AQUAE SEXTIAE SALLUVIORUM
(Aix-en-Provence) Bouches-du-Rhône, France.
derives its names from its hot springs and its founder.
Caius Sextius Calvinus created it in 122 B.C. on the
territory of the indigenous confederation of the Salluvii,
whose capital of Entremont nearby he had just destroyed
. 61; Vell. Pat. 1.15; Strab. 4.15
Aix was a castellum occupied by a garrison which was
supposed to watch over the routes leading from Marseille
to the Durance and from the Rhône to the Italian
frontier. It is the oldest Roman foundation in Gaul.
The presence of a Roman garrison must quickly have
attracted merchants and businessmen, and it was probably Caesar who made it the capital of a civitas after
49 and divided the territory of Marseille between it and
Arles. A Latin colony under Caesar, it later became
a Roman one, perhaps under Augustus. Around 375 it
became the capital of provincia Narbonensis secunda.
Rather few archaeological remains have been found
in situ. The area occupied by the castellum and the colonia respectively is a subject for discussion. The most
generally accepted opinion identifies the Roman castellum with the Bourg Saint-Sauveur, which was the capitulary residence in the Middle Ages. Its location somewhat
higher than the rest of the site and its dimensions (ca.
400 m N-S and 300 E-W) would correspond fairly well
with characteristics of a fortified post. Unfortunately,
archaeological proof is lacking and reconstruction of the
fortifications remains hypothetical. Only some stretches
of road have been noted. Similarly, the course and extent of the wall of the colony are the subject of various
hypotheses. Ancient documents allow one to place the S
gate. Its arrangement as a half-moon shape protected
by two round towers, analogous to gates at Fréus and
Arles, may indicate that it dates to the Augustan period.
The Via Julia Augusta entered the town by this gate, and
in the past tombs and a mausoleum have been noted in
the vicinity. Two pieces of wall found long ago, burials,
and funerary inscriptions permit the approximate reconstruction of an enclosure with a perimeter of some 3 km.
It was elongated along an E-W axis and very much off
center with respect to the original castellum. However,
the details of the topography still remain to be specified.
Sections of the cardo have been known for a long time
and recent excavations have reconstructed the axis of
the decumanus. There are remains, some of them sizable,
of five aqueducts.
According to different indications there probably were
an amphitheater and an arch of triumph or trophy.
Three villae urbanae have been partly excavated in the
Grassi gardens. One of them, probably Augustan, included two peristyles.
Of Early Christian Aix there remains the baptistery
of Saint-Sauveur cathedral. It can be dated to the end
of the 4th or beginning of the 5th c. Eight unmatching
columns in it were borrowed from pagan buildings. The
seat of the archbishopric has not yet been found.
There is a Gallo-Roman collection at the Musée
M. Clerc, Aquae Sextiae
F. Benoît, F.O.R. (1936); Gallia
5 (1947) 98-122; Gallia
12 (1954) 294-300; Chronique des circonscriptions
., passim; A. Grenier, Manuel d' arch. gallo-romaine
III, IV; P. A. Février, Le développement urbain en Provence
(1964); R. Ambard et al., “Fouilles d' urgence et
découverte du decumanus à Aix-en-Provence,” Revue Arch. Narbonnaise