Theater, Miletus, Turkey

  • Date
    10/11/2014 (creation)
4th century BCE
Miletus, located near the mouth of the Menderes, was destroyed by the Persians in 494 BCE, after they had defeated the navy of the Ionian Greeks at Lade. Miletus was rebuilt on a promontory, north of the old town. The gridiron plan of the new town, designed by the Milesian Hippodamus, became a standard for urban planning. The theater was built ca. 300 BCE to accommodate 5,300 people. The skene was built along the city wall and may have had a proscenium with Doric half-columns. During the second construction phase, from ca. 300-250 BCE, the skene was lengthened. Four doors were built in the lower story of the skene and three in the upper. During the third stage, sometime before 150 BCE, extensions to either side of the skene (paraskenia) were added. A central door was built in the lower story of the skene, and five thyromata were added to the upper story in order to accommodate demands. The Romans enlarged the theater after 133 BCE, building three stories of seats accommodating 15,000 spectators. The Archivision Collection of Ancient Sites was funded by the Jack Martin Balcer Library Endowment.