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Ancient Тheater in Heraclea Lyncestis

The Theater was built in the center of the town, on a hill. It represents a skilled synthesis of the basic elements characteristic for the famous theaters and amphitheatres. Its universality enabled staging of various programs. It was built according to that time proportions of a Roman type of a theatre, by the known constructor Polio Vitruvie, who lived in the 1st century AD. It is located on the hill slope, which has a south exposition. The theater had other important parts such as: places for placing of a cloth roof (certain gaps) called-velum; the east and west analema (entrances); three cages for animals-stabula; stage front and other elements, which constitute such a complex construction. Being such a universal theatre it served multi purposes including gladiator fights.

Theatre plays had a significant role in Heraclea cultural life: their popularity varied in different period. Their origins should be looked for in ancient cultural celebrations dedicated to the Dionis, the god of fertility and wine. This mainly refers to ancient Greeks. Romans’ attitude toward theatre was completely different. It exceedingly lost its attractiveness on the expense of the new forms of spectacles in amphitheaters, circuses and hippodromes. They appreciated gladiator fights, hunting skills, horse races more. In Greek times the theatre taught the spectators of the philosophy of life. The play and the comedy had a central part in the programs. Roman theatre is more entertainment and less philosophy of life.

The dytirhamb is one of the oldest play types - a satirical song dedicated to the god Dionis, nourished in these areas. This is supported by the objects found in Heraclea and other archeological localities. Characters of sirens and satires, temperate creatures of nature are represented there. Also, very popular were the performances of mime and pantomime. Especially favored by Roman youth were Atelan farces, which were shown as a closing part of some performance with burlesque epilogue. The history of using theatrical mask speaks a lot about the attitude towards theatre categories and kinds and their presentation in the theatre.

After fall of the Roman Empire, Byzantine should continue old theatrical traditions, together with all the others who ruled in the middle century in these regions. Immense changes in the cultural and religious life began then. Orthodox Church was not very fond of the theatre. In fact that is the only reason why lots of antique theatres were left to ruin. But in the large cultural centers, for example Constantinople, theatrical art never stopped. That theatre was not what it used to be. Mass performances were nourished, mainly of populist character.

Today it is a renowned cultural monument, not only within the country, but wider. Excavations are still being conducted on the locality. Many of its structures are being revitalized and are used for housing various cultural and artistic manifestations. This is especially characteristic for the Theatre where musical performances, theatrical performances, literary happenings are held. Heraclea is a constituent part of the rich cultural offer of contemporary Bitola

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Skopje, Macedonia

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  • Uploaded on August 13, 2012
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    by Stojan Toshe Nikolov…