The Samnites were an ancient Italian people that inhabited Samnium in southern Italy in the Apennine Mountains area, with their capital at Bovianum. The Samnites were a hardy tribespeople who sometimes fought alongside the Roman Republic, but at other times, fought against them in the Samnite Wars. The Samnites were subdued by 290 BC after defeat in the Third Samnite War, but continued to fight Rome in the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE.


The Samnites were inhabitants of Samnium in southern Italy in the Apennine Mountains area, speaking the Oscan language. Their capital was at Bovianum. The Samnite peoples of southern Italy were famous for their plumes worn from their golden helmets, and their long spears tipped with red feathers. The Samnites had a large region that expanded from the Liris River in the north to the area occupied by the Greek Cities settlement of Tarentum. The Samnites started the First Samnite War in 343 BC due to their attack on the city of Sindicini with aid from Rome's enemies, the Campanians, and were defeated at the Battle of Mons Gaurus by the Romans, with the war ending in 341 BC. 

The Samnites were at peace until 324 BC, when they supported the Tarquinii's uprising against Roman rule in northern Italy. The Samnites nearly succeeded in capturing Capua in 316 BC but were staved off, and in 311 BC, they were defeated at the Second Battle of Vesuvius and Salernum fell to the Roman Republic. In 306 BC, Bovianum itself fell to the Romans and the Second Samnite War ended, with the Samnites falling under Rome's feet.

However, in the Second Punic War of the 210s and 200s BC, the Samnites fought for Hannibal of Carthage and his army, and continued warfare with the Romans. They were subjugated with the end of the war, and their last revolt against Rome was during the Social War. They were defeated by Lucius Cornelius Sulla at Rome in the 80s BC, and they were destroyed thereafter. 

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