The Roman amphitheater of Alexandria | Facts | History

The Roman amphitheater of Alexandria is one of the top tourist attractions in Alexandria city and the only one of its kind found in Egypt. The theatre was said to be used both as an academic as well as a leisure space.

Where is the Roma amphitheater in Alexandria?

The Roman amphitheater (amphitheatre) is situated in Alexandria city center in Kom El Dekka, near the railway station.

When the Roman Amphitheater was built?

The Roman theater in Alexandria was built in the 4th century AC during the Greco-Roman era. It was a common feature of the Graeco-Roman period and these structures started in 80-70 B.C as the stone amphitheater is the one at Pompeii.

Who built the Roman Amphitheater?

It is not known for sure who built the Alexandria Theater but it was proven that it was built in the 4th century B.C during the Roman Era. It is a typical form of Roman theatre, consisting of a free-standing building similar to the stadiums. Normally, the amphitheater took an oval or round shape with a central area called Arena and the seats around it.

What direction should an amphitheater face?

The amphitheaters were designed and took a North-South orientation to reduce the sun’s heat on the audience and performers.

When the Roman amphitheatre of Alexandria was found?

The Roman amphitheater of Alexandria was founded accidentally in 1960 When the Egyptian government decided to build a governmental building in the area. When they started to move the dust and sand, workers found iron columns and other staff indicating that something may be buried underneath. Afterward, the Polish Excavation Mission in Egypt started their work. Shortly afterward, they revealed one of the most important discoveries in Egypt in the 20th century, The Roman Amphitheatre.

What was the purpose behind the building of the amphitheater?

The Roman amphitheatre was used in general both as an academic as well as a leisure space. In that sense, it is suggested that the Roman amphitheater was used as a venue for musical performances and concerts. Moreover, according to the new discoveries and the Polish team, the complex of halls represents the remains of one of the academic institutions for which Alexandria was renowned in antiquity. Meanwhile, the theatre serves the needs of larger groups of students. Finally, the theater was probably used as a hall in which politicians could meet and discuss the policies and practices of the state.

What is the design of the Roam amphitheater in Alexandria?

  1. General talk, the Roman amphitheaters were oval or semi-circulars in the plan with seats surrounding the central performance area. Amphitheaters were roofed theatres or at least the performance area, that were built to host music ceremonies and poet competitions during the reign of the Romans in Egypt.
  2. The audience area is 33 meters in diameter and consists of 16 rows but today reduced to 13 rows.
  3. The semi-circles benches are made of European white marble with the uppermost part being a portico made out of granite columns that were brought from Aswan.
  4. The thirteen rows of the Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria were numbered with Roman digits and letters to arrange the seating of the audience on different occasions.
  5. At the uppermost part, there were five-domed places for the wealthy people, rich, and important ones to protect them from sun or rain
  6. In the middle of the amphitheater, there is a place for the orchestra where the musical performances used to take place.