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Classics Teaching Resources

Spot the theatres!

In the middle of the Greek city of Athens (see the picture on the left for a reconstruction of what it may have looked like in ancient times) is a rocky hill with a flat top, called the Acropolis Click here for modern photo. On the top of the Acropolis were temples and other buildings.

On the South East slope of the Acropolis are two theatres. Greek theatres are open air places with rows of stone seats in a big semi-circle. When you have found the two theatres, write 'theatre' under each of them on the drawing of the Acropolis from the air.
The theatre near the top of the drawing is the Theatre of Dionysus. This is where the most famous Greek plays were first acted.

The other theatre, which is a stone building, is called the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It was built hundreds of years after the Theatre of Dionysus.

Warning! Some people call Greek theatres 'amphitheatres.' This is wrong. In a Greek theatre the spectators sit in a semi-circle. In an amphitheatre they sit all the way round, in a big oval. The Romans invented the amphitheatre, and held gladiator fights there. Both Greek theatres and Roman amphitheatres are open air places with no roof.


1. Choose the right answer.

The Acropolis is in

  • 1. Rome
  • 2. London
  • 3. Athens
  • 4. Paris

2. Mark these sentences TRUE or FALSE

  • a. There are two theatres at the Acropolis
  • b. A Greek theatre was where people watched gladiators fight.
  • c. Another name for a Greek theatre is an amphitheatre.
  • d. Greek theatres had no roof.

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