Sabelli(səbĕl`ī), people of ancient Italy who spoke Oscan. They were a loose group and seemed to have had little or no political unity. Oscan-speaking tribes expanded over central Italy, and by the 5th cent. B.C. they seem to have taken ancient Campania and Lucania. The Samnites and Sabines were probably Sabelli.
tribes of the Osco-Umbrian-Sabellian branch of the ancient Italici.
The Sabelli settled around Lake Fucino and included the Marsi, Marrucini, Vestini, and Frentani. In the fourth century B.C., they joined a military tribal alliance—the Samnite league—headed by the Samnites, a kindred tribe. From the second half of the fourth century B.C. to the beginning of the third century B.C., the Sabelli waged a desperate struggle against the Romans, a struggle that ended in a Roman victory and in Rome’s annexation of most of the Sabelli’s lands. Until the first century B.C., the Sabelli retained distinct vestiges of the primitive communal system. As a result of the Social War of 90–88 B.C. against Rome, they gained Roman citizenship. Subsequently, they were completely romanized.