In Athens, the theatre of Dionysus is the most famous of all Greek theatres (24). In the 6e and 5e centuries, the rows were only made of wood. It was in this theatre that the plays of Eschyles, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes were immortalized. After the wooden rows collapsed, between 500 and 497 B.C. stone rows were built. The cavea could house up to 13000 people. The orchestra, which originally was circular, was altered under Nero’s reign into a half-circle covered by a marble pavement with a multicoloured stones rhomb in the centre.

Last, the proscenion (stage) was composed of a rectangular hall, with a length of 46 meters by 6.50 meters width, with two projecting side-wings (25). The last alteration is dating from the Roman period, where the front of the stage was pushed until the edge of the cavea. Thus, the theatre of Dionysus ended up by looking like a Roman theatre, and the orchestra was used for gladiators fights and nautical games.

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This far view allows to realize that the shape of the theatre did look like a shell that obviously could house a great number of people.

The two columns at the top of the theatre of Dionysus were choregic monuments (choirs) from the Roman period (31); they must have sustained tripods. As to the monument directly on the edge of the rows, it could have been as well a choregic monument of Trasyllos (320 B.C.), reconstructed in 1826.