The Pyrrhic War was a war fought by Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus. Pyrrhus was asked by the people of the Greek city of Tarentum in southern Italy to help them in their war with the Roman Republic. A skilled commander, with a strong army fortified by war elephants, Pyrrhus enjoyed initial success against the Roman legions, but suffered heavy losses in these victories. Plutarch wrote that Pyrrhus said after the second battle of the war, "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined." He could not call up more men from home and his allies in Italy were becoming indifferent. The Romans, by contrast, had a large pool of military manpower and could replenish their legions if their forces were depleted in many battles; this has led to the expression Pyrrhic victory, a term for a victory that inflicts losses the victor cannot afford in the long term. Worn down by the battles against Rome, Pyrrhus moved his army to Sicily to war against the Carthaginians instead. After several years of campaigning there, he returned to Italy in 275 BC, where the last battle of the war was fought, ending in Roman victory.
Following this, Pyrrhus returned to Epirus. Three years in 272 BC, the Romans captured Tarentum; the Pyrrhic War was the first time that Rome confronted the professional mercenary armies of the Hellenistic states of the eastern Mediterranean. Rome's victory drew the attention of these states to the emerging power of Rome. Ptolemy II, the king of Egypt, established diplomatic relations with Rome. After the war, Rome asserted its hegemony over southern Italy. By 290 BC, at the end of the three Samnite Wars, Rome had established her hegemony over parts of central and southern Italy, cemented through alliances with various Italic peoples in central Italy. To the south of the Roman sphere of influence in Italy there were a number of city-states founded by Greek settlers from the 8th to the 6th century BC. Tarentum was the largest and most powerful Greek city in Italy; the Tarentines attacked a Roman fleet off their coast, sinking some of their ships and capturing some prisoners. As a result, Rome declared war.
There are different versions of the events. Appian, Cassius Dio and Zonaras appear to have been intent on blaming the war on the Tarentines; the part of the text of Dionysius of Halicarnassus which deals with the events in the run-up to the declaration of war has been lost and Plutarch did mention them. In Appian's version, in 282 BC ten Roman ships appeared close to Tarentum, in the north-eastern part of the Gulf of Taranto. According to Appian, Publius Cornelius Dolabella was sailing along the coast of Magna Graecia, sight-seeing. A demagogue reminded the townsfolk about an old treaty in which Romans had bound themselves not to sail beyond the promontory of Lacinium, near Croton, on the opposite side of the gulf, he persuaded them to attack the ships: four were sunk and one was captured "with all on board". This would have happened in 282 BC, the year after Dolabella's consulship, because that year Dolabella was fighting in central Italy. Appian did not explain. Neither Cassius Dio nor Zonaras mentioned any treaties between the Tarentines.
Zonaras, whose version was based on those of Cassius Dio, wrote that the Tarentines had associated with the Etruscans, Gauls and that the Romans defeated these peoples in various battles over a number of years. However, the Tarentines had not participated in these battles. In the account of Zonaras, Lucius Valerius, whom he described as ‘the admiral’, was sailing to a place he had been sent to, he wanted thinking that it was friendly. Out of a sense of guilt for their past actions, the Tarentines thought that Lucius Valerius had come against them and attacked him, he had not expected hostilities. They sank his ship and other ships and captured the crews, killing some of and imprisoning the others. Zonaras did not specify where Lucius Valerius had been sent to or why he wanted to set anchor off Tarentum. In a fragment of the text of Cassius Dio, this admiral, Lucius Valerius, was sent on some errand; the Tarentines were intoxicated by wine. When they saw his ships, they suspected that Lucius Valerius was sailing against them and, they set sail and attacked his ships "without any show force on his part or the slightest suspicion of any hostile act..."
The Romans were angry about this ``. However, they despatched envoys, in order not to appear to have passed over the affair in silence and in that way render them more arrogant." The Tarentines insulted them. As a result, the Romans declared war. In another fragment, Cassius Dio wrote that the Romans had learned that Tarentum was preparing for war against them and sent Gaius Fabricius Luscinus as an envoy to the cities allied with Rome to prevent a rebellion there. However, "these peoples" arrested him and sent men to the Etruscans and Gauls; this caused several of them to secede. He wrote that the Tarentines had started the war but felt safe because the Romans though they knew what the Tarentines were up to, pretended to be unaware of it because of their "temporary embarrassments." The Tarentines thought that they were not observed. They "behaved still more insolently and forced the Romans against their will to make war upon them."Cass
Lucania was an ancient area of Southern Italy. It was the land of an Oscan people, it extended from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Gulf of Taranto. It bordered with Samnium and Campania in the north, Apulia in the east, Bruttium in the south-west, at the tip of the peninsula, now called Calabria, it thus comprised all the modern region of Basilicata, the southern part of the Province of Salerno and a northern portion of the Province of Cosenza. The precise limits were the river Silarus in the north-west, which separated it from Campania, the Bradanus, which flows into the Gulf of Taranto, in the east; the lower tract of the river Laus, which flows from a ridge of the Apennine Mountains to the Tyrrhenian Sea in an east-west direction, marked part of the border with Bruttium. The whole area is occupied by the Apennine Mountains, which here are an irregular group of lofty masses; the main ridge approaches the western sea, continues from the lofty knot of mountains on the frontiers of Samnium, in a southerly direction, to within a few miles of the Gulf of Policastro.
From on it is separated from the sea by only a narrow interval until it enters Bruttium. Just within the frontier of Lucania rises Monte Pollino, 7,325 ft, the highest peak in the southern Apennines; the mountains descend in a much more gradual slope to the coastal plain of the Gulf of Taranto. Thus the rivers which flow to the Tyrrhenian Sea are of little importance compared with those that descend towards the Gulf of Tarentum. Of these the most important are the Bradanus, the Casuentus, the Aciris, the Siris; the Crathis, which forms at its mouth the southern limit of the province, belongs wholly to the territory of the Bruttii, but it receives a tributary, the Sybaris, from the mountains of Lucania. The only considerable stream on the western side is the Silarus, which constitutes the northern boundary, has two important tributaries in the Calor and the Tanager which joins it from the south. There are several hypotheses on the origin of the name Lucania, inhabited by Lucani, an Osco-Samnite population from central Italy.
Lucania might be derived from Greek λευκός, leukos meaning "white", cognate of Latin lux. According to another hypothesis, Lucania might be derived from Latin word lucus meaning "sacred wood", or from Greek λύκος, lykos meaning "wolf"; the district of Lucania was so called from the people bearing the name Lucani by whom it was conquered about the middle of the 5th century BC. Before that period it was included under the general name of Oenotria, applied by the Greeks to the southernmost portion of Italy; the mountainous interior was occupied by the tribes known as Oenotrians and Choni, while the coasts on both sides were occupied by powerful Greek colonies which doubtless exercised a protectorate over the interior. The Lucanians were a southern branch of the Sabellic race, who spoke the Oscan language, they had a democratic constitution save in time of war, when a dictator was chosen from among the regular magistrates. A few Oscan inscriptions survive in Greek characters, from the 4th or 3rd century BC, some coins with Oscan legends of the 3rd century.
The Lucanians conquered the whole country from the borders of Samnium and Campania to the southern extremity of Italy. Subsequently the inhabitants of the peninsula, now known as Calabria, broke into insurrection, under the name of Bruttians established their independence, after which the Lucanians became confined within the limits described. After this we find them engaged in hostilities with the Tarentines, with Alexander, king of Epirus, called in by that people to their assistance, 334 BC. In 298 BC they made alliance with Rome, Roman influence was extended by the colonies of Venusia and above all Tarentum. Subsequently they were sometimes in alliance, but more engaged in hostilities, during the Samnite wars. On the landing of Pyrrhus in Italy they were among the first to declare in his favor, found themselves exposed to the resentment of Rome when the departure of Pyrrhus left his allies at the mercy of the Romans. After several campaigns they were reduced to subjection. Notwithstanding this they espoused the cause of Hannibal during the Second Punic War, their territory during several campaigns was ravaged by both armies.
The country never recovered from these disasters, under the Roman government fell into decay, to which the Social War, in which the Lucanians took part with the Samnites against Rome gave the finishing stroke. In the time of Strabo the Greek cities on the coast had fallen into insignificance, owing to the decrease of population and cultivation the malaria began to obtain the upper hand; the few towns of the interior were of no importance. A large part of the province was given up to pasture, the mountains were covered with forests, which abounded in wild boars and wolves. There were some none of great importance. For administrative purposes under the Roman empire, Lucania was always united with the district of the Bruttii, a practice continued by Theodoric; the two together constituted the third region of Augustus. The towns on the east coast were Metapontum, a few miles south of the Bradanus. Close to its southern frontier stood Sybaris, which was
The Latin League was an ancient confederation of about 30 villages and tribes in the region of Latium near the ancient city of Rome, organized for mutual defense. The term "Latin League" is one coined by modern historians with no precise Latin equivalent, it was created for protection against enemies from surrounding areas under the leadership of the city of Alba Longa. An incomplete fragment of an inscription recorded by Cato the Elder claims that at one time the league included Tusculum, Lanuvium, Cora, Tibur and Ardea. During the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, the Latins were persuaded to acknowledge the leadership of Rome; the treaty with Rome was renewed, it was agreed that the troops of the Latins would attend on an appointed day to form a united military force with the troops of Rome. That was done, Tarquin formed combined units of Roman and Latin troops; the early Roman Republic formed an alliance with the Latin League in 493 BC. According to Roman tradition, the treaty, the foedus Cassianum, followed a Roman victory over the league in the Battle of Lake Regillus.
It provided that both Rome and the Latin League would share loot from military conquests and that any military campaigns between the two would be led by Roman generals. The alliance helped repel attacks from such peoples as the Aequi and the Volsci, tribes of the Apennine Mountains, who were prevented from invading Latium by the blending of armies, it is still unclear if the Latins had accepted Rome as one into the League, or if the treaty had been signed as between Rome and the Latin League. During the Roman kingdom and the early-to-mid Roman republic there were numerous disputes between Rome and the Latins, which led to a number of wars between Rome and individual Latin cities and with the entire league; the increasing power of Rome led to its domination of the league. The renewal of the original treaty in 358 BC formally established Roman leadership and triggered the outbreak of the Latin War. Following the Roman victory, the league was dissolved. After 338 BC, the end of the Latin league, Rome renamed the cities municipia and established coloniae inside them.
This meant that the towns were now ruled by Rome and that the people living there were considered Roman colonists. Alba Longa, Aricia, Cora, Lavinium, Pometia and Tusculum
The Sabines were an Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of ancient Italy inhabiting Latium north of the Anio before the founding of Rome. The Sabines divided into two populations just after the founding of Rome, described by Roman legend; the division, however it came about, is not legendary. The population closer to Rome transplanted itself to the new city and united with the preexisting citizenry, beginning a new heritage that descended from the Sabines but was Latinized; the second population remained a mountain tribal state, coming to war against Rome for its independence along with all the other Italic tribes. After losing, it became assimilated into the Roman Republic. There is little record of the Sabine language. There are personal names in use on Latin inscriptions from the Sabine country, but these are given in Latin form. Robert Seymour Conway, in his Italic Dialects, gives 100 words which vary from being well attested as Sabine to being of Sabine origin. In addition to these he cites place names derived from the Sabine, sometimes giving attempts at reconstructions of the Sabine form.
Based on all the evidence, the Linguist List tentatively classifies Sabine as a member of the Umbrian Group of Italic languages of the Indo-European family. Latin-speakers called the Sabines' original territory, straddling the modern regions of Lazio and Abruzzo, Sabinium. To this day, it bears the ancient tribe's name in the Italian form of Sabina. Within the modern region of Lazio, Sabina constitutes a sub-region, situated north-east of Rome, around Rieti. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, many Roman historians regarded the origins of indigenous Romans to be Greek though their knowledge was derived from Greek legendary accounts. Dionysius regarded Lista as the mother-city of the Aborigines. Ancient historians debated the specific origins of the Sabines. Zenodotus of Troezen claimed that the Sabines were Umbrians that changed their name after being driven from the Reatine territory by the Pelasgians. However, Porcius Cato argued that the Sabines were a populace named after the son of Sancus.
In another account mentioned in Dionysius's work, a group of Lacedaemonians fled Sparta since they regarded the laws of Lycurgus as too severe. In Italy, they founded the Spartan colony of Foronia and some from that colony settled among the Sabines. According to the account, the Sabine habits of belligerence and frugality were known to have derived from the Spartans. Plutarch mentions, in the Life of Numa Pompilius, "Sabines, who declare themselves to be a colony of the Lacedaemonians". Legend says; the resultant war ended only by the women throwing themselves and their children between the armies of their fathers and their husbands. The Rape of the Sabine Women became a common motif in art. According to Livy, after the conflict, the Sabine and Roman states merged, the Sabine king Titus Tatius jointly ruled Rome with Romulus until Tatius' death five years later. Three new centuries of Equites were introduced at Rome, including one named Tatienses, after the Sabine king. A variation of the story is recounted in the pseudepigraphal Sefer haYashar.
Tradition suggests that the population of the early Roman kingdom was the result of a union of Sabines and others. Some of the gentes of the Roman republic were proud of their Sabine heritage, such as the Claudia gens, assuming Sabinus as a cognomen or agnomen; some Sabine deities and cults were known at Rome: Semo Sancus and Quirinus, at least one area of the town, the Quirinale, where the temples to those latter deities were located, had once been a Sabine centre. The extravagant claims of Varro and Cicero that augury, divination by dreams and the worship of Minerva and Mars originated with the Sabines are disputable, as they were general Italic and Latin customs, as well as Etruscan though they were espoused by Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome and a Sabine. Titus Tatius, legendary King of the Sabines Numa Pompilius, legendary King of Rome Ancus Marcius, legendary King of Rome Quintus Sertorius, republican general Attius Clausus, founder of the Roman Claudia gens Gaius Sallustius Crispus, Roman writer Marcus Terentius Varro, Roman scholar Dius Fidius Feronia Ops Quirinus Sabus Sancus Soranus Vacuna Varro's list of Sabine gods During the expansion of ancient Rome, there were a series of conflicts with the Sabines.
Manius Curius Dentatus conquered the Sabines in 290 BC. The citizenship without the right of suffrage was given to the Sabines in the same year; the right of suffrage was granted to the Sabines in 268 BC. Ancient peoples of Italy Hostus Hostilius Ovid, Fasti Ovid, Ars Amatoria Livy, Ab urbe condita Cicero, De Republica Plutarch, Parallel Lives Juvenal, Satires Donaldson, John William. "Chapter IV: The Sabello-Oscan Language". Varronianus: a critical and historical introduction to the ethnography of ancient Italy and the philological study of the Latin language. London: John W. Parker and Son. Brown, Robert. "Livy's Sabine Women and the Ideal of Concordia." Transactions of the American Philological Association 125: 291-319
The First and Third Samnite Wars were fought between the Roman Republic and the Samnites, who lived on a stretch of the Apennine Mountains to the south of Rome and the north of the Lucanians. The first of these wars was the result of Rome's intervening to rescue the Campanian city of Capua from a Samnite attack; the second one was the result of Rome's intervention in the politics of the city of Naples and developed into a contest over the control of much of central and southern Italy. The third war involved a struggle over the control of this part of Italy; the wars extended over half a century and the peoples to the east and west of Samnium as well as the peoples of central Italy north of Rome and the Senone Gauls got involved to various degrees and at various points in time. The Samnites were one of early Rome's most formidable rivals. By the time of the first of these wars, the southward expansion of Rome's territory had reached the River Liris, the boundary between Latium and Campania; this river is now called Garigliano and it is the boundary between the modern regions of Lazio and Campania.
In those days the name Campania referred to the plain between the coast and the Apennine Mountains which stretched from the River Liris down to the bays of Naples and Salerno. The northern part of this area was inhabited by the Aurunci and the Ausoni; the central and southern part was inhabited by the Campanians, who were people who had migrated from Samnium and were related to the Samnites, but had developed their distinctive identity. The Samnites were a confederation of four tribes who lived on the mountains to the east of Campania and were the most powerful people in the area; the Samnites and Sidicini spoke Oscan languages. Their languages were part of the Osco-Umbrian linguistic family which included Umbrian and the Sabellian languages to the north of Samnium; the Lucanians who lived to the south were Oscan speakers. Diodorus Siculus and Livy report that in 354 BC Rome and the Samnites concluded a treaty, but neither lists the terms agreed upon. Modern historians have proposed that the treaty established the river Liris as the boundary between their spheres of influence, with Rome's lying to its north and the Samnites' to its south.
This arrangement broke down when the Romans intervened south of the Liris to rescue the Campanian city of Capua from an attack by the Samnites. Livy is the only preserved source to give a continuous account of the war which has become known in modern historiography as the First Samnite War. In addition, the Fasti Triumphales records two Roman triumphs dating to this war and some of the events described by Livy are mentioned by other ancient writers. According to Livy, the First Samnite War started not because of any enmity between Rome and the Samnites, but due to outside events; the spark came when the Samnites without provocation attacked the Sidicini, a tribe living north of Campania with their chief settlement at Teanum Sidicinum. Unable to stand against the Samnites, the Sidicini sought help from the Campanians. However, Livy continues, the Samnites defeated the Campanians in a battle in Sidicine territory and turned their attention toward Campania. First they seized the Tifata hills overlooking Capua and, having left a strong force to hold them, marched into the plain between the hills and Capua.
There they drove them within their walls. This compelled the Campanians to ask Rome for help. At Rome, the Campanian ambassadors were admitted to an audience with the Senate. In a speech, they proposed an alliance between Rome and the Campanians, noting how the Campanians with their famous wealth could be of aid to the Romans, that they could help to subdue the Volsci, who were enemies of Rome, they pointed out that nothing in Rome's treaty with the Samnites prevented them from making a treaty with the Campanians, warning that if they did not, the Samnites would conquer Campania and its strength would be added to the Samnites' instead of to the Romans'. After discussing this proposal, the senate concluded that while there was much to be gained from a treaty with the Campanians, that this fertile area could become Rome's granary, Rome could not ally with them and still be considered loyal to their existing treaty with the Samnites, for this reason they had to refuse the proposal. After being informed of Rome's refusal, the Campanian embassy, in accordance with their instructions, surrendered the people of Campania and the city of Capua unconditionally into the power of Rome.
Moved by this surrender, the Senators resolved that Rome's honour now required that the Campanians and Capua, who by their surrender had become the possession of Rome, be protected from Samnite attacks. Envoys were sent to the Samnites with the introductions to request that they, in view of their mutual friendship with Rome, spare territory which had become the possession of Rome and, if this was not heeded, to warn them to keep their hands off the city of Capua and the territory of Campania; the envoys delivered their message as instructed to the Samnites' national assembly. They were met with a defiant response, "not only did the Samnites declare their intention of waging war against Capua, but their magistrates left the council chamber, in tones loud enough for the envoys to hear, ordered to march out at once into Campanian territory and ravage it." When this news reached Rome, the fetials were sent to demand redress, when this was refused Rome declared war against the Samnites. The
Battle of the Caudine Forks
The Battle of Caudine Forks, 321 BC, was a decisive event of the Second Samnite War. Its designation as a battle is a mere historical formality: there was no fighting and there were no casualties; the Romans were trapped in an enclosed valley by the Samnites before they knew what was happening and nothing remained but to negotiate an unfavorable surrender. The action was political, with the magistrates on both sides trying to obtain the best terms for their side without disrespecting common beliefs concerning the rules of war and the conduct of peace. In the end the Samnites decided it would be better for future relations to let the Romans go, while the Romans were impeded in the prosecution of their campaign against the Samnites by considerations of religion and honor. According to Livy's account, the Samnite commander, Gaius Pontius, hearing that the Roman army was located near Calatia, sent ten soldiers disguised as herdsmen with orders to give the same story, that the Samnites were besieging Lucera in Apulia.
The Roman commanders taken in by this ruse, decided to set off to give aid to Lucera. Worse, they chose the quicker route, along a road to become the Appian Way, through the Caudine Forks, a narrow mountain pass near Benevento, Campania; the area round the Caudine Forks was surrounded by mountains and could be entered only by two defiles. The Romans entered by one, they returned at once to the first defile only to find it now securely held by the Samnites. At this point the Romans, according to Livy, fell into total despair, knowing the situation was quite hopeless; the Samnites had no idea. Hence Pontius was persuaded to send a letter to Herennius; the reply came back that the Romans should be sent on their way, unharmed, as as possible. This advice was rejected, a further letter was sent to Herennius; this time the advice was to kill the Romans down to the last man. Not knowing what to make of such contradictory advice, the Samnites asked Herennius to come in person to explain; when Herennius arrived he explained that were they to set the Romans free without harm, they would gain the Romans' friendship.
If they killed the entire Roman army Rome would be so weakened that they would not pose a threat for many generations. At this his son asked. Herennius insisted that any middle way would be utter folly and would leave the Romans smarting for revenge without weakening them. Modern historians have cast doubt on the details of Livy's account. Neither defile leading to the central plain is as narrow and steep as Livy's dramatic description would suggest; the western defile is over a kilometre wide, it is unlikely that the Samnites would have had time to block it in the brief time the Romans would have taken to cross the plain to the eastern defile and return. The eastern end, narrower, is wide enough to make it possible to march through while keeping out of range of missiles thrown from the hills on either side. Horsfall suggests that Livy's geography may have been influenced by accounts of the campaigns of Alexander the Great which were contemporary with this event. According to Livy, Pontius was unwilling to take the advice of his father and insisted that the Romans surrender and pass under a yoke.
This was agreed to by the two commanding consuls. Livy describes in detail the humiliation of the Romans, which serves to underline the wisdom of Herennius's advice. Livy contradicts himself as to whether Rome honored or repudiated the Caudine Peace. Livy claims the Roman Senate rejected the terms but, claims Rome honored the Caudine Peace until hostilities broke out afresh in 316. Livy 9, 2-6 Rosenstein, Nathan S. Imperatores Victi: Military Defeat and Aristocratic Competition in the Middle and Late Republic. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft967nb61p/ Hammond, N. G. L. & Scullard, H. H.. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869117-3. Livy's Book 9, which includes his account of the battle