The Via Domitia and a roadside village

The Via Domitia was built in 118 CE, and extended from the Rhone to the Pyrenees. It ran along the shores of the Gulf of Lion, from Ugernum, (modern-day Beaucaire) to summo Pyreneo, now identified as the Col de Panissars near Perthus. From Béziers to Nîmes, between Cessero (Saint-Thibery) and Forum Domitii (a staging post in what is now modern-day Montbazin), the road passed through the Loupian territory less than three kilometres to the north of the villa.

To cross a smallish stream running through a valley, Roman engineers raised the level of the roadway using rubble and thus kept the slope from becoming too steep. They built a small bridge over the stream channelled by the accumulated material. Here, a secondary road split off in the direction of the watershed occupied by the farm of the new estate. Starting in the second quarter of the 1st century BCE, earth and stone constructions appeared on both banks of the valley and on either side of the road, forming a small village. Its inhabitants were mostly artisans, and certainly offered services to travellers. An abundance of coins attests to the regularity and volume of trade.

After the site was abandoned under the Early Roman Empire, a service road linked the villa with the Via Domitia. The discovery of a milestone with the inscription iter priv(atum), "private road", confirms this.

Medias

Interactive document - Remains of the Via Domitia in the sector of the Etang de Thau

Remains of the Via Domitia in the sector of the Etang de Thau

The road was built at the end of the 2nd century BCE, when the colonia of Narbonne was founded. All of the sites in the Thau basin that were occupied during the late Republic are depicted.
© I. Bermond, MCC-DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon
Interactive document - The Via Domitia, still visible in the landscape of today

The Via Domitia, still visible in the landscape of today

Long sections of the Roman road can still be seen in the modern landscape. In several areas, archaeological excavations have uncovered vestiges of the original roadway.
© Marc Lugand
Interactive document - The Via Domitia, still visible in the landscape of today

The Via Domitia, still visible in the landscape of today

A rural road preserves the route of the Via Domitia.
© Marc Lugand