The history of the glass in the big Southwest from the Languedoc (in the intersection of the Gaul Narbonnaise and the Gaul Aquitaine) goes back up to the Antiquity period when the glass was very marketed through all the Mediterranean Basin. But in this time the glass was not produced in the region yet.
The collections of the Museum/Center of Art Glass - Carmaux shelter the antique objects of 1st century AD stemming from construction sites of excavations of the Archaeological Society of Ségala Tarnais, on the calcareous trays of Carmaux, Albi and Cordes.
At the 4th century BC, new techniques of molding allowed to produce objects with more important sizes and composed of varied forms. Bowls, Cups, Small dishes, Plates, Skyphos, Characters appeared on the best patrician tables of the Greek and Roman society.
The invention of the cane to blow in the second half of the first century BC, on the Syro-Palestinienne coast, was going to modify the fashions of production by the increase of forms of objects and especially the increase of the quantities. Between Alexandria in Egypt and Sidon in Syria, the primary workshops of production of raw glass and the secondary workshops of productions of objects were going to be develop. At the end of the first century BC, the glass was spread in the whole of the Mediterranean countries of Roman Empire.
In the first one century AD, in Roman Gaul the first workshops of Syrian (?) glassworkers, were settled near Lyon, in antique outskirts of the city, in the district of the ceramics. The discovery of a funeral stele of the 3rd century AD mentions the presence of " Julius Alexander, African of birth, citizen of Carthage artist glassworker... ".
Today thanks to the archaeological works, more than about fifty glassworkers’ studios dated between the 1st and the 7th century AD, were discovered in France. They testify of the importance of this activity which began to decline from the end of Roman Empire.
"The art of the Glass factory" is officially recognized by the Roman emperors such as Alexandre Sévère (205-235) who put the glass factory to the rank of the sumptuous Arts, Constantin Ier (280-337) who exempted the glassworkers of the public loads(responsibilities) by his edict of 337, measures resumption by Emperor Théodose II ( 401-450 ) in his théodosien code in 439.