The Samnites were a warlike mountain race put up Italy's fiercest resistance to the onslaught of Rome. The Samnites belonged to the Umbro-Sabellian race, a group from the eastern central region of the Italian peninsula who spoke Oscan. The Samnites originally lived in the south of the region in hill-forts and agricultural villages. They worshipped at rural sanctuaries and likely held assemblies where leaders and officials were chosen from the wealthy elite.

Seizing Campania~400 BCThe Samnites put an end to Etruscan colonization in Campania, and Samnite tribes poured into the south-western coastal plains of Campania, Basilicata and into Calabria. Possession of Campania gave the Samnites a base for activities against Rome.
Seizing Capua423 BCSamnites seized power in the Etruscan Capua.
Seizing Cuma423 BCSamnites seized power in the Greek colony of Cuma.
Seizing Posidonia421/20 BCSamnites seized power in the Greek colony of Posidonia.
First Samnite War343-290 BC
Social War90-88 BCSamnites led an attack on Rome in the Social War.
Civil Wars82 BCThe brutal slaughter of Samnites during the Civil Wars effectively eliminated them from further political or military activity.
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