The web of history, that has been interwoven with Orchomenus, Boeotia, for millennia, is not limited to the vaulted tomb of Minyas. It continues to the theatre that decorated the city’s agora in the historic years of the 4th century B.C.
Scattered inscriptions among the marble seats of a single koilon list the musical, theatrical, and poetic competitions that were held in this theatre in honour of the three Charites (Graces), the most important deities of the city. However, honours were not limited to the three Charites, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome. By building a theatre over an older Mycenaean burial ground, the Boeotians established the “pilgrimage” to the founders of their land, transforming these tributes into paeans, hymns, and tragic plays.
Citharists (lyre players), auletes (flute players), kerykes (heralds) salpinx (trumpet) players, poets, comic playwrights, rhapsodist, tragic playwrights, and artists from all over Greece, as well as Asia Minor and Italy, poured into Orchomenus to compete. Under the tireless eye of Dionysus and Omolios Zeus, sponsors funded musical contests, establishing a leading institution in years to come.