Theater of Beneventum                                        [Note information reference at bottom of page]

One of the most prominent structures of Beneventum was its theater.  Erected in the beginning of the second century A.D. by Hadrian and later expanded by Caracalla a century later, it is located in the eastern part of the city and was probably built on the site of an earlier structure.  The structure is 93 meters in diameter and probably sat about 10,000 people at the time of its construction on three different levels, called cavea.  The ima cavea, media cavea, and samma cavea, in increasing height, were supported by radial barrel vaults and divided into wedges by staircases.  Passageways located around the edges of each cavea were supported by cross vaults.  Unfortunately, the samma cavea, has been lost over the years, possibly due to an earthquake, leaving the bottom two caveas.  This brings the height done to about 16.7 meters high.  Research by archaeologists has allowed for reconstruction, referencing other Roman theaters to complete the missing pieces.  Currently, the facility is used for theatrical, dance, and opera spectacles.

  -Diagram of cross vault used to support                           -Diagram of radial barrel vaults used to support              passageways around perimeter.[i]                                      caveas.  [ii]

   -Diagram of the theater in current state.   [iii]                   -Top view of how the theater would have looked. [iv]

  -Diagram of the caveas in current state.   [v]                       -Diagram of how the caveas would have looked [vi]

   -Front view of how the theater would have looked. [vii]             -Side view of how the theater would have looked. [viii]

-Computer rendering of how the theater would have looked. [ix]

- Views of the theater. [x]

[All information regarding the theater as well as [i],[ii],[iii],[v], and [vi] were derived from pages 37-1 and 37-2 of :
. (accessed December 5, 2008.)

[iv][vii][viii][ix] Bourke, Paul. “POVRAY CSG Modelling.” 1998.
(accessed December 5, 2008.)

[inset within paragraph] ibid