Archive Wall

In the mid-third century AD, the short end-wall of the stage building (the so-called Archive Wall), viewed by spectators entering the Theatre by its northern entrance (parodos), was inscribed with various documents from the city archive. They are copies of documents relating to the privileges granted by the Roman senate and by Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) to Aphrodisias in 37 BC and confirmed by successive emperors in Rome, up to Gordian III in the AD 230s. The most dramatic documents are private letters written in a short, clipped style by Octavian to agents in the region: they were never meant for publication. One, positioned in the upper centre of the wall, under the large heading ‘For Good Fortune’ (Agathe Tychei) concerns C. Julius Zoilos (Octavian warns that he wants good care taken of the city of ‘my Zoilos’). The whole archive wall is an extraordinary monument of public writing and political memory.

Found at: Theatre