Database of texts and images
Of Gallo-Roman antiquities (15th-17th centuries)


Ville Grenoble (Isère, 38)
Subject(s) Roman city gates
Author(s) Du Rivail, Aymar
  Jurisconsult and historian from the Dauphiné province (c. 1490-c. 1560)
Resource type Manuscript
Date 1535
References Du Rivail 6014, I= Terrebasse 1844, pp. 38-42

DLF XVIe siècle, p. 446 ; Terrebasse 1844 ; Macé 1852 ; Chatel 1990, pp. 17-24 ; Michel 1999, pp. 53-54, 110-115 ; Lemerle 2005, pp. 58, 84


The two city gates constructed by Diocletian and Maximian carried identical inscriptions, with the exception of the names of the gates, indicated at the end, which corresponded with the the two emperors' agnomens: 'Jovia' (Jupiter) was Diocletian's agnomen, 'Herculea' (Hercules) was Maximian's. The 'Porte Traine' was destroyed in 1591. The 'Porte Viennoise' was demolished in the early 19th century (1802-1810)


« Et a Trojanis Cularonam fuisse conditam est argumento una ejusdem porta ad meridiem versa, quam adhuc cives Trojanam vocant. […] [39] Hæc etiam porta Trojana, Romanis suum imperium usque ad Allobroges postea ampliantibus, Romana quoque dicta est, quod per eam Romam versus iter patebat. Altera porta qua Viennam ibatur a parte Isaræ Viennensis appellabatur. […] Cularonam postea muris et ædificiis Diocletianus et Maximianus imperatores restauraverunt, et portarum nomina mutaverunt, ac de suis agnominibus illas vocari jusserunt, ut duabus constat inscriptionibus quarum una est, ut sequitur, in porta Trojana, sub carcere Delphinali […]. Altera est in porta carceri Pontificali supposita […]. [40] Diocletianus enim Jovius, et Maximilianus (sic) Herculeus nominati fuerunt […] et litteris romanis hæ inscriptiones adhuc, quibusdam litteris corrosis, extant in eisdem portis, quæ fortem et elegantem structuram habent, grossisque et longis lapidibus sine calce sunt confectæ, ut liquido appareat eas Romanorum esse ædificium. Suntque eædem portæ antiquitate et pulchra lapidum congerie insignes, et in quolibet portarum latere est una turris non minoris elegantiæ et structuræ quam portæ ipsæ ; […] [41] Tandem huic divi Vincentii templo pontificalis Mariæ Virginis ædes adjuncta est, necnon et palatium episcopale, quod etiam portam illam Herculeiam amplectitur, et ideo recentiori vocabulo nunc porta Pontificalis vulgo dicitur ; et propter terræ et viæ elevationem [42] humi plus solito depressa est, et supra eam portam pontifices Gratianopolitani carcerem ædificaverunt. Itidem Delphini fecerunt supra portam Joviam. »
= “That Cularo [Grenoble] was constructed by the Trojans is proved by the name given by the town's inhabitants to the southern city gate: the 'Trojan Gate' […]. This 'Trojan Gate' is also known as the 'Roman Gate', since afterwards the Romans incorporated this region occupied by the Allobroges within their empire, and it was through this gate that the road fro Roma passed. […] Later still, the emperors Diocletian and Maximian built the city walls and other buildings and changed the names of the city gates, giving them their agnomens, as is made clear by two inscriptions, the first of which, placed on the Trojan Gate, below the Delphinale Prison, reads as follows. […] Diocletian's agnomen was Jupiter and Maximian's Hercules […]. These two inscriptions, written in Roman letters, though eroded, are still visible on the gates; these gates are solid and elegant; they are constructed with large and long stone blocks, without lime, and were manifestly built by the Romans. They are notable for the ancientness and the beauty of the stones they are built with; on the side of each gate stand towers not less elegant and finely built than the gates themselves […]. Finally, to the Church of St Vincent has been added a cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and, likewise, an episcopal palace into which the Hercules Gate has been incorporated; this gate subsequently became known as the 'Bishop's Gate'. Later, the ground level and the road were raised and this gate was found too low, so the bishops of Grenoble constructed a prison on top of it; the dauphins similarly built a prison on the Jupiter Gate.”