Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 6.1890-1897 (1897)

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1 cm


in a cyma reversa curve forming a hollow. The concave surface
at its deepest point is distant 0.105 m. from a vertical line let fall
from the upper outer edge of the seat. The seats are set level,
and have a slightly raised hand, 0.09 m. to 0.13 m. wide, running
along the outer edge. The small breadth of the seats is, so far
as I can find, quite unprecedented. Vitruvius' maximum and mini-
mum are 0.7392 m. and 0.5914 m.,14 and his maximum is most
often exceeded. In the theatre of Thoricns, which is very irregular,
the average breadth is 0.60 m. ;15 at Athens, it is 0.782 m., at Epi-
daurus 0.78 m., at Sicyon 0.75 m. to 0.85 m., at Piraeus 0.91 m. But
it is to be noted that in all these theatres, except at Thoricus, only a
small part of the breadth served as the actual seat;, behind, the stone
was hollowed to receive the feet of those on the next step above. The
front part or seat proper is 0.332 m. wide at Athens, 0.35 m. at Epi-
daurus, Sicyon and Piraeus. These latter measurements harmonized
better with the seat-breadth in the Eretrian theatre, and appeared to
suggest that here the whole surface of the seat was given up to the
actual occupant. Such was proved to be the case by further excava-
tion. The seats are not so placed that one rests upon or touches the
next, but are distant from one another radially 0.35 m. The inter-
vening space, left for the feet of those who occupied the higher seat, is
simply earth. Doubtless its level was below that of the seat in front,
just as in theatres where one stone served as both seat and foot-rest.
A cavea so constructed would be much less secure than if every row
were supported immediately by the one below it; so that this detail of
construction may account in a measure for the very imperfect pre-
servation of the whole.

As to the difference in height (0.22 m.) of the upper and the lower
seats, it may be remarked that, as the former were entirely above
ground, a more exact measurement was possible. When the stone was
set, some part of this excess of height would disappear, but surely not
the whole. In fact, the entire height of one seat in the second row,
whose lower edge seemed to have been reached, was only 0.42 m.; this
would mean that the stone was sunk to a depth of 0.10 m. below the
surface. In comparing the 0.32 m. of the lower rows with the seats of
other theatres, we find: at Athens, 0.32 m.; at Epidaurus, 0.34 m.; at
Sicyon, 0.35 m.; at Piraeus, 0.32 m.; at Thoricus, 0.35 m. Here, then,

"MtlLLER, Biihnenallerlhiimer, 31.

15 Papers of American School, IV, 9.
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