Rhone (Lat. Rhodanus), the only important French river which falls into the Mediterranean, takes its rise in the Swiss Alps, on the western side of Mount St Gothard, at an altitude of 5752 feet, and not far from the sources of the Rhine. Its entire length, from its source to its mouth in the Gulf of Lyons, is 504 miles. It first runs SW. through Valais to the Lake of Geneva (q.v.); thence it forces a passage westward through the Jura. At Lyons it is joined by its largest tributary, the Saone (q.v.), from the north, and flows southward by Avignon and Aries, where begins its delta. Affluents are, on the right, the Ain, Saone, Ardeche, and Gard; on the left, the Arve, Isere, Dr6me, and Durance. From Lyons southward the Rhone is navigable, but by reason of the swift current, sandbanks, and other obstructions, communication with the Mediterranean is mainly by canals. Canals likewise connect the Rhone with the Rhine by the Saone, with the Seine, the Loire, and the Garonne. See a French work by Lentheric (2 vols. 1892).


Rhone (Roan), a dep. of France, part of the former Lyonnais. Area, 1077 sq. m.; pop. (1881) 741,470; (1901) 843,179. Its arrondissements are Lyons (the capital) and Villefranche.