Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ancient stage where Nero performed as actor found

Excavation work conducted at the ancient theatre of Nikopolis [Credit: Ethnos]

Part of the paved floor of the orchestra on which Nero once stood as an… actor has recently come to light by archaeologists at the Roman theatre of Nikopolis (Epirus).

Nikopolis (the city of victory) was founded in 31 BC by Octavian in memory of his victory over Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. In further celebration of his victory, he instituted the Actian games, in honor of Apollo Aktios, to be held every five years.

Emperor Nero visited Nikopolis in 66 AD. His visit was part of his tour of Greece. During his stay, he took part in the Actian games, namely in music and drama competitions. Coins were issued bearing the Emperor’s portrait as a sign of respect, while the city’s name changed to “Neronikopolis”.

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