Theatrum Marcelli The Theater of Marcellus

The Theater of Marcellus was begun by Julius Caesar and was completed by Augustus Caesar around 13 BC. Augustus dedicated this building to his nephew, Marcus Claudius Marcellus.

This may have been what it looked like in 11 BC. The current background picture is a model of the reconstructed version.

This theater, like all of them in Ancient Rome, was used for plays and song.

It was the largest theater in Rome, with a capacity of around 15 to 20 thousand spectators. It was originally over 98 ft high, with a diameter of about 130 ft.

The theater used three architectural styles for the tiers: the doric order columns for the first (bottom) tier and ionic order for the second. It is believed that corinthian style columns were used for the third, but we cannot know for sure since that tier had been removed.



In the 11th and 12th centuries CE, the theater was used as a fortress by the Pierleone family. The fortified walls built around/on it actually helped preserved the building at the time.

The theater today

Alterations were made and apartments were added in the early 1700s by the Orsini family. This is the reason the theater now has only two of the original three tiers of arches.

The building today is still used as a residence. It has gone through so many changes that it is not even considered the Theater of Marcellus anymore, but rather the Palazzo Orsini.

Works Cited

"Theater of Marcellus." Rome Reborn. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Theatre of Marcellus." Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

"Theatrum Marcelli." LacusCurtius • The Theatre of Marcellus (Platner & Ashby, 1929). N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Page by William Wenstrand and Garin Jankowski

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