previous next


DIVODU´RUM (Διουόδουρον: Metz), was the capital of the Mediomatrici, a people of Gallia, whose territory in Caesar's time extended to the Rhine (B. G. 4.10). It is the only town of the Mediomatrici which Ptolemy mentions (2.9.12); and it occurs with this name in the Antonine Itin. on the road from Treviri (Trier, Trèves) to Argentoratum (Strassburg). It occurs in the Table in the form Divo Durimedio Matricorum, where the error is easily corrected. As is usual with Gallic towns, it took the name of the people, and it is called Mediomatrice by Ammianus Marcellinus (17.1). The modern name Metz is from Mettis, a corrupted form which came into use in the fifth century. In the Notitia of the provinces of Gallia, we find “Civitas Mediomatricorum Mettis” mentioned after Treviri, the metropolis of Belgica Prima.

Metz, in France in the department of Moselle, is situated at the junction of the Moselle and the Seille, from which circumstance the town probably takes its name, for the first part of the word Divo-durum means “two.” In A.D. 70 the soldiers of Vitellius, who had been received by the people of Divodurum in a friendly manner, suddenly through fear or some other cause fell on the unresisting inhabitants and killed 4000 of them. (Tac. Hist. 1.63.) Divodurum was an important place on account of its position. Julian after his victory over the Alamanni at Strassburg sent his booty to Divodurum for safe keeping Metz was ruined by the Huns in the fifth [p. 1.780]century. It afterwards became the capital of Austrasia, or of the kingdom of Metz, as it was sometimes called.

The Roman buildings at Metz have disappeared; but the arrondissement of Metz contains many Roman remains. At or about Sablon, 1 1/2 mile S. of Metz, were an amphitheatre, a naumachia, and baths. This indeed appears to have been the site of the old Roman town. The amphitheatre is said to have been as large as that of Nîmes. The ruins of these edifices furnished a large part of the materials for the citadel and fortifications, which were added to the town in the 17th century. The aqueduct that supplied Metz with water, extended from the mills of the village of Gorze on the west side of the Moselle to Metz, a distance of more than 6 French leagues. It brought the water to the city across the river. There still remain of this great work 5 arches on the left bank of the Moselle, and 17 in the village of Jouy on the right bank. The piles or foundations in the river have been destroyed by the water. The masonry of the aqueduct is very good, and covered with a cement which is very well preserved wherever the aqueduct exists. It is estimated that it supplied every minute a volume of water equal to 1050 cubic feet. The arch under which the road to Nancy passes at Jouy is 64 feet high, or as high as one of our great viaducts. These arches supported two parallel canals. The two canals together were 11 1/2 feet wide. Such was one of the Roman works in a town, the history of which is unknown. (Guide du Voyageur, &c., par Richard et E. Hocquart.)


hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 1.63
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 17.1
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: