Colony founded in 43 bc by Munatius Plancus, and to the mid‐3rd cent. the metropolis of the NW of the Roman empire. Its position led to its becoming: the nodal point of Vipsanius Agrippa's Gallic road system; the capital of the province of Lugdunensis (see gaul (transalpine) ); the religious, administrative, financial, and commercial centre of the Three Gauls and the Germanies; and the residence and birthplace of emperors. It even accommodated a branch of the imperial mint. The city's large and cosmopolitan population worshipped many deities, including those brought from the east. A Christian community (see christianity) developed early, and in 177 suffered savage and esp. well‐documented persecution. Lugdunum declined from c.250, as imperial attention was directed increasingly to the Rhine frontier, and its primacy was usurped by Augusta Treverorum.
Early Lugdunum occupied the heights west of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône. At the confluence itself (Gallic Condate), Drusus (see claudius drusus, nero) established in 12 bc the altar of Rome and Augustus, to which aristocratic representatives of all the Gallic peoples came annually to show allegiance to Rome. On an island off Condate developed the city's main shipping and commercial quarter. On the heights, the main monuments are the theatre and odeum. The four aqueducts make extensive use of syphons. The museum contains the bronze tablets of Claudius' speech on the admission of Gauls to the senate.
Subjects: Classical Studies.