Caesarea Maritima: Herod’s theater (4)



Herod’s theater in Caesarea Maritima is a composite of ancient and modern structure. As the ancients did, if you visit the theater today you’ll enter, or exit, through one of the … wait for it … original vomitorium (the Latin word for an entrance/exit passageway). To be fair, though, the word vomitorium was not in use in Herod’s day, making only rare appearance, if at all, until a few centuries after the time of Herod.

Consult the photo I posted yesterday of a sketch of Herod’s theater and you’ll see the many vomitorium (passageways) nestled beneath the theater seating. Given their number, it’s not hard to imagine how a large theater audience could quickly spew from the conclusion of a performance, just as they do today from a stadium or arena. Hence the word: vomitorium.

In today’s picture, people are photographing a vomitorium located on the east side of Herod’s theater, the main entrance/exit in use today.

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