Progress of Works

Geophysical surveys
Excavations
Restoration Studies
Expropriations
Restoration Works
€346.00IN DONATIONS

PASIPS - Preschool 'The Magic Flute', Agrinio: €246.00

Diazoma Association: €100.00

Quick Navigation

Theater of Stratos

Description
Multimedia
Scientific Bulletin
Donations
Theater News

The theater is located in Agrinio Municipality (old village of Sorovigli), Aetoloacarnania Prefecture. The excavation of the visible foundations of the stage building has revealed three building phases, dated to the 4th, 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively.
PHASE Ι: In the 4th c. BC a simple single-storey building was constructed, opening onto the orchestra, which is in the form of a stoa. The building is rectangular in plan and measures 18 m. x 9 m. The entrance was in the south wall. The roof was gabled and supported by six internal columns, of which the two endmost adjoined the east and west side walls of the building. Set in the open façade were five pillars, forming six openings between the outer walls, in which large paintings were placed as scenic backdrops to the performances. In this phase the stage was on the same level as the orchestra.

PHASE ΙΙ: In the 3rd c. BC the stage building became two-storey and the action on stage, apart from the orchestra, probably unfolded on the upper storey as well. The ground-floor façade opening onto the orchestra was blocked, and the roof was now supported by a new colonnade of pillars, in front of which performances were held. Large paintings were placed in the openings of the pillar colonnade, as with the corresponding openings of the original façade. The inner colonnade was replaced by a wall and two rectangular spaces were formed, with a corridor between them. In this phase, as in Phase I, performances were held in the orchestra due to the small size of the stage. The columns of the façade were replaced by five octagonal pillars for the better roofing of the upper storey.

PHASE ΙΙΙ: In the 2nd c. BC two ramps were constructed, leading from the east and west parodoi of the theater to the performance area, i.e. the proscenium (logeion) on the upper storey, while the stage building also acquired parascenia. At the same time, the façade of the old ground-floor stage was restructured with 12 Doric semi-columns. During this phase, theatrical performances were held exclusively on the upper storey, while the whole stage building was almost touching the orchestra. To this phase are also dated the seats of honour (proedriae) set on the floor of the orchestra, and the large rectangular base of a votive altar between the orchestra and the west parodos.

The Theater of Stratos is the largest of the five uncovered in Aetoloacarnania Prefecture to date. It is not in a very good state of preservation. Of the parts which have come to light, the best-preserved are the cunei with their seats in the northeast section of the cavea, the lowest rows of seats in the north cunei, the first row of seats of honour, known as “proedriae”, the orchestra and the drainage duct. Of the stage building, the proscenium and the parascenium only the foundations remain.

The theater is mostly built of grey-green local sandstone (cavea, stage), while the lower sections of the cavea, the base of the orchestra surround and the drainage duct are made of white limestone from Lepenou. The cavea is divided into 11 cunei by 12 staircases, while there is no passageway. At least 33 rows of seats are preserved. The capacity of the theatre is estimated at approximately 6,000 spectators. The upper seats of the cavea are of local grey-green sandstone, while the lower sections are of white limestone from Lepenou. In the first row of seats are preserved 11 “seats of honour” (proedriae), one to each cuneus. These are made of single limestone blocks. The passageway between the proedriae and the orchestra, paved with slabs of white limestone from Lepenou, is also partially preserved.

The orchestra is approximately 15.50 m. in diameter. It has a surround of white limestone 0.30 m. wide. The drainage duct running around the north half of the orchestra is also preserved in good condition, with cover slabs approximately every 2 m. Just before the east parodos it sinks underground and continues in a north-south direction under the stage and the proscenium. On the floor of the orchestra, in the east and north sections, were found fragments of the backs of two further seats of honour, while there may have been a third in the west section. These white limestone “proediae” belong to the last phase of use of the theater, dated to the 2nd c. BC. To the same phase belongs the large rectangular base of a votive altar between the orchestra and the west parodos.

The excavation of the visible foundations of the stage building has revealed three building phases, dated to the 4th, 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively. Due to the building material used, all the structural and functional elements of the theatre are in need of immediate consolidation and reconstruction work.

The ancient theater of Stratos is built on a low hillside overlooking the River Acheloos and its valley. It is set within the fortification walls of the ancient city, east of the wall and very close to the agora. The site of the theater was first identified by W. M. Leake in 1805, while L. Heuzey positioned it correctly on the topographical map of the ancient city in 1856. It was not included in the general topographical map of the city in the publication of the work of the École Française d’Athènes in 1892, as it was not visible. The site of the theater was identified once more by F. Noack, four years later. The modern excavations were carried out from 1990 to 1996 under the direction of Dr Lazaros Kolonas, Honorary General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, with the participation of Dr Ε.-L. Schwandner, as the representative of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut of Berlin.

The only use permitted today is the simple visit.

L. Kolonas
Archaeologist

The Ancient Theatres of Aetoloacarnania

Published 4 December, 2012.

Presentation: Demosthenis Kavayas and Eva Poulopoulou.

Nikos Hourmouziadis, Lazaros Kolonas, Maria Gatsi, Apostolos Vettas, Grigoris Diamantopoulos, Georgios Stamatis.

Monument Name

Theatre of Stratos

Category

Theatre

Brief Description

The Theatre of Stratos, in Agrinio Municipality (old village of Sorovigli), Aetoloacarnania Prefecture, is the largest of the five theatres uncovered in the prefecture to date. The excavation of the visible foundations of the stage building has revealed three building phases, dated to the 4th, 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively.

Documentation - Bibliography
  1. W. M. Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, vol. 4, London 1835.
  2. L. Heuzey, Le mont Olympe et l’Acarnanie, Paris 1860.
  3. Λ. Κολώνας, Στράτος, ΑΔ 45 (1990), 140 – Λ. Κολώνας, Στράτος, ΑΔ 46 (1991), 163.
  4. Λ. Κολώνας, Στράτος, ΑΔ 47 (1992), 147.
  5. Ε.-L. Schwandner, AA 1992, pp. 669-670.
  6. Ε.-L. Schwandner, AA 1993, pp. 678 – Λ. Κολώνας, Στράτος, ΑΔ 49 (1994), 242.
  7. Ε.-L. Schwandner, AA 1994, pp. 678.
  8. Ε.-L. Schwandner, STRATOS AM ACHELOOS, η πόλις φάντασμα;, Φηγός, Ιωάννινα 1994, 459-465.
  9. Λ. Κολώνας, Στράτος, ΑΔ 50 (1995), 240.
  10. Ε.-L. Schwandner, AA 1995, pp. 783 – Λ. Κολώνας, Στράτος, ΑΔ 51 (1996), 241.
  11. Ε.-L. Schwandner, Akarnanien, die unbekannte Landschaft Griechenlands. Feldforschungen in Stratos und Palairos, Νürnberger Blätter zur Archäologie, Heft 17, 2000/2001, pp. 8-22.
  12. Ε.-L. Schwandner, Die Ausgrabung in der antiken Stadt Stratos (Aitoloakarnania) und der Survey des Staatsgebietes “Stratike”, Πρακτικά Α΄ Αρχαιολογικής Συνόδου Νότιας και Δυτικής Ελλάδος, Πάτρα 9-12 Ιουνίου 1996, Athens 2006, 531-540.
Location

Municipal Department of Stratos, Agrinio Municipality, Valtos Province, Aetoloacarnania Prefecture (old village of Sorovigli).

Dating

The excavation of the visible foundations of the stage building has revealed three building phases, dated to the 4th, 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively. PHASE Ι: In the 4th c. BC a simple single-storey building was constructed, opening onto the orchestra, which is in the form of a stoa. The building is rectangular in plan and measures 18 m. x 9 m. The entrance was in the south wall. The roof was gabled and supported by six internal columns, of which the two endmost adjoined the east and west side walls of the building. Set in the open façade were five pillars, forming six openings between the outer walls, in which large paintings were placed as scenic backdrops to the performances. In this phase the stage was on the same level as the orchestra.

PHASE ΙΙ: In the 3rd c. BC the stage building became two-storey and the action on stage, apart from the orchestra, probably unfolded on the upper storey as well. The ground-floor façade opening onto the orchestra was blocked, and the roof was now supported by a new colonnade of pillars, in front of which performances were held. Large paintings were placed in the openings of the pillar colonnade, as with the corresponding openings of the original façade. The inner colonnade was replaced by a wall and two rectangular spaces were formed, with a corridor between them. In this phase, as in Phase I, performances were held in the orchestra due to the small size of the stage. The columns of the façade were replaced by five octagonal pillars for the better roofing of the upper storey.

PHASE ΙΙΙ: In the 2nd c. BC two ramps were constructed, leading from the east and west parodoi of the theatre to the performance area, i.e. the proscenium (logeion) on the upper storey, while the stage building also acquired parascenia. At the same time, the façade of the old ground-floor stage was restructured with 12 Doric semi-columns. During this phase, theatrical performances were held exclusively on the upper storey, while the whole stage building was almost touching the orchestra. To this phase are also dated the seats of honour (proedriae) set on the floor of the orchestra, and the large rectangular base of the votive altar between the orchestra and the west parodos.

General Description of Monument

The Theatre of Stratos is the largest of the five uncovered in Aetoloacarnania Prefecture to date. It is not in a very good state of preservation. Of the parts which have come to light, the best-preserved are the cunei with their seats in the northeast section of the cavea, the lowest rows of seats in the north cunei, the first row of seats of honour, known as “proedriae”, the orchestra and the drainage duct. Of the stage building, the proscenium and the parascenium only the foundations remain. The construction of the theatre is dated to the 4th c. BC. Restructuring and repairs, mainly to the stage building, were undertaken in the 3rd and 2nd c. BC. The theatre is mostly built of grey-green local sandstone (cavea, stage), while the lower sections of the cavea, the base of the orchestra surround and the drainage duct are made of white limestone from Lepenou. Cavea: The cavea is divided into 11 cunei by 12 staircases, while there is no passageway. At least 33 rows of seats are preserved. The capacity of the theatre is estimated at approximately 6,000 spectators. The upper seats of the cavea are of local grey-green sandstone, while the lower sections are of white limestone from Lepenou. In the first row of seats are preserved 11 “seats of honour” (proedriae), one to each cuneus. These are made of single limestone blocks. The passageway between the proedriae and the orchestra, paved with slabs of white limestone from Lepenou, is also partially preserved. Orchestra: The orchestra is approximately 15.50 m. in diameter. It has a surround of white limestone 0.30 m. wide. The drainage duct running around the north half of the orchestra is also preserved in good condition, with cover slabs approximately every 2 m. Just before the east parodos it sinks underground and continues in a north-south direction under the stage and the proscenium. On the floor of the orchestra, in the east and north sections, were found fragments of the backs of two further seats of honour, while there may have been a third in the west section. These white limestone “proediae” belong to the last phase of use of the theatre, dated to the 2nd c. BC. To the same phase belongs the large rectangular base of a votive altar between the orchestra and the west parodos. Stage building: The excavation of the visible foundations of the stage building has revealed three building phases, dated to the 4th, 3rd and 2nd centuries BC respectively.

Current Situation

Due to the building material used, all the structural and functional elements of the theatre are in need of immediate consolidation and reconstruction work.

Excavations - Interventions

The ancient theatre of Stratos is built on a low hillside overlooking the River Acheloos and its valley. It is set within the fortification walls of the ancient city, east of the wall and very close to the agora. The site of the theatre was first identified by W. M. Leake in 1805, while L. Heuzey positioned it correctly on the topographical map of the ancient city in 1856. It was not included in the general topographical map of the city in the publication of the work of the École Française d’Athènes in 1892, as it was not visible. The site of the theatre was identified once more by F. Noack, four years later. The modern excavations were carried out from 1990 to 1996 under the direction of Dr Lazaros Kolonas, Honorary General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, with the participation of Dr Ε.-L. Schwandner, as the representative of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut of Berlin.

Permitted Uses

Simple visit

History of Modern Uses

Further Information

The monument belongs to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and the archaeological service responsible for Aetoloacarnania Prefecture (36th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Messolonghi), while the publication rights are held in common by Dr E.-L. Schwandner, as the representative of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, and Dr L. Kolonas, Honorary General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture

Intellectual Rights

Jurisdiction

The monument belongs to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and the archaeological service responsible for Aetoloacarnania Prefecture (36th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of Messolonghi).

Latitude

38.671736°

Longitude

21.31949°

NameDateAmount (€)
PASIPS - Preschool 'The Magic Flute', Agrinio246.00
Diazoma Association100.00
Total
€346.00
Balance
€346.00
DescriptionBudgetTargetRemarks
Additional works10.000.0010.000.00

Municipality of Agrinio provided a sponsorship of 80000 € through a Programmatic Agreement for the research and restoration of the ancient theatre.

Theater Sponsors