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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Attica > Athens > galleries > Acropolis
to Athens photo galleries main page Athens galleries The Athens Acropolis 36 of 36
The Theatre of Dionysos, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The Theatre of Dionysos viewed from the south side of Acropolis.
The Theatre of Dionysos
See photos and articles about Dionysos, the god of wine, ecstatic revelry and the theatre, patron of actors:

Profile of Dionysos, with photos and
information about the wine god:
Dionysus in the People section

Theatre of Pergamon and
its temple of Dionysos:
Pergamon gallery 1, page 7

Mosaic of Dionysos riding a panther
in Pella, Macedonia:
Pella gallery, page 9

Athenian bronze coin showing the Acropolis and the Theatre of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Athenian bronze coin showing the Acropolis and the Theatre of Dionysos. [1]

British Museum, London.
 
Marble mask of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Colossol Dionysos mask
from the Acropolis.
Pentelic marble.
1st century BC.
Such masks were set up
on stone or wooden
columns for ritual use at
the god's sanctuaries.

Acropolis Museum, Athens.
Acr. 6461.
 
Dionysos seated on an Attic plate at My Favourite Planet

   Dionysos seated.
From a ceramic plate,
Attica, around 520 BC.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
 
Dionysos herm at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos herm.
Roman period,
1st - 2nd century AD.
This is likely a copy of a 5th
century BC Greek original in
late Archaic style. Compare
this herm to that his brother
Hermes on gallery page 10.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
photos and articles:
© David John
Acropolis gallery
photos of the Propylaea, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Propylaia
 
photos of the Athena Nike Temple, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Athena Nike
Temple
 
photos of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

the Parthenon
 
photos of the Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

the Erechtheion
 
photos of the Odeion of Herod Atticus, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Odeion of
Herod Atticus
 
photos of the Dionysos Theatre, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos Theatre
For other features
of the Acropolis see
Gallery contents
 
The stage of the Theatre of Dionysos, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The stage of the Theatre of Dionysos.
 

Model of the Theatre of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Model of the Athenian Acropolis in the mid 5th century BC, showing the Theatre of Dionysos,
in front of which is the temple of Dionysos. To the right is the Odeion of Pericles. Above the
theatre ran the Peripatos, the circuit path around the foot of the Acropolis (see gallery page 33).

Reconstruction by M. Korres and P. Dimitriadis, Athens, 2001. Wood and cork.
Altes Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. Re 2002.4.
 

Model of the Sanctuary of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Model of the Sanctuary of Dionysos in the late 4th century BC, as seen from above.

The outcrop of rock below the southest corner of the Acropolis wall, just
above the theatre, is the location of the Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos.

Model designed by M. Korres, created by P. Demetriades and G. Angelopoulos, 1998.
British Museum, London.
 

The throne of the high priest of Dionysos in the Theatre of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

The throne of the priest of Dionysos in the Theatre.

Source: Adolf Boetticher, Die Akropolis von Athen: nach den Berichten der Alten
und den neusten Erforschungen
. Julius Springer, 1888. After Ernst Ziller,
in Lützow, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, XIII (1878), page 196, fig. 1.
 

Seats of honour in the Theatre of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Reconstruction of the seats of honour in the first row of the cavea (auditorium),
on the east side of the theatre.

Source: Albert Müller (1831-1916), Lehrbuch der griechischen Bühnenalterthümer,
page 92, fig. 8. Volume 3 of K. F. Hermann's Lehrbuch der griechischen Antiquitäten.
J. C. B. Mohr, Freiburg, 1886. At archive.org
After Ernst Ziller, in Lützow, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, XIII (1878), page 197, fig. 2.
 

Reliefs on the hyposkenion of the Theatre of Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Reliefs on the hyposkenion of the Theatre of Dionysos.
 

Theatre of Dionysos hyposkenion reliefs at My Favourite Planet

A 19th century drawing of the hyposkenion reliefs.

Source: Adolf Boetticher, Die Akropolis von Athen: nach den Berichten der
Alten und den neusten Erforschungen
. Verlag von Julius Springer, 1888.
 
Dionysos mask on an Attic amphora at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos mask on an amphora.
Attica, around 520 BC.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
Inv. No. F3997.

See larger photo below.
Head of singing Dionysos at My Favourite Planet

Singing or talking Dionysos.
Roman, marble. One of many
copies of a Hellenistic original
(270-250 BC) thought to be
from the Athenian Sanctuary
of Dionysos.

Altes Museum, Berlin.
Inv. No. Sk 610.

An almost identical head from
the Acropolis south slope, now
in the National Archaeological
Museum, Athens (Inv. No. 182)
is still labelled as "either
Ariadne or Dionysos".
Detail of a statue of Dionysos from Miletos at My Favourite Planet

Detail of a statue of Dionysos
and a satyr. From Miletos,
Tukey. Marble. Roman period,
160-170 AD, after a Hellenistic
protoytype.

Altes Museum. Berlin.
Inv. No. Sk 1797.
 

Marble portrait of the Athenian tragedian Aeschylus at My Favourite Planet

Marble Portrait bust of the
Athenian tragedian Aeschylus
(525-456 BC). Roman copy
of a Greek original
of the 4th century BC.

Neues Museum, Berlin.

See also article on
Stageira gallery page 19.
 
Bronze portrait thought to represent the Athenian playwright Sophocles at My Favourite Planet

Bronze portrait head thought
to represent the Athenian
playwright Sophokles (circa
496-406 BC). Originally part of
a statue, 300-100 BC, probably
from Smyrna (Izmir). [2]

British Museum, London.
 
Marble portrait of the Athenian tragedian Euripides at My Favourite Planet

Marble Portrait bust of the
Athenian tragedian Euripides
(circa 480-406 BC). Roman copy
(Farnese type) of a Greek
original of the 4th century BC.
From Cumae, Italy.

Neues Museum, Berlin.
Inv. No. Sk 297.

See also photo below.

Photos: © David John
 

Statue of the Athenian comedy playwright Menander at My Favourite Planet

Statue of Menander (Μένανδρος, circa 342–290 BC), Athenian playwright of the New Comedy,
in front of the retaining wall of the auditorium at the east side of the Theatre of Dionysos.
Although the statue's pedestal, inscribed with Menander's name, is original (291/290 BC; excavated in 1862), the statue itself is one of a number of modern composite plaster casts made by Klaus Fittschen for the University Collection of the Archaeological Institute of Göttingen, Germany (Inv. No. A 1497a). The original torso is in Naples and the head in Venice. Another copy, also made in Göttingen (completed 2009), can be seen in the Abguss-Sammlung (cast collection) of Marburg University.

According to the inscription on the pedestal, the statue was made by Kephisodotos the Younger and Timarchos, sons of Praxiteles. The original, mentioned by Pausanias (Description of Greece, Book I, Chapter 21, section 1), is said to have been made shortly after Menander drowned while swimming at Piraeus. Menander wrote over 100 plays, many of which remained popular into the Roman period. It is thought that the many statues of the poet, of which more than 70 have survived, were copied from this original. [3]
 
Menander's name inscribed on the statue base at My Favourite Planet

Menander's name inscribed on the statue
base. The signatures of the artists below
it are worn and almost invisible.
 

Attic plate depicting Dionysos and woman sitting together at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos and woman sitting together. Detail of a ceramic plate, Attica, around 550 BC.

Dionysos, holding a drinking horn, sits opposite a woman holding a flower. It is not known
whether the woman is his mother Semele, Ariadne or one of the god's other consorts.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F 1809.
 

Dionysos mask at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos mask on an amphora. Attica, around 520 BC.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F3997.
 

Dionysos with dancing maenades at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos, holding a drinking horn, with two ecstatic dancing maenads.
A stamnos from Attica by the Syleus painter, 480-470 BC.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inv. No. F2182.
 

Marble relief in honour of the tragedian Euripides at My Favourite Planet

Marble relief in honour of the Athenian playwright Euripides.
The tragedian (centre), seated and holding a scroll, hands an actor's mask to Skene,
the female personification of the theatre, while Dionysos (right) looks on. From the
vicinity of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey). Late Hellenistic era, 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Inv. No. 1242 T (Cat. Mendel 574).
Height 60 cm, width 68.5 cm.
 
Theatre of
Dionysos
Notes, references and links

1. Coin showing a plan of the Theatre

The obverse side (front) of the coin shows the head of Athena and is inscribed "ΑΘΗΝΑΙΩΝ", of (the people of) Athens. The coin was collected by Louis François Sébastien Fauvel (1753-1838), the French consul and antiquarian who lived in Athens 1803-1822. It was later given by Lord Aberdeen to Richard Payne Knight (1750-1824), who left it in his will to the British Museum, where it it is now part of the Payne-Knight collection.

Copper alloy coin.
Weight: 4.361 grams
Die-axis 6 o'clock
Diameter 21 mm
Museum No.: RPK,p36L.7.Ath
The coin is not on display in the museum.

Image source: James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, The Antiquities of Athens, measured and delineated, Volume II, Chapter IV, page 85. Priestley and Weale, London, 1826. At Heidelberg University Library.

Illustrations of this coin appeared in several books by early modern travellers to Greece, including opposite the title page to Leake's Topography of Athens:

William Martin Leake (1777-1860), The topography of Athens, with some remarks on its antiquities.
John Murray, London, 1821. At archive.org.

Here is a description of the medal from a British Museum coin catalogue of 1888:

"Number 807. Head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet.

Theatre of Dionysos immediately surmounted by the Choragic monument of Thrasyllus, behind which rises the southern wall of the Acropolis, on the summit of which are on the left the Propylaea, in the centre the Parthenon, and on the right a third building."

Barclay V. Head, A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Attica, Megaris, Aegina, page 110; Plate XIX, 8. Trustees of the British Museum, London, 1888.

2. "Portrait of Sophokles"

The bronze head is thought to have been found in a well in Smyrna (today Izmir) in the early 17th century and taken to Constantinople (Istanbul), where it was purchased for the British art collector Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel (1586-1646). The head is therefore referred to as the "Arundel Head". It became part of Howard's large collection of antiquities, known as the "Arundel marbles" or "Marmora Arundeliana", kept at Arundel House, London.

The head featured in a portrait of the earl and his wife Alatheia Talbot, painted circa 1635-1640 by the Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641). One version of this painting, known as the "The Madagascar Portrait", is now in the collection of the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England; the other is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

The head was subsequently acquired by Dr Richard Mead and later Brownlow Cecil, 9th Earl of Exeter, who donated it to the British Museum in 1760.

It has been dated to the second to first centuries BC. Once thought to be a portrait of Homer, and later either a philosopher or Hellenistic king.

British Museum, London.

Inv. No. 1760,0919.1 (Bronze 847).

Height 29.21 cm.

See: britishmuseum.org ...

3. Portraits of Menander

See:

Sarah E. Bassett, The late antique image of Menander. Dept. of Art and Art History, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 2007. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 48 (2008), pages 201–225.

Olga Palagia, A new interpretation of Menander's image by Kephisodotos II and Timarchos. Estratto da Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane Oriente, Volume LXXXIII, Serie III, 5 - Tomo I, 2005, pages 287-298. SAIA 2006.
 
Photos, maps and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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have been attributed where applicable.

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See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays and articles
about Greece:

Athens (street life)

Athens (Aristotle's Lyceum)

Dion

Kastellorizo

Meteora

Pella

Polygyros

Thessaloniki
 
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