Epidaurus, Greece

April 6, 2017 Paul Groves

Day 91 of 111. Epidaurus, Greece

This is a city with an ancient amphitheater whose importance was based on the god, Asklepios, son of Apollo who had the power to heal. People would come to his temple, have a good bath, a good meal, relax with entertainment in the theater (smaller back then) and then be visited by Asklepios in their dreams where the healing would occur. Through the years, many healing techniques were developed, so this was a development area for medicine.

The city is still an archeological site for the Asklepios Temple (Asklepios is shown with a serpent). There is a small museum with ancient medical instruments and a very well-preserved Corinthian column capital.

In modern times, the theater is famous for its great acoustics. The seats are made of local stone, but some of the seats were actually made with backs. These must have been for the more important viewers. The huge circle is called the orchestra from the Greek word for the area where the chorus danced. The raised area behind the orchestra circle was called the “scene”. These terms are still used in modern theater. There is a small disk in the orchestra circle that is the focus of the theater. From that point, the voice of the speaker can be heard throughout the theater without any amplification. Our guide demonstrated and it was an impressive difference from the disk to only a few feet outside of the disk. We saw another tour group demonstrate the acoustics by forming a large circle and clapping and stepping closer and closer to the disk and clapping. This theater is still in use and has had many famous performers such as the opera singers, Maria Callas and Placido Domingo.