or Leusonna (Lausanne-Vidy) Vaud,
Vicus on the upper N side of Lake
Geneva. The name (CIL
XIII, 5026) belonged to an
oppidum of the Helvetii on the hill between the Flon and
the Louve rivulet, where the cathedral now stands. The
vicus on the shore (now Vidy) was founded ca. 15 B.C.,
and became an important harbor and market on the
waterway from the Rhone to the Rhine, and station on
the road from Genava and the Great St. Bernhard pass
to Aventicum and Ariolica. It flourished until the incursions of the Alamanni in A.D. 260-65. The harbor remained in use well into the 4th c., but the center of
habitation was moved back to the hilltop before A.D.
400, and partly fortified.
The vicus on the shore was laid out on a grid. The
decumanus maximus, explored for over 800 m, ran ca.
100 m from the shore, with cardines giving access to the
quays. Oblong lots ca. 12 m wide lined the porticoed
streets. Public buildings include a forum with basilica
and scholae, a main temple, smaller sanctuaries, and a
bath. The basilica (over 60 x 23 m) closes off one side
of the forum; it probably had an apsidal tribune on one
short side. Built against one side of the basilica and
opening on the forum were 12 shops. They were probably scholae of corporations such as the nautae l[ac]us
Lemanno and nautae Louson[nenses,] attested on inscriptions found in the neighborhood. The forum temple of
Gaulish type, square with a surrounding portico (13.6
m on a side), was perhaps dedicated to Jupiter. Three
smaller sanctuaries in an enclosure (20 x 15 m) were
dedicated to Neptune, Hercules, and an unknown deity.
The residential area was on the inland side of the
decumanus towards the hills. One villa has been made
into the local museum. One tower of the late Roman
fortifications is visible inside the cathedral. Most finds
are in the Musée Romain de Vidy.
F. Gilliard, “Un quartier de Lousonna,”
Fouilles de Vidy
1 (1939); E. Howald & E. Meyer, Die
(n.d.) nos. 152-54 (inscriptions); L.
Blondel, Les origines de Lausanne
; F. Staehelin, Die Schweiz in römischer Zeit
(3d ed. 1948) 40-41,
616-19; H. Bögli et al., “Lousonna,” Bibl. Hist. Vaudoise
; summary: Jb. Schweiz. Gesell. f. Urgeschichte
54 (1968-69) 141-42P
V. VON GONZENBACH