Ancient Theater in Turkey




Other names: Ilion, Troia
Roman province: Mysia
Location: Tevfikiye, Çanakkale county, Province Çanakkale.
Capacity: ca. 1.000 spectators
Dimensions: ø cavea: unknown
ø orchestra: 10 m

Considering the age and the total of 9 layers of Troy's settlement, the Roman epoch in which the theatre was built almost falls into insignificance. Archaeologists seem to disagree whether it is a small theatre or an Odeon, a mostly covered building used for performances and competitions in singing and instrumental music as well as recitation lectures and council meetings.

The theatre (or odeon) was built at the beginning of the 2nd century AD. The architect deviated from the usual construction method. Emperor Hadrian visited the city in 124 AD and ordered considerable reconstruction and decoration work.
The Odeon had a skené of very limited depth, even including the ädikulä. The foundations show how limited the depth of the whole building was. The foundation also shows an irregular distance between the roof-bearing columns mirrored around the centre. The cavea was divided into 5 kerkides. Over 2 stairs one reached the upper gallery. 7 rows of seats outlasted the times.

One entered the Odeon through entrances left and right of the skené and entered after passing a small anteroom the auditorium. Translated with

The history of Troja:  

The Greek poet Homer (8th century BC) is considered the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The Iliad describes the Trojan War over the city of Ilios (Troy is the landscape around the actual city). The question whether a war between Greeks and Ilios (Troy) actually took place cannot yet be answered conclusively. The question of such a war must be separated from the question of whether the city of Ilios (Troy) existed. Homer is regarded as the founder of Western literature, his enormous verses have already enjoyed great popularity in antiquity, and even today the question of real Troy attracts much interest.

In the time of the Greek antiquity there was a real city Ilion. At that time it was equated with the famous Troja Homers. Since the tradition is aborted, the location of this Troy was also forgotten. Since the 18th century it is assumed that Troja Homers is located on the hill Hisarlık.

In the 19th century, the German Heinrich Schliemann dug there on a grand scale. Since then, settlements have been found which have developed over a long period of time: from the 5th millennium BC to the 5th century AD. The Hittite Empire, which collapsed in the early 12th century BC, was located in the middle of today's Turkey, i.e. around the time when the Troy described by Homer was located.

In Hittite sources a town called Wilusa is mentioned several times from about 1400 to 1200 BC. There are indications that this city may be identical to the one on Hisarlık. In any case, after evaluation of a Hittite state treaty found in the 1980s, Wilusa was probably located in north-western Anatolia, in the area of the Troas. Concerns were expressed against this localization of Wilusa and an equation with Ilion, however and also after evaluation of the state treaty and other sources, a localization of Wilusa in completely different places was advocated. It is the prevailing opinion, which is also taught to a lesser extent in ancient studies, that Troja Homers is identical with a settlement layer on the hill Hisarlık.

However, the hill consists of many settlement strata dating back at least 3500 years. Which layer corresponds to the Troja described by Homer has not yet been clarified. Also the question whether there was a Trojan war between Greeks and Trojans is still controversial. Another point of contention in the Troy debate around 2001/2002 was how large the site around Hisarlık was.

During excavations away from the castle hill, Manfred Korfmann had discovered a lower town that was considerably larger than the hill that had been most frequently explored before. These discoveries and their interpretation play an important role in the question of whether the settlements of Hisarlık actually had a supra-regional significance (like Troja Homers). Especially the ancient historian Frank Kolb is of the opinion that the settlements of Hisarlık were rather insignificant, which argues against equating Troy and Hisarlık.

Photos: @chim    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others