Samnite Wars

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.
Samnite Wars

Map showing expansion of Roman sphere of influence from the Latin War (340–338 BC) to the defeat of the Insubres (222 BC)
Date
  • 1st: 343–341 BC
  • 2nd: 326–304 BC
  • 3rd: 298–290 BC
Location
Central Italy and parts of southern Italy
Result Roman control over much of central Italy and part of southern Italy (the modern regions of Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania and Basilicata and Northern Apulia)
Belligerents
Roman Republic, Latin allies, Campanians Samnites, Aequi, some Hernici, Etruscans, Umbrians, Senone Gauls, some northern Apulian towns
Commanders and leaders
Fabius Maximus
Quintus Aulius Cerrentanus
Unknown

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.