image. Mosaic Dpicting Roman Actors. N.p., 24 Sept. 2011. Web. 7 May 2015.

Outside f the norva. Digital image. Norva Hits 2000cshow Mark. N.p., 6 Aug. 2009. Web. 7 May 2015.

Staccioli, Romolo Augusto., and Claudia Cecamore. Ancient Rome: Past and Present. Roma: Vision, 2000. Print.

Theater of Marcellus. Digital image. Theater of Marcellus. N.p., 1 May 2005. Web. 7 May 2015.