, a village in Southern Etruria and station on the Via Aurelia, 12 miles from Rome. (Itin. Ant.
p. 290; Tab. Peut.
) It is chiefly known from the circumstance that the family of Antoninus Pius had a villa there, in which that emperor was brought up, and where he afterwards constructed a palace or villa on a more magnificent scale, which was his place of residence at the time of his death. (Jul. Capit. Ant. P.
12; Vict. de Caes.
15; Eutrop. 8.8
It was afterwards a favourite place of resort with his successor M. Aurelius, as we learn from his letters to Fronto (Fronto, Ep.
2.18, 3.20, 6.3, &c.); but had already fallen into decay in the time of Capitolinus, who speaks only of its ruins. No other mention of Laurium occurs except in the Itineraries, by which we are enabled to fix its position with certainty. The 12th mile from Rome coincides with a bridge over a small stream between a farm called Bottaccia
and the Castel di Guido:
here the remains of ancient buildings and sepulchres have been found; and on the high ground above are the ruins of an edifice of a more extensive and sumptuous character, which, from the style of construction, may probably have belonged to the villa of the Antonines. (Nibby, vol. ii. p. 271.)
The name is variously written Lorium, Lorii, and Laurium, but the first form, which is that adopted in the epistles of Fronto and M. Aurelius, is the best warranted.
The place appears to have continued to be inhabited during the early ages of Christianity, and we even meet with a bishop of Lorium in the 5th century.