In the second century Lyons was the Rome of Gaul as it is now the second Paris of France. It was crowded with temples and public monuments. It was moreover the Athens of the West, a resort of scholars. Seated at the confluence of two great rivers, the Rhône and the Sâone, it was a centre of trade. It is a stately city now. It was more so in the second century when it did not bristle with the chimneys of factories pouring forth their volumes of black smoke, which the atmosphere, moist from the mountains, carries down so as to envelop everything in soot.