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

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EXCAVATIONS IN THE ERETRIAN THEATRE.

141

choregi, public officials, actors, and choruses, who entered the
theatre in pomp and circumstance at the festivals after the sacri-
fice at the altar.

The doors in the parodoi suggest what is at once the simplest,
and, in my opinion, the actual solution of the main question.
These doors provided for the entrance of the actors from
the sides. But, for those who refuse to accept Dr. Dorpfeld's
theory of the stage, they have no significance whatever un-
less they were to be used by the chorus for a like purpose.
Hence there must have been corresponding doors in the
front walls of the two wings. It will be seen that by such
an arrangement the descent of 3.46 m. was made perfectly
convenient even for buskined feet. By means of the sloping
parodoi about 1.25 m. of this descent was accomplished. An
equal amount could have been made by ramps in the wings slop-
ing in the opposite direction and the balance by ramps or steps in
the space between the parallel walls. Or, on the other hand, the
whole remaining descent of something over 2 m. could have been
accomplished by flights of steps in the wings or between the
parallel walls. Further excavation might throw light on this
question. Meanwhile it can hardly be doubted that in one of the
two ways suggested provision was made for the descent of the
choreutae from the dressing-rooms to the parodoi without the
necessity of their going out of the building. On the compar-
atively rare occasions of their entrance from the central door
(which, by the way, was utterly impossible in this theatre if the
proscenium was a stage), the latter half of the descent was made
between the parallel walls instead of in the parodoi.

The, Eretrian Theatre and the Stage Question. So far I have avoided
as far as possible all controverted points in the interpretation of
this theatre, which has been called into evidence by both parties
to the controversy concerning the elevated stage. I should not
now go beyond the strict requirements of my report of the recent
excavations had not the fairness of Mr. Fossum's report been
called in question by Mr. Gardner (J. IT. S. 1892-3, p. 146). He
objects that Mr. Fossum, in his zeal to defend the new theory,
entirely overlooked the fact that the elevated scena, opening
directly upon the proscenium without a change of level, was a
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