or Civitas Turonorum (Tours）
This capital city of the
small tribe of the Turones, built by the Romans probably
in the 1st c. A.D., was an important meeting point of
roads and waterways. Destroyed by an invasion in 275,
it acquired a fortified surrounding wall at the end of the
3d c. and in 374 became the chief city of Lugdunensis
Tertius and the center of a large diocese. At this time
there was a vicus christianorum W of the city; Bishop
Litorius (337-371) built a funerary basilica there but
set up the episcopal complex within the walls. His successor St. Martin (372-397) was buried in the Christian
cemetery; a basilica was built over his tomb, ca. 470, by
The amphitheater, the only monument preserved, is
unfortunately filled with houses or covered with earth.
It was one of the largest in the Empire (143 x 124 m
on the axes). The outer height may be calculated as ca.
20 m. The seats, which are cut in the natural rock to
the N, rested on vaulted passageways. The walls are faced
with limestone rubble with white mortar joints, often
trowel-marked, and double courses of brick. Four passageways have been found, placed on the axes of the
ellipse; at the entrance they are reinforced with enormous
buttresses shaped like semicircular towers about 6 m in
diameter. The size of the building and the moderate use
of brick indicate that it dates from about the time of
Hadrian (117-138). The remains can be reached through
the cellars of certain houses.
The 3d c. surrounding wall, an irregular rectangle (ca.
340 x 240 m) enclosed half of the amphitheater on its
S side, and formed an enormous bastion that dominated
the plain (perimeter 1155 m, area 9.23 ha). The foundations were built of reused material (blocks, columns,
capitals); the wall itself was 4.3-4.8 m thick, made of
rubble dressed with small blocks of stone and with red
mortar and double bands of brick every 7-10 courses. It
was flanked with round towers filled with rubble up to
the first floor, where small tegular windows were set.
Remains can be seen at rue des Ursulines no. 12, the
Musée des Beaux-Arts, and the N and S sides of the
Remains of a round temple are at no. 7, rue de Lucé.
The Musée de la Société archéologique de Touraine (Hôtel Gouin, 25 rue du Commerce), the former Musée
(Place Foire-le-Roi, no. 8) and the Musée Martinien
(Basilique Saint-Martin) all have collections of finds.
I (1931) 424, 547; III,
2 (1958) 682-84; Carte archéologique de la Gaule romaine
XIII, Indre-et-Loire (1960) 67ff; C. Lelong, “Note
sur les vestiges visibles de Caesarodunum,” Caesarodunum, Bulletin de l'Institut d'Etudes latines de l'Université