Viducasses

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The Viducasses or Viducassii were a Celtic people in Gallia Lugdunensis. The name derives from vidu (“wood”) and casse (“people”). The capital of the Viducasses was at Araegenus or Araegenue of the Table, appearing elsewhere as Aragenuae, which was the site of modern-day Vieux.

Pliny (iv. 18) mentions them before the "Bodiocasses", who are supposed to be the Baiocasses. Ptolemy (ii. 8. § 5) writes the name Οὐιδουκαίσιοι or Οὐιδουκάσσιοι, for we must assume them to be the Viducasses, though he places the Viducassii next to the Osismii, and the Veneti between the Viducassii and the Lexovii. But the Viducasses are between the Baiocasses and the Lexovii. The boundary between the Viducasses and the Baiocasses is indicated by a name Fins (Fines), which often occurs in French geography.

Vieux lies southwest of Caen, in the department of Calvados, some distance from the left bank of the river Orne. This place is mentioned in the titles or muniments of the neighboring abbey of Fontenai, on the other side of the Orne, under the name of Videocae or Veocae, of which Vieux is a manifest corruption, as D'Anville shows, like Tricasses, Trecae, Troies, and Durocasses, Drocae, Dreux. There is or was a stone preserved in the château of Torigni, in the arrondissement of Saint Lô, in the department of Manche, which contains the inscription "ORDO CIVITATIS VIDVCAS". This marble, which was found at Vieux in 1580, is said to be the pedestal of a statue placed in the third century in honor of T. Sennius Solemnis. In the excavations made at Vieux in 1705 were found remains of public baths, of an aqueduct, a gymnasium, fragments of columns, of statues, and a great number of medals of the imperial period, besides other remains. Inscriptions, of the date 238, found on the spot show that this city had temples and altars erected to Diana, to Mars, and to Mercury. (Nouveaux Essais sur la Ville de Caen, par M. L'Abbé Delarue, 2 vols. Caen, 1842, cited by Richard et Hocquart, Guide du Voyageur) Remains show that it was a Roman city, probably built on a Celtic site; and several Roman roads branch off from it.

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