previous next

CARCASO (Carcassonne) Gallia Narbonensis, Aude, France.

The ancient town was located on the site of the mediaeval city: on a steep hill 400 m from the right bank of the Aude (Atax), on the road from Narbonne to Toulouse. Pliny the elder calls it an oppidum (HN 3.36) and the Bordeaux-Jerusalem Itinerary calls it a castellum. On this site stood a small center fortified by the Volcae Tectosages, then by the Romans, and finally by the Visigoths who took possession of it in 436. The interior rampart of the mediaeval city is generally supposed to rest on Roman foundations, which are in places visible (at the Tour du Plo, for example), and which may date to the 3d or 4th c. The construction of this fortification is sometimes attributed to the Visigoths, but without decisive proof. It appears that the Visigoths were content to restore the Roman work. Fine monochrome mosaics have been found inside the ramparts. No building is known, although the remains of a Temple of Apollo were noted in the 17th c. The town was supplied with water by an aqueduct. Outside the ramparts funerary remains and foundations on the right bank of the Aude may attest to the existence of a suburb.


A. Grenier, Carte arch. de la Gaule romaine, fasc. XII, Aude (1959)MP; G. Rancoule & Y. Solier, “La Cité de Carcassonne à l'âge du fer,” Bull. Soc. Etudes Scient. Aude 72 (1972)PI.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: