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Theater at Delphi

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Patrick DeVarney, Kristin Wenske Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Dec 09, 2020 09:05 AM History
The theater at Delphi near the Temple of Apollo.

38.4824497476, 22.500727295

theatre, theater


The theater at Delphi held numerous events and activities. It was built in the 4th century BC using local Parnassus limestone. It was remodeled in the 2nd century BC, and was used through the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The theater was a large semicircle with stepped seats arranged in 35 rows, and it could hold up to 5,000 spectators. It was built in close proximity to the most sacred buildings in the sanctuary, especially the temple and oracle of Apollo, because the performances it housed were connected to religious rituals. In early periods, the theater allowed spectators and visitors to take part in communal religious celebrations. Eventually, there was a transition to dramatic rather than ritual performances. These included plays, poetry readings, and singing. The theater had three main components: the stage, the orchestra and the cavea, where the audience sat. The theater's shape and integration into the hillside provides an excellent acoustic environment, and it has continued to be used for performances in the modern period.

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Patrick DeVarney, Kristin Wenske, Jeffrey Becker, Adam Rabinowitz, and Tom Elliott, 'Theater at Delphi: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2020 <> [accessed: 27 February 2024]

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