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Lyon: The Roman Theater


Two Roman auditoriums at Lugdunum (the open-air Theater, and the enclosed Odéon) may be seen on the Fourvière ("old forum,"  from Latin forum vetus), on a hill overlooking the modern city of Lyon.

This view shows the larger open Theater, built by Augustus in. 17-15 BC, and later expanded by Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. Nearly 110 meters wide, the Theater could seat 10,000 spectators. Excavations beneath the Theater found remnants of a cryptoporticus or basement which underlay the old forum, both of which were destroyed when the Theater was built.  Nearby is the smaller Roman Odéon, a roofed performance hall with a marble stage, whose massive walls still retain small traces of paintings.

[Fig.1: The Roman Theater at Lyon (photo: Athena Review).]


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