Theater Looking West

Theater Looking West

A view looking west from within the theater from one of the seven cunei.  The semicircular Orchestra area is clearly visible as is the reconstructed stage area (scaena) where a group of people has gathered.

In the distance is a later fortification wall and to the left of that, the western tip of the Promontory Palace is visible. Note that in ancient times, the three-story stage building (scaena frons) would have blocked the view of the audience towards the Mediterranean Sea and the Promontory Palace.


The theater was first constructed by Herod the Great (37 to 4 B.C.) and went through many modifications until it went out of use in the sixth century A.D.  Herod Agrippa I (r. 39–44) may have been struck with an illness that led to his death in this theater (or possibly in the circus; Acts 12:19-23; Josephus Ant. 19.343-52 [8.2]).