Ancient Greek Theatre
According to the ancient sources the birthplace of theatre was ancient Athens. Τhe word θέατρο (theatro) in greek derives from the ancient verb θεάομαι (theaomai) that means “observe with much interest”.
How can we define theatre? Is it just an interaction between two actors or something more complicated? In the modern world theatre is a field of experimentation that includes various artistic activities. However, was it like that in Ancient Greece and above all, can we locate the roots of the ancient theatre in the mist of time?
According to the ancient sources the birthplace of theatre was ancient Athens. Τhe word θέατρο (theatro) in greek derives from the ancient verb θεάομαι (theaomai) that means “observe with much interest”. The name of the man who invented the first theatrical lines and primary performance is unknown; it however happened on the foothills of Acropolis sometime in the 6th c. BCE in order to honor Dionysus, the god of joy, wine and wild parties and it was mostly songs and exchange of rhymes.
The decades that followed, the ancient theatre took its final form (with costly sceneries, dozens of actors and complicated mythological stories) and was spread all over the Greek world from the Iberian Peninsula to the Black Sea.
The 5th and 4th c. BCE was the period of prosperity for the ancient comedy, drama and satirical drama with many talented theatrical writers leaving their masterpieces to the next generations. Among the most well-known writers are Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes.
There are hundreds of ancient theatres in the Mediterranean basin as well as around the Black Sea and the Middle East with some of them still in use such as the theatre of Epidaurus and Delphi.