Samnites


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Related to Samnites: Pyrrhus, Sabines, Etruscans, Samsonite, Umbrians

Samnites

(săm`nīts), people of ancient Italy. Their country was SamniumSamnium
, ancient country of central and S Italy, mostly in the S Apennines. It was E of Campania and Latium and NE of Apulia.
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. The Samnites were Oscan-speaking and therefore should be included among the Sabelli. The Tabula Agnonensis, a bronze tablet that carries an inscription engraved in the full Oscan alphabet, is an important record of the language. The loose confederation of agricultural tribes, expanding in the 4th cent. B.C., came into conflict with the Romans over Campania. There was probably a good deal of warfare before the three Samnite Wars (343–341 B.C., c.326–304 B.C., 298–290 B.C.), in which the Romans won control of central and S Italy. Although the Samnites continued to fight against Rome with Pyrrhus, Hannibal and later Marius in the Social War, they were crushed (82 B.C.) by Sulla before the gates of Rome; most of them were killed. Some survivors were sold into slavery; the rest were Romanized.

Samnites

 

ancient Italic tribes of the Osco-Umbrian-Sabel-lian branch, including the Hirpini, Pentri, Caraceni, and Caudi-ni.

The Samnites were mountain tribes who engaged primarily in livestock raising. Coming down from the mountains in the fifth century B.C., some of the Samnites occupied the western and southwestern Apennine Peninsula. These Samnite tribes, mixing with the local Aurunci, Aenotrians, and others, became known as the Campanians, Lucanians, and Bruttii. They preserved features of a primitive communal system until they were conquered by Rome.

In the fourth century B.C. a military alliance of tribes was formed headed by the Samnites and called the Samnite Federation. In the second half of the fourth century and the early third century B.C., the Samnites waged wars against Rome, which ended with their defeat. They supported Pyrrhus and Hannibal during their campaigns against Rome. The Samnites fought against Rome in the Social War of 90–88 B.C. They were almost entirely exterminated by the Roman general Sulla in the first century B.C.

References in periodicals archive ?
The plaques were Hellenistic--in other words, linked to the mainstream culture of the Mediterranean world at the time--and better made than anyone expected of the Samnites, who have been called rustic at best and savage at worst.
few remember that Alexander the Molossian, king of Epirus, was overcome by the Lucanians and Samnites.
15) They even envisage the `voltus superbi', `proud faces', of the Samnites leering at them as they surrender.
21) Livy's account of the Caudine Forks surrender certainly gives precedence to the viewpoint of the humiliated Roman legionaries, but their sense of shame is contingent upon the coexisting viewpoint of the victorious Samnites.
Where Livy's Samnites had methodically humiliated all ranks from the highest to the lowest, even killing some of the legionaries, the Flavians show greater antipathy towards the general.
Salmon, Samnium and the Samnites (Cambridge, 1967), reviewed by M.
Born around 333, reputedly to a humble plebeian family; led an army to victory over the Samnites at Aquilonia (293); elected consul (290), he quelled a revolt by the Sabines and directed the partial drainage of Lake Velinus (near Terni) (289); elected to replace consul L.
Principal wars: Third Samnite War (298-290); war with Pyrrhus (281-272).
Birth date and early career unknown, but was the son of Spurius Papirius; magister equitum (340); first elected consul (326); in the face of a serious Samnite threat, served as dictator (325-324); awarded a triumph on his return to Rome (324); consul again in both 320 and 319, he received a second triumph for his capture of Satricum (near Anzio) (319); consul for the fourth and fifth times (315, 313); he was again made dictator (310-309), and defeated the Etruscans at Lake Vadimo (310); marched south to defeat the Samnites at Longula (309); on his return to Rome he was awarded a third triumph.
Principal wars: Second Samnite War (327-304); Etruscan War (311-309).