(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
65 (1966) 14ff; E. Linckenheld, Répertoire
archéologique de l'Arrondissement de Sarrebourg