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PONS SARAVI (Sarrebourg) Moselle, France.

A relay station 80 km SE of Metz on the Reims-Strasbourg road between Tarquimpol and Saverne, before the road crosses the Vosges. The city's origins go back to the Iron Age, but it was not important until the Sarre was crossed by the Roman road. The earliest bridge over the river was discovered ca. 20 years ago; it replaced a ford, and was in turn followed by a stone bridge. It is precisely oriented W-E, on the axis of the town decumanus. In 1960 the cardo was traced; it cut across the decumanus roughly between the Grand'rue and Avenue Poincaré, coming from the S (Rue de la Marne). The forum probably lay W of this S-N street, possibly near what is now the marketplace; the basilica stood on the site of the modern parish church. The residential quarters spread out on the terraced slope from the Rue Foch to the Sarre; but from the 2d c. on the city spilled over onto the Marxberg and Rebberg hills to the SE, where altars to Sucellus and Nantosvelta have been discovered as well as a Mithraeum.

Study of 13 ancient strata date the first Roman settlement in the reign of Tiberius. The city flourished in the Julio-Claudian period and profited considerably from the Pax Romana; no less than 180 villas were built in the fertile countryside. One stratum shows signs of a fire, possibly an indication that the city suffered in the Germanic invasions of the 3d c., either in 244 or in 250-260. During this period many people left their country homes to take refuge in the city, which was protected by a rampart running from the river to the modern Rue Foch. It is not certain whether Sarrebourg had a garrison at that time. Several hoards have also been excavated.

The Sarrebourg museum has an archeological collection.


M. Lutz, “La région dela Haute-Sarre,” Annuaire de la Société d'Histoire et d'Archéologie de Lorraine 65 (1966) 14ff; E. Linckenheld, Répertoire archéologique de l'Arrondissement de Sarrebourg (1929).


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