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CEMENE´LIUM

CEMENE´LIUM (Κεμενέλιον, Ptol.: Eth. Cemenelensis, Inscr.: Cimiez), a town of Liguria, at the foot of the Maritime Alps. It was only about two miles distant from Nicaea, on a hill, rising above the torrent of the Paulo, or Paglione, and six miles from the river Varus, which formed the boundary of Liguria. Both Pliny and Ptolemy term it the chief city of the Vediantii, apparently a Gaulish tribe, though it was necessarily included in Liguria as long as the Varus was considered the limit between Italy and Gaul. (Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 7; Ptol. 3.1.43.) At a later period this limit being fixed at the Tropaea Augusti, on the pass of the Maritime Alps, Cemenelium and Nicaea were both included in Gaul. (Itin. Ant. p. 296.) It was thenceforth included in the jurisdiction of the “Praeses Alpium Maritimarum” (Notit. Dign. ii. p. 72), and was perhaps the seat of his government. Numerous inscriptions, as well as other ancient relics, prove it to have been a place of importance under the Roman Empire: and it seems probable that it was frequented by wealthy Romans, as Nice is at the present day, on account of the mildness and serenity of its climate in winter. The hill of Cimiez is now occupied by gardens and olive-grounds, but still retains the ruins of an amphitheatre, in tolerable preservation, but of small size: near it are some other Roman ruins, apparently those of a temple and of Thermae. The destruction of Cemenelium dates from the time of the Lombards. It was situated on the high road from Rome to Arelate and Narbo, which passed direct from the Tropaea Augusti (Turbia) to Cemenelium, and thence to the mouth of the Varus, leaving Nicaea on the left. (Roubaudi, Nice et ses Environs, pp. 54--67. Turin, 1843.)

[E.H.B]

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