SAMARIA / SEBASTE (Sebastiye), ancient Samaria / Palestine, modern Palestinian Territories.
COORDINATES: 32º16’37.40” N / 35º11’26.69” E
TIPOLOGY : Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: First III A.D.
CAPACITY: 3.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north.
65 m. diameter. Maenianum. Ima cavea: 14 rows of seat in 12 cunei; Summa cavea: nothing survives but some subestructure remains.
21 m. diameter. Paved with stone slabs.
STAGE BUILDING: There are some decorative remains. Stage building foundations under modern path. Proscaenium had seven curved niches and six rectangulars.
LOCATION: North-west of the ancient city, close to the walls, between sanctuary and forum. Samaria is 15 klm west of Nablus.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: “Teatri antichi nell’area del Mediterraneo”. Palermo, I Quaderni di Palazzo Montalbo, 2004. // Murphy-O’Connor; The Holy Land: An Oxford Archeological Guide from earliest times to
1700”. Oxford University Press, 2007. // 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.
OIT OF PRINT: In my days in Palestine I thought I would find some ancient theatre that long ago was the place for playing drama. I could imagine that old stones that long ago were sheltered by the words of Sophocles, even knowing that at the time that the roman theatres in Palestine were built the words of Sophocles had probably passed away. Maybe I belived I will find the drama outside the theatre, hanging on the wall of present Samaria.. it is the ignorance of a strange. Fact is always more real than fiction. Night fell down from theatre´s rows and I found a humble bar close to the theatre, full of villagers. The tv signal came and went, the tv program was “Ninja Warrior”, a japanese tv program in which people have to do very hard tests. I ate fallafel and salad and five old men did not remove their smiling eyes of me, smoking narguiles. A little boy smile me always than a “japanesse warrior” felt down on tv, failing any of the trails... that is a global world, a palestine boy and me watching “Ninja Warrior”... and tragedy was not in Samaria´s theatre that night... I did not know yet than in Japan, in that moment, all people were fighting against a disaster that was not funny. There were too much starts in the sky that night, and the rows of stones of the ancient theatre brought under the moon and I felt a little sick visiting an ancient theatre in the middle of a real endless drama, that meddle east land that is a real bloody tragedy... without Sophocles.