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ARGENTEUS

ARGENTEUS a river of Gallia Narbonensis, mentioned by Aemilius Lepidus in a letter to Cicero, B.C. 43 (ad Fam. 10.34). Lepidus says that he had fixed his camp there to oppose the force of M. Antonius : he dates his letter from the camp at the Pons Argenteus. The Argenteus is the river Agents, which enters the sea a little west of Forum Julii (Fréjus); and the Pons Argenteus lay on the Roman road between Forum Voconii (Canet), as some suppose, and Forum Julii.

Pliny (3.4) seems to make the Argenteus flow past Forum Julii, which is not quite exact; or he may mean that it was within the territory of that Colonia. The earth brought down by the Argenteus has pushed the land out into the sea near 3,000 feet. Walckenaer (Géog. des Gaules, &100.2.10) thinks that the Argenteus of Ptolemy cannot be the Argenteus of Cicero, because Ptolemy places it too near Olbia. He concludes that the measures of Ptolemy carry us to the coast of Argentière, and the small river of that name. But it is more likely that the error is in the measures of Ptolemy. A modern writer has conjectured that the name Argenteus was given to this river on account of the great quantity of mica in the bed of the stream, which has a silvery appearance.

[G.L]

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