The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.9.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

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Gwilt translation

9Behind the scenes porticos are to be built; to which, in case of sudden showers, the people may retreat from the theatre, and also sufficiently capacious for the rehearsals of the chorus: such are the porticos of Pompey, of Eumenes at Athens, and of the temple of Bacchus; and on the left passing from the theatre, is the Odeum, which, in Athens, Pericles ornamented with stone columns, and with the masts and yards of ships, from the Persian spoils. This was destroyed by fire in the Mithridatic war, and restored by king Ariobarzanes. At Smyrna was the Strategeum: at Tralles were porticos on each side over the stadium, as in the scenes of theatres. In short, in all cities which possess skilful architects, porticos and walks are placed about the theatre,

Morgan translation

9Colonnades must be constructed behind the scaena, so that when sudden showers interrupt plays, the people may have somewhere to retire from the theatre, and so that there may be room for the preparation of all the outfit of the stage. Such places, for instance, are the colonnades of Pompey, and also, in Athens, the colonnades of Eumenes and the fane of Father Bacchus; also, as you leave the theatre, the music hall which Themistocles surrounded with stone columns, and roofed with the yards and masts of ships captured from the Persians. It was burned during the war with Mithridates, and afterwards restored by King Ariobarzanes. At Smyrna there is the Stratoniceum, at Tralles, a colonnade on each side of the scaena above the race course, and in other cities which have had careful architects there are colonnades and walks about the theatres.