The Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria is one of the great highlights of the beautiful city of Alexandria. The Amphitheaters were not just popular in Egypt, they were popular in other countries as Italy, Greece, Jordan and Turkey.
Name & Meaning:
This Roman Amphitheatre is the only one of its type that exists in Egypt. The Amphitheatre is located in Kom El-Dikka in the northern section of Alexandria. The amphitheatre is a Greek word that means double theatre. Kom in Arabic means hill, while Dikka means benches, so the two words together mean the “Hill of Benches”. Maybe due to the benches of the Amphitheatre.
The Amphitheatre of Alexandria was discovered by chance in 1960 when workers were clearing the sand and dust for the construction of a governmental building. Very soon a joint of the Greco-Roman Museum and the Polish Mission in Egypt began the excavation in the area. Later, the Amphitheatre was discovered.
According to studies, the Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria was in action to hold events until the 7th century AD. The excavations showed that the Amphitheatre was in use during the Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic eras in Egypt.
Design & Function:
The Amphitheatre was used for many things and a new study suggests that it was used as the House of the Parliament or the House of Representatives. Other suggestions say it was used as a conference hall. Now the Amphitheatre still holds some music concerts or parties.
The Amphitheatre has a marble audience section in a semi-circle or letter U shape. It could host up to 500 spectators. This section consists of 13 rows. These 13 rows were numbered in Roman digits. These rows are based on a thick wall of limestone surrounded by another wall.
There were also 5 compartments at the top of the audience section to host the VIP figures and the wealthy merchants. In the middle of the structure, there is a section for the orchestra.
This Amphitheatre had a great dome. It as well had two doors during the Roman period, one door in the southern section, and another door in the northern section. These doors were closed during the Byzantine period.
Around the Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria are some statues and columns’ capitals, dating back to the Roman era in Egypt.