The Odeon was used for poetry-readings, small concerts and prize-giving ceremonies. In Hellenistic times, theatres and odeons were as important as temples in the life of the people. Enjoyment for the Romans meant food, games and spectacles. The cry of the decadent people for “Bread and Circuses” is witness to the countless mad spectacles that were provided.
Built into the slope of the hill, it could seat 2,200 people. The upper closed part of the building was entered by two side doors. The twenty-three rows of seats were divided by a diazoma into two sections, thirteen below and ten above. The lower seats seem to have been wider than those above. The highest part of the theater was decorated with Corinthian columns made of red granite.
The stage was not in fact very high but gave the impression of being richly ornamented with inscriptions and carving. The Odeon was built during the second century by Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Papiana.
Celebrations in the Odeon formed a large port of the festivals of Artemis.