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Roman Stadium of Nicopolis

Description
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The stadium has an ellipsoid shape, oriented from East to West, with a total length of 247 m. and a width of 59 m. Its main feature is its enclosed form, as well as the fact that its two long sides to the east and west, respectively, are coming to close like slings. On the west side there is the main entrance with the form of three arched corridors, while table-shaped spaces are located at the two sides of the entrance. Another entrance to the eastern sling allowed access to the arena and to the neighboring Theater.

Two elongated retaining walls in the north and south hold the slopes of the long sides from the outside and define the cavea with the stands, which were contructed in built-up stair-like levels. Perpendicular to the external side, arched openings were leading to auxiliary vaulted rooms, with entrance from the outer sides of the monument.

The cavea had stone seats, which were probably removed during the Early Christian period. The exact time of placement of the seats can not be precisely determined, as it is quite possible that in the first years of the theater’s operation the slopes were od natural earth and the seats were added in a later building phase of the monument.

Name of monument

Roman Stadium of Nicopolis

Category

Stadium

Brief description

The Stadium of Nicopolis is located in the “Proastio” (Strabo), a sacred site/temple in the northern part of Nicopolis outside the Roman walls, in an area between the Gymnasium and the city’s Theater.

Images - plans

Designs and topographic mapping of the Roman Stadium’s floor plan. Sufficient photographic documentation (33rd EPCA archives).

Documentation - Bibliography
  1. Leake W. M., Travels in northern Greece, I-IV, London (1835)
  2. Papadimitriou Ι., 1940 (excavation at the Stadium’s western entrance)
  3. Andreou Ι., The work of the 12th Ephorate of Antiquities in Nicopolis, Nicopolis A. Minutes of Congress (1987), p. 145-152
  4. Konstantaki Α., Skandali Μ. & Synessiou Ε., Nicopolis – Two Walks, Preveza (2000)
  5. Chrysostomou P. Kefallonitou F., Nicopolis, Athens (2001)
  6. Irmscher J., Nicopolis in the writings of foreign travelers in the years of Turkish occupation, Epirotic Common 1 (2005), p. 33-58
  7. Zachos Κ., Kalpakis D., Kappa Ch., Kyrkou Th., Nicopolis. Revealing the city of Augustus’s victory, Athens (2008)
Location

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

Dating

The Studium was built in the first years of the reign of Augustus and is propably related to athletic competitions taking place in the context of the New Aktia Festival.

General description of Monument

The stadium has an ellipsoid shape, oriented from East to West, with a total length of 247 m. and a width of 59 m. Its main feature is its enclosed form, as well as the fact that its two long sides to the east and west, respectively, are coming to close like slings. On the west side there is the main entrance with the form of three arched corridors, while table-shaped spaces are located at the two sides of the entrance. Another entrance to the eastern sling allowed access to the arena and to the neighboring Theater.

Two elongated retaining walls in the north and south hold the slopes of the long sides from the outside and define the cavea with the stands, which were contructed in built-up stair-like levels. Perpendicular to the external side, arched openings were leading to auxiliary vaulted rooms, with entrance from the outer sides of the monument.

The cavea had stone seats, which were probably removed during the Early Christian period. The exact time of placement of the seats can not be precisely determined, as it is quite possible that in the first years of the theater’s operation the slopes were od natural earth and the seats were added in a later building phase of the monument.

Current situation

The monument is preserved today in a very good condition.

Excavations - Interventions

Apart from small interventions for the support of various parts,  there have been no large-scale retaining or restoration works in the monument.

Permitted uses

The monument can be easily visited and its good condition allows it to host various events.

History of modern uses

In recent years the monument has been associated with the celebrations for the Full Moon of August and the relevant events organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In addition, the Roman Stadium has been occasionaly hosting concerts and theater performances in the summer months.

Copyrights

Ministry of Culture and Tourism / 33rd EPCA

Jurisdiction

Ministry of Culture and Tourism / 33rd EPCA

Latitude

39.14513487976496

Longitude

20.676468014717102

Altitude

13.5 m.