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 BC||The 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 Capua||423 BC||Samnites seized power in the Etruscan Capua.|
|Seizing Cuma||423 BC||Samnites seized power in the Greek colony of Cuma.|
|Seizing Posidonia||421/20 BC||Samnites seized power in the Greek colony of Posidonia.|
|First Samnite War||343-290 BC|
|Social War||90-88 BC||Samnites led an attack on Rome in the Social War.|
|Civil Wars||82 BC||The brutal slaughter of Samnites during the Civil Wars effectively eliminated them from further political or military activity.|