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IATINUM (Meaux) Dept. Seine-et-Marne, France.

Chief city of the Meldi, the Gallo-Roman city of Iatinum lies 45 km from Lutetia in a bend of the Maine (Matrona), which has since been cut back. The Gallo-Roman and Gallic sites lie one on top of the other; the Gallic capital covered roughly 60 ha in the period before the barbarian invasions of the 3d c., but in the 4th c. it was reduced within the walls to an area of less than 10.

The city's geographical position, ringed as it was on three sides with a fine network of navigable waterways, at once suggests that it was well suited to be a center of river-borne trade. Like many other Gallic capitals, Iatinum was set up at the junction of two naturally complementary regions: the grain-producing Multien plateau and the forests of Brie.

The city's monuments have almost all disappeared, even their location being uncertain. Meaux had a theater, which stood to the N of the city. It is mentioned in an inscription, no doubt dating from the 1st c., that has disappeared. The city also had its aqueduct, which was excavated at the end of the 19th c. in the suburban commune of Villenoy. No trace has been found of the forum, which is presumed to be on the site of the cathedral and its surrounding area. Indeed, all that remains today are some sections of the surrounding wall of the Late Empire, especially to the N along the Boulevard Jean-Rose; it was rebuilt and altered in the 14th c. There are more traces of it in cellars in the Rue Bossuet and Rue Tronchon. The Rue Notre-Dame and Rue Saint-Rémy may possibly correspond to the cardo maximus and decumanus maximus.


J.-M. Desbordes, “Le site de Meaux antique,” RA (1970).


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