Some people refer to the theater of Syracuse as the "Greek amphitheatre" as distinct from the "Roman amphitheatre". As you can see from the photo, the Theatre of Syracuse is a regular Greek outdoor theater: It has area for a stage and orchestra (dance floor) in front of a semicircular stone seating/viewing area. In case this isn't clear, seating in the Greek theater is only on the front side of the performance, not the back where the backstage activities went on. Etymologically, an amphitheatre (amphitheater) should have spectators on both sides, so this is not an amphitheatre, Greek or otherwise. In contemporary usage, however, the term amphitheatre is used to refer to a raised circular or semi-circular theater.
- More on the Theatre of Syracuse
- Physical Layout of the Greek Theater
- Setting the Stage for Greek Tragedy
CC Flickr User Alun Salt.