The Evolution of the Roman Theater Term Paper by TheWholeDamnShow

The Evolution of the Roman Theater
The history and development of the architecture of the Roman theater building. An in-depth look at how the ancient Romans borrowed heavily from the Greek example, but improved upon it to create a building that was uniquely Roman.
# 60223 | 2,698 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2005 | US

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The paper discusses in great detail the evolution of the Roman theater, beginning from the Greek wooden origins to the stone monuments that became iconic with Roman architecture during the Republic and the Empire. A brief history of theater is discussed in the beginning of the paper, with special attention given to the religious implications of how theaters were originally set up. The importance of the orchestra and "skene" are given historical background, dating back to early Dionysian worship. The layout of the early Greek theaters are discussed, with a complete layout included that describes the circular performance area, the seating arrangements, background adjustments and a rudimentary stage. The rest of the paper deals with how the Romans, eager to take the art of theater from being a religious practice to more of an entertainment value for the masses, incorporated their own unique designs to the Greek theater layout to create a more efficient and clearly Roman design. Heavy attention is give to Vitruvius and his work " De Architectura" which provides a step-by-step process in which Roman theaters were built. Improvements are discussed from eliminating the completely circular stage to a half-circle, as well as creating an official stage that persists in modern theatrical performances. The paper takes each part of the theater and discusses the area extensively in terms of what the Romans did to improve upon or change from the early Greek models.

From the Paper:

"Ancient Rome's concept of art and architecture was heavily influenced by the cultures that the Romans had conquered, but were in no way identical copies of the art that existed in those subjugated areas. The Romans excelled at taking artistic ideas from other civilizations and molding them into a form that could undoubtedly be identified as uniquely Roman. This technique can easily be seen in practice when one examines the Roman theater building. Roman theaters can be found throughout the area that used to be the Roman Empire, with remnants of theaters all over Europe and the Mediterranean. These theaters have details and building techniques that are exclusive to Roman designs, but when they are viewed in comparison with ancient Greek theaters, one can clearly see where the Romans received their inspiration."

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