Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Autun

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AUTUN, the capital of an arrondissement of the same name in the department of Saone and Loire, in France, is picturesquely situated on the declivity of a hill, at the foot of which flows the Arroux. It is one of the most ancient towns of France ; and when Caesar invaded Gaul it was the most important of the yEdui. Its name was then Bibracte, but being afterwards much improved and embellished by Augustus it took that of Augustodunum. In the later days of the Roman empire it was a flourishing city, and consequently attracted the barbarian bands. It was successively plundered and burned by the Vandals in 406, the Burgundians in 414, the Huns in 451, the Franks in 534, the Saracens in 739, and the Normans in 895. It was burned by the English in 1379, and besieged in 1591 by D Aumont. Yet in spite of all these disastrous events, its former greatness is attested by many Roman and other remains, among which are large masses of its ancient walls, two gates in admirable preservation, called the Porte d Arroux and the Porte Saint-Andre, the walls of the so- called temple of Janus, and a pyramid in the neighbour- bouring village of Couard, in which some recognise a monu ment to Divitiacus. The cathedral is a structure of the llth and 12th centuries, and is surmounted by a remark able spire of the 15th. Autun is the seat of a bishopric, and has a college, a diocesan seminary, a museum, which is very rich in medals and other minor antiquities, a library, a theatre, &c., with tribunals of primary jurisdiction and commerce. It has manufactures of cotton goods, hosiery, carpets, leather, and paper, with a considerable trade in timber, hemp, and cattle. Population in 1872, 11,684.