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AGINNUM (Agen) Lot-et-Garonne, France.

Agen was first the capital of the Nitiobrigi, a Celtic people established on the borders of Aquitaine on both sides of the Garonne. Originally settled on the oppidum of the Plateau de l'Ermitage and doubtless possessing an important market place at the foot of the slope, the Nitiobrigi established themselves definitively in the plain, in the Roman period, in the triangle formed by the Garonne and the Masse. Augustus' establishment in A.D. 27 of the Civitas Aginnensis in Aquitaine put an end to their kingdom. According to the Notitia provinciarum, by the 4th c. the prosperous Aginnum, served by several major routes, had become the second city of Aquitainia II.

For a long time the site of the imperial town was thought to be in the S area of the present town and its suburbs, for in the 18th c. there were still visible in this large open space the vestiges of large monuments (a Temple to Diana, an amphitheater), luxurious habitations, and artisans' quarters. But more recent discoveries of equally important monuments (a temple to Jupiter, another to the Iunones Augustales, perhaps a forum) and evidence of occupation (altars, inscriptions, statues, mosaics, and furniture now in the museum of Agen), have proved that the city of that period extended as far N as the modern one. Contrary to earlier conjecture that, from 276 on, it was merely a tongue of land on the promontory lying farther N, it now appears that the whole site was permanently occupied from the 1st c. until the invasions at the beginning of the 5th.


J. F. Boudon de St. Amans, Essai sur les Antiquités du Departement du Lot-et-Garonne (1859)P; Labrunie, Abrégé chronologique des antiquités d'Agen (1892 [from a MS of the 18th c.]); P. Lauzun, Les enceintes successives d'Agen (1894); G. Tholin, “Causeries sur les origines de l'Agenais,” Rev. de l'Agensis (1895-96); J. Mommeja, “L'oppidum des Nitiobriges,” Congres Arch. de France Agen-Auch (1901); J. Coupry, “Informations arch.,” Gallia 17 (1959) 21; 19 (1961) 2I; 21 (1963) 2; 25 (1967) 2; 27 (1969); J. Eche, “Le développement topographique d'Agen aux XII et XIII siècles,” Federation Historique de Sud-Ouest, XIV-XVII Congrès d'ètudes Règionales, Villeneuve/Lot (1961)P.


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