Augusta Viromanduorum

Augusta Viromanduorum is an ancient Gallo-Roman settlement, corresponding to the modern city of Saint-Quentin (Aisne, Hauts-de-France).

NameEdit

The settlement is mentioned as Au̓goústa Ou̓iromandúōn (Αὐγούστα <Οὐι>ρομανδύων) by Ptolemy (2nd c. AD),[1] Augusta Veromandorum in the Antonine Itinerary, Aug. Viro Muduorum on the Tabula Peutingeriana (5th c.), Viromandensim oppidum by Gregory of Tours (6th c.), and possibly as Civitas Veromandorum by the Notitia Galliarum (ca. 400).[2][3][4]

HistoryEdit

Augusta Viromandorum, was founded during the reign of Emperor Augustus, just 11km away from Vermand, the main oppidum of the Viromandui.[5] Closer to an important trade route between Italy and the port of Boulogne, Augusta Viromandorum soon replaced Vermand as the main settlement of the region.[6] It reached a size of 40–60ha during the Roman era, in the average of Gallo-Roman chief towns.[7]

During the 4th century, the lack of archaeological evidence suggest that the settlement was deserted or its population considerably reduced.[8] Some scholars have argued that Vermand replaced Augusta as the capital from this period up until the regional prominence shifted definitely to Saint-Quentin in the 9th century. This "fluctuation" of power could be explained by the insecurities of the period, which led the local inhabitants to seek for protection in the old oppidum situated nearby, since Saint-Quentin did not possess a castrum.[9] Malsy (2001) rejects this hypothesis,[10] and Beaujard and Prévot (2004) doubt it.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ptolemy. Geōgraphikḕ Hyphḗgēsis, 2:9:6
  2. ^ Nègre 1990, p. 158.
  3. ^ Beaujard & Prévot 2004, pp. 32–33.
  4. ^ Falileyev 2010, s.v. Augusta Viromanduorum and Viromandis.
  5. ^ Collart 2007, p. 367.
  6. ^ Collart 2007, p. 366.
  7. ^ Collart 2007, pp. 367, 377.
  8. ^ Collart 2007, p. 378.
  9. ^ Collart & Gaillard 2004, p. 493.
  10. ^ Malsy 2001, pp. 639–645.
  11. ^ Beaujard & Prévot 2004, pp. 32–33: "Le déplacement de la capitale des Viromanduens de Saint-Quentin (Augusta Veromanduorum) à Vermand, à 11 km de là, est si mal assuré qu'il a donné lieu à de longues polémiques ... Il se pourrait que Saint-Quentin n'ait jamais perdu sa fonction politique. Elle aurait même connu un nouvel essor lié au pèlerinage sur le tombeau du martyr Quentin qui se développa au VIIe s."

BibliographyEdit

  • Beaujard, Brigitte; Prévot, Françoise (2004). "Introduction à l'étude des capitales "éphémères" de la Gaule (Ier s.-début VIIe s.)". Supplément à la Revue archéologique du centre de la France. 25 (1): 17–37.
  • Collart, Jean-Luc; Gaillard, Michèle (2004). "Vermand /Augusta Viromanduorum (Aisne)". Supplément à la Revue archéologique du centre de la France. 25 (1): 493–496.
  • Collart, Jean-Luc (2007). "Au Bas-Empire la capitale des Viromandui se trouvait-elle à Saint-Quentin ou à Vermand ?". In Hanoune, Roger (ed.). Les villes romaines du Nord de la Gaule, Actes du XXVe colloque international de Halma-IPEL UMR CNRS 8164. Collection Art et Archéologie. 10. Revue du Nord. Hors-Série. pp. 349–393.
  • Falileyev, Alexander (2010). Dictionary of Continental Celtic Place-names: A Celtic Companion to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. CMCS. ISBN 978-0955718236.
  • Malsy, Jean-Claude (2001). Dictionnaire des noms de lieu du département de l'Aisne. 3. Société Française d'Onomastique.
  • Nègre, Ernest (1990). Toponymie générale de la France (in French). Librairie Droz. ISBN 978-2-600-02883-7.

Further readingEdit

Coordinates: 49°50′55″N 3°17′11″E / 49.8486°N 3.2864°E / 49.8486; 3.2864