Lavinium

Lavinium

Lavinium was a Latin port city of Latium 30 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 Indigetes and a vast sanctuary with numerous altars, where the bronze inscribed plaque records that the Dioscuri were 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 tumulus was 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 Rutuli people. He did not found Rome but Lavinium, the main centre of the Latin league, from which the people of Rome sprang. Aeneas thus links the royal house of Troy with the Roman republic.

The foundation of Lavinium and the Rutulian war are both mentioned prominently in the great Roman epic, the Aeneid by 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 Lavinio now stands on the site of ancient Lavinium, which was much closer to the sea in Antiquity. [Smith 1996.]

Notes

References

* [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"

External links

* [http://www.museopomezia.it Archaeological Museum of Lavinium]


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