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The Theatre of Dionysus is on the south slope of Acropolis Athens. The excavations of the theatre began in 1846 and they lasted throughout the 19th Century. Peisistratus the Athenian tyrant built the Theatre in the honor of Dionysus the God of wine and protector of the ancient craft of drama.

The first Theatre of Dionysus on Acropolis was simpler than the one you will see now, with wooden seating. The Theatre of Dionysusby the end of the 5th century BC had stone seating. Lycurgus the Athenian statesman was the one that refurbished the Theatre of Dionysus at its current monumental form. At the fourth century extended in front of the orchestra and a three-tiered seating area the theatron that stretched up the slope.

The stage of the Dionysus Theatre had alterations during the Hellenistic period. The 67 thrones that are at the periphery of the orchestra were build durning this period. The thrones were inscribed with the names of the dignitaries that occupied them. The marble thrones that you will see take the form of klismos chairs, and are Roman copies of earlier versions.

The Great Dionysia

The Theatre of Dionysus was the centre place of the main theatrical performances that took place in Athens. During the Great Dionysia, which were celebrated in late March to early April, the citizens attended theatrical performances. The performances was organised by the state of Athens and the costs where covered by the choregoi (wealthy citizens). This is the first sponsorships of the world.

During the medieval period the Theatre was abandoned after the end of antiquity. Its traces gradually vanished under infill which was preserved until the late 19th century. It is still under restoration, promotion and protection of the monument. The only perimetted use of the monument today is  visiting the archaeological site.



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