), a place in the valley of the Anio about 24 miles above Tibur (Tivoli
It derived its name from its situation below the lake or lakes formed by the waters of the Anio in this part of its course, and called the SIMBRUINA STAGNA or SIMBRIVII LACUS. These lakes have now entirely disappeared: they were evidently in great part artificial, formed as reservoirs for the Aqua Marcia and Aqua Claudia, both of which were derived from the Anio in this part of its course.
There is no mention of Sublaqueum before the time of Nero who had a villa there called by Frontinus “Villa Neroniana Sublacensis;” and Tacitus mentions the name as if it was one not familiar to every one. (Tac. 14.22; Frontin. de Aquaed.
It seems certain therefore that there was no town of the name, and it would appear from Tacitus (l.c.
) that the place was included for municipal purposes within the territory of Tibur. Pliny also notices the name of Sublaqueum in the 4th Region of Augustus, but not among the municipal towns: as well as the lakes ( “lacus tres amoenitate nobiles” ) from which it was derived. (Plin. Nat. 3.12. s. 17
It appears from mediaeval records that these lakes continued to exist down to the middle ages, and the last of them did not disappear till the year 1305. (Nibby, Dintorni,
vol. iii. p. 125.) Subiaco
obtained a great celebrity in the middle ages as the place of retirement of St. Benedict, and the cradle of the celebrated monastic order to which he gave his name.
It seems probable that the site was in his time quite deserted, and that the modern town owes its origin to the monastery founded by him, and a castle which was soon after established in its neighbourhood. (Nibby, l.c.