SABRATHA (Sabratha), ancient Tripolitania / Africa Proconsularis, modern Libya.
COORDINATES: 32º48’19.50” N // 12º29’06.77” E
TIPOLOGY : Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: Last II –First III A.D.
CAPACITY: 6.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north.
92,6 m. diameter. Built on level ground, but rested on a plataform rock. Maenianum: Ima cavea with 11 rows of seats in 6 cunei; Media cavea with 6 rows and 7 cunei; Summa cavea with 15 rows in 8 cunei (the extreme ones small).
25 m. diameter (including balteus and four steps for bisellia. Paved on whit marble.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium niches (3 curved and 4 rectangular) has a marvellous and very well preserved relief sculptures (Muses, Satyrs, Graces and Judgment of Paris are the motifs. Scaenae frons, like other theatre parts have been restored, the corinthian columnatio has three storeys (
21 m. high)
LOCATION: Sabratha is 65 klm. west of Tripoli.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: Caputo, Giacomo; “Il teatro di Sabratha”. Roma, l’Erma di Bretschneider, 1959. // Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006. // Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); “Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato”. Rome: SEAT, 1995. // Bieber, Margarete. “The History of The Greek and Roman Theatre”. Princeton University Press, 1961. // Di Vita, Antonio; Di Vita-Evrard, Ginette; Bacchielli, Lidiano; “Libia antigua”. Barcelona, Könemann, 1999. // Dal Bosco, Oriana; Grassi, Maria Teresa; “Mediterranean and Roman Libya”. Firenze, Polaris, 2005. // Haynes, D.E.L.; “The antiquities of Tripolitania”. London, Darf.
OUT OF PRINT: What to say about these ancient theatre... I spent some hours, fascinated with its remains. I sat down in the inma cavea and wait for a long time for the actors; I called them, encouraging them to start, like children do when they want the play start... some hours passed... and nobody acted these day, only the echo of the wind, mimicking the sound of the seashell... only the shadows projected of some clouds clueless, lonely, like me that day in the wilds of ancient Libya, that evening in which the only act was the acting of the shadows.