… which is the ancient theater of Dionysus at the south slope of the Acropolis. In Athens course!
I was descending with some friends from China from the Acropolis’ monuments when our guide led us to a side path. The heat had raised a lot and the coolness under the shade of the cypresses and the few pines was more than desirable.
In five minutes we reached the oldest of all the major theaters of the ancient world. So say the scholars.
They also think that ancient Greek drama was born here. Here, in this theater the works of the four most significant drama poets of antiquity – Aeschylus , Euripides , Sophocles and Aristophanes – were showed for the first time, during the 5th century BC. I sat in the shade of cypress trees on the south side of the theater and waited for my friends to finish their endless photographing.
I examined the foreground for a while. A band of awesome statues, reliefs and other sculptures adorns it. Scholars say those sculptures depict scenes from the life of Dionysus; also gods, heroes and important ancient persons.
The theater was part of the very important temple of Dionysus , where the Dionysus Eleuthereus was worshiped. They called him “Eleuthereus” because its cult had come in Athens from the ancient city of Eleutheres (located in Viotia, in central Greece) in the middle of the 6th century BC. Of course the theater that we see today is the remnant of the theater as it was modified during the Roman era. The nice scene with marble slabs today does not resemble the original scene of the 5th century BC which was probably made by simple soil.
More tourists descended to the theater of Dionysus. One of them climbed over the marbles that supported the series of statues of the foreground and began to recite something in Russian language. The guards ran to take him down, with a mood that you wouldn’t say polite …
I thought that, hey.., the theater revived after so many centuries. Not to mention that the place where that Russian impromptu “orator” climbed on, was called the Rostrum (logeion in antiquity) of Phaedros, because that Athenian ruler built it during the 5th century AC.
Phaedros used to step up and orated as well.
Needless to say that my Chinese friends did not stopped to photograph the event…
I myself not ….
Where am I ?
The ancient theater of Dionysus is located at the foot of the Acropolis hill in Athens. It is placed in the neighborhood of one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world!
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