from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Samnites (also: Sabeller , Latin Sabelli ) were an Italian tribe from the mountain region of Samnium above the Gulf of Naples . Among them were the Abellinates , Alfaternians , Kaudinians and Pentrers in the narrower sense, and in a broader sense also the Hirpins around Maleventum, today Benevento , and the Frentans , whose residences were on the Adriatic .

In their language , the Oskish , they called themselves Safineis , the Greeks called them Saunitai and the Romans Samnites . Their capital was Bovianum on the eastern slope of the Apennines .

According to the original legend of the Samnites, they emerged from the Sabines through a Ver sacrum .

For most of their history they were sedentary, not until the 5th century BC. BC they spread into the coastal region of Campania , subjugating the Osker , who are related to them, and 424 BC. The city of Capua , Pompeii and in 420 the city of Cumae . By penetrating the Campanian coastal region, they eventually came into conflict with the Romans. A contract with them from 354 BC BC, in which they define the river Liris as the border river, is the oldest written testimony of the Samnites - an agreement that did not last long, because a short time later the first of three Samnite Wars broke out (343 to 290 BC) with whom they were expelled from Campania but not lost their independence. After another uprising in the Italian alliance war , the Samnites were 82 BC. Finally subjugated by Sulla , many of them being killed and the rest scattered.


  • Lukas Grossmann: Rome's Samnite Wars. Historical and historiographical studies on the years 327 to 290 BC Chr. Wellem Verlag, Dusseldorf 2009, ISBN 978-3-941820-00-5 (= Dissertation, University of Dusseldorf in 2007, review ).
  • Howard Jones (ed.): Samnium, settlement and cultural change. The proceedings of the third E. Togo Salmon Conference on Roman Studies. Center for Old World Archeology and Art, Providence 2004, ISBN 0-9755249-0-9 .
  • Massimo Pallottino: Italy before Roman times. Translated from the Italian by Stephan Steingräber. CH Beck, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-406-32012-0 (Original edition: Storia della prima Italia. Rusconi Libri, Milan 1984).
  • Edward Togo Salmon: Samnium and the Samnites. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1967.
  • Rafael Scopacasa: Ancient Samnium. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015.

Web links

Wiktionary: Samnite  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Gerhard Radke : Samnites. In: The Little Pauly (KlP). Volume 4, Stuttgart 1972, column 1533 f.
  2. On the Oscar-Umbrian language group see Giacomo Devoto: History of the Language of Rome. Translated from the Italian by Ilona Opelt. Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, Heidelberg 1968, pp. 62–70
  3. Titus Livius , Ab urbe condita 4,37,1.
  4. Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita 4,44,12.
  5. ^ Massimo Pallottino: Italy before Roman times . Translated from the Italian by Stephan Steingräber. CH Beck, Munich 1987, pp. 109-115.