What Is Cothurni in Greek Theatre?

Greek Theatre|Theater

Cothurni are a type of footwear used in Ancient Greek theatre. The name comes from the Greek word “kothornos”, which means “high boot”.

The cothurni were worn by actors in order to make them look larger and more imposing on stage. They were also used to signify certain characters or roles, such as kings, gods, or heroes.

Cothurni were made of leather and had high soles that added extra height to the wearer. They usually reached just above the knee and were usually decorated with ribbons or cords of leather or wool. The cothurni also had thick straps that went around the leg and calf for support.

The use of cothurni in Greek theatre was an important part of the performance. It not only made actors appear larger and more imposing on stage, but it also helped to create a sense of awe and reverence for those characters who wore them. It was believed that by wearing the cothurni, actors could embody their characters more fully and accurately portray their roles on stage.

In addition to their use in theatre, cothurni were also popular among warriors in Ancient Greece as they could provide protection against weapons while still allowing for freedom of movement. They were often made out of thicker leather than that used for theatrical performances so they could withstand battle conditions better.

Cothurni are an important part of Ancient Greek theatre history and culture and remain a symbol of power and strength even today. They are a reminder of how powerful theatre can be when used correctly – both in terms of storytelling and creating an atmosphere that can help bring stories to life on stage.


Cothurni are an essential part of Ancient Greek theatre history as they helped create awe-inspiring scenes on stage with their imposing size and decorated appearance. They also provided protection for warriors in battle conditions which makes them a symbol of power even today.