(Sens) Yonne, France.
at the Yonne-Vanne confluence, 110 km SE of Paris.
Caesar mentions the name Agedincum, on the territory
of the Senones, several times in his Commentaries. The
site, although certainly marshy before the Roman Conquest, had already acquired importance as the crossroads
of two highways, one a road running roughly N-S, which
the Via Agrippa was to follow later, and the other running E-W and linking Genabum (Orléans) and Augustabona (Troyes) in the Roman period. However, it was not
until after the Conquest that the river junction was altered (traces of the engineering work have been found)
so that the first buildings could be put up on the actual
site of the city.
The earliest traces of monuments are stones reused to
build the Late Empire rampart. There are blocks from
two great facades each with four large windows separated by engaged columns 7 m high. One of the
facades has been partly restored. From the style of the
sculptures it has been suggested that the monument dates
to the first half of the 2d c. A.D. Dating to the Early
Empire, perhaps to the 1st c. A.D., is a huge complex outside the city walls. Situated in the area known as La
Motte du Ciar (a corruption of the name Caesar), it has
a double circuit wall, a portico and apse, and a pool 84
m long. In the town itself some mosaics have been uncovered in situ, along with some baths (3d c. A.D. ?) with
the rampart running through them. Two large necropoleis
have been located (also some stelae found in the rampart,
including a fine series showing craftsmen with the instruments of their trade) together with the aqueduct system,
which is remarkably well preserved.
The city does not seem to have played an administrative role until after the reform of the provinces in 375.
It is not certain that, as some have believed, the rampart,
of which part can still be seen today, is earlier than this
date. It is one of the largest ramparts in Gaul.
Julliot, Inscriptions et Monuments du
Musée gallo-romain de Sens
(1898); id., Essai sur l'enceinte de la ville de Sens
(1913); Parruzot, “Cultes indigènes et culte de Mercure dans la Civitas Senonum,”
Rev. Arch. de l'Est
6 (1955) 334-45; Hatt, “Esquisse
d'une histoire de la sculpture régionale de Gaule
(1957) 75-107 passim; Harmand, “Le
sanctuaire gallo-romain de la Motte du Ciar à Sens,”
Rev. Arch. de l'Est
9 (1958) 43-73.