Without being a cultural barrier, the Rhône separated the populations who were formed during the 4th and 3rd centuries. Among the most famous were the Salyens, who occupied the left bank of the Rhône in the location of the modern Aix-en-Provence region. They were called Salues, Salyes, Salui, or Salluvii in Greco-Latin texts.
During the 2nd century BC, the name of this population designated a group of peoples in conflict with Greek Marseilles and its regional interests. This warring confederation was roughly delimited to the west and east by the Rhône and Var Rivers, and to the north by the Durance and Luberon.
Ancient authors call these populations "Celto-Ligurian", thus highlighting the ethnic mixtures in Provence. At around 125 BC, the command of the federation and its armies was confided to a basileus named Teutomalios or Toutomotulus, who was assisted by a counsel of dunastai.