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MONTFERRAND (“Elesiodunum” or “Elusio”) Canton of Castelnaudary, Aude, France.

Small bath complex of late date, necropolis, and Early Christian basilica at St-Pierre-d'Alzonne (at the foot of the eminence on which Montferrand stands) near the Naurouze ridge, and along the Aquitanian road linking Narbonne to Toulouse and Bordeaux. The funerary basilica (20 x 10 m) faces E, lopsided in form with three aisles. The central aisle extends E into an apse with a room on each side. Excavation has produced some remains of the facings of polychrome marble, the painted plaster, and the mosaics with which the interior was decorated. In the crypt and the area immediately surrounding the basilica were found 51 sarcophagi of sandstone or marble, local work with little decoration, as well as many burials in amphorae and in open ground. Some of the jars contained the remains of several individuals. The funerary furnishings are limited to splendid earrings and jewels of the 4th to the 7th c., a period during which the Visigoths extended their domination over the entire region. A few late epitaphs have also been discovered.

It would seem that this site, still only partly explored, should be identified with the way station of Elesiodunum or Elusio, which Cicero describes as a toll-point and the ancient itineraries as an overnight resting-place. The artifacts discovered are preserved on the site.


“Informations,” Gallia 17 (1959) 456-57P; 20 (1962) 615-16; M. Labrousse, Toulouse antique (1968) 140, 340.


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