In Alexander’s time the amphitheatre was a sign of Macedonian power. Especially for the new and conquered cities in modern-day Turkey. The amphitheatre combined the Macedonian dominance of technologies such as architecture, construction, science, art, culture and wealth. The Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, USA is not a display of American power – the two most prominent symbols of that got hit by hijacked aircraft in 2001 – but maybe it should be argued that the spontaneous culture which has popped up there is.
Red Rocks is a natural amphitheatre. The tall canyon stone at the sides and bottom reflect sound so that a slightly raised voice is audible at the top of the stairs. There is the desire at Red Rocks for nature to be perfect, but humankind have put many pragmatic improvements; such as very comfortable seating, a roof to protect performers from the elements and brick towers for the PA systems.
The Macedonians would be comfortable with that. What would be alien to them though is the fitness culture at Red Rocks. In the photo above you can see people moving left to right, and bottom to top. Other than a couple of tourists, every other person there was running, exercising or power-walking. There were about three groups of five to seven people working out in unison: including one group running around each decorative little tree on the side of the amphitheatre.
Alexander led a massive empire which stretched from Greece and Egypt, through Persia to India; but it was never so wealthy and so powerful that it could have a bunch of people who were uninterested in furthering that empire’s wealth and power other than to run around an amphitheatre for their own personal amusement.