Hierapolis Amphitheatre

Hierapolis Amphitheatre
The Roman theatre at Hierapolis, an ancient cure centre established in 190 BC by Eumenes II, the King of Pergamum. It's located in the middle of Hierapolis and is very well preserved. It was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in 2nd century AD. I Roman Theatre had a capacity of 8500 – 10000 spectators and was divided into two parts as upper and lower parts of seat by a diazoma.

The first theatre was constructed to the northeast above the northern gate when the ancient city was destroyed by an earthquake in AD 17. After the earthquake of AD 60, a new theatre was constructed during the reign of the emperor Vespasian. This second theatre was hollowed out of the slope of the hill further to the east using the remains and the seats of the first. There were alterations during the reigns of Hadrian and Septimius Severus. There is an inscription in the theatre that relates to the emperor Hadrian. Septimius Severus is portrayed in a relief together with his wife Julia Domna, his two sons Caracalla and Geta, and the god Jupiter. In 352, the theatre underwent a thorough restoration and was adapted for water shows.

There were four entrances to the theatre, each with six statues in niches flanked by marble columns. The auditorium consisted of stacked seating with a capacity of 15,000 and was bisected by a horizontal corridor. It featured an imperial box. The lower part originally had twenty rows and the upper part twenty five, but only thirty rows altogether have survived. The auditorium is segmented into nine aisles by means of eight vertical passageways with steps.

The proscenium consisted of two stories with ornately decorated niches to the sides. Several statues, reliefs (including depictions of Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana), and decorative elements have been excavated by the Italian archaeological team and can be seen in the local museum. The theatre is now under restoration. Many reliefs and statues depicting mythological figures have been excavated from the site.

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