Marseille can claim to have existed for 2,600 years and therefore qualifies as France's oldest city. In 600 B.C., Greeks from Phocaea (in present-day Turkey) arrived in the Lacydon creek which was then inhabited by people belonging to the Ligurian branch of the Celts.
According to legend, Massalia (as the Greeks named Marseille) was the result of a love story, that of Protis the Greek and Gyptis, daughter of the Ligurian chieftain. She rejected princes and fortune-hunters and chose the handsome adventurer.
The choice of setting was a calculated move: the North bank where the town was built was protected by three hills (Saint-Laurent, les Moulins and les Carmes) and, other natural advantages aside, was supplied with pure spring water from the Lacydon....