(Nyon) Vaud, Switzerland.
In the middle of the N shore of Lake Geneva. The name
Colonia Julia Equestris is known from ancient sources
. 2.9.10; Ant. It
. 348.1; Tab. Peut
Celtic name Noviodunum (Not. Gall
. 9.5) indicates an
oppidum of the Helvetii, no traces of which have yet
been discovered. The colonia was founded by Caesar
between 50 and 45 B.C. in the SW corner of the Helvetian territory, between the Jura mountains, Lake Geneva and the Aubonne river. The colonists were veterans from the cavalry of various legions. During the 4th-5th c. A.D.
the town may have been the seat of a bishop.
The Roman town was larger than the hill area enclosed by the mediaeval walls, but the main roads of the mediaeval town reflect the Roman grid. The site has not been excavated, but a few soundings have identified
a (secondary?) forum (ca. 40 x 25 m) built in Flavian
times. It was surrounded by cryptoportici, one wing of
which perhaps later became a Mithraeum. A building
adjacent to this forum, with the remains of a large
mosaic of ca. A.D. 200, was probably a bath. Large numbers of amphorae attest the activity of the harbor from
the time of Augustus on; Noviodunum was on the main
route, by land or lake, from Genava to Vesontio. The
Historical Museum is in the castle.
F. Staehelin, Die Schweiz in römischer
(3d ed. 1948) 91-95, 613-14 & index s.v. Equestris;
Rev. Hist. Vaudoise
66 (1958) vol. dedicated to Nyon;
E. Pelichet, “Fouilles archéologiques à Nyon en 1958,” Jb. Schweiz. Gesell. f. Urgeschichte
47 (1958-59) 117-21P
; V. von Gonzenbach, Die römischen Mosaiken der
; Rev. Hist. Vaudoise
V. VON GONZENBACH