The Molossians were an ancient Greek tribe and kingdom that inhabited the region of Epirus since the Mycenaean era. On their north frontier, they had the Chaonians and on their southern frontier the kingdom of the Thesprotians; the Molossians were part of the League of Epirus until they sided against Rome in the Third Macedonian War. The result was disastrous, the vengeful Romans enslaved 150,000 of its inhabitants and annexed the region into the Roman Republic. According to Greek mythology, the Molossians were the descendants of Molossus, one of the three sons of Neoptolemus, son of Achilles and Deidamia. Following the sack of Troy and his armies settled in Epirus where they joined with the local population. Molossus inherited the kingdom of Epirus after the death of Helenus, son of Priam and Hecuba of Troy, who had married his erstwhile sister-in-law Andromache after Neoptolemus's death. According to some historians, their first king was Phaethon, one of those who came into Epirus with Pelasgus.
According to Plutarch and Pyrrha, having set up the worship of Zeus at Dodona, settled there among the Molossians. According to Strabo, the Molossians, along with the Chaonians and Thesprotians, were the most famous among the fourteen tribes of Epirus, who once ruled over the whole region; the Chaonians ruled Epirus at an earlier time, afterwards the Thesprotians and Molossians controlled the region. The Thesprotians, the Chaonians, the Molossians were the three principal clusters of Greek tribes that had emerged from Epirus and were the most powerful among all other tribes; the Molossians were renowned for their vicious hounds, which were used by shepherds to guard their flocks. This is. Virgil tells us that in ancient Greece the heavier Molossian dogs were used by the Greeks and Romans for hunting and to watch over the house and livestock. "Never, with them on guard," says Virgil, "need you fear for your stalls a midnight thief, or onslaught of wolves, or Iberian brigands at your back." Strabo records that the Thesprotians and Macedonians referred to old men as πελιοί pelioi and old women as πελιαί peliai.
Cf. Ancient Greek πέλεια peleia, "pigeon", so-called because of its dusky grey color. Ancient Greek πελός pelos meant "grey", their senators were called Peligones, similar to Macedonian Peliganes. The most famed member of the Molossian dynasty was Pyrrhus, who became famous for his Pyrrhic victory over the Romans. According to Plutarch, Pyrrhus was the son of Aeacides of Epirus and a Greek woman from Thessaly named Phthia, the daughter of a war hero in the Lamian War. Pyrrhus was a second cousin of Alexander the Great. In the 4th century BC, they had adopted the term for office of prostatai meaning "protectors" like most Greek tribal states at the time. Other terms for office were grammateus meaning "secretary", demiourgoi meaning "creators", hieromnemones meaning "of the sacred memory" and synarchontes meaning "co-rulers" An inscription from the 4th century stated: The shrine of Dodona was used for the display of public decisions. Despite having a monarchy, the Molossians sent princes to Athens to learn of democracy, they did not consider certain aspects of democracy incompatible with their form of government.
Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, was a member of this celebrated sovereign house. In 385 BC, the Illyrians, aided by Dionysius of Syracuse, attacked the Molossians, attempting to place the exile Alcetas on the throne. Dionysius planned to control all the Ionian Sea. Sparta expelled the Illyrians who were led by Bardyllis. With the aid of 2,000 Greek hoplites and 500 suits of Greek armour, the Illyrians were defeated by the Spartans but not before ravaging the region and killing 15,000 Molossians. In another Illyrian attack in 360 BC, the Molossian king Arymbas evacuated his non-combatant population to Aetolia and let the Illyrians loot freely; the stratagem worked, the Molossians fell upon the Illyrians, who were encumbered with booty, defeated them. Pyrrhus of Epirus most prominent Epirote king. Neoptolemus son of Achilles and Deidamia. Molossus son of Neoptolemus and Andromache. Alcon suitor of Agariste of Sicyon. Admetus, who gave asylum to Themistocles. Eidymmas prostates, secretary Amphikorios gave citizenship το Philista, wife of Antimachos from Arrhonos, under King Neoptolemos I 370–368 BC.
Tharyps theorodokos in Epidauros 365 BC. Myrtale Olympias mother of Alexander the Great circa 376–316 BC. Arybbas winner in Tethrippon Olympics 344 BC. Aristomachos prostates, secretary Menedamos gave citizenship to Simias of Apollonia, resident at Theptinon, under King Alexander I 342–330/329 BC. Deidamia II of Epirus last surviving representative of the royal Aeacid dynasty. Kephalos, Antinoos sided with Perseus against the Romans circa 170 BC. Chaonia Chaonians Olympias Orestis Pyrrhus of Epirus Thesprotians Invasion of Molossia
Magna Graecia was the name given by the Romans to the coastal areas of Southern Italy in the present-day regions of Campania, Basilicata and Sicily. The settlers who began arriving in the 8th century BC brought with them their Hellenic civilization, to leave a lasting imprint on Italy, such as in the culture of ancient Rome. Most notably the Roman poet Ovid referred to the south of Italy as Magna Graecia in his poem Fasti. According to Strabo, Magna Graecia's colonization had begun by the time of the Trojan War and lasted for several centuries. In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, because of demographic crises, the search for new commercial outlets and ports, expulsion from their homeland after wars, Greeks began to settle in southern Italy. Colonies were established all over the Mediterranean and Black Seas, including in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian Peninsula; the Romans called the area of Sicily and the foot of Italy Magna Graecia since it was so densely inhabited by the Greeks.
The ancient geographers differed on whether the term included Sicily or Apulia and Calabria, Strabo being the most prominent advocate of the wider definitions. With colonization, Greek culture was exported to Italy, in its dialects of the Ancient Greek language, its religious rites and its traditions of the independent polis. An original Hellenic civilization soon developed interacting with the native Italic civilisations; the most important cultural transplant was the Chalcidean/Cumaean variety of the Greek alphabet, adopted by the Etruscans. These Hellenic colonies became rich and powerful, some still stand today, like Neapolis, Akragas, Rhegion, or Kroton; the first Greek city to be absorbed into the Roman Republic was Neapolis in 327 BC. The other Greek cities in Italy followed during the Pyrrhic War. Sicily was conquered by Rome during the First Punic War. Only Syracuse remained independent until 212, because its king Hiero II was a devoted ally of the Romans, his grandson Hieronymous however made an alliance with Hannibal, which prompted the Romans to besiege the city, which fell in 212, despite the machines of Archimedes.
This is a list of the 22 poleis in Italy, according to Mogens Herman Hansen. It does not list all the Hellenic settlements, only those organised around a polis structure. During the Early Middle Ages, following the disastrous Gothic War, new waves of Byzantine Christian Greeks may have come to Southern Italy from Greece and Asia Minor, as Southern Italy remained loosely governed by the Eastern Roman Empire. Although possible, the archaeological evidence shows no trace of new arrivals of Greek peoples, only a division between barbarian newcomers, Greco-Roman locals; the iconoclast emperor Leo III appropriated lands, granted to the Papacy in southern Italy and the Eastern Roman Empire continued to govern the area in the form of the Catapanate of Italy through the Middle Ages, well after northern Italy fell to the Lombards. At the time of the Normans' late medieval conquest of southern Italy and Sicily, the Salento peninsula and up to one third of Sicily was still Greek speaking. At this time the language had evolved into medieval Greek known as Byzantine Greek, its speakers were known as Byzantine Greeks.
The resultant fusion of local Byzantine Greek culture with Norman and Arab culture gave rise to Norman-Arab-Byzantine culture on Sicily. A remnant of this influence can be found in the survival of the Greek language in some villages of the above mentioned Salento peninsula; this living dialact of Greek, known locally as Griko, is found in the Italian regions of Calabria and Apulia. Griko is considered by linguistics to be a descendant of Byzantine Greek, the majority language of Salento through the Middle Ages, combining some ancient Doric and modern Italian elements. There is a rich oral tradition and Griko folklore, limited now but once numerous, to around 30,000 people, most of them having become absorbed into the surrounding Italian element; some scholars, such as Gerhard Rohlfs, argue that the origins of Griko may be traced to the colonies of Magna Graecia. Although many of the Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy were Latinized during the Middle Ages, pockets of Greek culture and language remained and survived into modernity because of continuous migration between southern Italy and the Greek mainland.
One example is the Griko people, some of whom still maintain customs. Greeks re-entered the region in the 16th and 17th century in reaction to the conquest of the Peloponnese by the Ottoman Empire. After the end of the Siege of Coron, large numbers of Greeks took refuge in the areas of Calabria and Sicily. Greeks from Coroni, the so-called Coronians, were nobles, who brought with them substantial movable property, they were granted special privileges and tax exempt
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
Neoptolemus I of Epirus
For a hero, see Neoptolemus. For a grandson of this king, see Neoptolemus II of Epirus. Neoptolemus I of Epirus was a Greek king of Epirus and son of Alcetas I, father of Troas, Alexander I of Epirus and Queen Olympias, he was a maternal grandfather of Alexander the Great. He claimed he was a descendant of hero Achilles and King Lycomedes, while Emperor Caracalla claimed that he was a descendant of Neoptolemus I. Olympias was known as Polyxena and it is possible that Neoptolemus gave her that name, his name means "new war". This was a name of the son of the warrior Achilles and the Princess Deidamia in Greek mythology, the mythical progenitor of the ruling dynasty of the Molossians of ancient Epirus. On the death of Alcetas and his brother Arybbas agreed to divide the kingdom, continued to rule their respective portions without any interruption of the harmony between them, until the death of Neoptolemus, according to German historian Johann Gustav Droysen, may be placed about 360 BC; the first epigraphical evidence of the Molossian League goes back to 370 BC under Neoptolemus.
List of the kings of Ancient Epirus Pausanias i. 11. §§ 1, 3 Justin vii. 6. § 10, xvii. 3. § 14 Droysen, vol. i. p. 250 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "Neoptolemus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Ancient Greek religion
Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or "cults" in the plural, though most of them shared similarities. Most ancient Greeks recognized the twelve major Olympian gods and goddesses:, although philosophies such as Stoicism and some forms of Platonism used language that seems to assume a single transcendent deity; the worship of these deities, several others, was found across the Greek world, though they have different epithets that distinguished aspects of the deity, reflect the absorption of other local deities into the pan-Hellenic scheme. The religious practices of the Greeks extended beyond mainland Greece, to the islands and coasts of Ionia in Asia Minor, to Magna Graecia, to scattered Greek colonies in the Western Mediterranean, such as Massalia. Early Italian religions such as the Etruscan were influenced by Greek religion in forming much of the ancient Roman religion.
While there were few concepts universal to all the Greek peoples, there were common beliefs shared by many. Ancient Greek theology was polytheistic, based on the assumption that there were many gods and goddesses, as well as a range of lesser supernatural beings of various types. There was a hierarchy of deities, with Zeus, the king of the gods, having a level of control over all the others, although he was not almighty; some deities had dominion over certain aspects of nature. For instance, Zeus was the sky-god, sending thunder and lightning, Poseidon ruled over the sea and earthquakes, Hades projected his remarkable power throughout the realms of death and the Underworld, Helios controlled the sun. Other deities ruled over abstract concepts. All significant deities were visualized as "human" in form, although able to transform themselves into animals or natural phenomena. While being immortal, the gods were not all-good or all-powerful, they had to obey fate, known to Greek mythology as the Moirai, which overrode any of their divine powers or wills.
For instance, in mythology, it was Odysseus' fate to return home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, the gods could only lengthen his journey and make it harder for him, but they could not stop him. The gods had human vices, they would interact with humans, sometimes spawning children with them. At times certain gods would be opposed to others, they would try to outdo each other. In the Iliad, Aphrodite and Apollo support the Trojan side in the Trojan War, while Hera and Poseidon support the Greeks; some gods were associated with a certain city. Athena was associated with the city of Athens, Apollo with Delphi and Delos, Zeus with Olympia and Aphrodite with Corinth, but other gods were worshipped in these cities. Other deities were associated with nations outside of Greece. Identity of names was not a guarantee of a similar cultus. Though the worship of the major deities spread from one locality to another, though most larger cities boasted temples to several major gods, the identification of different gods with different places remained strong to the end.
The Greeks believed in an underworld. One of the most widespread areas of this underworld was ruled over by Hades, a brother of Zeus, was known as Hades. Other well known realms are Tartarus, a place of torment for the damned, Elysium, a place of pleasures for the virtuous. In the early Mycenean religion all the dead went to Hades, but the rise of mystery cults in the Archaic age led to the development of places such as Tartarus and Elysium. A few Greeks, like Achilles, Amphiaraus Ganymede, Melicertes, Peleus, a great number of those who fought in the Trojan and Theban wars, were considered to have been physically immortalized and brought to live forever in either Elysium, the Islands of the Blessed, the ocean, or beneath the ground; such beliefs are found in the most ancient such as Homer and Hesiod. This belief remained strong into the Christian era. For most people at the moment of death there was, however, no hope of anything but continued existence as a disembodied soul; some Greeks, such as the philosophers Pythagoras and Plato embraced the idea of reincarnation, though this was only accepted by a few.
Epicurus taught that the soul was atoms which dissolved at death, so there was no existence after death. Greek religion had an extensive mythology, it consisted of stories of the gods and how they interacted with humans. Myths revolved around heroes and their actions, such as Heracles and his twelve labors and his voyage home and the quest for the Golden Fleece and Theseus and the Minotaur. Many species existed in Greek mythology. Chief among these were the gods and humans, though the Titans frequently appeared in Greek myths. Lesser species included the half-man-half-horse centaurs, the nature based nymphs and the half man, half goat satyrs; some creatures in Greek mythology were monstrous, such as the one-eyed giant Cyclop
Samnium is a Latin exonym for a region of Southern Italy anciently inhabited by the Samnites. Their own endonyms were Safineis for the people; the language of these endonyms and of the population was the Oscan language. However, not all the Samnites spoke Oscan, not all the Oscan-speakers lived in Samnium; the ancient geographers were unable to relay a precise definition of Samnium's borders. Moreover, the areas it included vary depending on the time period considered; the main configurations are the borders it had during the floruit of the Oscan speakers, from about 600 BC to about 290 BC, when it was absorbed by the Roman Republic. This originary Samnium should not be confused with the territory of the same name. Rome's first Emperor, divided Italy into 11 regions. Although these entities only served administrative purposes, were identified with the sole numeral, by scholarly convention the Regio IV has been dubbed "Samnium". Ancient Samnium had been split up into three of the Augustan regions.
Modern Italian language has borrowed the name "Sannio" to indicate only a small portion of what it once was - informally, the Province of Benevento only. Etymologically the name Samnium is recognized to be a form of the name of the Sabines, who were Umbrians. From Safinim, Sabinus and Samnis an Indo-European root can be extracted, *sabh-, which becomes Sab- in Latino-Faliscan and Saf- in Osco-Umbrian: Sabini and *Safineis; the eponymous god of the Sabines, seems to support this view. The Greek terms and Saunitis, remain outside the group. Nothing is known of their origin. At some point in prehistory, a population speaking a common language extended over both Samnium and Umbria. Salmon conjectures that it was common Italic and puts forward a date of 600 BC, after which the common language began to dialectize; this date does not correspond to any historical or archaeological evidence. The linguist, Julius Pokorny, carries the etymology somewhat further back. Conjecturing that the -a- was altered from an -o- during some prehistoric residence in Illyria he derives the names from an o-grade extension *swo-bho- of an extended e-grade *swe-bho- of the possessive adjective, *swe-, of the reflexive pronoun, *se-, "oneself".
The result is a set of Indo-European tribal names: Semnones, Suiones. The general concept is "our own kith and kin," Pokorny's "von eigener Art," "Gesamtheit der eigenen Leute," "Liebe," "Sippegenossen," "Sippenangehörigen," and the like. Samnium lay on the Apennine area; the principal cities of the region were Bovaiamom, renamed Bovianum by Latins and Maleventum, renamed Beneventum by the Romans. For most of their history the Samnites were landlocked, but during a brief period they controlled parts of both coasts of the Italian peninsula; the Samnites were composed of at least four tribes: the Pentri, the Caraceni, the Caudini and the Hirpini. They may have been joined by the Frentani; the federal capital of the League they formed was Bovianum, except for a short period between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, when it was Aquilonia, destroyed by the Romans in 293 BC, whose probable location today is modern Agnone, in Molise. The earliest written record of the people is a treaty with the Romans from 354 BC, which set their border at the Liris River.
Shortly thereafter the Samnite Wars broke out. By 290 BC, the Romans were able to break the Samnites' power after some hard-fought battles; the Samnites were one of the Italian peoples that allied with King Pyrrhus of Epirus during the Pyrrhic War. After Pyrrhus left for Sicily, the Romans invaded Samnium and were crushed at the Battle of the Cranita hills, but after the defeat of Pyrrhus, the Samnites could not resist on their own and surrendered to Rome; some of the Samnites joined and aided Hannibal during the Second Punic War. The Samnites and several other Italic people rebelled against Rome and started the Social War, after Romans refused to grant them Roman Citizenship; the war lasted three years, resulted in a Roman victory. However and other Italic tribes were granted Roman citizenship, to avoid another war; the Samnites supported the Marian party in the civil war against Lucius Cornelius Sulla, by 82 BC, the Roman dictator Sulla conducted an ethnic cleansing campaign against this most stubborn and persistent of Rome's adversaries and forced the remnant to disperse.
So great was the destruction brought upon them that it was recorded that "some of their cities have now dwindled into villages, some indeed being deserted." After this the Samnites were assimilated into the Roman society. Gaius Pontius ca. 320s BC Gellius Egnatius ca. 296 BC Gaius Papius Mutilus 90-89 with: Ponti