Theatre

 

The theatre of Roman Plovdiv is the only restored ancient theatre in BulgariaThe theatre of Roman Plovdiv is the only restored ancient theatre in Bulgaria

How exactly Dorzintes and the people of Heracleide phyle earned their prestigious seats is not known. What has been left over from the event are two inscriptions – one with the name of Dorzintes on one of the seats on the first row and the words "place for the Heracleide phyle" six rows above it.

An offspring of a noble and rich Thracian family that had gained Roman citizenship in the 50s, Dorzintes was important enough to have a seat in the first row, the Ancient equivalent of an opera box. But it is possible that he and the people of Heracleide had donated money and free work in the construction of the theatre of Philippopolis.

Back then, a good theatre was essential for every city that cost its denarii. The Romans had fallen in love with the Greek invention centuries before they created the empire. When their state begun to expand, establishments of the type popped up everywhere in the newly-conquered lands. It was true, however, that in Roman times few people actually liked the moralistic tragedies of Classical Greek playwrights like Euripides and Sophocles. Most preferred saucy comedies and slapstick humor of latter-day authors, while intellectuals complained that gladiator games dwarfed interest in drama.