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DodoniSights: Ancient theatre of Dodoni

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Ancient theatre of Dodoni

The theatre of Dodoni is one of the largest and best preserved ancient Greek theatres. It has a capacity of 18000 viewers and used to be an integral part of the temple of Dodoni. It was built in the 3rd century BC by Pyrros, the king of Epirus, who wanted to restore the old temple and create an unforgettable monument. After the temple of Dodoni was destroyed by the Aetolians in 219 BC, the theatre as well as the other buildings of the temple was rebuilt. The theatre was preserved in that form until 167 BC when Macedonia and Epirus were occupied by the Romans. The sanctum was destroyed in 148 BC and again rebuilt in a different form. During the era of Augustus (1st century BC) the monument was turned into an arena. The first rows of seats were removed and a 2.80m wall was built to protect the crowd from the wild animals. The theatre was preserved in that form until the end of the 4th century AD, when it no longer had a use. The monument was originally excavated by the archaeologist K. Karapanos, from 1875 to 1878. Then, D. Evangelides and S. Dakaris researched the area (1929-1932) and continued the excavations after the 2nd World War, when they also restored the theatre.

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