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LAURIACUM

LAURIACUM or LAUREACUM, a town in the north of Noricum, at the point where the river Anisius empties itself into the Danube. (Amm. Marc. 31.10; It. Ant. pp. 231, 235, 241, 277; Gruter, Inscr. p. 164.3; Not. Imp.: in the Tab. Peut. its name is misspelt Blaboriciacum.) In a doubtful inscription in Gruter (p. 484. 3) it is called a Roman colony, with the surname Augusta: Laureacum was the largest town of Noricum Ripense, and was connected by high roads with Sirmium and Taurunum in Pannonia. According to the Antonine Itinerary, it was the head-quarters of the third legion, for which the Notitia, perhaps more correctly, mentions the second. It was, moreover, one of the chief stations of the Danubian fleet, and the residence of its praefect, and contained considerable manufactures of arms, and especially of shields. As the town is not mentioned by any earlier writers, it was probably built, or at least extended, in the reign of M. Aurelius. It was one of the earliest seats of Christianity in those parts, a bishop of Lauriacum being mentioned as early as the middle of the third century. In the fifth century the place was still so well fortified that the people of the surrounding country took refuge in it, and protected themselves against the attacks of the Alemannians and Thuringians; but in the 6th century it was destroyed by the Avari, and although it was restored as a frontier fortress, it afterwards fell into decay. Its name is still preserved in the modern village of Lorch, and the celebrated convent of the same name, around which numerous remains of the Roman town may be seen extending as far as Ens, which is about a mile distant. (Comp. Muchar, Noric. i. p. 362, 268, 163, ii. p. 75.)

[L.S]

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