Roman amphitheater of Syracuse

Roman amphitheater of Syracuse

trolvag - CC3.0


 Via del Teatro Greco- Siracusa (SR)

The Roman Amphitheater of Syracuse, located inside the Neapolis Park, is the largest in Sicily and among the largest in Italy.
Its construction is placed in the Augustan age, following the deduction of the colony by Augustus in 21 BC, or in the Julio-Claudian age, based on a dedicatory inscription found there and the building technique used, i.e. the use of reticulated work and ashlars elongated.
The amphitheater uses the natural course of the land: set against the slope, the lower part is carved into the rock except for the south side. This was built on an elevated level, like the upper part of the monument, which has now disappeared because it was demolished in the 16th century to use the blocks for the construction of the Spanish fortifications of Ortigia.
The elliptical cavea is arranged on three levels with a portico above. Only the lowest portion of the cavea, ima cavea, is preserved, while only the foundations of the media and summa cavea remain. Two vaulted ambulatories and a complex system of steps allowed access to the various orders of seats. A colonnaded portico originally crowned the upper ring. A complex system of openings allowed the rapid flow of spectators.
The arena is bordered by a high podium. Behind the podium, there is a vaulted annular corridor on which rests the first row of steps intended for the authorities, whose names are carved in stone, which has openings that allowed access to gladiators and animals for shows. In the center of the arena, a large quadrangular room, originally covered with a wooden floor, connected with a moat from the southern side, was intended for the machinery used for the shows.
The amphitheater had two entrances, but the southern one, which overlooks a large square where the pillars of the base of an honorary arch are still visible, probably dedicated to Augustus, under which a paved road from the east passed, it was monumentalized by a complex system of stairs.

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