GLOSSARY
Agora
The marketplace of Athens, where performances of tragedy were originally staged.
Analemmata
Supporting walls for the audience seating area; the exterior walls of the theatron.
Architrave
The horizontal beam(s) resting on the columns of the entablature.
Baldachin
A stone or marble structure in the form of a canopy either supported by columns, suspended from a roof, or sticking out from a wall.
Bouleuterion
A town hall, or meeting chambers that were sometimes used as performance spaces, found in some Hellenistic theaters.
Charonian Stairway—Charonioi Klimakes
Often called "Charon's Steps," it was an underground passageway leading from the backstage to the center of the orchestra.
Colonnade
A row of columns.
Corinthian order
An architectural style. The Corinthian order consists of thin, fluted columns; topped with elaborately decorated capitals of acanthus leaves and scrolls.
Cornice
Part of the entablature, the cornice are decorative moldings above the frieze that serves as an overhang of a building or temple.
Diazoma
The horizontal aisle separating the upper and lower sections of seats in a Greek theater.
Doric order
The oldest Greek Architectural style. The name probably derives from the Greek word dorus ("gift"), probably referring to the temples designed in this style since they were "the gift of the gods." The Doric order consists of simple, fluted columns without a base; followed by a smooth, unadorned capital; topped by a square base on which rested the entablature.
Eisodoi
Lying between the theatron and the skene, the eisodoi were two side entrance ramps to orchestra. See also parodos.
Ekkyklêma
Literally, "wheel out," a large wheeled platform (we understand that they were very noisy!) that could be rolled through the central door in the skene to display scenes that had taken place inside, beyond the view of the spectators (usually the results of violent acts since those never took place in front of the audience).
Entablature
An architectural element found in Greek buildings. Resting above the capital, it consists of three parts: an architrave (horizontal beam(s)), a frieze (a panel or relief), and a cornice (decorative moldings that serves as an overhang of a building or temple).
Episkenion
The upper story of the skene.
Epitheatron
The seating section above the diazoma.
Frieze
Resting above the architrave and below the cornice, these were decorative panel(s) or relief(s) on the entablature of a building or temple.
Hyposkenion
A room beneath the stage that may have had doors to enter the orchestra.
Ikria
The bleachers or benches (originally made of wood); preceded the permanent stone seating of later theaters.
Ionic order
An architectural style. The Ionic order consists of prominently fluted columns; resting on an elaborate base; topped by a capital decorated with two spiral volutes.
Kerkis
Wedge-shaped blocks of seats in a Greek theater.
Klepsydra
Greek water clock used for timing speakers during trials or public debates—which sometimes took place in the theater.
Klimakes
The stairways in a Greek theater.
Koilon
Can be used as another word for theatron, but more specifically refers to the seating area of the theater.
Logeion
The stage, which was possibly raised.
Mêchanê/krane
Literally, "machine," a crane-like device used to lift actors, allowing performers to appear in the air or to enter aerially from behind the skene.
Odeion
Literally, "singing place," a covered auditorium for musical performances. The most famous is the Odeion of Perikles, which was built next to the Theater of Dionysos in the 430s.
Okribas
A platform in the Odeion where actors in the upcoming festivals were announced.
Orchestra
Literally, "dancing place," a round area at the foot of the slope on which spectators sat; this was the center of the dramatic performance.
Paraskenion
The projecting side-structures in Greek theaters which "contained" the performance space.
Parodos
Literally, "way on," the entry-song of the chorus. Also refers to the side-passage giving entry to the acting area from the sides.
Periaktoi
Literally, "revolving," these were devices, usually in the form of triangles, in which a different scene was painted on each of the three surfaces. They could be rotated quickly so that a different scene appears to the audience.
Pinakes
Painted panels set into the openings of the skene to indicate location.
Prohedria
Evolved from the wooden seats (see ikria), refers to the stone seating in the theatron.
Proskenion
The acting-area directly in front of the skene.
Skene
Literally "tent," a structure behind the orchestra with a large, central door, windows, and roof, often used as an acting area.
Stoa
The covered walkways of buildings that could be used by the public to sell goods, hold public events or religious gatherings.
Stylobate
The floor of a building or temple.
Technitai
Members of acting guilds
Tetrastoon
Four rows of columns around a central square or garden. Another term for peristyle.
Theatai
Refers to the spectators of a play or performance.
Theatron
The "seeing-place." Our idea of a theater, the term refers to the auditorium for spectators. See also koilon.
Thymele
An altar in the centre of the orchestra. It may have been used as a platform by the leader of the chorus in a dialogue with the rest of the members of the chorus.
Thyromata
Openings in the side of the pillars of the skene for the insertion of painted panels (pinakes).