Laurium (Gr. Aavpiov or Aavpeiov), a promontory of Greece, in the southern portion of Attica, Famous silver, lead, zinc, and antimony deposits were discovered here in very remote antiquity, were successfully worked from the time of Themistocles to that of Pericles, and were supposed to have been exhausted in the time of Strabo, about the commencement of our era. In 1863 two agents of a commercial house of Marseilles explored the ancient mines and the adjacent country, purchased the land, and obtained from the government authority to reopen the mines and the right to the ores of argentiferous galena in their neighborhood. The great financial success of the mining operations induced the Greek government to raise claims against the Laurium company, which led to the diplomatic interference of the governments of France and Italy. In 1871 and 1872 the Laurium question completely absorbed public attention in Greece, even causing several ministerial changes. It was finally settled in 1873 by the sale of the mines to a Greek company, which came to an understanding with the government.