The First, Second, and Third Samnite Wars (343–341 BC, 326–304 BC, and 298–290 BC) were fought between the Roman Republic and the Samnites, who lived on a stretch of the Apennine Mountains south of Rome and north of the Lucanians.
- The first of these wars was the result of Rome's intervention 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 central and southern Italy.
- The third war also involved a struggle over the control of this part of Italy.
Map showing expansion of Roman sphere of influence from the Latin War (340–338 BC) to the defeat of the Insubres (222 BC)
|Roman Republic, Latin allies, Campanians||Samnites, Aequi, some Hernici, Etruscans, Umbrians, Senone Gauls, some northern Apulian towns|
|Commanders and leaders|
Quintus Aulius Cerrentanus
The wars extended over half a century, and also drew in the peoples to the east, north, and west of Samnium (land of the Samnites) as well as those of central Italy north of Rome (the Etruscans, Umbri, and Picentes) and the Senone Gauls, but at different times and levels of involvement.