History of Arles at the time pre-Roman
Occupied as of X E by the Ligure , then after the first Celtic migration by the Celto-Ligurians, the site of Arles is attended by Mediterranean tradesmen. With the foundation of Marseilles (600 av. J. - C.), the city initially organizes at the end of the O C in emporion Greek then in colony called Théliné .
At the time of the Celtic push of the beginning of the IV E, the city returns under indigenous domination and takes again its patronym of Arelate . During the II E, the conflicts which oppose Marseilles and the confederation salyenne cause in the city of extensive damage.
After the crushing of the confederation in 122 av. JC, the Romans settle in Provence. Arles is probably attached to the Gaulle founded Narbonnese in 118 av. JC, although certain historians include as of this time the city arlésienne in the zone of influence of Marseilles.
Year -1000 to -400: Ligurians with a Greek colony
Ligurians with the GreeksTowards 800 av JC front J. - C., the area Rhone-native and of Provence occupied by the Ligures sees the progressive arrival of Celtes, from where the term Celto-Ligurian applying thereafter to the natives. With Arles, objects coming from various surveys, in particular from the site of the Van-Gogh hospital attest the existence of an occupation on this rock small island as of the end the end of the 7th century and lasting the first three quarters of the population is then indigenous and fact part of the Nearchi, people established on part of the Crau and Alpilles. This population, as of this time, is in commercial relation with the initially punic Mediterranean navigators and Etruscan, then Greek, which engages in the low valley of the the Rhone by going up the river.
Arles, named Théliné when the Greek lived it
The relations evolve then to colonization. In 600 av. JC, the Phocée NS, Greek sailors originating in minor Asia founds the town of Marseilles and settles in Provence. Very quickly, they create counters on the littoral and with the mouths of the rivers. On the site of Arles, it is about Théliné ( the Feeder ) founded towards 540 av. JC - 530 av. JC as evoked by Avienus:
- Là rises the city of Arles, named Théliné at the previous centuries, when the Greek lived it .
- Under cryptoportic the Romans, in the middle of the agglomeration, appearance of architectural vestiges with load-bearing walls structured around ways with coatings dated from the last quarter of the
- In the south of the city, transformation of the site of the Wintergarden which becomes a district inhabited at the end of and whose town planning develops during the 5th century.
This Hellenic component of the town of Arles will generate a cultural dynamics which will extend over several centuries until the end from the late Antiquité and the beginning of the Early middle ages.
Year -400 to -200: Arles, city of the confereration salyenneA rupture occurs at the beginning of Probably at the time of thorough the Celtic, the city returns under indigenous domination towards 400 av. JC - 370 av. JC and takes again its patronym of Arelate ( the city of the marshes ): the place located close ( are ) of the pond ( late ). The district of the Wintergarden evoked above is restructured in several stages, initially with, then with Starting from this date and during approximately three centuries until the creation of the Roman colony in 46 av. J. - C., the city will maintain the relations animated with its neighbor Marseilles. It is in this context that should be analyzed a particular event: the crossing of the the Rhone by the army Hannibal.
At the end of August 218 av. JC at the time of the Second Punic War, Hannibal crosses the Rhone at four days of walk of the sea, that is to say probably in the north of Arles between Tarascon and Avignon. This passage seems precipitated because Hannibal fears the arrival of Roman forces. Scipion unloads indeed with (proximity of?) Marseilles with several legions to prohibit the passage of the Rhone to him but arrives too late; only a detachment of cavalry comes into contact with the troops of Hannibal. Polybe precise:
- P Cornelius puts its troops at ground, with the mouth of the Rhone, which one calls mouth of Marseilles .
The historical sources do not make it possible to know the exact political position of the arlésiens on this date. Neither the Polybe Greek, nor Latin Tite-Live which describes these events quote the name of Arelate only once, which is all the more astonishing as the troops of Scipion going up the Rhone have to pass by the city. However, the route retained by Hannibal, in the north of Avignon, indicating the choice of a way in a hostile area to Rome, can let think that Arlésiens subjected to the Marseilles authority pursue the policy pro-Roman of the city phocéenne. But the question is open: according to Patrice Arcelin, Arles would have been rather with dominant ethnic native starting from IVe century. It raises that the old ones did not regard it as a colony of Marseilles (it does not appear in the nomenclatures préaugustéennes).
At the end of the III E, Arles probably takes part in the federation of the Salyens which is formed starting from the meeting of the “Celto-Ligurians” of Provence around proto-urban centers, placed under the control of a local aristocracy. To explain this evolution, several assumptions are formulated, among which it is necessary to quote the tensions caused by the pressure of Marseilles.
II E: installation of the Romans in Provence
The creation of the Narbonnese
During the II E, Marseilles is opposed indeed more and more to Salyens and to the other people of Eastern Provence, initially only then with the assistance of Rome.
At the beginning of the century, Marseilles attacks a series of sites of which Arles which undergoes major damage in a quasi-concomitant way with important believed of the river (towards 175 av. JC). At all events, these southernmost peripheral districts, with the Wintergarden, the south of the enclosure, the foot of compact rock are abandoned thereafter until the moment of the installation of the Roman colony towards 46 before our era, the habitat being folded up then on the high parts of the city (for example Holy-Luce zone of Commanderie). The historian Polybe describes certain piscicultural and food habits camarguaises of the time.
A little later Marseilles requests initially Rome starting from 182 av. J. - C., then towards 154 av. J. - C. in Provence orientale.
Lastly, the city phocéenne still calls upon the Roman troops in the years 125 av. J. - C., this time in Western Provence to finish some with the resistance of the Salyens; on this occasion, the Romans not only intervene but settle in Provence after the crushing of the confederation. The town of Aix is founded (122 av. JC) and shortly after (118 av. JC) the administrative division of the Narbonnaise created, thus making it possible to the Romans to control the road of Italy towards Spain (Voie Domitienne).
Arles like the other cities of Provence, except for Marseilles which preserves a certain autonomy, are attached to the colony of Narbonne. However much from information escape to us and certain historians do not hesitate to include as of this time the city arlésienne in the zone of influence of Marseilles.
Arles, a strategic positionThe new Masters of Arles hardly support the city from which we find the mention of the name, during long years, which in rare texts, such those of Polybe. The events are perhaps not then favourable with a development because less than twenty years after the establishment of the Roman legions, Provence is with the catches with people come from Northern Europe which, wanting to plunder Italy, threaten Provence.
After the Roman rout of Arausio (Orange) on October 6th 105 av. JC, the consul Marius intervenes in the area of Arles to prohibit with the cruel troops the access of Italy. Plutarque in the Vie of Marius describes us this episode. During two years, stationed in the North-East of Arles, probably on the zone called the Montagnette from where one can control the possible movements of the barbarians, Marius occupies his troops with logistic work: the construction of the Pits Mariennes, a channel of Fos in Arles through the ponds allowing to avoid the difficult increase of the the Rhone downstream from the city. It crushes finally the Teutons in 102 av. JC with Pourrières close to Aix-en-Provence, then the Cimbres in Gaulle cisalpine, close to Verceil in 101 av. JC.
After these victories, Marius gives up the use of the new water way to the Marseillais. By this contrary favor with the interests of Arelate, the latter is more still under the dependence of its powerful neighbor. Strabon underlines the advantages granted to Marseilles:
- … (they) benefitted from it great by the taxation perceived of transport going up and descending the river .
Arelate is not served of it by a channel which makes of it an at the same time river and maritime port. This privileged situation will play a big role later some sixty years, at the time of the conflict between César and the town of Marseilles.
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