This place is first mentioned by Strabo (iv. p.179
), who says, when he is speaking of one of the passes of the Alps, that from Ebrodunum (Embrun
) on the Gallic side through Brigantium (Briançon
) and Scincomagus and the pass of the Alps to Ocelum, the limit of the land of Cottius is 99 miles; and at Scincomagus Italy begins: and the distance from Scincomagus to Ocelum is 27 miles. (See Groskurd's note on the passage, Transl. Strab.
i. p. 309.) Pliny also (2.108) makes Italy extend to the Alps at Scincomagus, and then he gives the breadth of Gallia from Scincomagus to the Pyrenees and Illiberis. (See the notes and emendations in Harduin‘s edition.)
It appears then that Scincomagus was at the foot of the Alps on the Italian side; and if the position of Ocelum were certain, we might probably determine that of Scincomagus, which must be on the line of the passage over the Alps by the Mont Genèvre.
It was a great mistake of Bouche and Harduin to suppose that Scincomagus was the same as Segusio or Susa.
D'Anville guesses that Scincomagus may be a place which he calls “Chamlat de Siguin,
at the entrance of the Col de Cestrières,
which leads from the valley of Sézane
(Cesano) into that of Pra-gelas.
” As usual, he relies on the resemblance of the ancient and modern names, which is often useful evidence; for “magus” in Scincomagus is merely a common Gallic name for town. D'Anville also supposes that this position of Scincomagus is confirmed by the site of Ocelum, as he has fixed it. [OCELUSM.] But all this is vague.