Theater of Cartagena (Carthago Nova), at Murcia.
After demolition of Countess Palace at 1990 first remainings of this outstanding theater were discovered. Because of the shelter given by this and other next buildings it has been very well preserved.
August Emperor began this edification at the end of 1st Century b.C. and was helped by his heirs -Caius and Lucius- for its design and finances. Besides the sculptures for honouring the Emperor: an eagle, a peacock, dancing women, an owl there are many texts devoted to Caius and Lucius.
Placed at the Conception Mountain, its slope was used for making easy the row construction, since the most part of ot is carved on the natural stone of the hill. Then, the whole would be covered by lime ashlars. Only the media cavea sides -center of the row- and a part of the superior summa cavea have an own structure parallel to the exterior fašade. Doors were placed at this area: they gave access to vomitorium that led to the access slopes.
This cavea -row- was divided into three horizontal areas -ima, media and summa cavea-. Vertically, it was divided by radial stairs in four sections with the shape of a wedge -cuneus- at the ima and the media cavea; in seven sections at the summa cavea. Its radius is ca. 44 m. long.
The podium built as opus caementicium is covered by grey lime. It is 46 m. long and 7,50 m. wide and almost 2 m. high.
On it, the scene fašade -scaenae frons- is 44 m. long and almost 8 m. wide and 16 m. high, with a plan composed by three curved exedrae that limit the proscaenium where three doors for entering the scene are open -the valva regia and the valvae hospitales-. At both sides there were parascaenia, rectangular rooms communicated with the cavea.
Its elevation shows the double attic bases in white marble that support rose marble columns with corintian capitals made of the same material than the bases. A similar structure is superimposed to this one, forming an harmonic and balanced fašade. This design can be seen as a model for August age. It is probable that these constructive elements -capitals, bases, columns...- did come from a workshop in Rome.
Under this structure flows a canal for evacuation of waters, communicated with three outputs placed at the exedrae.
At last, the orchestra's radius is 6,5 m. long and is surrounded by seats reserved to relevant persons in the city -the proceres-.
At Dioclecianus Age, at 4th century, decadence of the city was evident, in spite of being the capital for Carthaginensis province. Theater became a place for stores and market, being divided in two and using its constructive elements -capitals, columns- for new basements. Because of that, actual historians could recuperate these elements and rebuilt the most part of the Theater.