Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
For too long, scholars have neglected and misunderstood the architectural terminology of the Roman theatre. The problem scholars face today is that they are forced to apply ancient terminology to our modern ideas of what they believe the people of the Roman world meant when they used these terms. The terminology has been approached minimally in the past by authors including Ch. Daremberg and E. Saglio in their Dictionnaire des Antiquites grecques et romains d'apres les textes et les monuments written in 1877 and, more recently in 1985 and 1992, by R. Ginouves and R. Martin in their Dictionnaire Methodique de l'architecture greque et romaine (2 vols), who have examined the archaeological record and literary evidence. These stuclies have shed some light on the architecture of the theatre, but unfortunately, the ambiguous meanings of the terms still persist.
To date, few scholars have investigated the terminology from the point of view of the epigraphy. This thesis focuses on an epigraphic approach to Roman theatre architecture of the West. It is a study which primarily uses inscriptional evidence and only considers archaeology and ancient literary material for clarification. Fifteen architectural terms are considered presently. The core of the thesis follows the format of a lexicon, one which first lists the inscriptional evidence of each term, and then offers possible meanings of the term. Innovative definitions are developed for terms such as locus, proscaenium and frons scaenae demonstrating the value of inscriptional evidence for studies in terminology and the need to combine literary, archaeological, and epigraphic approaches in an attempt to better understand architecture in the theatre. In the future, this approach may be applied to the study of other building types.
Day, Bridget, "The Architectural Terminology of the Ancient Roman Theatre in the West: An Epigraphic Approach" (1998). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6121.
McMaster University Library