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RUSCINO (Ῥουσκινόν, Ῥουσκινών), a city of the Volcae Tectosages in Gallia Narbonensis. (Ptol. 2.10.9.) When Hannibal entered Gallia by the Pyrenees, he came to Illiberis (Elne), and thence marched past Ruscino (Liv. 21.24). Ruscino stood on a river of the same name (Ptol. Strab.): “There was a lake near Ruscino, and a swampy place a little above the sea full of salt and containing mullets (κεστρεῖς), which are dug out; for if a man digs down two or three feet, and drives a trident into the muddy water, he may spear the fish, which is of considerable size: and it feeds on the mud like the eels.” (Strab. iv. p.182.) Polybius (34.10, ed. Bekker) has the same about the river and the fish, which, however, he says, feed on the plant agrostis. (Athen. 8.332.) The low tract which was divided by the Ruscino is the Cyneticum Littus of Avienus (Or. Mar. 5.565):-- “post Pyrenaeum jugum,
Jacent arenae littoris Cynetici,
Easque late sulcat amnis Roschinus.
[p. 2.859]

Mela (2.5) names the place a Colonia, and so the title appears on coins, COL. RUS. LEG. VI. Pliny calls it “Oppidum Latinorum.” It seems to have been a Colonia Latina.

The name is incorrectly written Ruscione in the Antonine Itin. and in the Table. It is placed between Combusta [COMBUSTA] and Illiberis, and it is represented by Castel-Roussillon or the Tour de Roussillon on the Tet, the ancient Ruscino, a short distance from Perpignan, the capital of the French department of the Pyrénées Orientales. Perpignan lies on the high-road from France into Spain, and there is no other great road in this part of the Pyrenees.

Ruscino is named Rosciliona in middle age documents, and from this name the modern name Roussillon is derived. Roussillon was a province of the ante-revolutionary history of France, and it corresponds to the modern department of Pyrénées Orientales.

The river Ruscino or Ruscinus is the Telis of Mela (2.5), the Tet; and we may probably conclude that the true reading in Mela is Tetis. The Tet rises in the Pyrenees, and flows past Perpignan into the Mediterranean, after a course of about 70 miles. Sometimes it brings down a great quantity of water from the mountains.


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Polybius, Histories, 34.10
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 21, 24
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.10
    • Athenaeus, of Naucratis, Deipnosophistae, 8
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