- Marc Signorile
City in Provence, France. Originally a Gallo-Greek settlement, it became a Roman colony in 46 bce and prospered as a maritime trading centre. It soon had a theatre, an amphitheatre, arenas and a circus. Archaeological finds now in the Musée d’Archéologie show that there was a lively interest in music at the time: the sarcophagus of Julia Tyrannia is decorated with carvings of two hydraulic organs, panpipes and a three-string kithara, and other sarcophagi preserved in the Alyscamps Roman cemetery are ornamented with reliefs showing kitharas and depictions of the aulos, barbitos, syrinx and hydraulic organ.
Christianity came early to Arles. In 314 the Emperor Constantine called the first of the 19 councils held in the city, and excommunicated the theatrici, actors and instrumentalists who were regarded as symbolic of paganism. Arles became the second city in the empire, and was designated the capital of the Gauls in 392, a title confirmed by Honorius in ...