Roman Theater, Arles: View of cavea and seating and two remaining columns
Originally a Greek settlement, it was refounded with the name Arelate in 46 BCE by Julius Caesar as a colony for army veterans. The theatre and the amphitheatre are both well preserved. The theatre was built soon after the colony was founded, probably early in the reign of Augustus. The three external orders of the cavea (auditorium) combine Corinthian with Doric elements in a manner not common later. Although it stood on a hillside, the seating was entirely built on vaulted substructures. The stage-building, now largely ruined, had a central doorway projecting from a curved exedra, but there were no exedrae at the sides. The columns, two of which are still standing, were of coloured marble imported from Greece and Asia Minor. The Venus of Arles (Paris, Louvre) and the head of a large marble statue of Augustus (late 1st century BCE; Arles, Musee Réattu) were among the sculptures found there.