The Ancient Theatre Archive

The Theatre Architecture of Greece and Rome


It Was Time for a Facelift: This site is under construction so please be patient. It’s the new version of a twenty-year-old site that was showing its age. Twenty years ago I launched The Ancient Theatre Archive: a virtual reality tour of Greek and Roman theatre architecture. My mission was to document the appearance and known facts pertaining to ancient Greek and Roman theatres: a study guide if you will for architecture and theatre history students. Read More …

All adventures begin with a map – at least this one did. The location was Ostia Antica, and the date was May 26th, 2001.  I was vacationing in Rome with my family. Our itinerary included the usual attractions: Pantheon – check, Forum – check, Vatican – check. They, and many more, were dots on my much-folded map of Rome. My eldest daughter recommended I add one additional landmark, Ostia Antica, the seaport of ancient Rome. As she said, “It’s easier to get to than Pompeii; it’s just as ruined; there are fewer tourists, and it has the remains of an ancient stone theatre.” Read More …

Akurgal, Ekrem. Ancient Civilization and Ruins of Turkey. 9th ed. Istanbul: Net Turistik Yayinlar, 2001. 

Arnott, Peter. The Ancient Greek and Roman Theatre. New York: Random House, 1971. 

Archaeologists Completed the Restoration of Ancient Laodicea’s Theatre. The Archaeologist: Civilizations of the World. August 25,
Arnott, Peter. Greek Scenic Conventions in the Fifth Century B.C. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978, c1962. 

Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online (AAT). The J. Paul Getty Trust: 

Baran, Musa. Troy, Pergamon, Sardes, Izmir, and its Surroundings. Trans. Hulya Terzioglu. Izmir, Turkey: Molay Matbaacilik, 1980. 

Bean, George E. Aegean Turkey: An Archaeological Guide. London: Earnest Benn Ltd., 1966.

Bean, George E. Lycian Turkey: An Archaeological Guide. 2nd ed. London: John Murray Ltd., 1989. 

Berve, Helmut and  Gottfried Gruben. Greek Temples, Theatres, and  Shrines. New York: H.N. Abrahms,  1963. 

Bieber, Margarete. The History of The Greek and Roman Theatre. 2nd ed. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1961.

Brockett, Oscar G. and Franklin J. Hildy. The History of The Theatre. 10nd ed. Princeton, Boston, London, Toronty, Sydney, Tokyo, and Singapore: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. 

Brown, Andrew. A New Companion to Greek Tragedy. London : Croom Helm ; Totowa, N.J. : Barnes & Noble, 1983. 

Brownson, Carleton L. “Further Excavation at the Theatre of Sicyon in 1891.” The American Journal of Archaeology and the History of the Fine Arts, Vol. 8, No. 3. (Jul.-Sep., 1893), pp. 397-409. 

Camp, John M. The Archaeology of Athens. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001.

Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); Jean Duvignaud (texts) Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato. Rome: SEAT, 1995. 

Cimok, Fatih. Pergamum. Istanbul: A. Turizm Yayinlari, 2001. 

Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin) 

Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, illustrated by numerous engravings on wood. William Smith, LLD. London. Walton and Maberly, Upper Gower Street and Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row; John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1854. 

Didaskalia, Ancient Theatre Today. 

Dinsmoor, William B. The Architecture of Ancient Greece. Reprint of 3d ed., rev. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1975. 

Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World (EHW). Foundation of the Hellenic World.

FastiOnline: A database of archaeological excavations since the year 2000.

Finley, M.I., ed. Atlas of Classical Archaeology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1977. 

Fossum, Andrew. “The Theatre at Sikyon.” The American Journal of Archaeology and the History of the Fine Arts, Vol. 9, No. 3. (Jul.-Sep., 1905), pp. 263-276. 

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN). The J. Paul Getty Trust. 

Haigh, A.E. “Dorpfeld’s Theory of the Greek Stage.” The Classical Review, Vol. 12, No. 1. (Feb., 1898), pp. 1-11. Harris, Cyril M. Historic Architecture Sourcebook. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1977. 

Izenour, George. Roofed Theaters of Classical Antiquity. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992.

Izenour, George.  Theatre Design. United States: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1977. Kostof, Spiro. History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. 

Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898. 

Laodicea ad Lycum: Two Theaters
Laodicea on the Lycus. Turkish Archaeological News. Submitted by Iza on 03/09/2017. Last modification: Sun, 10/20/2019 – 10:01. (accessed 10,23,2023)

Laodicea on the Lycus. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Oct. 2023,

Lawrence, R.A.. Greek  Architecture. Ed. R.A. Tomlinson. 5th ed. Great  Britain: Penguin Books, 1983. 

Lenas, Peter. A  Historical Guide for Visitors to Old Corinth, Mycenae,  Heraeum, Argos, Lerna, Tiryns,  Nauplia, Epidaurus, Byzantine Churches: Topography,  Legend and History,  Monuments, Museums, Churches. Athens: Patsilinakos,1962. 

McDonald, Marianne and J. Michael Walton, eds. The Cambride Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
MacKendrick, Paul. The Iberian Stones Speak: Archaeology in Spain and Portugal. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969. 

MacKendrick, Paul. The Mute Stones Speak: The Story of Archaeology in Italy. 2nd ed.New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co., 1983. 

McMurtry, W.J. “Excavations by the American School at the Theatre of Sikyon. I. General Report of the Excavations.” The American Journal of Archaeology and the History of the Fine Arts, Vol. 5, No. 3. (Sep., 1889), pp. 267-286. 

McDonagh, Bernard, ed. Blue Guide Turkey. London: A&C Black, 2001. 

Odysseas: Hellenic Ministry of Culture. 

Oxford English Dictionary. Simpson, J.A. and J.C. Weider editors. 2nd edition. 20 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. 

Pausanias, tran. and ed. by W.H.S. Jones, except Vol II by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod, and Vol. V. Description of Greece Volumes I-V. Harvard: Loeb Classical Library, 1969. 

Pausanias. Guide to Greece: Central Greece. Tran. Peter Levi, Illus. John Newberry, Jeffery Lacey. Penguin, 1979.

Pausanias. Guide to Greece: Southern Greece. Tran. Peter Levi, Illus. John Newberry, Jeffery Lacey. Penguin, 1984.

Perseus Digital Library. 

Perseus Site Catalog. 

Pickard-Cambridge, Sir Arthur Wallace. The Dramatic Festivals of Athens. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Pickard-Cambridge, Sir Arthur Wallace. The Theatre of Dionysus in Athens. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1946.

Pleiades, Ancient World Mapping Center and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (eds. Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976. 

Richardson, Lawrence, Jr. Pompeii: An Architectural History. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988. 

Robertson, D. S. A Handbook of Greek and Roman Architecture. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1929. 

Sturgis, Russell. Dictionary of Architecture and Building. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1902. 3 vols. 

Sear, Frank. Roman Theatres: An Architectural Study. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 

Şimşek, C.-Sezgin, M.A., “The West and North Theatres in Laodicea”, Restoration and Management of Ancient Theatres in Turkey, Methods, Research, Results (Ed. F. Masino, P. Mighetto, G. Sobra), Lecce, 2012, 103-128. (accessed Oct. 25, 2023)
Tomlinson, R.A. Argos and the Argolid: From the End of the Bronze Age to the Roman Occupation. Ithaca NY: Cornell UP, 1972. 

Skenotheke: Images of the Ancient Stage. Tomlinson, R.A..  Epidauros. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983. 

Ward-Perkins, John B. Roman Imperial Architecture. Reprint. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1985. 

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language. Unabridged. Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam Co., 1961. 

UNESCO Archaeological site of Laodikeia.’s%20excavations%20and%20restorations%20have,Celal%20%C5%9Eim%C5%9Fek. (accessed Oct 12, 2023)
Vince, Ronald W. Ancient and Medieval Theatre: A Historiographical Handbook. London: Greenwood Press, 1984.

Vitruvius : Ten Books on Architecture. translation by Ingrid D. Rowland; commentary and illustrations by Thomas Noble Howe; with additional commentary by Ingrid D. Rowland and Michael J. Dewar. New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999. 

Vitruvius Pollio, The Ten Books on Architecture.
Morris Hicky Morgan, Ed.

Winter, Frederick E. Studies in Hellenistic Architecture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006. 
Contributors and Sponsors
The following individuals and Institutions graciously provided expertise and assistance in the development of The Ancient Theatre Archive. I am grateful for their contributions and honored by their involvement in this project. 

Bakker, Jan Theo, Ph.D., University of Leiden and The Internet Group Ostia, The Netherlands. 
The \\P. Bruce and Virginia C. Benson Foundation
Brilhante, Maria João Monteiro, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Centre for Theatre Studies, Universidade De Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.  
Bullard, Anna, Student Research Assistant, Whitman College, 2001, and Developer and Project Manager, Giant Rabbit, LLC. 
Burgess, Dana L. Ph.D., Professor of Classics, Whitman College. 
Communicating with Technology Initiative with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. 
Dickey, Jerry, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theatre, the University of Arizona. 
Falk, Heinrich R., Ph.D., Professor of Theatre, California State University, Northridge. 
Foster, Edward E., Ph.D., Mina Schwabacher Professor of English and the Humanities, Whitman College. 
Goldman, Andrew, Ph.D., Professor of History, Gonzaga University. 
Hardy, Clara Shaw, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classical Languages, Carleton College. 
Heffernan, Amanda, Student Research Assistant, Whitman College, 2003. Hellenic Ministry of Culture 
Icten Cengiz, Archeologist, Efes Muzesi, Turkey Internet Group Ostia (IGO). 
Jagel, Ian, Abshire Research Assistant, Whitman College, 2008. Johnson, Odai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theatre, the University of Washington. 
Lavy, Jennifer, Graduate Student in Theatre, the University of Washington. 
Louis B. Perry Summer Research Scholarship Fund.
McDowell, Stuart W., Ph. D., Chair and Artistic Director, Department of Theatre, Dance & Motion Pictures, Wright State University. 
Martin, Suzanne, Ph.D., Professor of History, Emeritus, Whitman College. Mohler, Frank, Ph.D., Professor of Theatre, Appalachian State University. 
National Endowment for the Humanities.
Pitter, Keiko, Chief Technology Officer, Whitman College. 
Panttaja, Dean, Ph.D., Professor of Design, Dept. of Theatre and Film, the University of Idaho. 
P. Bruce and Virginia C. Benson Foundation
Louis B. Perry Summer Research Scholarship Fund
Polster, Joshua, Ph.D. Professor of Theatre, Emerson College. 
Shelmerdine, Cynthia W., Ph.D., Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor, Department of Classics, The University of Texas at Austin. 
Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism
USITT (United States Institute For Theatre Technology, Inc.)
Wells-Thulin, Elizabeth,
Student Research Assistant, Whitman College, 2006. 
Whitman College
, Aid to Faculty Scholarship and Instructional Development Whitman College,

Last Update: 11-04-2023