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History of the Theater


The Theater in Antiquity - I

The Theater in Antiquity - II

The Theater in the Middle Ages

The Theater in the Early Modern Era

The Theater in the Modern Era

The Theater in the Modern Era

By Kristin Triff

Proposed view of Pompey’s Theater looking north from Via de’ Giubbonari (A. Canevari, 1937)

Palazzo Orsini-Pio was acquired by the banker Pietro Righetti in 1851 and partially restored by Lugi Gabet in 1860.  In 1864, excavations n the northern courtyard near Piazza Biscione yielded a massive bronze statue of Hercules (the so-called “Righetti Hercules”) now in the Vatican museums.  The building was bought by the Istituto Tata Giovanni, its current owner, in 1887.  Documentation of the Theater from this period indicates that by 1919, new construction had filled much of the large interior courtyard.  During the 1930s, several large-scale excavation and urban clearing projects were proposed for the Theater and its environs, which would have entailed the complete destruction of all post-antique construction at this site.  Currently, excavations are underway on the building’s ambulacrum in the area of the foundation of the Temple of Venus Victrix.

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