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Arcade supporting the highest seating area, Arles, Amphitheater.

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Supporting arcades of the amphitheater and 8th c. tower, Arles, Amphitheat...

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Cavea (seating area) and arena (stage), Arles, Amphitheater.

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View northeast (toward the Alpilles) from the amphitheater at Arles, Amphi...

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8th c. tower over the amphitheater, Arles, Amphitheater.

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Supporting arcades of the amphitheater, with the Alpilles (hills) in the d...

Context: Arelate
Type: Amphitheater
Summary: The Roman amphitheater at Arles--the largest Transalpine amphitheater--is located adjacent to the Roman theater, is found in the northeast portion of the city.
Date: ca. 90 AD
Dimensions: Overall: 136.20 x 106.75 m; arena: 69.10 x 39.65 m. Seating capacity: 20,000
Period: Flavian


Plan: The attic story no longer remains, but both levels of the gallery are substantially preserved. The lower level gallery is comprised of 60 arches alternating with Doric piers, while in the upper gallery, the 60 arches are interspersed with attached Corinthian columns.

Date Description: The amphitheater is variously dated. It certainly postdates the Republican colony, as part of the city was pulled down to build the amphitheater. The Flavian date is based on some details of construction.

History: The amphitheater was reused as a fortress in the 8th c. A.C., at which time 4 watchtowers (of which three remain) were constructed. Later at least 200 private homes were crowded within its walls. In 1825 it was excavated and restored, since which time it has been used for bullfights.

Sources Used: Provence Michelin 1998, 86; Robertson 1997, 775