Volterra Teatro Romano,Frons Scenae; and, Roman Baths
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
Situated about 50 km. southwest of Florence in Tuscany, the city of Volterra has a long history stretching back to antiquity, when it was a major Etruscan center known as Velathri. By the third century, B.C.E., the city, now called Volaterrae, had fallen into the Roman sphere of influence. Just north of the city gates, an amphitheater and a large complex of baths provide evidence of Roman imperial culture in Volterra. Adjacent to the Teatro Romano (1st century B.C.E.) are the Roman Baths, built in the 4th century, C.E. when the theater was likely no longer in use. The area of the Roman theater and baths had become a rubbish heap during the Medieval period of the city's history. They were completely buried until excavations were begun in 1951 by the Volterran archeologist Enrico Fiumi. This image details the frons scenae, or stage wall separating the performance space with the actors' changing area. Two tiers of columns capped with Corinthian capitals and carved from Carrara marble grace the stage. A portion of the baths is visible beyond the theater wall.December 1986
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