(Jublains) Mayenne, France.
Mentioned by Ptolemy, and situated at the SE end of a
huge granite plateau, Noiodunum seems to have been one
of the leading cities of the Diablintes tribe from the 1st
c. B.C. on. In the Imperial period it was made a chief city,
becoming the economic and administrative center of the
new civitas. After more than two centuries of prosperity
the city was heavily damaged towards the end of the 3d c.,
managed to survive, and was finally abandoned about the
end of the 6th c.
Excavations show that Noiodunum was laid out on a
checkerboard plan oriented SE-NW from the decumanus.
Only a few monuments on the outskirts can be seen today. The theater, at the S city exit, is more than a semi-circle—an arrangement fairly frequent in N Gaul. There is no podium. The temple, known as the Temple of Fortuna, is N of the city. It was rectangular, ringed with a peristyle, and the cella was approached by a stairway still visible in the E part of the monument.
The most interesting complex is called the burgus. It
consists of a central building with an earthwork vallum
around it, and a great circuit wall. The principal monument, which dates from the 1st c. A.D., is rectangular and flanked by four square pavilions to which little rooms were added towards the end of the 3d c. In the center
of the building is a large rectangular atrium with an impluvium in the middle. The S wall has a doorway of cyclopean masonry; its jambs have deep grooves in them—traces of the closing mechanism. Two small similarly
constructed doorways give onto the outside from two of
the corner pavilions, while the latter are connected to the
atrium by doorways with semicircular brick arches. The
outer walls, 2.1 m thick and built with a core of mortared
rubble faced with small blocks, have a subfoundation of
large squared stones.
The building was unquestionably a defensive one; the
earthwork vallum was originally duplicated by a trench,
triangular in cross-section, which had a wide gate with
masonry jambs in the SE corner. Finally, there are two
small baths outside the central building, in the NE and
SW recessed corners of the vallum. The huge trapezoidal
rampart surrounding the complex was built in the second
half of the 3d c.; it has 13 towers, an entrance gate to
the E, and two posterns in the corners. The masonry is
of the Classical type: coarse rubble between two carefully
laid facings divided every seven rows by a triple layer of
bricks. In the foundations are many reused architectural
Objects found in the excavations are in a storehouse
recently built near the fortress. Other finds are in museums in Laval, Mayenne, and St. Germain-en-Laye.
: defenses I, 454-63PI
theater III:2, 964-66P
; temple IV:2, 777-86MP