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MARTIZAY Indre, France.

A village in the valley of the Claise, a small tributary of the Creuse. In antiquity it probably was still part of Bituriges territory, close to the point where it joined the territories of the Turones and the Pictones. Along with Vendoeuvres en Brenne and Mézières it is one of the stations marking the N boundary of the Brenne. But Vendoeuvres was the site of a conciliabulum, while Martizay seems to have originated as a manorial villa, the ruins of which are at the W end of the village, on the banks of the Claise. The site is called Saint Romain, and has been excavated for some years. A number of buildings may be distinguished: some baths beside the river, and higher on the slope of the left bank some buildings the plan of which is much confused by restorations. Most interesting is the discovery of elements of wall paintings of the second Pompeian style. Even allowing for a local cultural lag, these paintings place the origin of the villa at a very early period since they belong to the second phase of pictorial decoration. Judging by the earliest pottery found on the site, construction of the villa should be dated ca. mid 1st c. B.C. The estate was occupied throughout the Empire; the last occupation dates from the Merovingian era when the buildings were completely demolished and partly taken over by tombs.


A. Barbet, Gallia 26, 1 (1968) 171-72.


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