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Colonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugdunum
Lugdunum
(modern: Lyon, France) was an important Roman city in Gaul. The city was founded in 43 BC by Lucius Munatius Plancus. It served as the capital of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis
Gallia Lugdunensis
and was an important city in the western half of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
for centuries. Two emperors, Claudius and Caracalla, were born in Lugdunum. In the time period 69–192 AD the city population could be as large as 50,000 to 100,000. Even figures of up to 200,000 people are proposed by Albert Grenier.[1][2][3][4] The original Roman city was situated west of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône, on the Fourvière
Fourvière
heights. By the late centuries of the empire much of the population was located in the Saône
Saône
River valley at the foot of Fourvière.

Contents

1 Name 2 Pre-Roman settlements and the area before the founding of the city 3 Founding of the Roman city 4 Attention from the Emperors 5 Growth and prosperity in the first centuries of the Empire 6 Christianity and the first martyrs 7 Battle of Lugdunum 8 Decline of Lugdunum
Lugdunum
and the Empire 9 See also 10 References 11 Sources 12 External links

Name[edit] The Roman city was founded as Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods. The city became increasingly referred to as Lugdunum
Lugdunum
(and occasionally Lugudunum[5]) by the end of the 1st century AD. During the Middle Ages, Lugdunum
Lugdunum
was transformed to Lyon
Lyon
by natural sound change. Lugdunum
Lugdunum
is a latinization of the Gaulish *Lugudunon, meaning "Fortress (or hill) of (the god) Lugus" or, alternately "Fortress of the champion" (if *lugus is a common noun cognate with Old Irish lug "warrior, hero, fighter"). The Celtic god Lugus
Lugus
was apparently popular in Ireland
Ireland
and Britain as is found in medieval Irish literature as Lug(h) and in medieval Welsh literature as Lleu (also spelled Llew). According to Pseudo-Plutarch, Lugdunum
Lugdunum
takes its name from an otherwise unattested Gaulish word lugos, that he says means "raven" (κόρακα), and the Gaulish word for an eminence or high ground (τοπον έξέχοντα), dunon.[6] An early folk-etymology of Gaulish Lugduno as "Desired Mountain", is recorded in a gloss in the 9th-century Endlicher's Glossary,[7][8] but this may in fact reflect a native Frankish speaker's attempt at linking the first element of the name, Lugu- (which, by the time this gloss was composed, would have been pronounced lu'u, the -g- having become silent) with the similar-sounding Germanic word for "love", *luβ.[9] Another early medieval folk-etymology of the name, found in gloss on the Latin poet Juvenal, connects the element Lugu- to the Latin word for "light", lux (luci- in compounds) and translates the name as "Shining Hill" (lucidus mons).[10][11] Pre-Roman settlements and the area before the founding of the city[edit] Archeological evidence[12] shows Lugdunum
Lugdunum
was a pre-Gallic settlement as far back as the neolithic era, and a Gallic settlement with continuous occupation from the 4th century BC. It was situated on the Fourvière
Fourvière
heights above the Saône
Saône
river. There was trade with Campania
Campania
for ceramics and wine, and use of some Italic-style home furnishings before the Roman conquest. Gaul
Gaul
was conquered for the Romans by Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
between 58 and 53 BC. His description, De Bello Gallico, is our principal written source of knowledge of pre-Roman Gaul, but there is no specific mention of this area. Founding of the Roman city[edit] In 44 BC, ten years after the conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
was assassinated and civil war erupted. According to the historian Cassius Dio, in 43 BC, the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
ordered Munatius Plancus and Lepidus, governors of central and Transalpine Gaul
Gaul
respectively, to found a city for a group of Roman refugees who had been expelled from Vienne (a town about 30 km to the south) by the Allobroges
Allobroges
and were encamped at the confluence of the Saône
Saône
and Rhône rivers. Dio Cassius says this was to keep them from joining Mark Antony
Mark Antony
and bringing their armies into the developing conflict.[citation needed] Epigraphic
Epigraphic
evidence suggests Munatius Plancus was the principal founder of Lugdunum.[citation needed] Lugdunum
Lugdunum
seems to have had a population of several thousand at the time Roman foundation. The citizens were administratively assigned to the Galerian tribe. The aqueduct of the Monts d'Or, completed around 20BC, was the first of at least four aqueducts supplying water to the city. Within 50 years Lugdunum
Lugdunum
increased greatly in size and importance, becoming the administrative centre of Roman Gaul
Gaul
and Germany. By the end of the reign of Augustus, Strabo
Strabo
described Lugdunum
Lugdunum
as the junction of four major roads (the Via Agrippa): south to Narbonensis, Massilia
Massilia
and Italy, north to the Rhine river
Rhine river
and Germany, northwest to the sea (the English Channel), and west to Aquitania.

Antoninianus
Antoninianus
struck under Florianus
Florianus
in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
mint.

The proximity to the frontier with Germany
Germany
made Lugdunum
Lugdunum
strategically important for the next four centuries, as a staging ground for further Roman expansion into Germany, as well as the "de facto" capital city and administrative centre of the Gallic provinces. Its large and cosmopolitan population made it the commercial and financial heart of the northwestern provinces as well. The imperial mint established a branch in 15 BC, during the reign of Augustus, and produced coinage for the next three centuries (see picture). Attention from the Emperors[edit]

Ancient Theatre of Fourvière

In its 1st century, Lugdunum
Lugdunum
was many times the object of attention or visits by the emperors or the imperial family. Agrippa, Drusus, Tiberius, and Germanicus
Germanicus
(born himself in Lugdunum) were among the governor generals who served in Lugdunum. Augustus
Augustus
is thought to have visited at least three times between 16 and 8 BC. Drusus lived in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
between 13 and 9 BC. In 10 BC his son Claudius
Claudius
(the future emperor) was born there. Tiberius
Tiberius
stopped in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
in 5–4 BC, on his way to the Rhine, and again in 21 AD, campaigning against the Andecavi. Caligula's visit in 39–40 was longer, stranger, and better documented by Suetonius. Claudius
Claudius
and Nero
Nero
also contributed to the city's importance and growth. In 12 BC, Drusus completed an administrative census of the area and dedicated an altar to his stepfather Augustus
Augustus
at the junction of the two rivers. Perhaps to promote a policy of conciliation and integration, all the notable men of the three parts of Gaul
Gaul
were invited. Caius Julius Vercondaridubnus, a member of the Aedui
Aedui
tribe, was installed as the first priest of the new imperial cult sanctuary, which was subsequently known as the Junction Sanctuary or the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls. The altar, with its distinctive vertical end poles, was engraved with the names of 60 Gallic tribes, and was featured prominently on coins from the Lugdunum
Lugdunum
mint for many years. The "council of the three Gauls" continued to be held annually for nearly three centuries, even after Gaul
Gaul
was divided into provinces.

Amphithéâtre des Trois-Gaules, in Lyon

Southeastern Gaul
Gaul
became increasingly Romanized. By 19 AD at least one temple, and the first amphitheater in Gaul
Gaul
(now known as the Amphithéâtre des Trois-Gaules) had been built on the slopes of the Croix-Rousse hill. In 48 AD, emperor Claudius
Claudius
asked the Senate to grant the notable men of the three Gauls the right to accede to the Senate. His request was granted and an engraved bronze plaque of the speech (the Claudian Tables) was erected in Lugdunum. Today, the pieces of the huge plaque are the pride of the Gallo-Roman Museum in Lyon. Suetonius reported Caligula's visit to Lugdunum
Lugdunum
in 39-40 AD at the beginning of his third consulate as characteristic of his reign. Spectacles were staged at the amphitheater to honor and entertain him and his guest, Ptolemy, king of Mauretania
Mauretania
(whom Caligula
Caligula
later had murdered). A rhetoric contest was held in which the losers were required to expunge their work with their tongues. He auctioned furniture brought from the palace in Rome, assigning prices and purchasers. Claudius
Claudius
was born in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
in 10 BC and lived there for at least two years. As emperor, he returned in 43 AD en route to his conquest of Britain and stopped again after its victorious conclusion in 47. A fountain honoring his victory has been uncovered. He continued to take a supportive interest in the town, making the notables of the town eligible to serve in the Roman Senate, as described above. During Claudius' reign, the city's strategic importance was enhanced by the bridging of the Rhône river. Its depth and swampy valley had been an obstacle to travel and communication to the east. The new route, termed the compendium, shortened the route south to Vienne and made the roads from Lugdunum
Lugdunum
to Italy
Italy
and Germany
Germany
more direct. By the end of his reign, the city's official name had become Colonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugudunenisium, abbreviated CCC AVG LVG. Nero
Nero
also took an interest in the city. Citizens of Lugdunum contributed four million sesterces to the recovery after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD. In reciprocal appreciation, Nero contributed the same amount to the rebuilding of Lugdunum
Lugdunum
after a similarly devastating fire a few years later. Although the destructiveness of the fire is described in a letter from Seneca to Lucilius,[13] archeologists have not been able to uncover a confirmatory layer of ash. The Lyonnais admiration of Nero
Nero
was not universally shared; tyranny, extravagance, and negligence fostered resentment, and coups were planned. In March 68 AD, a Romanized Aquitainian named Caius Julius Vindex, who was governor of Gallia Lugdunensis
Gallia Lugdunensis
led an uprising intended to replace Nero
Nero
with Galba, a Roman governor of Spain. The citizens of Vienne, however, responded more enthusiastically than the Lyonnais, most of whom remained loyal to Nero. A small force from Vienne briefly besieged Lugdunum, but withdrew when Vindex was defeated by the Rhine legions a few weeks later at Vesontio. Despite the defeat of Vindex, rebellion grew. Nero
Nero
committed suicide in June and Galba
Galba
was proclaimed emperor. The loyalty of Lugdunum
Lugdunum
to Nero
Nero
was not appreciated by his successor, Galba, who punished some of Nero's supporters by confiscations of property. In another turnabout for Lugdunum, Galba's policies were immediately unpopular, and in January, 69 AD, the Rhine legions quickly threw their support to Vitellius
Vitellius
as emperor. They arrived at friendly Lugdunum, where they were persuaded by the Lyonnais to punish nearby Vienne. Vienne quickly laid down weapons and paid a "ransom" to forestall plundering. Meanwhile, Vitellius
Vitellius
arrived in Lugdunum, where, according to Tacitus, he formally declared himself Imperator, punished unreliable soldiers, and celebrated with feasts, and with games in the amphitheater. Fortunately for Lugdunum, the would-be emperor and his army hurried into Italy, defeated Otho, and was in turn defeated by Vespasian
Vespasian
and the army of the East, bringing the chaos of the Year of the Four Emperors to an end. Despite a lack of imperial visits for most of the next century, Lugdunum
Lugdunum
prospered, until Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
and the Battle of Lugdunum (see below) brought devastation in 197 AD. Growth and prosperity in the first centuries of the Empire[edit]

Aqueduct of the Gier

In the 2nd century, Lugdunum
Lugdunum
prospered and grew to a population of 40,000 to 200,000 persons.[14] Four aqueducts brought water to the city's fountains, public baths, and wealthy homes. The aqueducts were well engineered and included several siphons.

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It continued to be a provincial capital with additional government functions and services such as the mint and customs service. Lugdunum had at least two banks and became the principal manufacturing center for pottery, metal working, and weaving in Gaul. Lyonnais terra cotta, pottery and wine were traded throughout Gaul, and many other items were crafted for export. The city itself was run by a "senate" of decurions (the ordo decurionum) and a hierarchy of magistrates: quaestors, aediles, and duumvirs. The social classes of the time consisted of the decurions at the top, who could aspire to Senate status, followed by the knights (equites), and the Augustales, six of whom were in charge of the municipal imperial cult. This latter status was the highest distinction to which a wealthy freedman could aspire. Many of the wealthy merchants and craftsmen were freedmen. Below them were the workmen and slaves. The Rhône and Saône
Saône
rivers were navigable, as were most of the rivers of Gaul, and river traffic was heavy. The Lyonnais company of boatmen (nautae) was the largest and "most honored" in Gaul. Archeological evidence suggests the right bank of the Saône
Saône
had the largest concentration of wharves, quays and warehouses. Lyonnais boatmen dominated the wine trade from Narbonensis
Narbonensis
and Italy, as well as oil from Spain, to the rest of Gaul. The heavy concentration of trade made Lugdunum
Lugdunum
one of the most cosmopolitan cities of Gaul, and inscriptions attest to a large foreign-born population, especially Italians, Greeks, and immigrants from the oriental provinces of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and Syria-Palestine. There is evidence of numerous temples and shrines in Lugdunum. Traditional Gallic gods like mallet-bearing Sucellus
Sucellus
and the mother goddesses called the Matres
Matres
(depicted with cornucopiae) continued to be worshiped somewhat syncretistically along with the Roman gods. Additional religious cults came with the oriental immigrants, who brought the eastern mystery religions to the Rhône valley. A major shrine of the Phrygian goddess Cybele
Cybele
was built in nearby Vienne, and she also seems to have found special favor in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
in the late 1st century and 2nd century. Christianity and the first martyrs[edit] The cosmopolitan hospitality to eastern religions may have allowed the first attested Christian community in Gaul
Gaul
to be established in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
in the 2nd century, led by a bishop Pothinus (fr:Pothin de Lyon)—who probably was Greek. In 177 it also became the first in Gaul
Gaul
to suffer persecution and martyrdom. The event was described in a letter from the Christians in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
to counterparts in Asia, later retrieved and preserved by Eusebius. There is no record of a cause or a triggering event but mob violence against the Christians in the streets culminated in a public interrogation in the forum by the tribune and town magistrates. The Christians publicly confessed their faith and were imprisoned until the arrival of Legate of Lugdonensis, who gave his authority to the persecution. About 40 of the Christians were martyred - dying in prison, beheaded, or killed by beasts in the arena as a public spectacle. Among the latter were Bishop Pothinus, Blandina, Doctor Attalus, Ponticus, and the deacon Sanctus of Vienne. Their ashes were thrown into the Rhône. Nevertheless, the Christian community either survived or was reconstituted, and under Bishop Irenaeus
Irenaeus
it continued to grow in size and influence. Battle of Lugdunum[edit] Main article: Battle of Lugdunum The 2nd century ended with another struggle for imperial succession. The emperor Pertinax
Pertinax
was murdered in 193, and four generals again "contended for the purple". Two of the rivals, Clodius Albinus
Clodius Albinus
and Septimius Severus, initially formed a political alliance. Albinus was a former legate of Britannia
Britannia
and commanded legions in Britain and Gaul. Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
commanded the Pannonian legions, and led them successfully against Didius Julianus
Didius Julianus
near Rome in 193, and defeated Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger
in 194. Severus consolidated his power in Rome and broke his alliance with Albinus. The Senate supported Severus and declared Albinus a public enemy. Clodius Albinus
Clodius Albinus
had settled with his army near Lugdunum
Lugdunum
early in 195. There, he had himself proclaimed Augustus
Augustus
and made plans to counter Severus. Under his control, the Lugdunum
Lugdunum
mint issued coins celebrating his "clemency", as well as one dedicated to the "Genius of Lugdunum." He was joined by an army under Lucius Novius Rufus, the governor of Hispania
Hispania
Tarraconensis. They successfully attacked the German troops of Virius Lupus but were unable to deter them from supporting Severus. Severus brought his army from Italy
Italy
and Germany
Germany
toward the end of 196. The armies fought an initial, inconclusive engagement at Tinurtium (Tournus), about 60 km up the Saône
Saône
from Lugdunum. Albinus retreated with his forces toward Lugdunum. On the 19th of February, 197, Severus again attacked Clodius Albinus to the northwest of the city. Albinus' army was defeated in the bloody and decisive Battle of Lugdunum. Dio Cassius described 300,000 men involved in the battle: although this was one of the largest battles involving Roman armies known, this number is assumed to be an exaggeration. Albinus committed suicide in a house near the Rhône; his head was sent to Rome as a warning to his supporters. His defeated cohorts were dissolved and the victorious legions punished those in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
who had supported Albinus, by confiscation, banishment, or execution. The city was plundered or at least severely damaged by the battle. Legio I Minervia
Legio I Minervia
remained camped in Lugdunum
Lugdunum
from 198 to 211. Decline of Lugdunum
Lugdunum
and the Empire[edit] Historical and archeological evidence indicates that Lugdunum
Lugdunum
never fully recovered from the devastation of this battle. A major reorganization of imperial administration begun at the end of the 3rd century during the reign of Diocletian
Diocletian
and completed a few decades later by Constantine further reduced the importance of Lugdunum. This reorganization standardized size and status of provinces, splitting many of the larger. The new provinces were grouped in larger administrative districts. Lugdunum
Lugdunum
became the capital of a much smaller region containing only two cities besides Lugdunum: Autun
Autun
and Langres. The new governor bore the title of consularis. The mint was retained at Lugdunum, as was an administrative tax office and a state-run wool clothing factory. Lugdunum
Lugdunum
was no longer the chief city and administrative capital of Gaul. Although the city continued, there seems to have been a population shift from the Fourviere heights where the original Roman city was situated to the river valley below. Other evidence suggests other cities surpassed Lugdunum
Lugdunum
as trading centers. Though the Western Empire persisted another century and a half, the border regions extending along the Rhine River
Rhine River
in Germany
Germany
to the Danube River
Danube River
in Dacia
Dacia
became far more important from a military and strategic standpoint. Cities like Augusta Treverorum (Trier) eclipsed Lugdunum
Lugdunum
in importance. The status of the western provinces declined further when Constantine made Byzantium
Byzantium
(later named Constantinople after his death), the capital of the Eastern part of the Empire. As the Western Empire disintegrated in the 5th century, Lugdunum became the principal city of the Burgundian kingdom. See also[edit]

Lyon
Lyon
portal

History of Lyon Abascantus

References[edit]

^ Travel Lyon, France: Illustrated Guide, Phrasebook & Maps, p. 9, at Google Books ^ The Roman Remains of Northern and Eastern France: A Guidebook, p. 388, at Google Books ^ Roman Cities, p. 176, at Google Books ^ Roman Cities, p. 335, at Google Books ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 46: Lepidus and Lucius Plancus [...] founded the town called Lugudunum, now known as Lugdunum ^ Delattre, Charles (ed.), Pseudo-Plutarque. De fluviorum et montium nominibus et de iis quae in illis inveniuntur, Presses Univ. Septentrion, 2011, pp. 109-111. ^ Lugduno - desiderato monte: dunum enim montem Lugduno: "desired mountain"; because dunum is mountain" ^ Endlicher Glossary ^ Toorians, Lauran, “Endlicher’s Glossary, an attempt to write its history”, in: García Alonso (Juan Luis) (ed.), Celtic and other languages in ancient Europe (2008), pp. 153–184. ^ Lugdunum
Lugdunum
est civitas Gallie quasi lucidum dunam, id est lucidus mons, dunam enim in Greco mons. ^ Andreas Hofeneder, Die Religion der Kelten in den antiken literarischen Zeugnissen: Sammlung, Übersetzung und Kommentierung, Volume 2, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2008, pp. 571-572. ^ Mathieu Poux, Hugues Savay-Guerraz, Lyon
Lyon
avant Lugdunum, Infolio éditions, 2003, 151 p. (ISBN 2-88474-106-2) ^ Epistulae ad Lucilium, 91. ^ See the magazinz L'Express n°3074

Sources[edit]

Dio Cassius. Roman History. XLVI, 50. André Pelletier. Histoire de Lyon: de la capitale les Gaules à la métropole européene. Editions Lyonnaises d'Art et d'Histoire. Lyon: 2004. ISBN 2-84147-150-0 Seneca. Apocolocyntosis. VII.

External links[edit] Media related to Lugdunum
Lugdunum
at Wikimedia Commons

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Britannia
Britannia
Superior

Camulodunum Lindum Colonia Londinium

Britannia
Britannia
Inferior

Eboracum

Roman Dacia

Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa

Gallia Lugdunensis

Lugdunum

Gallia Narbonensis

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Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium Mogontiacum

Hispania

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