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DARIORITUM (Vannes) Morbihan, France.

The chief city of the powerful Gallic tribe, the Veneti, Darioritum spread out over a series of small hills separated by inlets. From its site inside the Morbihan gulf, the city probably witnessed the naval encounter between the Roman fleet and that of the Veneti, in 56 B.C., mentioned by Caesar (B.Gall. 2.34; 3.7-16). Like most Romanized cities, Darioritum prospered under the Pax Romana but suffered from the troubles of the late 3d c.; according to the Notitia Dignitatum, a garrison of Moorish soldiers was installed there.

It was in this late period that a circuit wall was erected; traces of it have been found in the substratum of the modern town. Enclosing only a small part of the Roman city, the wall was more than 4 m thick and made of a coarse core of rubble faced on either side with small blocks banded with brick. Only a few sections of this Late Empire rampart can be seen today, intermixed with the mediaeval fortifications.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. P. André, “La Cité Gallo-romaine des Vénètes,” Bulletin mensuel de la Société Polymathique du Morbihan (1971).


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