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SAINT-GERMAIN-D'ESTEUIL (“Noviomagus”) Gironde, France.

Situated on the S bank of the Gironde estuary, and probably one of the two cities of the Bituriges Vivisques mentioned by Ptolemy, the other being Burdigala (Bordeaux). It lies on the Roman road linking Bordeaux to Verdon (Dumnotonus) by way of the Médoc. Founded in the 1st c. A.D., the city probably started to decline at the end of the 2d c. when Burdigala became the chief city of Aquitania, and it disappeared almost completely in the wake of the 276 invasion. The remains, noted 1865, occupy at least 50 ha, and are spread over the high points of the area; the low sections correspond to a gulf, now filled in, which may have served as a port in the Roman period. Some walls, built of mortared rubble faced with small blocks, have been located over the whole site, but the chief excavated remains are on the Brion mound (600 x 250 m). The only building to have been identified is a theater (outer diam. 58 m) discovered in 1967. The hemicycle of the cavea was studied, along with some of the radiating walls, which support the tiers, and a section of a rampart arch which had the same function. An entrance was also located.


L. Drouyn, La Guienne militaire I (1865) XCIII, XCV; R. Coustet, Rev. Hist. de Bordeaux et de la Gironde 13 (1964) 5, 11; J. Coupry, “Informations,” Gallia 25, 2 (1967) 329fPI.


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