The Rise Of Rome 's Decline Of 378 Ad ( Wilkes, 1992 )

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After Rome’s decline in 378 AD (Wilkes, 1992:265), parts of the amphitheater were restructured and used as chapels. The main sanctuary was built into the alcove, which originally housed the pulvinar (elevated imperial box) and vomitorium. Byzantine mosaics and frescos indicate that these chapels were created during the fifth century AD (Figure 4; Bowes and Mitchell, 2009:574-575; Isufi, 2006:11; Jacques, 1995:154; Karaiskaj, 2004:13; UNESCO, 2004:35-37). A second chapel and possible third were built on the north side of the stadium (Bowes and Mitchell, 2009:574; Bowes et al., 2003:392). Sometime during the seventh century, the arena began to be used as a graveyard, known as the necropolis. There are also several Byzantine art forms, dating from the ninth through eleventh centuries (Bowes and Mitchell, 2009:581; Bowes et al., 2003:391-392; Jacques, 1995:154-155; UNESCO, 2004:36-37). The cemetery ceased to be used by the inhabitants of Dyrrachium, at some point during the Middle Ages (Bowes and Mitchell, 2009:574; Bowes et al., 2003:388-389).
Figure 4. Byzantine mosaics and frescos (Ponce de Leon, 2013)
The last known mention of the amphitheater was by Marinus Barletius in the early sixteenth century. As the modern city of Durrës grew, the auditorium was covered over and forgotten about. Throughout the Ottoman expansion of the city, parts of the arena 's walls were used as foundations for homes (Bowes and Mitchell, 2009:570; Giandebiaggi and Vernizzi, 2013:527).

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