COORDINATES: 32º31.03.93’’N // 36º28’53.72’’ETIPOLOGY: Roman theatre. Urban.
DATE: First II A.D. (Severan).
TRANSFORMATIONS: The theatre was transformed in an Arab fortress.
CAPACITY: 8.000 spectators.
CAVEA: Facing north. 88 m. diameter. Maenianum: Ima cavea with 14 rows of seats in 5 cunei; Media cavea with 18 rows in seven cunei; Summa cavea with 6 rows in 10 cunei. the last row of seats in ima and media with stone back. Porticus in summa cavea preserved.
ORCHESTRA: 28 m. diameter, paved in stone.
STAGE BUILDING: Proscaenium with 5 curved and 6 rectangular niches. Pulpitum 45,1 x 6,2 m. Scaenae frons has three doors in curved niches. Columnatio with three storeys.
LOCATION: The roman theatre is the centre of modern Bosra, 130 klm. south of Damasco.
MY BEDSIDE TABLE: 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. // Segal, Arthur; “Theatres in Roman Palestine & provincia Arabia”. New York, E.J. Brill., 1995. // Burns, Ross; “Monuments of Syria”. London, I.B. Tauris, 1999.
OUT OF PRINT: Bosra ancient theatre is of the three roman theatres best preserved, with Aspendos in Turkey and Orange in France. I visited in winter, early in the morning, when I was wandering by the rows of seats, absorbed in such a magnificent monument, seating in media cavea, looking the scaenae frons –I do not see a scaenae frons every day-, when I went down to the real world I realized I was a prisoner, not for being in an ancient theatre that in Arab times was transformed in a fortress... I was a prisoner because I was surrounded by ice, all the stone seats and stairs were frozen, so I slipped two times; I went down to the orchestra descending the stairs with my ass, not very honourable in fact, but a sure way for descending without loosing the marvellous view of the scaenae frons. There are silence that sings, here in Bosra you can listen a slowly dumb song.