Lavinium was a
Latinport city of Latium30 km south of Rome, [The site of the city is the modern Practica di Mare.] already fortified in the seventh century BCE and a flourishing in the sixth. [Christopher John Smith, "Early Rome and Latium: Economy and Society C. 1000 to 500 BC" (Oxford University Press) 1996:134; Mario Torelli, "Lavinio e Roma. Riti iniziatici e matrimonio tra archeologia e storia" ] and assimilated by Republican Rome. Its early gate seems to have linked the city by a road to Ardea. The city was securely linked to Rome by the Via Laurentina.
A number of
kilns have been identified within the perimeter of the city walls. Outside the city was a sanctary dedicated to Sol Indigetesand a vast sanctuary with numerous altars, where the bronze inscribed plaque records that the Dioscuriwere being venerated at one of numerous altars. [Smith 1996.]
According to Roman mythology, which links Lavinium more securely to Rome, the city was named by
Aeneas[A tumuluswas identified by Romans as the "Heroon of Aeneas"] in honor of Lavinia, daughter of Latinus, king of the Latins, and his wife, Amata. Aeneas reached Italy and there fought a war against Turnus, the leader of the local Rutulipeople. He did not found Romebut Lavinium, the main centre of the Latin league, from which the people of Romesprang. Aeneas thus links the royal house of Troywith the Roman republic.
The foundation of Lavinium and the Rutulian war are both mentioned prominently in the great Roman epic, the
Aeneidby the Mantuan poet Publius Vergilius Maro ( Virgil). More recently, the city is the setting of the modern epic poem, " The Laviniad" by Claudio R. Salvucci.
The modern town of
Lavinionow stands on the site of ancient Lavinium, which was much closer to the sea in Antiquity. [Smith 1996.]
* [http://icarus.umkc.edu/sandbox/perseus/pecs/page.2565.a.php Richard Stillwell, ed. "Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites", 1976:] "Lavinium (Pratica di Mare), Latium, Italy"
* [http://www.museopomezia.it Archaeological Museum of Lavinium]
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