WHERE IS LEPCIS MAGNA? Rome Lepcis Magna • Lepcis (Leptis) Magna had been occupied since Phoenician times. • on the Mediterranean coastline in Northern Africa. • was once an important and wealthy city.
scaena scaenae frons pulpitum proscaenium vomitoria cavea orchestra stage building front of the stage platform (stage) for acting on front façade of the pulpitum corridors into the theatre tiered seating area semi-circular lower floor area by the proscaenium MAJOR PARTS OF A ROMAN THEATRE
ADDITIONS TO THE THEATRE • soon after completion official boxes (Tribunalia) for the magistrates were added over the side entrances. • a colonnade along top of the cavea was added later also. • a temple to Ceres-Augusta was erected in 35-36 AD by a lady called Suphunibal on the upper level of the auditorium. • in 43 AD Iddipal Tapapius built a temple to the Deified Emperors behind the scene building. • in 91 AD an octagonal altar was place at the foot of the auditorium by another citizen, Tiberius Claudius Sextius. • in the mid-2nd century AD the original limestone columns of the façade were replaced by marble columns.
the seating arrangement derives from the style used in Greek theatres rising in semi-circular rows of seating. • the seating is divided into zones up and down by walk-ways. • the lowest zone could also be reached by passageways at the end of the stage.
the upper levels are supported on a man-made superstructure which includes 5 vaulted passages (vomitoria) . • the central zones are supported by an artificial bank made from rubble held in place by masonry. • the lowest zone rests on a natural bank.
the theatre was fully enclosed because the scaenae frons was three stories high. • at the back of the scaena were 3 apses that corresponds to 3 entrances onto the stage. • statues were placed between the columns on the scaena. • the front face (proscaenium) is punctuated by niches for small statues.
at the ends were busts of the patron deities of the city’s Hercules and Dionysus. • 5 shallow steps are placed just below the stone wall. • external diameter of the auditorium is 88.5m.
THE ORCHESTRA • a stone wall screens the rest of the cavea. • the floor of the orchestra was originally stuccoed and then later paved in marble. • the stage (pulpitum) was about 1 m high and it originally had a wooden floor.
PROPAGANDA AND THE THEATRE… • the reach of propaganda and the extent of control the Emperor had even over the furthermost reaches of the empire is shown through: • the dedication of a temple to the Deified Emperors. • the epithet ‘Augusta’ attached to the name of the goddess Ceres honoured at the top of the cavea. • the use of Roman features of decoration and the use of limestone as a building material.