In the ancient world, the Greek and Roman theatres spread in many areas: from Afghanistan in the east to Portugal in the west and from the UK in the north to Egypt in the south. So, they are found in all the areas where the Greek and the Roman civilisation expanded. Most of them were built in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, where these cultures flourished. Today, not all ancient theatres and odeia are in the same state of preservation. Some have been restored and remind of their initial state, still hosting artistic events. Others preserve only a small part or have been completely destroyed by various causes.
An indicative presentation of selected ancient theatres and odeia all over the world.
Naturally, over time the form of both kinds of buildings changed several times to adapt to the needs of every period. More significant are the changes in the theatre building, which took different forms over the centuries, while depending on the area of expansion some particular types of theatres were formed.
When Christianity prevailed as the new religion of the Roman state, in 330 A.D., the theatrical buildings did not match to the style of the new era. So, the buildings that had not been abandoned until then for other reasons were now gradually deserted and fell into disuse.
The Roman theatre of Merida, 1st century B.C
The ancient theatre of Ephesus, 2nd century B.C.
The Roman city of Pompeii with the theatre and the odeion in the center.