The Roman theater is one of the most important monuments in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, as it is a witness to the progress of arts and literature in Egypt during the period of Roman rule that lasted for several centuries.
The theater is located in the Kom El-Dikka area, where the pioneering musician Sayed Darwish was born, and it was erected at the beginning of the fourth century AD.
says Dr. Magda Saad El-Din, Professor of Fine Criticism at the Academy of Arts: The Roman Theater is a unique architectural masterpiece, and it is the first theater to be established in the Arab region, and it was built in a distinctive architectural style; The period during which it was built was famous for building theaters, as you can see in Athens, Greece, and in some Italian cities. In 1960, an archaeological mission discovered the theater to excavate the tomb of Alexander the Great.
At the time of its construction, the theater was used to present various artistic performances, especially since the city of Alexandria at the time was a global cultural center, due to the presence of its library, which included the most important international literature and frequented by leading scholars and philosophers of that time. The theater was used for theatrical and musical performances until the seventh century AD. It was also used in some eras to hold major conferences.
Dr. adds. Magda Saad El-Din: The Roman amphitheater is designed in the shape of a horseshoe, and it consists of 13 rows of marble terraces, numbered in Greek letters to organize the seating process. The first of these terraces from the bottom can accommodate about 600 people, and they are made of granite, and there are five booths on top of them, of which only two remain.
The stands rest on a thick wall of limestone, surrounded by another wall. The two walls are linked by a group of arches. There are also two halls made of “mosaic” decorated with distinct geometric motifs at the western entrance of the theatre. Dr. confirms. Soheir Hawass, Professor of Architecture at Cairo University, said that the Roman theater is the first artistic building erected in Egypt, and that it is unique in its architectural style, explaining that its discoverer was a Polish archaeological mission representing the Center for Mediterranean Antiquities and the Greco-Roman Museum, representing the Egyptian Antiquities Authority in the excavations. During the Roman era, the building had two arched entrances open in the outer wall, and next to each was a large room, each of which was used for waiting. The theater is known in international archaeological references as the Roman Amphitheater, especially with the discovery of classrooms next to it in 2004 that were likely used for lectures.
There are references that indicate that the theater was used at the beginning of its construction as a concert hall, and this was evident from the design of the building; The wind carries the sound and it hits the wall, creating echoes of the melodies and so on. As for the stones with which the theater stands were built, they are of solid pink granite, and numbered in Greek letters.
The Greek theater is characterized by a special architectural beauty, and it was taken into account to be used in all seasons of the year; Above were shrines roofed with domes mounted on columns, and the function of these domes was to protect those sitting below from the sun and rain, in addition to their important role in the good conduct of sounds. And between its rear walls there was a covered corridor used by the staff, like a backstage in a modern theatre; It witnesses the preparation of actors and musicians before and during the show.
Dr. points out. Hussein Abdel Basir, Director of Museums at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, pointed out that the Greek theater was the beginning of building similar theaters, at that time, in the Arab world, such as the one we see in the Jordanian cities of Jerash and Baalbek in Lebanon. The Egyptians reached it at that time; As Alexandria was the capital of Egypt in the Roman era and for several centuries, and a global cultural center, and the Greek theater was a meeting point for artists and musicians, not only in Egypt, but also from neighboring countries.
Archaeologically, the Roman theater is a rare value, as it is a witness to the development of architecture in the fourth century AD.