Toul, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.
Capital of the civitas Leucorum, one of the most extensive in Roman Gaul, Tullum owed its relative importance, which apparently was mostly administrative, to its location on the westernmost point of the course of the
Moselle, and on the crossroads of two great roads, one
going from Lyon to Trier by Langres and Metz, the other
coming from Reims by Nasium. The town is cited by
Ptolemy (2.9.12), the Antonine Itinerary
, the Peutinger
(Tullo), and in the Notitia provinciarum
Leucorum Tullo). Fabius Valens, Vitellius' lieutenant,
may have first heard at Tullum of the murder of Galba
and the accession of Otho (Tac., Hist
The ramparts of the ancient town were in large part
preserved (with 15 towers) and kept in use until 1700,
when military works almost completely obliterated them.
However, the destruction suffered by the town in 1940
led to the discovery at several places, not merely of
foundations, but of fairly well-preserved sections of the
ancient walls. A fairly precise map of their plan can
be established. Indeed, a section of the fortifications survives today in the middle of the town. The enclosed area
was approximately circular, had a circumference of ca.
1300 m, and covered 10 to 11 ha. What is known about
the construction of the ramparts suggests that they date
to the end of the 3d or beginning of the 4th c. At any
rate, they are earlier than the reign of Valentinian. As
yet there have been no systematic excavations at Toul.
However, many ancient remains have been collected
since the 18th c., especially when the ramparts were
demolished, for they had been built with reutilized fragments of architecture and funerary and religious monuments.
Many of these remains no longer exist, mostly as a
result of the 1940 fire. For example, only a drawing
survives of an altar with a representation of the mallet-god. The most recent finds have been collected in a
small museum which is being restored. Among the most
interesting finds are the following: a funerary stela of
the house type with an inscription and decoration of
three rosettes; two pieces of a bas-relief depicting Mercury; a group of three personages in high relief, probably
a trinity of Gallo-Roman deities; and several bronze objects, among them a bust of Apollo, a bull, a cornucopia,
a very worn statuette depicting Jupiter, and a dish decorated with palmettes and twining vegetal motifs. A certain number of interesting architectural and sculptural fragments (in particular a relief apparently depicting
Attis in an attitude of sorrow) are kept in the Musée
Lorrain at Nancy. Most of the artifacts found testify to
the close connections which existed throughout the Gallo-Roman period between Toul and the other Moselle towns, Metz and Trier.
The observations made during the rebuilding of Toul
suggests that the built-up area in antiquity was never
very large. The Gallo-Roman town occupied the site of
a small Gallic settlement. Subsequently it spread S. Then,
at the end of the 3d or beginning of the 4th c., it shrank
and shut itself up behind ramparts built with materials
taken from the edifices of the original town, or their
M. Toussaint, Répertoire archéologique
du département de Meurthe-et-Moselle
(1947) 116-24; J.
Choux & A. Liéger, “Découvertes archéologiques à Toul,” Gallia
7 (1949) 88-101PI