Progress of Works

Geophysical surveys
Excavations
Restoration Studies
Expropriations
Restoration Works
€24,218.60IN DONATIONS

Stavros Niarchos Foundation: €23,072.00

Depositors of 100€ A. Doussias, D.Liaskos, G.Mitsios, N.Yiannoulis, St.Tsolakides: €500.00

Christodoulos Zacharis: €38.00

Diazoma Association: €608.60

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Ancient Theater of Nicopolis

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The Roman Theater of Nicopolis is characterized by the unique blend of elements of Greek and Roman architecture. The theater’s cavea stretches both on the natural slope of the hill, according to Greek standards, as well as on stone-built infrastructure, according to the Roman retaining system. Three successive semi-circular vaulted galleries of increasing height from the inside to the outside were constructed to position the upper part of the cavea. The outside gallery was inaccessible, while the two internal ones were also used as walkways of visitors. Arounbd the cave from the outside – for the monument’s best protection – a tall curved wall was built, which was periodically reinforced with struts to resist the compression of the construction. At the ends and in the middle of that wall were three entrances to the cavea. In the upper part of the cavea, a perimetric gallery with openings and niches was formed.

The orchestra, like the hollow, had the shape of a regular semicircle. On the façade of the two-storey stage building there were three apse-shaped entrances.

Name of monument

Roman Theater of Nicopolis

Category

Theater

Brief description

The Theater of Nicopolis is located in “Proasteio” (Strabo),  a holy pilgrimage area at the northern part of Nicopolis, outside the city’s Roman walls

Images - plans

Floor plans of the Roman Theater have been designed by traveler T. L. Donaldson. There is suffiient photographic documentation (33rd EPCA archives).

Documentation - Bibliography
  1. Hobhouse J.C., A journey through Albania and other provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia, to Constantinople, during the years 1809 and 1810, I – II, 2nd ed. London (1813)
  2. Holland H., Travels in the Ionian Isles, Albania, Thessaly, Macedonia etc. during the years 1812 and 1813, London (1815)
  3. Pouqueville F.C.H.L., Voyage de la Grece, I-II, Paris (1826)
  4. Hughes T.S., Travels in Greece and Albania, I-II, 2nd ed., London (1830)
  5. Leake W. M., Travels in northern Greece, I-IV, London (1835)
  6. Filadelfeus Α., Nicopolis. Brief history and description of the excavations (1913-1927), the monuments and the ruins, with many images of the famed mosaics of the Basilica of Doumetio etc., Athens (1928)
  7. Ministry of Religious Affairs & National Education, Directorate of Antiquities & Hisotrical Monuments, Damages of the antiquities from war and by the occupation forces, Athens (1946)
  8. Sarikakis Th., The Aktia Games of Nicopolis, ΑΕ 1965 p. 145-162
  9. Leake W.M., Η Ήπειρος 1805-1810. Fromt he diary of the English traveler William Leake, tranlated by G. Stathis, Athens (1976)
  10. Andreou Ι., Prefecture of Preveza, Nicopolis. Retaining works, AD 37 (1982), Chronicles Β2, p. 266-267
  11. Andreou Ι., Prefecture of Preveza, Nicopolis. Retaining works, AD 39, Chronicles Β2, σελ. 189
  12. Andreou Ι., The work of the 12th Ephorate of Antiquities of Nicopolis, Nicopolis Α. Conference minutes (1987), p. 145-152
  13. Vokotopoulos Ι., Excavations and retaining works in Nicopolis during 1967-1977, Nicopolis Α΄. Conference minutes (1987), p. 135-144
  14. Isler H. P., Grecia: Smirtula, Nicopoli. Nicopolis, Epirus, in: P. Ciancio Rossetto & G. Pisani Sartorio (Eds.), Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato, 2 Roma (1994) pag. 294
  15. Zachos Κ. & Georgiou Α., Prefecture of Preveza – Nicopolis: Research program “Cleopatra: Theater – Northern Necropolis – Western Gate Area, AD 52 (1997), Chronicles Β2, p. 579-592
  16. Konbstantakis Α., Skandali Μ. & Synesiou Ε., Nicopolis – Two Strolls, Preveza (2000)
  17. Chrysostomou Π. & Kefalonitou F., Nicopolis, Athens (2001)
  18. Irmscher J., Nicopolis as described by foreign travelers in the years of Turkish occupation, Epirus Common 1 (2005), p. 33-58
  19. Kontogiannis Th., The Theater of Nicopolis, Nicopolis Β΄. Conference minutes (2007), p. 361-370
  20.  Zachos Κ., Kalpakis D., Kappa Χ., Kyrkou Th.,     Nicopolis. Revealing the city of Augustus’s victory, Athens (2008)
Location

Nicopolis Settlement (Smyrtoula), City of Preveza, Prefecture of Preveza.

Dating

The theater was built in the early 1st century AD, along with other public buildings in the city. According to the scholars, in the 2nd century BC it probably underwent extensive repairs and reconstruction works.

General description of Monument

The Roman Theater of Nicopolis is characterized by the unique blend of elements of Greek and Roman architecture. The theater’s cavea stretches both on the natural slope of the hill, according to Greek standards, as well as on stone-built infrastructure, according to the Roman retaining system. Three successive semi-circular vaulted galleries of increasing height from the inside to the outside were constructed to position the upper part of the cavea. The outside gallery was inaccessible, while the two internal ones were also used as walkways of visitors. Arounbd the cave from the outside – for the monument’s best protection – a tall curved wall was built, which was periodically reinforced with struts to resist the compression of the construction. At the ends and in the middle of that wall were three entrances to the cavea. In the upper part of the cavea, a perimetric gallery with openings and niches was formed.

The orchestra, like the hollow, had the shape of a regular semicircle. On the façade of the two-storey stage building there were three apse-shaped entrances.

Current situation

Natural and anthropogenic factors have contributed to the gradual deterioration of the monument. Strong cracks are observed on the wall outside the theater’s cavea as well as on the façade, for which immediate protection measures should be taken.

Excavations - Interventions

Up to now – except a small section on the theater’s stage in 1960, as well as small-scale retaining works in the superstructure of the monument that took place in the following decades by 12 th EPCA, the competent then authority for the Prefecture of Preveza – no such work has been carried out on a larger scale. Moreover, the fragmentary state of conservation of the cavea’s seats does not allow us to draw safe conclusions about their shape and number. In the near future, excavations, combined with extensive restoration work, will probably give us more insight into the monument itself and its period of use in general.

Permitted uses

His current state of preservation does not allow the direct use of the Roman Theater. In the future, excavations, combined with extensive restoration work, will probably improve the state of the monument. At this time, only simple visits are allowed, subject to conditions, while for musical events and theatrical performances the space in front of the monument could be used.

History of modern uses

For the time being, the existing state of preservation of the Roman theater allows only simple visits to the monument, subject to conditions.

Copyrights

Ministry of Culture & Tourism /  33rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

Jurisdiction

Ministry of Culture & Tourism /  33rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

Latitude

39.023435°

Longitude

20.737274°

Altitude

23 m.

NameDateAmount (€)
Stavros Niarchos Foundation23.072.00
Depositors of 100€ A. Doussias, D.Liaskos, G.Mitsios, N.Yiannoulis, St.Tsolakides500.00
Christodoulos Zacharis38.00
Diazoma Association608.60
Total
€24.218.60
Balance
€24.218.60