One other type of Greek building, into which the column does not enter, or enters only in a very subordinate way, remains to be mentioned – the theater. Theaters abounded in Greece. Every considerable city and many a smaller place had at least one, and the ruins of these structures rank with temples and walls of fortification among the commonest classes of ruins in Greek lands. But in a sketch of Greek art they may be rapidly dismissed. That part of the theater which was occupied by spectators – the auditorium, as we may call it – was commonly built into a natural slope, helped out by means of artificial embankments and supporting walls. There was no roof. The building, therefore, had no exterior, or none to speak of. Such beauty as it possessed was due mainly to its proportions. The theater at the sanctuary of Asclepius near Epidaurus (...) was distinguished in ancient times for "harmony and beauty," as the Greek traveler, Pausanias (about 165 A. D.), puts it. It is fortunately one of the best preserved. (...) Fronting the auditorium was the stage building, of which little but foundations remains anywhere. So far as can be ascertained, this stage building had but small architectural pretensions until the post classical period (i.e., after Alexander) But there was opportunity for elegance as well as convenience in the form given to the stone or marble seats with which the auditorium was provided.
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