Theatre

 

The proscenium was used to create a background to the actorsThe proscenium was used to create a background to the actors

The prestigious seats in the first row were lavishly decorated, and, as in the case with Dorzintes, were even inscribed with the names of their owners. The theatre had also a lodge for high-esteemed visitors, like Emperor Caracalla (198-217) who visited in 214.

The names of the 10 phylai of the city were also written on the rows, so citizen knew where they belonged.

The theatre was a multifunctional building. It was the likeliest venue for the singing and poetry competitions which were part of the famous Pythian sport games held every four years in Philippopolis. These contests were extremely popular. At the end of the 2nd-the beginning of the 3rd centuries, for example, the poet Maximus of Apamea did not only win the Pythian poetry competition – he had a long record of triumphs outside Philippopolis. The people of Philippopolis loved him so much that he was granted Philippopolis' citizenship and stayed here until his death. He was buried in the city, together with a statue of Apollo, the divine patron of the arts. We know the story of Maximus from his tombstone, discovered in modern Plovdiv.