Bosra Amphitheater

Bosra Amphitheater 400
Bosra Amphitheater, Syria
Photo by: upyernoz , Creative Commons

Syria is a country of ancient cities and Bosra is one of the most fascinating. Bosra is located in the Horan Plain and was first mentioned in the 14th-century-BC Hieroglyphics of Akhnatoun and Thutmos III. The city became the capital of the Nabatean kingdom a thousand years later. Bosra also experienced Greek, Roman, and Byzantine reign as well as Arab Muslim and Mongol invasions. Although it was under the control of various cultural groups, the city flourished the most under and was greatly influenced by the Romans, and this is most evident in the Bosra Amphitheater, which is the ancient city’s most impressive feature. The amphitheater was built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, and despite being converted into a fortress by the Ayubids during the Crusades, the original theater has been miraculously preserved. It can accommodate up to 15,000 spectators and has a stage that is almost 148 feet long and approximately 26 feet deep.

The Romans designed the Bosra Amphitheater in such a way that the whole audience can hear the actors without having to use any special equipment. The large area in front of the stage may have been used for gladiatorial matches or circuses. The Bosra Amphitheater also boasts tall stage buildings and stands out from other Roman theaters because it is one of the few freestanding amphitheaters ever built by the Romans. Around the theater are the ruins of the Ayyubid fortress, which may have played a large role in the excellent preservation of the amphitheater. Most of the columns in the amphitheater have been restored and renovated, so that visitors can admire the way the columns looked like when they were first erected. In its prime, the theater had marble facades and silk hangings. During performances, a fine mist of scented water was sprayed over the audience to keep everyone comfortable in the desert heat.

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