Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


French: Lyon
Latin: Lugdunum

Lyons is a historic city located in east-central France

The knight Taulas of the Desert carried a shield made in Lyons.

Lyon | 43 BC to 800 AD

Roman Foundation | 43 BC
Lyon, originally known as Lugdunum, was founded as a Roman colony in 43 BC by Lucius Munatius Plancus, a Roman general. The city was strategically located at the confluence of the two major rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, making it an important center for trade and administration within the Roman Empire.

Roman Influence
Lyon quickly became a vital administrative and economic hub for the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. It served as the capital of this province and was known as the Colonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugdunum.

Lyon was connected to other parts of the Roman Empire via a network of well-constructed roads, including the Via Agrippa, which connected it to northern Gaul and the Roman city of Arles to the south.

Religious Significance
The city was also a center of religious importance. A temple dedicated to the deified Emperor Augustus (the Temple of Augustus and Livia) was built in Lyon. Additionally, it was the birthplace of Saint Irenaeus, an early Christian theologian and bishop.

Early Christianity
Lyon played a role in the spread of Christianity in Gaul. In the second century AD, Lyon became an important Christian center, and its early Christian community faced persecution, particularly during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus.

Decline and Barbarian Invasions
During the third century AD, the Roman Emperor faced external pressures and internal crises. Lyon, like other Roman cities, experienced periods of decline and insecurity due to invasions by various barbarian tribes.

Transition to the Middle Ages
As the Western Roman Empire declined in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, Lyon, like many Roman cities, saw a shift in governance and influence. It gradually transitioned into the early Middle Ages and became part of the Kingdom of Burgundians.

Merovingian and Carolingian Periods
Lyon continued to be a significant urban center during the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties. The city’s position at the crossroads of major trade routes contributed to its importance.

Lancelot, or Le Chevalier de la Charrete | Chrétien de Troyes, late 12th century