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Plan of the Roman town at Narbonne


This plan shows an overlay of modern streets on the core of the walled Roman town at Narbonne (Narbo Martius), founded in 118 BC where the via Domitia crossed the Aude River along major trade routes. Narbo Martius was the first capital city of the Roman Province of Gallia Transalpina, renamed Narbonensis during the reign of Augustus.

As was typical in Roman town planning, the 16-hectare grid plan of Narbo Martius was built around two main streets, the Cardo Maximus (north-south) and Decumanus Maximus (east west). At their intersection was the Forum or marketplace, the Basilica or law court, the Curia or meeting hall, and a Capitolium for official state worship, dating from Hadrian's reign (AD 117-138).

Also in the town center was the Horreum or grain warehouse, built underground in Narbonne as a cryptoporticus. Most of the surviving remains of Roman buildings in Narbonne date from rebuildings after a major fire in the 150s AD.

[Fig.1: Plan of the Roman town at Narbonne (after Bedon et al. 1988)].

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