Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon - History and Facts | History Hit

Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon

Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia

The Roman Theatre and Odeon in Carthage are the remains of the ancient public buildings which once held more than 5,000 spectators. The theatre has been significantly restored.

Peta Stamper

08 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon

The Roman Theatre and Odeon of Carthage is a restored ancient Roman theatre complex in Tunis, Tunisia, which is now used to host a range of events. On the coast outside the modern city, today you can wander the peaceful ancient ruins of the Odeon and if visiting in summer, can catch a performance at Carthage’s annual festival held at the Roman theatre.

Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon history

Originally built during the time of Roman control of Carthage, the theatre is believed to have been destroyed during the Vandal invasions of the 5th century AD. Able to seat at least 5,000 spectators, the Roman theatre of Carthage would have been a central meeting place in the ancient city.

The Odeon would have been viewed for musical entertainment and was a more intimate setting than its close neighbour.

Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon today

Now restored, it is no longer clear how much of the structure is original but it is fair to say the Roman theatre can be viewed as more of a reconstruction than an ancient ruin. The same cannot be said however for the Odeon of Carthage, which stands across the way from Carthage Roman theatre. The Odeon has not been restored and its ruins can still be seen today.

Standard admission to the ruins (which also include the Antonine baths) is 32 DT or £8. A number of statues found at the site of the Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon are now on display in the Bardo Museum.

Getting to Carthage Roman Theatre and Odeon

Along the N9 road towards the coast from Tunis, Carthage is reached by car in around 20 minutes. An easy alternative from central Tunis is via local transport: the TMG light railway Carthage-Byrsa station is within the ancient site and a daily service runs from the early morning until midnight.