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Vienne (Roman Vienna) grew along both sides of the Rhône River in the 1st-4th centuries AD. Like many Roman towns, Vienne started as a colonia for legionary veterans, built at a former Gallic settlement, the capital of the Allobroges tribe. After 52 BC it also served as a supply depot for the Roman legions.
Located at the crossing of the Rhône by several Roman roads (shown as grey lines), Vienne became a major riverine trading port by the end of the 1st century AD, and remained prosperous through the 4th century.
Major Roman roads included a north-south route from Marseille (Massalia) to Cologne (Colonia Agrippinensis), and another from Paris (Lutetia) to the Alps near Briancon. These routes are known from the 2nd century AD Antonine Itinerary and 3rd century AD Peutinger Table.
Upland areas (over 200 meters elevation) are shown as green in the map, contrasting to river bottomland areas in red where most roads and settlements are located.
[Fig.1: Map of the lower Rhône Valley (Athena Review).]
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