The earliest reference to the so-called Pompeius stone of Rennes-les-Bains is by the historian Catel. This would have been some time before 1626. Catel had written regarding this stone - "... and seen in the church of the place mentioned, les Bains de Rennes, an ancient Roman inscription, recovered from ancient foundations near the source, C. POMPEIVS QVARTVS PAM SVO.' He quite clearly says that this Roman inscription stone was found in the ancient foundations of a fountain source. There are no references, measurements or further information. We assume he was told of the existence of the stone by his many contacts.
The next time this inscription is encountered it is from the work of G Lafont.
C.POMPEIUS QUARTUS , d'un coeur reconnaissant, au dieu Mars SUUS - sur la face opposee une branche de laurier ...
It is found under the heading of "Inscriptions that were once at Narbonne, that have been taken out of the Narbonnais area", and we find that .... To the church at Rennes les Bains was transported, according to G. Lafont, a "bandeau" ( haut. 0.40 m: larg. 0.30m = 40 cm high x 30 cm wide ) bearing this inscription :
C. Pompeius / Quartus / etc etc dedicated to Mars . ...you know the one i mean, with a branch of laurel on the reverse side".
Now a 'bandeau' is interpreted to mean a decorative headband; head bandage or a banner of some sort. It does not fit the description or in actual fact the image we have of the Pompeius stone! At least though, Lafont gives us some measurements - this 'banner' is 0.40m in height and 0.30m in width. And the inscription is interpreted as an offering to the god Mars....
Chronologically it is Louis Fédié who next mentions the Pompeius stone. It is in 1880, in his work called ' Le Comté de Razès et le diocèse d'Alet, notices historiques (Carcassonne: Lajaux Frères). He says
'Nous ferons remarquer qu'il ya une grande similitude entre cette inscription et celle qui figure sur une plaque de grès découverte aux Bains de Rennes, il ya plus d'un siècle, dans un pan de vieux mur avoisinant la source de la Reine." So for him, this stone was found at the Souce de La Reine",
.... which is also that which Boudet believed.
Then in 1892 Sacaze publishes his Les inscriptions antiques des Pyrénées, (Toulouse). He writes, in relation to this stone, 'White marble memorial stone that could be seen in the church of Rennes-les-Bains when Catel wrote his Memoires de l'Histoire de Languedoc, it had been taken, he tells us, from the ancient buildings that surrounded the source, first brought to the castle of Vivier, around 1760, after it was donated to the Museum by Mr. Montagnas to the Museum of Perpignan. On the face opposite to that engraved is represented very coarsely a laurel branch. Height: 47 cm, width: 33.5 cm, width: 16 cm."
Sacaze references his statements with PUIGGARI in 1832 - who thought originally that this stone came from Catllar, near Prades.
We then of course see the Priory of Sion manipulation.