old city ruins- Roman Theatre, Alexandria

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  • The Roman Theatre
    The Roman Theatre
    by Rashad
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    The Roman Theatre

    by Rashad Written Feb 25, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Roman Theatre

    Over 30 years of excavation have uncovered many Roman remains including this well-preserved theatre with galleries, sections of mosaic-flooring, and marble seats for up to 800 spectators. In Ptolemaic times, this area was the Park of Pan and a pleasure garden. The theater at one point may had been roofed over to serve as an Odeon for musical performances. Inscriptions suggest that it was sometimes also used for wrestling contests. The theatre stood with thirteen semi-circular tiers of white marble that was imported from Europe. Its columns are of green marble imported from Asia Minor, and red granite imported from Aswan. The wings on either side of the stage are decorated with geometric mosaic paving. The dusty walls of the trenches, from digging in the northeast side of the Odeon, are layered with extraordinary amounts of potsherds. Going down out of the Kom, you can see the substantial arches and walls in stone, the brick of the Roman baths, and the remains of Roman houses.

    Fun Alternatives: The tombs of Kim El-Shouqafa were tunneled into the bedrock in the age of the Antonine emperors (2nd century A.D.)for a single wealthy family still practicing the ancient religion. As a privately financed project, it is an engineering feat of some magnitude. These tombs represent the last existing major construction for the sake of the old Egyptian religion. They are alone worth the trip to Alexandria. Though the funerary motifs are pure ancient Egyptian, the architects and artists were schooled in the Greco-Roman style. Applied to the themes of Ancient Egyptian religion, it has resulted in an amazing integrated art, quite unlike anything else in the world.

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