Aphrodisias Theater



The Theater of the Aphrodisias city was built in the second half of the first century B.C on the eastern slope of the Acropolis. According to its inscription it was dedicated to Aphrodite and the people of the city by Julius Zoilos, a former slave of Octavian. The seating capacity was 8,000. The stage building consisted of six vaulted dressing or storage rooms out of which four opened into the corridor behind the proskene. 

The stage building wall had Greek inscriptions of important documents related to the history of the city such as letters of emperors to the city or senatorial decrees. The orchestra and the stage building were restored in the 2C AD in order to make the building more suitable for animal or gladiatorial fights. The theater was seriously damaged in the 7C, and the Byzantines built houses on top of the cavea and converted the hill into a fortress by circling it with walls and towers.

Although several tiers of its upper seats were visible there were cottages of the village. The excavations of the theatre started in 1966 with the help of the National Geographic Society. Till our present day’s form, the theatre had a number of repairs and changes. The stage building was obviously damaged in the fourth century.