Theater of Marcellus, Rome The Theater of Marcellus was built by Emperor Augustus in 13 BC. It was the largest theater in ancient Rome. After Julius Caesar defeated Pompey in the struggle for control over Rome, he wanted to build a theater rivaling the Pompey theater which Caesar's his bitter enemy had built in 55 BC. When Caesar was killed in 44 BC the project had only just started. In 22 BC Augustus, known as the emperor who turned Rome from a city of brick into a city of marble, restarted the project. Marcellus The new theater, the largest of theRoman Empire, was finally dedicated in 13 BC and named Theatrum Marcelli in memory of Marcellus, the son of Augustus' sister Octavia. Marcellus was the intended heir of Augustus, but he died at a young age. The Building When completed in 11 BC the semi-circular theater was more than 30m / 98ft high. Its seating area, the cavea, had a diameter of 130 meter (426ft). The theater of Marcellus could accommodate more than 14,000 spectators, of which 12,000 were seated. The theater consisted of three levels supported by columns. Each level had a different architectural style: the first level had arches supported by columns in the Doric Order, the second featured arches with Ionic columns and the third one consisted of a wall with pilasters in the Corinthian Order.Only parts of the first two levels are still visible today. The structure was mainly built of tufa, cement and brickwork. The cavea was sheathed in white travertine marble.turkeyarena.com The Theater during the Middle Ages In the 12th century the Theater of Marcellus was owned by the Favvi Family who turned the theater into a fortress. In 1368 the building was acquired by the Savelli Family. They transformed the building into a palazzo in the early 16th century. Due to all the modifications over the centuries, only a part of the exterior of the original theater is now visible.