Alpes Cottiae

Alpes Cottiae (Latin pronunciation: [ˈaɫpeːs ˈkɔttɪ.ae̯]) was a small province of the Roman Empire founded in 63 AD by Nero. It was one of the three provinces straddling the Alps between modern France and Italy, along with Alpes Graiae et Poeninae and Alpes Maritimae.

Provincia Alpes Cottiae
Province of the Roman Empire
63 AD–476 AD
Roman Empire - Alpes Cottiae (125 AD).svg
The Roman Empire ca. AD 125, with the province of Alpes Cottiae highlighted.
Historical eraAntiquity
• Created by Nero
63 AD
• Deposition of Romulus Augustulus
476 AD
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Italy (476-493)
Today part of France

The capital of the province was Segusio. Other important settlements were located at Eburodunum and Brigantio (Briançon).[1] Named after the 1st-century BC ruler of the region, Marcus Julius Cottius, the toponym survives today in the Cottian Alps.[2]


The province had its origin in a local chiefdom controlled by the enfranchised king Marcus Julius Donnus, ruler of the local Ligurian tribes of the area in the middle of the 1st century BC. He was succeeded by his son, Marcus Julius Cottius, who offered no opposition to the integration of his realm into the Roman imperial system under Augustus in 15–14 BC, then kept on ruling on native tribes as praefectus civitatium.[1][2]

After the death of his son Cottius II in 63 AD, the region was annexed by Nero and made into a procuratorial province of the Empire known as Alpes Cottiae.[1][2]

During the reign of Diocletian (284–305), the western part of the province was transferred to the Alpes Maritimae, and the eastern part allocated under a praeses to the Diocese of Italy.[1]


Settlements in Alpes Cottiae included:

  • Ad Fines (Malano) ("mansio", customs post)
  • Ocelum (Celle) ("oppidum", Celtic village)
  • Ad Duodecimum (Saint-Didier) ("mutatio")
  • Segusio (Susa) (capital)
  • Venausio (Venaus) (oppidum)
  • Scingomagus / Excingomagus (Exilles) (oppidum, possibly Donnus's capital)
  • Caesao / Goesao (Cesana Torinese) ("castrum")
  • Ad Martes Ultor (late imperial "Ulcense") (Oulx) ("castrum")
  • Brigantium (Briançon) (mansio)
  • Mons Matronae (Mont Genèvre)

See alsoEdit



  • Graßl, Herbert (2006). "Alpes Cottiae". Brill’s New Pauly. doi:10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e116370.
  • Syme, Ronald; Levick, Barbara M. (2012). "Iulius Cottius, Marcus". The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.3412. ISBN 978-0-19-954556-8.

Further readingEdit

  • Tilmann Bechert: Die Provinzen des römischen Reiches: Einführung und Überblick. von Zabern, Mainz 1999.
  • Bartolomasi : Valsusa Antica . Alzani, 1975.
  • Prieur - La province romaine des Alpes Cottiennes, Lyon 1968.

Coordinates: 45°01′00″N 6°47′03″E / 45.0167°N 6.7841°E / 45.0167; 6.7841