The Ancient Theatre Archive

The Theatre Architecture of Greece and Rome

Minturnae (modern Minturno, Italy)


Modern Minturno, Mainland Italy

Theatre Type

Roman Theatre

Earliest Date

(27 BCE – 14 CE).

Renovations / Excavations

The scene building was rebuilt in brick in the time of Emperor Hadrian (117 to 138); the scene building was clad in marble in the Emperor Antonine period (161–180). 

Seating Capacity



Cavea Width: 75 meters
Orchestra Width: 24 meters


M INTURNAE (Minturno, LT) (Plan 14, Pls. 4, 5) Location: north-west of old castrum on north edge of town. Built on flat site. Date: (27 BCE – 14 CE).

Cavea: D 78.3 m, facing south-south-west; ima cavea, 14 rows in 4 cunei with central entrance into orchestra; praecinctio, W 1.41 m; media, 9 rows; some seats with numbers. Orchestra: D 23.9 m, surrounded by curved passage. Proscaenium: W 0.95, H ? m; 3 curved; 4 rectangular niches; 2 staircases. Aulaeum: slot W 0.95 m, 0.68 m below orchestra level; 8 mast holes. Pulpitum: L 39.27, W 7.1, 8.16 m (9.11 m incl. proscaenium wall). Scaenae frons: rectilinear: regia door W 3.78, hospitalia doors W 2.25. Basilicas: 2 rectangular basilicas on west side; on east side only one, because of adjacent sanctuary; doors to stage W 3.55 m. Postscaenium: 14 small rooms, 3 behind basilicas; one each side of hospitalia passages; 2 each side of regia passage. Porticus post scaenam: triple portico encloses Temple of Concordia Augusta and Capitolium, rebuilt in Augustan period. Remains: well-preserved cavea; seating restored; footings of scene building. Date: ad 10–20 (Johnson); late Republican or early Imperial (polychrome reticulate like aqueduct, Coarelli, Fuchs); scene building rebuilt in brick at time of Hadrian; redecorated in Antonine period. Source: Frank Sear: pp. 125,126

Minturnae (Roman Theare), modern Minturno
Regio I, Latium et Campani
Author: Di Mario

Roman theatre.  Urban, close to the forum.  Facing south-west.

The construction dates from the period of Caesar of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE).  It underwent several restorations and reconstructions, the latest of which is thought to date to the 4th century A.D.

The caveat [built on flat ground] rests on substructures consisting of an inner zone with radial rooms and a two-nave ambulatory, and an outer zone with barrel vaults forming a facade with two orders.  In the orchestra there is a large step for the proedria.  The cave is divided into two maeniana [viewing levels].  On some steps a number was found engraved indicating the sequence of seats.

The scaenae frons is rectilinear and decorated with statues, some of which have been recovered.  It is flanked yb two rooms, and to the rear there are a number of utility rooms.  There is a porticus post scaenam, which is formed by the northern arm of the three arcades of the so-called Republican Forum.  The walls are built in opus reticolatum, in various materials that give the facing a two-tone effect.  The walls built in opus latericium belong to the first phase of restoration.  The walls built in opus vittatum, with one layer of tufa blocks alternating with two layers of bricks, belong to the second restoration.

[The orchestra has 3 levels of honorary seats. The front of the pulpitum is divided into round and rectangular niches. Behind it is the auditorium. The portae of the scaenae frons lie in rectangular wall niches. The stage is flanked by two basilicas to the west and one to the east. The postscaenicum consists of 14 simple rooms. Behind it follows the porticus post scaenam with a temple for Concordia Augusta and the Capitol. The construction of the theater is dated to the late Republican to Augustan period according to the opus reticulatum masonry used, the brick masonry of the scaenae frons indicates a renewal in the time of Emperor Hadrian and their marble cladding to the subsequent Antonine period].

State of preservation:
Many of the lower outer arches are preserved.  The scaena‘s supporting structures are preserved.

diameter of the cavea: approx. 78 m.

Original capacity:
4,600 seats.

Current utilization of the theatre:
it is used for theatrical performances.

CIL F2687: AE 1934.253.
S. AURIGEMMA. A. DE SANTIS, Gaeta Formia Minturno, Roma 1955.
G. FORNI 1970, s.v. Teatro.
G.M. DE ROSSI, Lazio meridionale, Roma 1980, p.161.
F. COARELLI, Lazio, Bari 1984, p.376.
M. FUCHS 1987, pp.35-40.
M.P. GUIDOBALDI Il teatro, in Minturnae. Roma 1989, pp.63-64.
C.COURTOIS 1989, pp.118-120; 216.

Last Update: 02-24-2023