Gubbio’s Roman theater: light shed over secrets
In one of his works, the great Greek tragedian Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) has a lucid Ajax say,
Great, unfathomable time brings dark things to light and buries the bright in its darkness.
That is exactly what happened to the Roman theater in Gubbio, Umbria, which was built in the late 1st century BC and forgotten by the Middle Ages. It was used as a stone quarry for some time, then buried under the ground for centuries.
The structure – with a ‘cavea’ (seating section) of 70 meters in diameter and 13 meters tall, big enough for an audience of approximately 10,000 people – was unearthed in the second half of the 16th century, and renovated between the 1800s and 1900s. Today, it is an outstanding venue for summertime classic shows.
Built in what was the residential part of Gubbio during the Roman Age, the theater still provides a stage for some of Sophocles’s most famous tragedies, such as “Antigone” and “Oedipus the King”, in which painful secrets and hidden truths are dragged under the spotlight.
All this once-hidden theater, now back under the sun, has brought to us, however, are some truly inspiring stories from the past.