Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy by Hagith Sivan

By Hagith Sivan

Within the burgeoning box of overdue classical antiquity the authors of overdue Roman Gaul have served as a mine of knowledge concerning the historic, cultural, political, social and spiritual advancements of the western empire, and of Gaul particularly. Ausonius is phenomenal between those authors for the extreme variety of fabric which his writings remove darkness from. His family members exemplifies the increase of provincial upper-classes in Aquitania via expertise, ambition and opportunism. Fusing ancient approach with archaeological, creative and literary facts, Hagith Sivan translates the political message of Ausonius' paintings and conveys the fabric fact of his way of life.

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Extra resources for Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy

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The wine was stored and distributed in pottery vessels which the Bordelais bought from well-established Gallic workshops like the Graufesenque. 31 AU SON I U S OF BORDEAUX Throughout the first three centuries AD Bordeaux did not have walls. The surface area of the inhabited open city has been estimated at 120 hectares. 5 Along the harbour most of the land was occupied by storage depots for merchandise. People on the whole lived in spacious accommodation and only a few lived near the harbour. The commercial role of Bordeaux was dependent on its harbour and its strategic location along roads leading from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and from north-eastern Gaul to Spain.

This was unusual urban planning, plainly dictated by the importance of the Garonne as a commercial route. Bordeaux’s newly defined urban space intra muros was carefully divided into insulae bordering on streets and avenues of varying widths. Each of the major roads within the city now terminated at a gate. In essence, then, Ausonius’ description of his native city underlines the impact which the construction of ramparts had on the layout of urban space. With the erection of walls around Bordeaux, the city’s contacts with its immediate and more distant environments were channelled through its gates, both on land and by water.

The inclusion of the harbour and river within the walls demonstrates their continuing importance to the industrial and economic activities of the citizens. Urban recovery in Bordeaux must have begun as early as the end of the third century. 60 Another indication is the obvious attraction of the city to professionals such as skilled medical practitioners and academics.

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