Paris (Lutèce) Circa 360

by | Aug 4, 2023 | Older Paris Maps

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Here is some context for what was happening in and around Paris, known then as Lutetia, during the mid-4th century:

Lutetia Becomes Paris: Around this time, the small Gallo-Roman city of Lutetia Parisiorum began to be referred to more simply as “Paris”, named after the Parisii, a Celtic Iron Age people who lived on the banks of the Seine river.

Gallo-Roman Culture: The 4th century was during the period of Gallo-Roman culture, a time in which the Roman Empire’s culture and the Gauls’ culture were blended. While not specific to the year 360, during this period, Lutetia (Paris) would have been a thriving Roman city, featuring typical Roman architecture, including baths, a forum, and amphitheaters.

Decline of the Western Roman Empire: The 4th century also marked the beginning of the decline of the Western Roman Empire, with increased pressure from Germanic tribes along the empire’s borders. This broad geopolitical shift would have long-term effects on all Roman cities, including Paris.

Spread of Christianity: Christianity continued to spread throughout the Roman Empire in the 4th century, and Paris was no exception. The first known bishop of Paris, Denis, was a martyr who was beheaded around the mid-3rd century. By the mid-4th century, Christianity was more established, although the first cathedral in Paris, Saint-Étienne, wouldn’t be built until a century later.