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

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to haul the necessary earth from a distance, as at Mantinea, or to
construct the auditorium of solid masonry. The existence of the
temple near by precluded the removal of the theatre to the slope
of the acropolis. The result was not only the sloping parodoi,
hut the elevation of the scena-building 3.46 m. above the orches-
tra. This would have been avoided only by the excavation to the
same depth of the ground under the scena-building, which would
have been costly and in many ways inconvenient. The result of
this peculiar construction was that the chorus had to make a
descent from their dressing-rooms before they could appear in
the orchestra. What means were provided for this descent ?

Means of communication between scena anal orchestra. After the
excavations of the first season the only connection that appeared
between the dressing-rooms and the orchestra was the large
vaulted passage under the scena. It was quite natural that this
peculiar arrangement should be explained by the necessity of a
means of communication between the upper and lower levels.
Air. Fossum, it is true, claimed that this was the simplest solution
of the problem, the only other alternative being a flight of steps
over the face of the proscenium, which was rightly rejected as*
impossible. But doubtless no one who has seen the theatre has
been fully satisfied either with tins explanation of the purpose of
the huge and carefully built passage, or with the theory that the
architect of the theatre consulted so little the convenience of the
persons for whom he was building. For the entrance to the pas-
sage lies outside of the scena.2 It would have been necessary for
the chorus,3 after donning their costumes, to leave the scena alto-
gether, and, if their entrance was to be made from the parodos,
to encircle the scena to the right or to the left ; otherwise (the
rare occurrence) to descend the steps back of the scena, pass
through the passage, and appear through the central door of the
proscenium. This is hardly conceivable. The purpose of the
vaulted passage must receive another explanation. I can only
suggest that it may have been used for the Trofiirai of priests,

2 This objection was pointed out by Mr. Gardner, J. H. S. 1892-3, p. 140, and
by Mr. Loring, J. H. S., Supplement I, p. 94.

3 Although this passage may have been constructed after the fourth century,
there was just as much need as ever of providing for the chorus in tragedy and the
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