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NOVIODU´NUM

NOVIODU´NUM (Νοουϊοδουνόν).


1.

A town of the Bituriges, in Gallia. Caesar, after the capture of Genabum (Orléans), B.C. 52, crossed the Loire, to relieve the Boii, who were attacked by Vercingetorix. The position of the Boii is not certain [BOII]. On his march Caesar came to Noviodunum of the Bituriges (B. G. 7.12), which surrendered. But on the approach of the cavalry of Vercingetorix, the townsmen shut their gates, and manned the walls. There was a cavalry fight between the Romans and Vercingetorix before the town, and Caesar got a victory by the help of the German horse. Upon this the town again surrendered, and Caesar marched on to Avaricum (Bourges).

There is nothing in this narrative which will determine the site of Noviodunum. D'Anville thinks that Caesar must have passed Avaricum, leaving it on his right; and so he supposes that Nouam, a name something like Noviodunum, may be the place. De Valotis places Noviodunum at Neury-sur-Berenjon, where it is said there are remains ; but this proves nothing.


2.

A town of the Aedui on the Loire. The place was. afterwards called Nevirnum, as the name appears in the Antonine Itin. In the Table it is corrupted into Ebrinum. There is no doubt that Nevirnum is Nevers, which has its name from the little river Nièvre, which flows into the Loire.

In B.C. 52 Caesar had made Noviodunum, which he describes as in a convenient position on the banks of the Loire, a depŏt (B. G. 7.55). He had his hostages there, corn, his military chest, with the money in it allowed him from home for the war, his own and his army's baggage, and a great number of horses which had been bought for him in Spain and Italy. After his failure before Gergovia, the Aedui at Noviodunum massacred those who were there to look after stores, the negotiatores, and the travellers who were in tho place. They divided the money among them and the horses, carried off in boats all the corn that they could, and burnt the rest or threw it into the river. Thinking they could not hold the town, they burnt it. It was a regular Gallic outbreak, performed in its true national style. This was a great loss to Caesar; and it may seem that he was imprudent in leaving such great stores in the power of treacherous allies. But he was in straits during this year, and probably he could not do otherwise than he did.

Dio Cassius (40.38) tells the story out of Caesar of the affair of Noviodunum. He states incorrectly what Caesar did on the occasion, and he shows that he neither understood his original, nor knew what he was writing about.


3.

A town of the Suessiones, mentioned, by Caesar (Caes. Gal. 2.12). Caesar (B.C. 57), after leaving the Axona (Aisne), entered the territory of the Suessiones, and making one day's long march, reached Noviodunum, which was surrounded by a high wall and a broad ditch. The place surrendered to Caesar. It has been conjectured that Noviodunum Suessionum was the place afterwards called Augusta [AUGUSTA SUESSIONUM], but it is by no means certain. [G.L]

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