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Italian Theatres


By Hugh Denard



Teano (Teanum Sidicinum)

Date of Visit: 8 Nov 1999

Archaeologist: Francesco Sirano

Karina's Documentation [DOC]

Theatre temple, stage of rectilinear form, i.e. similar to the one in the Theatre of Pompey in Rome from 55 B.C. (early phase).

Plan of theatre from Teatri Greci e Romani

Plan of theatre (source unknown)

Buildings to east of cavea on private grounds; hidden now (possibly destroyed?).  Latest information on these is Johannowsky. (Bulletino d'Arte 1972/3; Johannowsky: later article and diagram.)

Skene: 24 m high.
Cavea: 85 m wide

1.  2nd Century B.C.: opus incertum in sub-structure of cavea

2.  Augustan rebuild: opus reticolatum and quasi-reticolatum

3.  3rd century A.D.(Severan)
Columns now in church in Teano town (the church with cisterns below).


Severan Brickwork.


Colossal statue (near porta regia?)
Extensive foundations post-scaenam, but in process of being excavated, so no reliable dates / interpretations possible yet.

85 m wide.


5 stair-ways (klimakes)


6 kerkides
fragments of prohedria.

Original stairs exist: steps are brick reconstructions.
Severan balteus (tribunalium?)

Counter-radial ambulatorium under rear wall of cavea, including latrines.


Scaenae frons
One-third of scaenae frons is excavated.
24m high.

Marble very varied.

All sculptural decoration (capitals etc.) are Severan.  Very rich, large-scale and excellent quality.  Pentelic marble is used for most of the grand-scale and detailed work.


Two orders, including composite.  Granite (red and grey); Africano?; Alabaster
Unexcavated 'Fecit' at stage area
In fossa, 'post-holes' (marble)

For space between pulpitum façade and scaenae frons, see photos.
Deep rectilinear and semi-circular niches in pulpitum façade.
Visible rostra-like supports for wooden staging.
Regularly-spaced column-bases (Pentalic-like) every c. 1½ meters.

Extensive post-scaenam foundations, but in process of being excavated, so no reliable dates / interpretations possible yet.

Parodos / Orchestra
Strange marble rim:

Significance of Teano to TPP
Part free-standing
Some structure behind cavea; possibly a temple. (cf. Palestrina: possible foundations for terrace-system for a temple)
Counter-radial ambulatorium under rear wall of cavea.

Plan showing site of theatre (source?)

Notes from Teatri Greci e Romani.

Teanum Sidicinum
Regio I, Latinum and Campania

A. Ianiro.

Graeco-roman theatre in the first phase, Roman in the second.  Urban, linked to a temple built at the rear facing the same way.  Facing east.

Built in the late 2nd and early 1st century B.C., it was restructured in the 2nd century A.D.

The more than semicircular cavea rests on a slope, which is contained and made regular by substructure walls.  These walls form twenty-three barrel vaults built close to the terrace temple situated in the upper part.  When the theatre was reconstructed in the 2nd century, a new outer ambulatory was added.  The cavea is divided into two maeniana, which are split radially into six cunei.  The radial ambulatories and rooms interlinked by large arches provided access to each area of steps.  The horseshoe-shaped orchesta could be reached from the rectilinear parodoi.  The large scaena was rectilinear.  It had two orders with at least three doors and was preceded by a pulpitum.  The parodoi featured arched passageways facing the rooms at the sides of the scaena.

The structure is built in opus incertum.  The most ancient parts are in opus quasi reticulatum in grey tufa.  The restructured parts are in opus latericium.  The decoration was marble.

State of preservation
the visible structures are preserved to a considerable height, but only account for a third of the monument.

diameter of the cavea: 85 m.
height of the scaena: 24 m.

W. Johannowsky, Relazione preliminare afli scavi di Teano, in BA 1963, p.131 ff.
H. Lauter Die hellenisstischen Theater der Samniten und Latiner in ihere Beziehung sur Theaterarchitektur der Griechen in Hellenismus in Mittelitalien Göttingen 1974, p.413 ff.
F. Perego (ed) Memorabilia: Il futuro della memoria Roma 1987, p.437 ff.
K. Mitens 1988 p.172 ff.
B. Courtois 1989, p.231 ff.
C. A. Ianiro, Lunga storia di Teano, in "Archeo" 1990, num. 63, p. 124 ff.

Write to Johannowsky and ask reasoning for thinking it's a temple.



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