The first Roman settlers of Nîmes were some of Caesar's veterans from his campaigns in Egypt, who had been granted farmland as a reward for their service. The site was promising, situated on the Via Domitia, a major road built in 118 BC that connected Italy to the provinces of Hispania.
Sometime before Augustus took control of Rome in 27 BC, Nîmes had developed into a thriving Roman city known to the Romans as Nemausus. During Augustus's reign, Nimes benefited from his expansive building programs. The city was fortified by almost four miles of defensive walls, including 14 defensive towers and gates.
Over the centuries, Nîmes continued to grow, nourished by an astounding aqueduct known today as the Pont du Gard – the tallest aqueduct ever built by the Romans. Several major public buildings, including the imposing amphitheater, were constructed or rebuilt during the 2nd Century AD.
Nîmes continued as a prosperous city until barbarian invasions wracked the Empire during the 3rd Century AD. Eventually, the city was overrun by the Visigoths in 472 AD.