Theater of Marcellus dates to Caesar’s time, however the structure was ended up in 11 or 13 B.C. by Augustus who formally devoted it in the name of his nephew Marcellus, his very first designated beneficiary, who passed away early in 23 B.C.
In Rome the theatrical representations, so important in the election campaigns, were generally kept in a provvisory wood theater, near the old Temple of Apollo in the Campus Martius. Not up until 55 B.C. did Pompey construct the city’s first masonry theater. The structure prepared by Caesar was on the exact same site as the provvisory theater.
The setup of the big cavea ruined a part of the curved side of the Circus Flaminius and 2 little temples, rebuilt in the big exedra behind the scaena. In 17 B.C., although the work was not yet completed, Augustus had the well-known ludi saeculares, sung by Horace, commemorated in the theater. During the Middle Ages the building was occupied by the Savelli family and in the eighteenth century by the Orsini. The great Renaissance palace that inhabits the 3rd flooring of the outside facade of the cavea is the work of the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi.
The theater should have been constructed on effective bases, and the front was offered with an exterior of 41 arches, framed by engaged columns, on 3 floorings. The very first 2 floorings are Doric and Ionic orders, the 3rd, which absolutely nothing stays, need to have been an attic nearby Corinthian pilasters. It was initially 32.60 meter high.
The interior ambulatory and the radial walls of the cunei (wedge-shaped sectors of seats) remain in opus quadratum of tufa for the first 10 meters down, in opus caementicium with a facing of opus reticulatum in the inner part. It has actually been determined that the cavea (diam. 129.80 m.) might hold in between 15.000 and 20,000 viewers, making it the biggest theater in Rome as far as audience capability was worried. Beyond the orchestra (diam. m. 37) was the phase, which absolutely nothing stays.
On either side were apsed halls, which a pier and a column of one are still standing. Behind the phase was a big semi-circular exedra with 2 little temples. The structure was likewise visible for its abundant decor, still noticeable in the Doric frieze on the lower order.
Its present appearance and isolation from the buildings round it are the result of demolition work in 1926-1932.
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