Scaldis: river in the west of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. The modern English name is Scheldt, but it is locally known as Escaut (French) and Schelde (Dutch).
Just north of Valenciennes, at modern Escautpont (ancient Pons Scaldis), is and was the bridge in the road that connected the capital of the Nervii, Bavay (Bagacum), with the Menapian town of Tournay (Tornacum). Passing along the last-mentioned town, the river turns to the northeast and reaches modern Antwerp, makes a turn to the northwest and finally empties itself - some 350 kilometers from the source - into the North Sea. Nowadays, there are two estuaries. They are called the Western and Eastern Scheldt, although "Southern" and "Northern Scheldt" are better descriptions of their actual positions.In Antiquity, the Eastern Scheldt was the only branch: the geographer Ptolemy of Alexandria knows only one estuary, which he calls Tabula.note[Ptolemy, Geography 2.8.] The Western Scheldt used to be a minor river, flowing into the sea south of modern Vlissingen, but in the Merovingian age, the sea broke along this stream and reached the Scheldt, thus giving the river a second mouth, which has widened over the ages. Nowadays, this Western Scheldt is the main outlet.
Still, there may have been a second branch in the Roman age. In his account of an attack on the Menapians in the spring of 53, Caesar tells that the Scaldis joined the Meuse.note[Caesar, Gallic War 6.33.] This suggests that there was a minor branch, because the Eastern Scheldt empties itself directly into the sea. However, there is no geological evidence to confirm this statement, and Caesar's account is probably wrong.
Close to the sea were the two sanctuaries of Nehalennia near Colijnsplaat and Domburg; their ancient names are not known, although it is likely that Colijnsplaat is identical to a town called Ganuenta. North of the Eastern Scheldt may have been the land of the Frisiavones, although we are not really certain about this again. The problem is, of course, that the landscape in this part of the Netherlands, called Zeeland, has changed very much since Antiquity.