Lugdunum overview
Other name(s) Colonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugdunum
Modern name(s) Lyon
Region Europe
Section Western Europe
Latitude 45.7596285 N suggest info
Longitude 4.81886876 E
Status Accurate location
Info In 44 BCE, ten years after the conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar was assassinated and civil war erupted. According to the historian Dio Cassius, in 43 BCE, the Roman Senate ordered Munatius Plancus and Lepidus, governors of central and Transalpine 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 and were encamped at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers. Dio Cassius says this was to keep them from joining Mark Antony and bringing their armies into the developing conflict. Epigraphic evidence suggests Munatius Plancus was the principal founder of Lugdunum.

Lugdunum seems to have had a population of several thousand at the time of its founding. The citizens were administratively assigned to the Galerian tribe. The earliest Roman buildings were located on the Fourvière heights above the Saône river. The Aqueduct of the Gier, completed in the 1st century CE, was the first of four aqueducts supplying water to the city.

Within 50 years Lugdunum increased in size and importance, becoming the administrative centre of Roman Gaul and Germany. By the end of the reign of Augustus, Strabo described Lugdunum as the junction of four major roads: south to Narbonensis, Massilia and Italy, north to the Rhine river and Germany, northwest to the Ocean (the English Channel), and west to Aquitania.

The proximity to the frontier with Germany made 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 center of the Gallic provinces. Its large and cosmopolitan population made it the commercial and financial heart of the northwestern provinces as well.
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45.759629, 4.818869 === 45.759629 N, 4.818869 E === 45° 45' 34.7" N, 4° 49' 7.9" E
Nearest sites Solutré, circa 60.5 km (37.6 mi) north
Aquae Segetae, Moingt-Montbrison, circa 60.8 km (37.8 mi) west
Morginum, Moringum, Moirans, circa 75.4 km (46.9 mi) south-east
Cularo, Gratianopolis, Graignovol, Grenoble, circa 94.9 km (59 mi) south-east
Aquae Bormonis, Bormo, Borvo, Bourbon-Lancy, circa 125 km (77.7 mi) north-west
Dea Augusta Vocontiorium, Die, circa 120 km (74.5 mi) south-east
Noviodunum, Colonia Iulia Equestris, Nyon, circa 129.6 km (80.5 mi) north-east
Augustodunum, Autun, circa 138.3 km (86 mi) north-west
Bibracte, circa 142.8 km (88.7 mi) north-west
Noviomagus Tricastinorum, Augusta, Colonia Flavia Tricastinorum, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, circa 157.1 km (97.6 mi) south
Chauvet Cave, circa 156.2 km (97 mi) south
Little St Bernard Pass, Alpis Graia, circa 160.6 km (99.8 mi) east
Nériomagos, Aquae Nerii, Néris-les-Bains, circa 176.8 km (109.9 mi) west
Octodurum, Martigny, Martinach, circa 178.3 km (110.8 mi) east
Arausio, Orange, circa 180.6 km (112.2 mi) south
Adsilanum, circa 184.9 km (114.9 mi) south-west
Noviodunum, Nevirnum, Ebrinum, Nebirnum, Nevers, circa 186.7 km (116 mi) north-west
Vesontio, Besantio, Besontion, Bisanz, Besançon, circa 188.3 km (117 mi) north-east
Pont du Gard, circa 202.7 km (126 mi) south
Caumont-sur-Durance, Clos-de-Serre, circa 207.7 km (129.1 mi) south
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Database ID 7864, created 7 Apr 2012, 18:31, Last changed 9 Apr 2012, 15:47