TEATRO ANTICO DI TAORMINA

 
Teatro antico, vista sul palco

In a dominant position, it occupies the crest of the homonymous hill. Recent studies have helped to arouse interest in this monument linked both to the landscape and to archeology. With its 109 m diameter, the auditorium is, after Syracuse, the largest theater not only in Sicily, but in the Italian peninsula and Africa. The original layout dates back to the III / II century BC This is documented by the remains of the isodome block wall, incorporated in the building of the scene and seats with inscriptions from the auditorium now preserved in the western entrance hall (versura). The leftovers of the small sacred building at the top of the cavea date back to the same period, then obliterated by the enlargement that it underwent in the second century AD. What is visible belongs entirely to the Roman restructuring, especially that which occurred in the first half of the second century AD. under Trajan or Hadrian. The scene retains the two lateral openings in the elevation or hospitaliahospitalia, while the central or royal one has collapsed.

 

The current reconstruction of the columns of the frons is due to a nineteenth-century restoration. On the other hand, the remains attributable to the Augustan age are small; this phase would be documented by some sculptures perhaps pertinent to the decoration of the prospect of the scene (Antiquarium Theater Antiquarium). Between the II-III century AD the Theater was transformed into an arena with the construction of the annular corridor, closed by a raised parapet, and of the underground environment, used as a shelter for equipment and perhaps also for animal cages. Finally, the enlargement of the underground environment and the current porticus post scaenam.

 

The Casina degli Inglesi, formerly the headquarters of theAntiquarium of the Theater, houses the important epigraphic collection of Taormina. Taormina has returned a surprising amount of epigraphs, extraordinary for Sicily and with few comparisons in the ancient world. These are mainly Greek inscriptions of a public nature (Tables of Strategists and Gymnasiums and financial statements), chronologically rather homogeneous, datable between the second and first centuries BC, however before the transformation of Taormina into a colony in 36 or 21 BC. Corpus (The rich part) of Taorminian inscriptions offers immediate contact with the society that expressed them, helping to illuminate many aspects of public and private life.

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