Theatre of Delphi – Delphi, Ancient Greece

Climb up the hill from the Temple of Apollo and you’ll enjoy the magnificent view of the Theatre of Delphi.  Built in the Theater of Delphi, Ancient Greece4th century B.C. from local Parnassus limestone, the Delphi amphitheatre comprises 35 rows of seats, accommodating some 5,000 spectators.  The lower tiers of seats were built during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. 

Theater of Delphi, Ancient GreeceFrom the hillside, the audience is presented with a spectacular view of the entire sanctuary below and the valley beyond.  Plays, poetry readings, and musical events during the various festivals took place here.  It must have been an amazing sight to see area filled with people and their colorful attire. 

Ancient Greek theatres were usually very large, open-air structures that took advantage of sloping hillsides for their terraced seating.   I was curious as to how sound was amplified and what the acoustics was like in the Theatre of Delphi, Ancient Greeceamphitheatre during those days where sound systems did not exist.  A quick search on Google reveals that researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology had done some work on this.  It appears that the rows of limestone seats act as an acoustic filter and cuts out low frequency background noise from the crowd and at the same time helps reflect the high pitched voices of the performers to the back rows of the theatre.  Fascinating huh!


1 Comment

  1. Comment by Helene Poulakou

    It is simply fascinating, sitting at the theater with all this magnificent nature all around you!

    Also, the theater of Epidaurus (Peloponese) is perhaps the best of them all, when it comes to acoustics. You can sit as high as you like, and hear a coin dropped on the floor in the orchestra. I know first hand! Divine architecture!

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