The Antonine Itinerary, a list of roads of the Roman Empire with their distances and intermediate stops, was drawn up in the 2nd century AD, with one version dating back to the 4th century AD. For Sicily, it indicates the presence of the mansio Philosophiana on the internal road connecting Catina and Agrigentum.
Philosophiana was a post station for changing horses. The name, like others in the Itinerary (Calvisiana, Capitoniana and Calloniana), implies the noun praedia, which identifies plots of land and might refer to the name of their owner.
The mansio was identified with the settlement found in the Sofiana quarter, a locality around 6 km south of the Villa del Casale, near the town of Mazzarino, where stamps with the inscription PHIL SOF have been found.
Most scholars have recognised that the villa and the mansio belong to the same latifundium and some have suggested that the name of Philosophiana be extended to the Villa del Casale. For its possible owners, an attempt was made to track down some of the most influential aristocrats of the time who had the nickname Philosophus.