The Via Domitia was the first Roman road built in Gaul, to link Italy and Hispania through Gallia Narbonensis, across what is now southern France. The route that the Romans regularised and paved was ancient when they set out to survey it, so old that it traces the mythic route travelled by Heracles; the construction of the road was commissioned by Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, whose name it bore, following the defeat of the Allobroges and Averni by himself and Quintus Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus. Gnaeus Domitius established a fortified garrison at Narbo on the coast, near Hispania, to guard its construction, it soon developed into a full Roman colony Colonia Narbo Martius. The lands on the western part of the route, beyond the River Rhône had been under the control of the Averni who, according to Strabo, has stretched their control to Narbo and Pyrenees; the Via Domitia connected Italy to Hispania. Crossing the Alps by the easiest passage, the Col de Montgenèvre, it followed the valley of the Durance, crossed the Rhône at Beaucaire passed through Nîmes followed the coastal plain along the Gulf of Lion.
At Narbonne, it met the Via Aquitania. Thus Narbonne was a crucial strategic crossroads of the Via Domitia and the Via Aquitania, it was an accessible, but well-defendable, port at that time; this "cusp point" in the Roman westwards expansion and ensuing supply and fortification was a important asset, was treated as such. In between the cities that it linked, the Via Domitia was provided with a series of mansiones at distances of a day's journey for a loaded cart, at which shelter and fresh horses could be obtained for travellers on official business; the route as it was in Late Antiquity is represented in schematic fashion on the Tabula Peutingeriana. This route can be traced on topographical maps overprinted with the ancient route, in G. Castellve, J.-B. Compsa, J. Kotarba and A. Pezin, eds. Voies romaines du Rhône à l'Èbre: Via Domitia et Via Augusta Paris 1997. Briançon Chorges Gap Le Monetier Allemont Embrun Sisteron Lurs Céreste Apt Notre Dame des Lumières Cavaillon Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Saint-Gabriel Beaucaire Nîmes Ambrussum Lunel-Vieil Castelnau-le-Lez Montpellier route remains unknown Montbazin Mèze Pinet Saint-Thibéry and its Roman bridge Béziers Narbonne At Narbonne, a section of the Via Domitia is exposed in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville.
The Via Domitia crossed the Atax by a seven-arched bridge at the site of the Pont des Marchands. Fitou Salses Perpignan RuscinoAt Ruscino, the road separates in two: the Inland Route and the Coastal Route, which rejoin at La Junquera. Coastal Route Elne Saint-Cyprien Argelès Collioure Port-Vendres BanyulsInland Route Montescot Le Boulou Les Cluses Le Perthus, at the Trophy of PompeyRejoins at: La Junquera Here the Via Augusta begins. For an overview of the location of Roman bridges, see List of Roman bridges. There are the remains of several Roman bridges along the road, including the Roman Bridge of Saint-Thibéry, the Pont Ambroix at Ambrussum, the Pont Julien and the Pont Serme. Roman roads Roman bridge Roman engineering Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus Quintus Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus Raymond Chevalier, Les Voies Romaines, Paris, 1997. ISBN 2-7084-0526-8 Pierre A. Clement and Alain Peyre, La Voie Domitienne: De la Via Domitia aux routes de l'an 2000, Presses du Languedoc/Max Chaleil Editeur, 1992.
ISBN 2-85998-097-0 Pierre A. Clement, La Via Domitia: Des Pyrénées aux Alpes, Editions Ouest-France, Rennes, 2005. ISBN 2-7373-3508-6 "Suivez la Via Domitia" DVD 60 mins. English - French - German Luberon News - Via Domitia Traces of the Via Domitia St Thibery - Via Domitia
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus known as Suetonius, was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire. His most important surviving work is a set of biographies of twelve successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian, entitled De Vita Caesarum, he recorded the earliest accounts of Julius Caesar's epileptic seizures. Other works by Suetonius concern the daily life of Rome, politics and the lives of famous writers, including poets and grammarians. A few of these books have survived, but many have been lost. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus was born about 69 AD, a date deduced from his remarks describing himself as a "young man" twenty years after Nero's death, his place of birth is disputed, but most scholars place it in Hippo Regius, a small north African town in Numidia, in modern-day Algeria. It is certain that Suetonius came from a family of moderate social position, that his father, Suetonius Laetus, was a tribune of equestrian rank in the Thirteenth Legion, that Suetonius was educated when schools of rhetoric flourished in Rome.
Suetonius was letter-writer Pliny the Younger. Pliny describes him as "quiet and studious, a man dedicated to writing." Pliny helped him buy a small property and interceded with the Emperor Trajan to grant Suetonius immunities granted to a father of three, the ius trium liberorum, because his marriage was childless. Through Pliny, Suetonius came into favour with Hadrian. Suetonius may have served on Pliny’s staff when Pliny was Proconsul of Bithynia Pontus between 110 and 112. Under Trajan he served as secretary of studies and director of Imperial archives. Under Hadrian, he became the Emperor's secretary, but Hadrian dismissed Suetonius for the latter's excessive informality with the empress Sabina. He is remembered as the author of De Vita Caesarum—translated as The Life of the Caesars although a more common English title is The Lives of the Twelve Caesars or The Twelve Caesars—his only extant work except for the brief biographies and other fragments noted below; the Twelve Caesars written in Hadrian's time, is a collective biography of the Roman Empire's first leaders, Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Claudius, Galba, Vitellius, Vespasian and Domitian.
The book was dedicated to his friend Gaius Septicius Clarus, a prefect of the Praetorian Guard in 119. The work tells the tale of each Caesar's life according to a set formula: the descriptions of appearance, family history, a history are given in a consistent order for each Caesar. De Viris Illustribus, to which belong: De Illustribus Grammaticis De Claris Rhetoribus De Poetis De Historicis Peri ton par' Hellesi paidion Peri blasphemion The two last works were written in Greek, they survive in part in the form of extracts in Greek glossaries. The below listed lost works of Suetonius are from the foreword written by Robert Graves in his translation of the Twelve Caesars. Royal Biographies Lives of Famous Whores Roman Manners and Customs The Roman Year The Roman Festivals Roman Dress Greek Games Offices of State On Cicero’s Republic Physical Defects of Mankind Methods of Reckoning Time An Essay on Nature Greek Objurations Grammatical Problems Critical Signs Used in BooksThe introduction to Loeb edition of Suetonius, translated by J. C.
Rolfe, with an introduction by K. R. Bradley, references the Suda with the following titles: On Greek games On Roman spectacles and games On the Roman year On critical signs in books On Cicero's Republic On names and types of clothes On insults On Rome and its customs and mannersThe volume goes on to add other titles not testified within the Suda. On famous courtesans On kings On the institution of offices On physical defects On weather signs On names of seas and rivers On names of windsTwo other titles may be collections of some of the aforelisted: Pratum On various matters Edwards, Catherine Lives of the Caesars. Oxford World’s Classics.. Robert Graves, Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars Donna W. Hurley, Suetonius: The Caesars. J. C. Rolfe, Lives of the Caesars, Volume I. J. C. Rolfe, Lives of the Caesars, Volume II. C. Suetonii Tranquilli De vita Caesarum libros VIII et De grammaticis et rhetoribus librum, ed. Robert A. Kaster. Suetonius on Christians Barry Baldwin, Suetonius: Biographer of the Caesars.
Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert, 1983. Gladhill, Bill. “The Emperor's No Clothes: Suetonius and the Dynamics of Corporeal Ecphrasis.” Classical Antiquity, vol. 31, no. 2, 2012, pp. 315–348. Lounsbury, Richard C; the Arts of Suetonius: An Introduction. Frankfurt: Lang, 1987. Mitchell, Jack “Literary Quotation as Literary Performance in Suetonius.” The Classical Journal, vol. 110, no. 3, 2015, pp. 333–355 Newbold, R. F. “Non-Verbal Communication in Su
The Rhône is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire, rising in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps at the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais, passing through Lake Geneva and running through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhône and the Little Rhône; the resulting delta constitutes the Camargue region. The name Rhone continues the name Latin: Rhodanus in Greco-Roman geography; the Gaulish name of the river was *Rodonos or *Rotonos. The Greco-Roman as well as the reconstructed Gaulish name is masculine; this form survives in the Spanish/Portuguese and Italian namesakes, el/o Ródano and il Rodano, respectively. German has adopted the French name but given it the feminine gender; the original German adoption of the Latin name was masculine, der Rotten. In French, the adjective derived from the river is rhodanien, as in le sillon rhodanien, the name of the long, straight Saône and Rhône river valleys, a deep cleft running due south to the Mediterranean and separating the Alps from the Massif Central.
Before railroads and highways were developed, the Rhône was an important inland trade and transportation route, connecting the cities of Arles, Valence and Lyon to the Mediterranean ports of Fos-sur-Mer, Marseille and Sète. Travelling down the Rhône by barge would take three weeks. By motorized vessel, the trip now takes only three days; the Rhône is classified as a Class V waterway for the 325 km long section from the mouth of the Saône at Lyon to the sea at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. Upstream from Lyon, a 149 km section of the Rhône was made navigable for small ships up to Seyssel; as of 2017, the part between Lyon and Sault-Brénaz is closed for navigation. The Saône, canalized, connects the Rhône ports to the cities of Villefranche-sur-Saône, Mâcon and Chalon-sur-Saône. Smaller vessels can travel further northwest and northeast via the Centre-Loire-Briare and Loing Canals to the Seine, via the Canal de la Marne à la Saône to the Marne, via the Canal des Vosges to the Moselle and via the Canal du Rhône au Rhin to the Rhine.
The Rhône is infamous for its strong current when the river carries large quantities of water: current speeds up to 10 kilometres per hour are sometimes reached in the stretch below the last lock at Vallabrègues and in the narrow first diversion canal south of Lyon. The 12 locks are operated daily from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. All operation is centrally controlled from one control centre at Châteauneuf. Commercial barges may navigate during the night hours by authorisation; the Rhône rises as an effluent of the Rhône Glacier in the Valais, in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 2,208 metres. From there it flows south through Gletsch and the Goms, the uppermost, valley region of the Valais before Brig. Shortly before reaching Brig, it receives the waters of the Massa from the Aletsch Glacier, it flows onward through the valley which bears its name and runs in a westerly direction about thirty kilometers to Leuk southwest about fifty kilometers to Martigny. Down as far as Brig, the Rhône is a torrent.
Between Brig and Martigny, it collects waters from the valleys of the Pennine Alps to the south, whose rivers originate from the large glaciers of the massifs of Monte Rosa and Grand Combin. At Martigny, where it receives the waters of the Drance on its left bank, the Rhône makes a strong turn towards the north. Heading toward Lake Geneva, the valley narrows, a feature that has long given the Rhône valley strategic importance for the control of the Alpine passes; the Rhône marks the boundary between the cantons of Valais and Vaud, separating the Valais Chablais and Chablais Vaudois. It enters Lake Geneva near Le Bouveret. On a portion of its extent Lake Geneva marks the border between Switzerland. On the left bank of Lake Geneva the river receives the river Morge; this river marks the border between Switzerland. The Morge enters Lake Geneva at a village on both sides of the border. Between Évian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains the Dranse enters the lakewhere it left a quite large delta. On the right bank of the lake the Rhône receives the Veveyse, the Venoge, the Aubonne and the Morges besides others.
Lake Geneva ends in Geneva. The average discharge from Lake Geneva is 251 cubic metres per second. In Geneva, the Rhône receives the waters of the Arve from the Mont Blanc. After a course of 290 kilometres the Rhône leaves Switzerland and enters the southern Jura Mountains, it turns toward the south past the Bourget Lake which it is connected by the Savières channel. At Lyon, the biggest city along its course, the Rhône meets its biggest tributary, the Saône; the Saône carries 400 cubic metres per the Rhône itself 600 cubic metres per second. From the confluence, the Rhône follows the southbound
Titus Livius – rendered as Livy in English – was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime, he was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and in friendship with Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he exhorted to take up the writing of history. Livy was born in Patavium in northern Italy, now modern Padua. There is a debate about the year of his birth- either in 64 BC, or more in 59 BC. At the time of his birth, his home city of Patavium was the second wealthiest on the Italian peninsula, the largest in the province of Cisalpine Gaul. Cisalpine Gaul was merged in Italia during his lifetime and its inhabitants were given Roman citizenship by Julius Caesar. In his works, Livy expressed his deep affection and pride for Patavium, the city was well known for its conservative values in morality and politics.
"He was by nature a recluse, mild in averse to violence. The governor of Cisalpine Gaul at the time, Asinius Pollio, tried to sway Patavium into supporting Marcus Antonius, the leader of one of the warring factions; the wealthy citizens of Patavium refused to contribute money and arms to Asinius Pollio, went into hiding. Pollio attempted to bribe the slaves of those wealthy citizens to expose the whereabouts of their masters, it is therefore that the Roman civil wars prevented Livy from pursuing a higher education in Rome or going on a tour of Greece, common for adolescent males of the nobility at the time. Many years Asinius Pollio derisively commented on Livy's "patavinity", saying that Livy's Latin showed certain "provincialisms" frowned on at Rome. Pollio's dig may have been the result of bad feelings he harboured toward the city of Patavium from his experiences there during the civil wars. Livy went to Rome in the 30s BC, it is that he spent a large amount of time in the city after this, although it may not have been his primary home.
During his time in Rome, he held a government position. His writings contain elementary mistakes on military matters, indicating that he never served in the Roman army. However, he was educated in rhetoric, it seems that Livy had the financial resources and means to live an independent life, though the origin of that wealth is unknown. He devoted a large part of his life to his writings, which he was able to do because of his financial freedom. Livy was known to give recitations to small audiences, but he was not heard of to engage in declamation a common pastime, he was familiar with the imperial family. Augustus was considered by Romans to have been the greatest Roman emperor, benefiting Livy's reputation long after his death. Suetonius described how Livy encouraged the future emperor Claudius, born in 10 BC, to write historiographical works during his childhood. Livy's most famous work was his history of Rome. In it he narrates a complete history of the city of Rome, from its foundation to the death of Augustus.
Because he was writing under the reign of Augustus, Livy's history emphasizes the great triumphs of Rome. He wrote his history with embellished accounts of Roman heroism in order to promote the new type of government implemented by Augustus when he became emperor. In Livy's preface to his history, he said that he did not care whether his personal fame remained in darkness, as long as his work helped to "preserve the memory of the deeds of the world’s preeminent nation"; because Livy was writing about events that had occurred hundreds of years earlier, the historical value of his work was questionable, although many Romans came to believe his account to be true. Livy had at least one daughter and one son, he produced other works, including an essay in the form of a letter to his son, numerous dialogues, most modelled on similar works by Cicero. Titus Livius died in his home city of Patavium in either AD 12 or 17. Livy's only surviving work is the "History of Rome", his career from his mid-life 32, until he left Rome for Padua in old age in the reign of Tiberius after the death of Augustus.
When he began this work he was past his youth. Seneca the Younger gives brief mention that he was known as an orator and philosopher and had written some treatises in those fields from a historical point of view. Livy's History of Rome was in high demand from the time it was published and remained so during the early years of the empire. Pliny the Younger reported that Livy's celebrity was so widespread, a man from Cadiz travelled to Rome and back for the sole purpose of meeting him. Livy's work was a source for the works of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, Florus, Granius Licinianus and Orosius. Julius Obsequens used Livy, or a source with access to Livy, to compose his De Prodigiis, an account of supernatural e
Narbonne is a commune in southern France in the Occitanie region. It lies 849 km from Paris in the Aude department, it is located about 15 km from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and was a prosperous port, but declined from the 14th century following a change in the course of the Aude River. It is marginally the largest commune in Aude, although the prefecture is the smaller commune of Carcassonne. Narbonne is linked to the nearby Canal du Midi and the Aude River by the Canal de la Robine, which runs through the centre of town, it is close to the A9 motorway, which connects Montpellier and Nimes to Perpignan and, across the border, to Barcelona in Spain. There is a recently-renovated train station which serves the TGV to Spain and Calais, which in turn connects to the Eurostar; the source of the town's original name of Narbo is lost in antiquity, it may have referred to an Iron Age hillfort close to the location of the current settlement or its occupants. The earliest known record of the area comes from the Greek Hecataeus of Miletus in the fifth century BC, who identified it as a Celtic harbor and marketplace at that time, called its inhabitants the Ναρβαῖοι.
In ancient inscriptions the name is sometimes rendered in Latin and sometimes translated into Iberian as Nedhena. Narbonne in its current location was established in Gaul by the Romans in 118 BC, as Colonia Narbo Martius, colloquially Narbo, it was located on the Via Domitia, the first Roman road in Gaul, built at the time of the foundation of the colony, connecting Italy to Spain. Geographically, Narbonne was therefore located at a important crossroads because it was situated where the Via Domitia connected to the Via Aquitania, which led toward the Atlantic through Tolosa and Burdigala. In addition, it was crossed by the Aude River. Surviving members of Julius Caesar's Legio X Equestris were given lands in the area that today is called Narbonne. Politically, Narbonne gained importance as a competitor to Massalia. Julius Caesar settled veterans from his 10th Legion there and attempted to develop its port while Marseille was supporting Pompey. Among the amenities of Narbonne, its rosemary-flower honey was famous among Romans.
The province of Transalpine Gaul was renamed Gallia Narbonensis after the city, which became its capital. Seat of a powerful administration, the city enjoyed architectural expansion. At that point, the city is thought to have had 30,000–50,000 inhabitants, may have had as many as 100,000. According to Hydatius, in 462 the city was handed over to the Visigoths by a local military leader in exchange for support, as a result Roman rule ended in the city, it was subsequently the capital of the Visigothic province of Septimania, the only territory from Gaul to fend off the Frankish thrust after the Battle of Vouille. For 40 years, from 719 to 759, Narbonne was part of the Umayyad Empire; the Umayyad governor Al-Samh captured Narbonne from The Kingdom of Visigoths in 719. The Carolingian Pepin the Short conquered Narbonne from the Arabs in 759 after which it became part of the Carolingian Viscounty of Narbonne, he invited, according to Christian sources, prominent Jews from the Caliphate of Bagdad to settle in Narbonne and establish a major Jewish learning center for Western Europe.
In the 12th century, the court of Ermengarde of Narbonne presided over one of the cultural centers where the spirit of courtly love was developed. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Narbonne was home to an important Jewish exegetical school, which played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Zarphatic and Shuadit languages. Jews had settled in Narbonne from about the 5th century, with a community that had risen to 2000 in the 12th century. At this time, Narbonne was mentioned in Talmudic works in connection with its scholars. One source, Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo, gives them an importance similar to the exilarchs of Babylon. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the community went through a series of ups and downs before settling into extended decline. Narbonne itself fell for a variety of reasons. One was due to a change in the course of the Aude River, which caused increased silting of the navigational access; the river, known as the Atax in ancient times, had always had two main courses which split close to Salelles.
The Romans had improved the navigability of the river by building a dam near Salelles and by canalising the river as it passed through its marshy delta to the sea A major flood in 1320 swept the dam away. The Aude river had a long history of overflowing its banks; when it was a bustling port, the distance from the coast was 5 to 10 km, but at that time the access to the sea was deep enough when the river was in full spate which made communication between port and city unreliable. However, goods could be transported by land and in shallow barges from the ports The changes to the long seashore which resulted from the silting up of the series of graus or openings which were interspersed between the islands which made up the shoreline had a more serious impact th
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 162 BC)
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, son of the Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, consul in 192 BC, was chosen pontifex in 172 BC, when still a young man, in 169 BC was sent with two others as commissioners into Macedonia. In 167 BC he was one of the ten commissioners for arranging the affairs of Macedonia in conjunction with Aemilius Paulus, he was the father of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, consul in 122 BC. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Ahenobarbus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. P. 84
Col de Montgenèvre
The Col de Montgenèvre is a high mountain pass in the Cottian Alps, in France 2 kilometres away from Italy. The pass takes its name from the village Montgenèvre, it links Briançon in the upper Durance valley with the Susa Valley and its communes of Cesana Torinese and Susa in the Metropolitan City of Turin, Piedmont. The Col de Montgenèvre is an important road connection, is kept open in winter, its importance has always lain in the fact that it is the lowest of the principal crossings of the main range of the Alps between France and Italy. It was known to the Romans before 118 BC, when Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus started construction of the Via Domitia road, which terminated at the pass. Pompey used it on his campaign to Spain in 77 BC, claiming to have opened up a route more favorable than hitherto, it was subsequently used by Julius Caesar in travelling to Gaul and became thereafter the main route for travel between Roman Italy and southern Gaul or Spain. The Col de Montgenèvre is considered a possible route for Hannibal's famous passage through the Alps on his journey from the Rhone river valley to Italy.
Through this pass Charles VIII of France led his army in September 1494 on his way to capture the Kingdom of Naples, which would spark 65 years of intermittent warfare up and down Italy known as the Italian Wars. The Col de Montgenèvre has appeared on the Tour de France 10 times; the first person over the summit on each occasion was: 1949 Tour de France: Gino Bartali Italy 1952 Tour de France: Fausto Coppi Italy 1956 Tour de France: Valentin Huot France 1966 Tour de France: Julio Jiménez Spain 1976 Tour de France: Joop Zoetemelk Netherlands 1992 Tour de France: Richard Virenque France 1996 Tour de France: Bjarne Riis Denmark 1997 Tour de France: Richard Virenque France 1999 Tour de France: Richard Virenque France 2011 Tour de France: Sylvain Chavanel France Cottii Regnum List of highest paved roads in Europe List of mountain passes Col de Montgenèvre on Google Maps