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THE ROMAN THEATER OF CARTHAGE

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The Carthage Roman Theatre was built in the Second Century in the north-east of the ancient city, set against the foot of the hill of the Odeon and without leaning to it. Precisely because of this characteristic, the ancient theater of Carthage is an intermediate type between the greek theater, dug into the ground, and Roman, generally built on an open ground.
In its original structure, it included three concentric galleries and up a columned portico. Furthermore, the steps, in the shape of a semicircle and of 100 meters in diameter, were built on a complex system of vaults that has prevented to anchor the construction to the ground.
During the Fifth Century, the theater was completely destroyed by the Vandals and remained unused until the end of the XIX Century, after being partially finished. Archaeological excavations have brought to light numerous statues, including the colossal statue of Apollo preserved at the Bardo Museum.
The historical-architectural and cultural importance of the Roman theater of Carthage is linked to its imposing size, making it able to accommodate more spectators of 10.00, and its peculiarities that make it a true masterpiece of Roman architecture. In addition, with the theaters of Bulla Regia and Dugga, the Theatre of Carthage is one of only three Roman theaters of Tunisia.
Today the Roman theater of Carthage is an important tourist value site, which maintains a strong cultural, artistic and folk, national and international level, which houses several important literary events. In particular, since 1964 the ancient theater of Carthage hosts every summer the International Festival of Carthage, event sponsored by the Ministry of Tunisian culture that welcomes international talents in all the domains of theater arts.

 

Bibliographical references:
Abdelmajid Ennabli (1973-1974), "Carthage romaine", Vie des Arts, vol. 18, n° 73, pp. 22-26.
Karen E. Ros (1996), "The Roman Theater at Carthage", American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 100, No. 3, pp. 449-489.

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