Rome was at the same time in extreme peril from the advance of a Samnite army, and was barely saved by Sulla, who, after a hardfought battle, routed the enemy under Pontius Telesinus at the Colline gate of Rome.
The site of the Samnite city, which in the 4th century B.C. had a coinage of its own, is not known; the Roman town lay in the valley of the Vulturnus, and its walls (4th century) enclose a circuit of 12 m., in which are preserved remains of large baths (Thermae Herculis) and a theatre.
At this time they were speaking Oscan as well as Greek, and two of three Oscan inscriptions in Greek alphabet still testify to the language spoken in the town in the 3rd century B.C. We know, however, that the Bruttians, though at this date speaking the same language (Oscan) as the Samnite tribe of the Lucani, were not actually akin to them.
According to tradition the temple of Minerva, founded by Diomede, contained the Trojan Palladium, and the town struck numerous bronze coins; but in history it is first heard of as on the Roman side in the Samnite Wars (321 B.C.), and in 315 or 314 B.C. a Latin colony was sent here.
It is first mentioned in history as a member of a confederacy with which the Romans came into conflict in the second Samnite War, 325 B.C., and it entered the Roman Alliance as a separate unit at the end of that war (see further Paeligni).
Of equestrian rank, his name Pontius suggests a Samnite origin, and his cognomen in the gospels, pileatus (if derived from the pileus or cap of liberty), descent from a freedman.
It was taken by the Romans after the Samnite war of 2 9 1 B.C., and became a colony at once, no fewer than 20,000 men being sent there, owing to its military importance.
Its history in the Samnite period is unknown; but the coins of Fistelia (or Fistlus in Oscan) probably belong to Puteoli, as Mommsen thought.
The Lucanians were a southern branch of the Samnite or Sabelline race, who spoke the Osca Lingua.
Subsequently they were sometimes in alliance, but more frequently engaged in hostilities, during the Samnite wars.
It has been supposed to occupy the site of Aequum Tuticum, an ancient Samnite town, which became a post-station on the Via Traiana 1 in Roman times; but this should probably be sought at S.
327 M.) that the Sabines were the parent stock of the Samnites, and this is directly confirmed by the name which the Samnites apparently used for themselves, which, with a Latinized ending, would be Safini (see Samnites and the other articles there cited, dealing with the minor Samnite tribes).
PAELIGNI, a people of ancient Italy, first mentioned as a member of a confederacy which included the Marsi, Marrucini and Vestini (qq.v.), with which the Romans came into conflict in the second Samnite War, 325 B.C. (Lw.
25), where he relates how the city fell under the power of Rome during the Samnite wars.
Bought off by gold they withdrew from Rome, but they continued to hold a great part of northern Italy, extending as far south as Sena Gallica (Sinigaglia), and henceforward they were a standing source of danger to Rome, especially in the Samnite Wars, until at last they were either subdued or expelled, e.g.
By the aid of a strong Samnite garrison which they received, the Palaeopolitans were long able to withstand the attacks of the consul; but at length the city was betrayed into the hands of the Romans by two of her citizens.
Isernia), a Samnite town on the road from Beneventum to Corfinium, 58 m.