The Theatre of Dionysus is a major open-air theatre and one of the earliest preserved in Athens
. It was used for festivals in honor of the god Dionysus. It is commonly confused with the later and better-preserved Odeon of Herodes Atticus
, located at the southwest slope of the Acropolis
The theatre was dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and the patron of Drama
; it hosted the City Dionysia festival. Amongst those who competed were the dramatists of the classical era whose works have survived- Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander. It formed part of the sacred precinct, or temenos, of Dionysos
Eleuthereus ("Dionysus Liberator"). The theatre was able to hold up to 25,000 people, with them all able to hear clearly what was being said on stage.On November 24, 2009 Greek authorities announced that they would partially restore the ruined marble theater.