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Form: Lat. Odeum.
The Greek term for a building constrneted for musical performances on the plan of a theatre, but with far slighter proportions and provided with a roof for acoustical purposes. Hence also the stage was not so deep, and ended in three walls which abutted with one another at obtuse angles. [The oldest Odeion in Athens was that in the neighbourbood of the fountain of Enneacrunus (Pausan., i 4, 1), on the Ilissus, south of the Olympieum. This Odeion was probably built in the time of the Pisistratidae.] The building which served as a pattern for all later ones of this kind was the Odeion built by Pericles about 445 B.C., intended at first for the musical contests at the Panathenaic games, but afterwards used by poets and musicians for rehearsals, by philosophers for discussions, and sometimes even for judicial business. This building was restored after its destruction by fire (87 B.C.) by king Ariobarzanes II, Philopator. The first at Rome was built by Domitian (about 86 A.D.); a second by Trajan. That of Herodes Atticus (q.v.) was considered the largest and most magnificent in ancient times: it was built soon after 160 A.D. at Athens, below the south western cliff of the Acropolis, in honour of his deceased wife Annia Regilla, and a considerable part of it is still standing. It held about 8000 persons and had a roof composed of beams of cedar wood.
Type: Standard
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