Roman Amphitheatre – Alexandria - History and Facts | History Hit

Roman Amphitheatre – Alexandria

Alexandria, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt

The Ancient Roman amphitheatre in Alexandria is the only one of its kind found in Egypt.

Lily Johnson

15 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Roman Amphitheatre – Alexandria

The Roman amphitheatre in Alexandria in Egypt is a large circular Roman theatre, and the only one of its kind to be found in the country. Though often referred to as an amphitheatre, the site is actually that of a small Roman theatre rather than a larger sporting arena.

Roman Amphitheatre – Alexandria history

Excavations at the site were initially undertaken in search of the grave of Alexander the Great, however the 4th century Ancient Roman theatre was uncovered instead.

The ruins found included the original Roman marble seating, a number of courtyard mosaics, and even graffiti relating to the rivalry of supporters of local chariot teams. As well as the theatre itself, there are also the remains of a baths complex on the site and several other chambers and living quarters.

Further research and excavations are still being carried out, with these finds shedding new light on the complex. Some of the latest theories are centred around the idea that the theatre was actually a small lecture hall, and that the complex as a whole was an academic institution – perhaps even an ancient university linked to the Great Library of Alexandria.

Roman Amphitheatre – Alexandria today

Today the Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria is open for visitors to explore. The original marble seating may be viewed, which could seat around 700 people, alongside the more simple galleries for plebs and 13 auditoria that may have been part of the ancient university.

A host of columns and fine Roman mosaics still decorate the floors of the large complex, while in the surrounding area the remains of the Roman bath house and a villa, known as the ‘Villa of the Birds‘ for its own beautiful mosaic work, may be visited.

Getting to Roman Amphitheatre – Alexandria

The Roman Amphitheatre is located on Ismail Mahana Road in Alexandria, Egypt. There is parking available next to Egypt Station Garden, a 3-minute walk away, while Alexandria train station is just a 5-minute walk away. Alexandria International Airport is the nearest airport, from which a 20-minute drive takes you to the amphitheatre.

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