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Ancient Roman Theater Discovered

The theater was built by an ancient Roman Emperor.

By:  |  November 2, 2023  |    451 Words
GettyImages-1494345547 Teatro Romano de Málaga

Teatro Romano de Málaga in Spain (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)

Historians and archaeologists have uncovered remarkable insight into historical artwork, cultural practices, and overall ways of life for centuries. Much of our history was learned by digging up ancient artifacts and studying them with other archeological finds. Some of the most notable discoveries are Pompeii, the Roman City buried beneath layers of hardened volcanic rock; the Rosetta Stone, written in three different hieroglyphic languages; and the Easter Island Moai, which revealed 887 giant statues on the island. Recently, an ancient Roman theater built by Nero, the Roman emperor from AD54 to 68, was found.

The Ancient Roman Theater

Roman historians have written and spoken about the elusive theater for years, yet no one could ever find it – until July 23 of this year, when a group of Italian archaeologists announced they may have finally located it.

Nero, the Roman Emperor at the time, had a keen interest in the arts. Reportedly, he used the theater to practice his poetry and music and to put on shows for his people. The building was magnificent. Its structure, made from brick and marble, displayed a semi-circle-shaped seating area with large marble columns, along with the remnants of dressing rooms and backdrops that were once used on the stage.

“It had a significant capacity, probably for an audience of several thousand,” said archeologist Alessio De Cristofaro. “There were fluted columns in African marble, alabaster columns, and stucco ornamentation decorated with gold leaf.”

More About Emperor Nero

GettyImages-961416918 Nero

Nero (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the ruler of Rome from AD 54 until his death in 68, did not have the best reputation. He was known for his love of music and the arts. But he is also recognized as a poor ruler who spent frivolously and irresponsibly and who killed his own mother and two wives.

Until his mother’s death, Nero was considered a decent man and ruler. Following her death, however, he shifted into an unfair and tyrannical leader. His reactions to minor offenses came with forceful punishment and often execution, some think with the intention of removing his opposition so that he could obtain ultimate, uninterrupted power.

In 64, a great fire destroyed more than 75% of the city. As it is told, and confirming his love for music, Nero was seen playing his fiddle while the city burned to the ground. Some believe that Nero himself started the fire to make room for a villa he wanted to build, though no one knows that for sure. He spent the next several years ruling very selfishly and making many enemies. At the time of his death, he exclaimed, “What an artist dies in me!”


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