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ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

Seating arrangements of a roman theatre?

Asked by ilvorangeiceblocks (831 points ) March 28th, 2011

I know that in the colosseum, the seats were divided by class and gender and whatnot, but was this the same with the roman theatres? Looking at seating plans and photos, they seem very first in first served. Was the seating structure actually like that or was it divided up in a similar way to the colosseum?

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2 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I found this description concerning the Roman theater of Orange in the Rhone valley:

“The Roman theatre at Orange was built according to traditional theatre design : tiered seats, an orchestra, stage and stage wall. The tiered seats arranged in a semi-circle, known as a “cavea”, were carved out of the side of the Saint-Eutrope hill and can accommodate up to 10,000 spectators.
The audience occupied particular areas of seating in strict accordance with their rank and status. At the front and nearer the stage, were important people in both civic and military life. At the back and further away, were people from humbler backgrounds. The social hierarchy of the city was therefore perfectly reflected here in the theatre.” (source)

ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

@thorninmud thank you! that’s fantastic!

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