RODEZ, a town of France, chef-lieu of the department of Aveyron and the see of a. bishop, 412 miles south of Paris by the railway which continues to Beziers, is built at a height of 2077 feet on a promontory surrounded by the Aveyron, a sub-tributary of the Garonne by the Tarn. Inpopulation-14,425 inhabitants (15,333 in the commune) in 1881 - it ranks next to the industrial town of Milian. The cathedral was built between 1277 and 1535. A great flamboyant rose window and a gallery in the same style are the chief features of the principal facade. Each tmn-sept has a fine Gothic doorway. At the north side of the building rises a tower (erected in the beginning of the 16th century) which ranks by its height as one of the wonders of the south of France, and bears aloft a colossal statue of the Virgin surrounded by the four evangelists. The interior has a fine rood loft and several interesting tombs. The episcopal palace with its collection of sculp-tured stones; the church of St Amans, in the Romanesque style, but entirely restored externally in the 18th century ; and several curious old houses of the 13th, 15th, and 16th centuries, such as the Hotel d'Armagnac, on the site of the old palace of the counts, also deserve to be mentioned. The ruins of a Roman amphitheatre still exist, and the town is supplied with water by the old Roman aqueduct recently restored.
Rodez, called Segodunum under the Gauls and Ruthena under the Romans, was the capital of a tribe allied to the Arvernians. In the 4th century it adopted the Christian faith and St Anians, its first bishop, was elected in 401. During the Middle Ages con-tests were rife betvveen the bishops in the " city " and the counts in the "bourg." The Albigenses were defeated near Rodez in 1210. The countship of Rodez depended in succession ou the count of Toulouse, on the king of France, and from the close of the 13th century on the count of Armagnac. From 1360 to 1368 the English held the town. After the confiscation of the estates of the Armaguacs in 1473 it passed to the dukes of Alencon and then to the D'Albrets. Henry IV. finally annexed it to the crown of France. Neither the Protestants nor the Leaguers any more than in earlier days the Albigenses were able to make themselves masters of Rodez.