Segesta theatre

The Greek theatre of Segesta

The theatre in Segesta dates back probably to the 4th-3rd century BC, and was located in one of the best areas of the town. Built of large masses of stone (without cement and lime), the theatre was quite isolated and of a semi-circular shape, with part of the stage facing west. The “cavea” is contained in a semicircle of about 60 feet diameter.

Elevation géométrale du Théâtre de Segeste. Plan du Théâtre de Segeste. 1782

The theatre stage, of which few traces remain, was originally decorated with columns and pillars.

Several doubts have emerged concerning the date of construction of Segesta Theatre, but the original construction of the “cavea” is thought to date from the late 4th century BC:

"A chronology of the original ‘cavea’ as dating from the second half of the fourth century BC is credible, but we can not exclude some restructuring and functional adaptation. The current shape of the seats suggests the II-I century BC, but we cannot reasonably deny the possibility that these have been replaced."

(M.L. De Bernardi, “Analisi delle anomalie architettoniche dell’attuale ‘cavea’ del Teatro di Segesta” in “Terze Giornate internazionali di studi sull’area elima”, Proceedings, I, 2000: 386).

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