Ancient Theater in Turkey




Other names: ./.
Roman province: Caria
Location: Doğanyurt, Çine County, Province Aydın
Capacity: ca. 8.000 spectators
Dimensions: ø cavea: 82,3 m
ø orchestra: 28,5 m

The Roman-Hellenistic theatre from the 1st century A.D. is divided into three ranks. The upper tier originates from a later, extension phase. It does not form over the entire area of the cavea, as is usual in ancient theatre buildings. The diazoma was accessible from the outside via two vaults.
The stage house was widened by the upper tier in a second building, presumably in connection with the extension of the theatre, and closed towards analemnata. The stage floor was supported by two rows of granite columns. During the Roman Empire, a stone balustrade was placed on the lowest rows of seats, allowing gladiator fights and fights with animals.

The history of Alabanda:  

According to ancient mythology, the city was founded by the local Carian hero Alabandos. In the early days of the Seleucid period, Alabanda was part of the Chrysaor League, a loose association of Carian cities, including Alinda, Mylasa and Stratonikeia, which was mainly responsible for coordinating trade and defence.

Alabanda was renamed Antioch in honour of Antiochus III, who ensured peace for the city. In 201 BC the city was conquered by Philip V of Macedonia. After the Seleucids were defeated by the Romans under Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus in the battle of Magnesia at Sipylos in 190 B.C., Alabanda got back its old name.

Soon after, the Romans conquered the city. The commander Quintus Labienus took the town in 40 B.C. at the head of a Parthian troop. The Parthians confiscated all treasures and possessions. During the Roman Empire, according to Pliny, Alabanda was the seat of a conventus and Strabon mentions the high standard of living and decadence of the city's inhabitants.

Much of the once proud city has not been preserved. The ruins of the city include the theatre, a temple of Apollo Isotemos from the 2nd century BC. The city also has a bouleuterion (22 x 35 m) and an agora (112 x 72 m) that is only recognizable in its beginnings. Further some towers of the city wall and numerous graves are preserved in a large necropolis. Excavations revealed a few inscriptions.

Until around the middle of the 3rd century A.D. the city minted its own coins. In Byzantine times the town was given a bishop's seat, the occupation of which can be traced from sources for the years 451 to 879.


The stone balustrade, which was attached during the Roman Empire, made gladiator fights and fights with animals possible.

Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others