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BAETERRAE (Βαίτερα, Ptol.; Βαίταρρα, Stephan. s. v. Βαιταρροῦς; and Βαίταρρα and Βήτηρρα on the coins: Eth. Βαιταρρίτης, Eth. Biterrensis, Eth. Baeterrensis: Béziers). The name of this place is written Βιλτέρα incorrectly in the ordinary texts of Strabo (p. 182). Pliny (3.4) calls the place “Baeterrae Septimanorum,” and also Mela (2.5), whence it appears that the place received some soldiers of the seventh legion as a colony. Baeterrae is on the Orbis (, and on the road from Narbonne to Nîmes, at tie distance of xvi Roman miles from Narbonne. On this part of the road the Romans constructed a causeway over the marsh of Cap-estang, of which some traces exist (D'Anville). There are said to be at Béziers the vestiges of an amphitheatre, and the remains of an aqueduct. Pliny (14.6) mentions the wine of Baeterrae as good; and it is so still. The antiquity of Béziers and of the present name is proved by the passage of Festus Avienus (589): “Dehinc Besaram stetisse fama casca tradidit;”

and the canton of Béziers is said to retain the name of Besarès, or Bezarès.


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