The Individual in Sabellian Material Culture of Campania and Lucania: Attempts of "Half- Breeds" to Assert Their Own Identity Against a Dominant Culture*

Anthony Leonardis
Indiana University

The term 'Sabellian' refers to the ethnic background of the people living in the territories 'Campania' and 'Lucania' in South Italy. Classical archaeologists, historians and philologists of pre-Roman Italy and Magna Graecia are in fact presently involved in the struggle to come to terms with the meaning of these cultural labels. I will first present an account of the geographic and ethnographic boundaries, as well as the various names given to the people living in these regions of southern Italy before the Romans established their numerous colonies. I will then turn to the archaeological evidence and data related specifically to the areas in question around the Bay of Naples. The tradition of scholarship has persisted in denying the true nature of 'Campanian' or 'Lucanian' identity by considering the cultural material left behind in terms of Greek, Samnite or Etruscan contexts. 1 I will show that these people are best described as 'half- breeds', a unique form of identity or ethnicity which arose from the contact between Greek colonists arriving during the eighth century B.C. and the 'native peoples'. My inspiration for using this crude term comes from the Métis peoples of the North Western plains and park lands of North America. Métis identity is characterized by 'cultural syncretism' since its genesis, when the European fur-traders arrived. They adopt cultural practices from both their native and European- colonial 'halves'. Viewing the Campanians and Lucanians this way explains several problems and produces a different interpretation of the famous scenes of warriors and matriarchs depicted inside the walls of their chamber tombs and on the red-figure vases housed within these very same walls. Doing this will bring the modern observer closer to the true identity of the individual artist who fashioned these scenes, who is himself a half-breed.
The Italic territories of Campania and Lucania roughly corresponded to the modern regions of Campania and Basilicata in Southern Italy. Pre-Roman Campania consisted of the fertile plain extending inland from the Bay of Naples region, framed by the Apennine mountain range in all directions. Pre-Roman Lucania included the area surrounding Paestum, south of the Sorrentine peninsula, which is today part of modern Campania. 2
These boundaries have been reconstructed by modern historians and archaeologists in a manner based mainly on the distribution of archaeological remains in combination with information from ancient historiographic and geographic literary traditions. 3 The boundaries are by no means fixed or determined. It is extremely important to note that the majority of our literary evidence comes from the period after Augustus organized Italy into eleven administrative "Regions" three hundred year later. 4 This evidence derives from both Greek and Roman historiographers, geographers and natural historians. 5 The Augustan sources also write after four periods of warfare which heavily influenced Roman perception concerning these boundaries. 6 Different cities took different sides either for or against Rome during these phases. The tradition concerning a particular city handed down to the Augustan writers was therefore heavily influenced by which side the city took during each successive phase.
The words used by modern scholars to represent Italic culture also vary widely depending on the area and time period. The Romanized word 'Sabellian' 7 is used to refer to Italic culture deriving from the South-Central Apennine region exported into the areas formerly held in the Iron age by Greeks and Etruscans along the coast and along the fertile plains at the foot of the Apennine mountain range. 8 It is to be distinguished from the term Samnites, which refers to the peoples of the same region who were united against Rome in the late fourth and early third centuries. 9 The confusion arises from the fact that there are no contemporary accounts surviving from the period in question, except for the fragments that have survived predominantly in the Augustan writers. 10
These fragments do not always represent the source adequately. 11 There is also much evidence that the Greek sources were not even available to them first hand. Regardless of how much the Augustan writers had available to them, 12 their respective biases would not compel them to report genuine ethnographic information. 13 The Greek sources themselves, moreover, are extremely biased in favor of the colonists. The confusion surrounding the identity of the Campanians and Lucanians has been shown to be the result of the varying Greek and Roman sources in the accounts of the Augustan writers. 14
Archaeological material in the area of Campania has been dated from the period before Greek settlement in the Italic Iron age in the mid-tenth century B.C., to the beginning of Roman colonization in the late 4th Century B.C. 15 The material in question is distributed mostly between the three major centers of Capua, Cumae and Paestum. Excavations conducted by D'Agostino in Pontecagnano, near Paestum, and by Johannnowky in Capua have revealed that these interior sites were occupied very early by the same culture which would develop into Etruscan and Latin culture to the north in central Italy. 16 The term used to designate the native peoples indigenous to the area before the Greeks and Etruscans arrived is 'Opici.' 17 These 'Native- Peoples' exhibit a sophisticated culture contemporary with the beginning of Greek colonization (slides), before Etruscan influx into the region beginning in the mid-seventh century B.C. 18
This Etruscan influx left a rich artistic legacy especially in the city of Capua. 19 The nature of the Etruscan presence in Capua and the surrounding region is unclear. It seems as if they enjoyed an elevated status, but not at the level of a monarchy, as to the north in Rome where they began their rule in the year 623 B.C. 20 Regardless of this, Etruscan culture became dominant in the region of the interior, and even spread to the Greek cities, where many fine examples of Etruscan ware was found. 21 They appear to have peacefully co-existed with the native Opici and neighboring Greeks of Cumae and Paestum. Relations subsequently break down with the Greek colonies and they attempted to invade Cumae as early as the end of the sixth century B.C. 22 Their failure launched the reign of the tyrant Aristodemus, from 525 to 485 B.C., during which Cumae flourished. 23 They tried once again in 474 B.C. and failed. 24
The failure of Etruscan expansion coupled with mainland Greece's wars with Persia, Sparta and Syracuse paved the way for the expansion of a mysterious, hybrid culture in the latter half of the fifth century B.C. Capua fell to the 'Campanians' in 423 25 and Cumae followed in 420 B.C. 26 Greek aristocrats fled to the Greek city of Neapolis, recently established in 470 B.C. Poseidonia soon followed at an uncertain date 27 in the last quarter of the fifth century B.C. 28
The period following the downfall of Greek and Etruscan hegemony in the regions of Campania and Lucania has puzzled both ancient and modern interpreters. The traditional position, set forth by Heurgon, 29 and followed by Salmon, 30 Schneider-Hermann, 31 and Frederiksen 32 is that the Samnites invaded from the mountainous regions and displaced both the Greeks and Etruscans. Salmon and Frederiksen both clarify that Diodorus reports a 'nation of Campani' 33 to have formed in 445, and not just to have seized it in a single assault as in a single siege. They still presuppose that there was an invasion, albeit gradual. Closer observation of the literary sources in combination with the excavations at Capua and Pontecagnano have led D'Agostino to argue that the Campani developed from the Opici. 34 He argues that the Opici were forced inland with the arrival of the Greeks, which subsequently led to the development of Capua as the center for Campanian ethnicity.
Their cultural legacy consists of hundreds of painted tombs found in burial sites of Cumae, Capua, Nola (near Pompeii), Paestum, and of several other centers of culture in the mountain region adjacent to these areas. 35 Hundreds of red-figured vases have also been found in these tombs. They stand out in style and subject matter from their Apulian and Sicilian counterparts. 36 The pottery from the south-east (Apulia) and Sicily predominantly display mythological subjects, while Campanian and Paestan pots frequently show scenes of warriors, matriarchs, and various combinations of both. 37 An extraordinary amount of sculptures and votive figurines have also been found in the sacred locales designated for worship outside of Capua and the other centers. 38 Furthermore, the Oscan language is introduced in written form at Capua as early as the fifth century B.C. 39
Scholars have struggled in trying to reconcile these impressive cultural documents with the literary evidence. The painted tombs and red-figured pottery have been given dates no earlier than the middle of the fourth century B.C., and as late as the early third century. 40 This corresponds to the period when conflict arises between the Romans and Samnites of the mountain region. Thus scholars have found it necessary to make a connection with the Samnites who fought against the Romans and the painted tombs and pottery of the Campanians and Lucanians. One rationale for this connection, other than temporal, is that the armor depicted in the paintings matches Livy's description of the Samnites. 41 The argument being that the Campanians and Lucanians must have bore a striking resemblance to their mountain cousins. 42
All the evidence suggests, however, that the Campanians and Lucanians were quite distinct from the mountain Samnites. The literary tradition clearly distinguishes between the Samnites, Lucani and Campani during the period in question. Passages in Livy and Strabo speaking of Samnite dress and armor reveal that this information was somehow derived from the Campanians, who as Strabo points out, eventually became Romans unlike the Samnites. 43 Livy states that the Campanians hated the Samnites and used the brilliant armor of defeated Samnite warriors in their gladiatorial competitions, and called these gladiators Samnites. 44 Livy suggests that the Campanians may have been mocking the Samnites by depicting their gladiators in Samnite armour. This may be confirmed by the mocking representations in some tombs and vases. 45 He may in fact be reporting a connection made by one of his sources between the wall paintings and dress of the mountain Samnites. But there are also very serious depictions of cavalrymen in the tombs which must be representing Campanians and Lucanians, not Samnites. Strabo, writing at the same time as Livy, states that the customs and settlements of the Samnites have completely disappeared. 46 This is not surprising since he is writing after Sulla's bloody war against the descendants of the Samnites during the Social or Italian wars at the beginning of the first century B.C.
I will now use the Métis of North America as my cultural model for the development of a hybrid identity. The Métis are born out of a colonial context, in this case the fur-trade. Following D'Agostino's observation that the Campanians arise from the Opici, I propose that the 'ethnogenesis' of Campanian identity occurs during the original contact between the Opici and Greeks. This unique identity develops into a hybrid ethnicity over a long period of time, and is stunted with the assimilation of Campania into a Roman colony. Supporting evidence is found in Pithekoussai, the island off the north shore of the bay of Naples which is considered to be the earliest Greek settlement in the west. G. Buchner, excavator of the site noted that the female graves reveal a preference for native ornaments, while males adopt only the serpentine bow-fibula, a typically Greek form. This suggests to him that "...most, if not all the women at Pithekoussai were not Greeks, but natives who preferred the ornaments to which they were accustomed". 47 This evidence is supported by an account in the Sibylline Oracles. 48 The Greeks are said to have took both Pithecussae and Cumae by force, most likely slaying the males and taking the native women as wives. The fact that the natives were dispossessed by the Cumaeans is confirmed by Strabo. 49
Strabo criticizes the Campanians for doing the same thing to the Greeks of Cumae. He states that it is an act of hybris for them to have establish unions with the wives of (Greek) men. He affirms that traces of the Greek way of life were preserved in both their religious practices and law. This is of course the way it appears to a Greek writer drawing on Greek sources. This model of Hellenization has been followed too closely by modern interpreters. 50 The work of Morton Fried in political anthropology, and specifically on the problematic concept of 'the tribe' has shown that the formation of a 'tribe', is a secondary phenomenon deriving from the "intercession" of more complexly ordered societies. 51 Whitehouse and Wilkins postulate that a particular example in south-Italy during the same period is competition for precious resources, such as painted pottery. 52 This would explain the 'tribal' distinction that arises between Campanians, Lucanians, and Samnites. However in the case of the Campanians, a unique situation arises since the tribes fuse first with the complexly organized Greeks, and then perhaps with the Etruscans.
The approach taken by Burley, Horsfall and Brandon in their excavation of two Métis settlements in the North West can be applied to the Campanians as well. They found that the material culture revealed by the excavations did not reflect the true nature the hybrid nature of the Métis. Sophisticated English ceramic ware, Victorian architecture and catholicism are striking in their predominance in the settlement. However the archaeologists determined if they approached the data looking for habitus(unconscious tendencies of the mind that become manifest in structural patterns) tend to appear in various forms in the data. One example is the use of space within the Victorian homes, being more characteristic of Native ways of life. Open spaces are predominant as opposed to divisions. Another example is the nature of the fine china and its use. Such items are predominant in the Métis household, even when a nomadic lifestyle is pursued. This revealed a unique feature of the identity of a Métis wife. The possession of fine china was required for acceptance into the colonial English society of the husband. Similarly clothing reflects the combination of European utilitarianism and Native crafts characterized by the bright opposition of colours and patterns.
Using this approach the scenes of the tombs and vases may be viewed as representing the lifestyle of such a hybrid culture. The form or genre of the vases, first of all, are of course Greek. However, the patterns, colors, and scenes are not Greek. 53 Pontrandolfo has commented on the unique combination of marriage and death. 54 I would add that there is also a unique combination of marriage and warfare, which of course causes death. What is the warfare refereed to? I have already outlined the problems with viewing the warriors as mountain Samnites. A important aspect of the lives of Campanians and Lucanians which has been ignored is the unceasing warfare going on in the fourth century in southern Italy and Sicily. 55 The struggle was between the Greek colonial cities and the newly arisen aristocracy of the Italic communities. Campanian mercenaries are reported to have been involved on several occasions in the affairs between Greek cities and Carthage. 56 The ultimate victory went to the Italic communities, and I propose that the tomb paintings and vases in Campania and Lucania celebrate the institutions which brought about this victory. The emphasis on combat and training in the paintings and vases reflect the preoccupation of the Campanian cavalryman with establishing his superiority over opponents. The importance of the cavalry for Campanians has been demonstrated by Frederiksen. 57
The connection of warfare and matriarch ultimately derives from the religious sphere. F. Altheimer has shown the importance of the female divinity in Pre-Roman Italy. 58 This is supported by the major shrine of divinities found outside of Capua, the fondo Patturelli. 59 The connection between the mercenary or knight and such sanctuaries is the figure of Herakles, who stands in for what Mars represents. 60 The predominant divinity of such sanctuaries is Kerres, whose nature is reflected in the numerous kourotrophoi sculptures. 61 This female divinity has taken on Hera's role in marriage. Hera was a major divinity at Cumae and Paestum, to say the least. This is an example of cultural syncretism characteristic of the half-breed identity.
The outcome becomes a Roman epilogue. Characteristic of half-breed identity is the tremendous pressure in attempting to maintain such an identity, especially when a dominant culture asserts itself all around. The Campanians of Cumae eventually requested of Rome to become a Latin speaking colony instead of Oscan in 180 B.C. 62 Capua, on the other hand, succumbed perhaps to the Samnite influence, since it remained ambiguous in its association with Rome. This is a pattern which is inevitable as is demonstrated by the outcome of the attempt of the Métis to form an independent nation. Soon after the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, Louis Riel the Métis leader, was hung for attacking representatives of the Dominion who were surveying the Métis land bought from the British government. Today the Métis are still struggling to come to terms with their half-breed identity on reservations, isolated from the dominant culture which forms half of their own identity.

* The following abbreviations are used:

Art of South Italy: The Art of South Italy: Vases from Magna Graecia. ed. M. Ellen Mayo. (Richmond, 1982).

Burley et al.: D. Burley, G. Horsfall and J. Brandon. Structural Considerations of Métis Ethnicity: An Archaeological, Architectural and Historical Study. (Vermillion, 1992).

CAH: The Cambridge Ancient History. (Cambridge, U.K., 1970).

Campani: L. Cerchiai. I Campani. (Milano, 1995)

Campania: S. De Caro and A. Greco. Campania. (Bari, 1981)

La Campania: La Campania fra il VI e il III secolo A.C. Atti del XIV convegno di studi Etruschi e Italici, Benevento 24-28 giugno 1981. (Firenze, 1992).

Campania Preromana: Studi sulla Campania preromana eds. M. Cristofani and F. Zevi. (Roma, 1995).

Capua Antica: W. Johannowsky. Capua Antica. (Napoli, 1989).

Capue Preromaine: J. Heurgon. Recherches sur L'Histoire, La Religione et La Civilisation de Capue Preromaine: des origines a la deuxieme guerre Punique. (Paris, 1942)

Dench: E. Dench. From Barbarians to New Men: Greek, Roman, and Modern Perceptions of Peoples of the Central Apennines. (Oxford, 1995).

Italy Before the Romans: Italy Before the Romans: The Iron Age, Orientalizing and Etruscan Periods. eds.D. Ridgway and F.R Ridgway. (London, 1979).

Frederiksen 1984: M. Frederiksen. Campania. ed. N. Purcell. (Rome, 1984).

Fried 1967: M. Fried. The Evolution of Political Society: An Essay in Political Anthropology. (New York,1967), pp.154-174 ('The Concept of Tribe').

Fried 1975: M. Fried. The Notion of Tribe. (Menlo Park, 1975).

Le genti non Greche: Covegno di studi sulla Magna Grecia (11th: 1971, Taranto). Le Genti non Greche della Magna Grecia: atti dell'undicesimo Convegno di studi sulla Magna Grecia, Taranto, 10-15 ottobre, 1971. 2 vols. (Napoli, 1972).

Greek World: The Greek World: Art and Civilization in Magna Graecia and Sicily. New York, 1996)

Gli Indigeni: Gli Indigeni Nella Pittura Italiota. (Taranto, 1971).

Italia in Magna Grecia: Italia in Magna Grecia: lingua, insediamenti e strutture. ed. M. Tagliente. (Venosa, 1990).

Italia alumna: Italia omnium terrarum alumna. ed. G.Pugliese Carratelli. (Milano, 1988).

Cuma: P. Caputo. Cuma e il suo parco archeologico: un territorio e le sue testimonianze. (Roma, 1996)

LCS: A.D. Trendall. The Red Figured Vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily. (Oxford, 1967).

LCS suppl.I: A.D. Trendall, Red-Figured Vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily. First Supplement. (London, 1970).

LCS suppl.II: Red-Figured Vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily. Second Supplement. (London, 1973)

LCS suppl.III: Red-Figured Vases of Lucania, Campania and Sicily. Third Supplement. (London, 1983)

Lucani: A. Pontrandolfo-Greco. I Lucani. (Milano, 1982)

Materiali Dalla Campania: W. Johannowsky. Materiali di età arcaica dalla Campania. (Napoli, 1984)

Il museo Archeologico: W. Johannowsky. Il museo Archeologico dell' antica Capua. (Napoli, 1995)

Popoli e civiltà: Popoli e civiltà dell'Italia antica. (Roma, 1974).

Poseidonia-Paestum: Poseidonia-Paestum. Atti del XXVII Convegno di Studi sulla Magna Grecia. (Taranto, 1988).

RVP: A.D. Trendall, The Red Figured Vases of Paestum. (British School at Rome, 1987)

Salmon 1967: E.T. Salmon. Samnium and the Samnites. (Cambridge, U.K, 1967).

Samnites: G. Schneider-Hermann. The Samnites of the Fourth Century B.C. as Depicted on Campanian Vases and in Other Sources. ed. E. Herring. vol.2 Accordia Specialist Studies on Italy/ vol 61. Institute of Classical Studies, Bulletin Supplements. (London, 1996).

Storia e Civiltà: Storia e Civiltà della Campania: L'evo antico. ed. G. Pugliese-Caratelli. (Naples, 1991).

Le Tombe Dipinte di Paestum: A. Pontrandolfo and A. Rouveret. Le Tombe Dipinte di Paestum. (Modena, 1992).

Whitehouse & Wilkins: R. Whitehouse and J. Wilkins. "Greeks and natives in south-east Italy: approaches to the archaeological evidence" in Centre and Periphery: Comparative Studies in Archaeology. ed. T.C. Champion. (London, 1995). pp. 102-126.


This does not mean that scholars have not considered the culture of the Campanians and Lucanians unique. I am refering to the tendency to interpret the archaeological remains, literary references and inscriptions in terms of maintaining or conforming to Greek or Etruscan traditions. Most evident is Beazley's account of South Italian Red-figure pottery (J.D. Beazley. "Groups of Campanian Red-Figure". JHS LXIII (1943),pp.66-111.; He is followed by his student A. Trendall, with slight departures (see LCS, RVP, RVSS, Indigeni, and Art of South Italy, pp. 15-21) Trendall indeed begins to acknowledge at least that the pottery was made by natives, and not by colonists as Beazley maintains; see RVSS, Art of South Italy and one of his last contributions, "On the Divergence of South Italian from Attic Red-Figure Vase- Painting" in Greek Colonists and Native Populations. Proceedings of the First Australian Congress of Classical Archaeology held in honour of A.D. Trendall. (Canberra, 1990), pp.217-230.
E.T. Salmon's treatment of the Campanians and Lucanians, although not the subject of his Samnium and the Samnites, is along these lines. He essentially assimilates the unique and diverse culture of the Campanians and Lucanians into that of the mountainous Samnites, the subject of his book. This is not to say that there is no relationship between the mountain dwellers and coastal peoples. There is subtantial work to be done to isolate such influences apart from the original Opici of Capua and Pontecagnano, and the Greek and Etruscan colonizers. G. Schneider-Hermann has followed Salmon with this approach in Samnites. See also M. Frederiksen, "The Etruscans in Campania" in Italy Before the Romans, pp.277- 311.
Mainstream Italian scholarship led by Pugliese- Carratelli (Storia e Civiltà 69-102) and G. Colonna (Storia e Civiltà, pp. 25-67) exemplify the approach of associating early and middle Iron Age materials to the 'Non Greeks", and Greek-style art to the Italiotes. A. Greco (=A. Pontrandolfo) in Campania begins, in this early work, to reveal her belief that the Lucanian and Campanian tomb paintings reveal a unique cultural code through a language of Symbols. This culminates with her work with A. Rouveret, Le Tombe Dipinte; see also "Le necropoli dalla città Greca alla colonia Latina" (Pontrandolfo) in Poseidonia vol.1, pp.225- 265.; "Les langues figuratifs de la peinture funeraire paestane" (A. Rouveret), in Poseidonia.vol.1, pp.267-315. See also Lucani (Pontrandolfo); A. Rouveret, "L'organisation spatiale des tombes de Paestum". MEFRA 87 (1975,2), pp.595- 652.; A. Pontrandolfo, G. Prisco, E. Mugnione and F. Lafage, "Semata e Naskoi nella ceramica Italiota" in AION (archeol) 10, pp.181-202.; A. Pontrandolfo, "Personaggi mascherati nella tradizione figurativa dell'Italia meridionale" in Studi in onore di P. Zancani Montuoro (Roma, 1992), pp. 263-270; Greek World, pp. 457-470 (Pontrandolfo).
W. Johannowsky, excavator of the Capuan tombs, has not radically departed from this tradition; see "Nuove tombe dipinte campane" in Le genti non Greche, pp. 375-382;. See also Il museo Archeologico, Capua Antica and Materiali Dalla Campania. B. D'Agostino, excavator of Pontecagnano, followed by A. Pontrandolfo, have started to break new ground in the nature of the Lucanians (and the Opici, Campaniansa, and Samnites), Johannowsky tentatively following suit with the Campanians. This is most vividly demonstrated in B. D'Agostino, " The Impact of the Greek Colonies on the Indigenous Peoples of Campania", Greek World, pp. 533-540 and "Il processo di strutturazione del politico nel mondo Osco- Lucano. La protostoria" in AION (archeol) IX (1987), pp. 23- 39.; See also his earlier works "La civiltà del ferro nell'Italia meridionale e nella Sicilia", pp. 11-91 and "Il mondo periferico della Magna Grecia", pp.179-271 in Popoli e Civiltà vol.2. For a more recent survey see "Le genti della Campania antica" in Italia alumna, pp.531-589.
The region of Lucania extends inland to the east and south-east all the way to the coastal region of the Ionian sea where Metaponto lies, and along the coast to the south until Laus on the Meditteranean coast and Thurii/Sybaris on the Ionian side. The regions further south and to the east in the 'heel' and up along the adriatic coast were occupied by various other Italic peoples. The Greek colonies occupied the coastal regions from Naples down along the Mediterranean coast until the Ionian coastal region. Colonial settlement does not however stretch around the 'heel' up the Adriatic coast until much later (4th century), when secondary settlements were established by the earlier Greek colony of Syracuse. See Dench. p.182.
See Salmon 1967, "The Land", pp.14-27, and "The People", pp. 28-49.
See Salmon 1967, pp.23-24.
They are Livy, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Strabo and Pliny. The only major historian who is earlier is Polybius, but he writes after the Punic wars. He loses only the potential bias created by the Social or Italian wars. Furthermore he begins his history after the end of the Samnite wars when the most important Samnite centers had been controlled by the establishment of Roman colonies. All earlier sources (Ephorus, Theopompus, Antiochus of Syracuse, Timaeus)
These are the Samnite wars, the war against Pyrrus, the war against Hannibal, and the so-called Social or Italian wars. See Livy VII.29.1-4. Livy gives this bias away when he emphasizes that the Samnite wars are the first in this series of wars the Romans face. This shows that Livy was more concerned with the pattern than the actual event. The Samnite wars illustrate a typical phase in Rome's history of expansion.
Salmon 1967, p.28-33. This term has been shown to be highly problematic by Dench; see especially Dench 179-183 (ancient perception); 186-193 (traditional theories); 193-203 (Dench's critique); & 203-212 (Dench's conclusions) The term Sabellian is incorrectly used by some modern scholars as a term to describes the generic, Italic culture of the Central Appennine region itself, and subsequent Italic culture emanating in all directions.
It is essentially an adjective used to characterize the culture of the peoples occupying the regions of Campania and Lucania from the end of the Greek and Etruscan occupation to the beginning of the Roman occupation, or the beginning of the Hellenistic period in the Mediterranean. This period covers most of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. See Salmon 1970, p.703.
Salmon 1967, p.40 on the author of the Periplus (Scylax of Caryanda?;c.350) using the term Samnites in the generic sense of Sabelli or Sabellian. 'Samnites' is used by some ancient historiographers to refer to the native peoples as a whole who systematically supplanted the Greek colonial cities in the fifth century. See Frederiksen 1984, p. 137, n.25. Strabo refers to 'Samnites' at Metaponto as early as the eighth century B.C. (6.1.15)
The most significant sources of Livy, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus are Antiochus of Syracuse (a contemporary of Thucyidides, from the 5th Century B.C.), Ephorus of Cyme (a universal historian of the 4th Century B.C.), Theopompus of Chios( who wrote a history in the 4th Century B.C. continuing where Thucydides left off, and another revolving around the life of Phillip of Macedon, ) and Timaeus of Tauromenium (the Sicilian historian highly criticized by Polybius for his lack of first hand observation and emotional embellishment, who lived from the mid-4th to mid 3rd Centuries B.C.).
The geographer Strabo and natural historian Pliny are more concerned with geographical and cultural information of importance. Diodorus only briefly deals with matters at the local level since his history is massive, ranging from the Trojan war to the time he writes (Civil Wars of late Republic). Livy is concerned with Rome, and only pays great attention to Campania and Lucania when the Samnite wars begin.
The nature of the evidence for the period before the sack of Rome by the Gauls (390 B.C.) is confirmed to be scanty for Livy. He himself states this important fact at the beginning of book six (VI.1-3): "The history of the Romans from the founding of the city of Rome to the capture of the same city... I have set forth in five books dealing with matters obscure on account of the great antiquity just as that which can hardly be discerned from a great distance. Also because then there was a slight and uncommom use of writing, the only faithful guardian of memory of things accomplished, and because even if such things were in the commentaries of the pontiffs and in other public and private monuments, the most part of these records perished when the city was razed." It may be that the decrepid state of evidence only applies to the affiars of Rome, but the effects of war and invasion were probably the same for the Greek writers from Sicily and other parts of the Greek world.
For example, Strabo's use of the term 'Samnite' for coastal peoples in certain cases derives from a Roman source following a Latin tradition (which would be corrupt before the sack of Gaul). His use of the term 'Campani' in other instances reveals a Greek source following a Greek tradition more conscious of the ethnographic phenomenon that gave rise to the Campanians (notwithstanding their hostile attitude to the people who conquered their fellow Greeks).
Antiochus of Syracuse, a source very popular with Strabo, writes in the Ionic dialect, following the tradition of the great fifth century hisoriographer and ethnographer, Herodotus (See L.Pearson. The Greek Historians of the West: Timaeus and His Predecessors. (Atlanta, 1987).pp.11-18.) This may imply that Antiochus included much ethnographic information following Herodotus' example. However, being a Syracusan would have severley tainted any interest in the peoples of Campania in particular. Campanian mercenaries are reported by Diodorus Siculus to have supported both Athens and Carthage against Syracuse. They subsequently supported Syracuse under Dionysius I, but this ocurrs after the period during which Antiochus writes. See Frederiksen 1984, p.101; N. Purcell, "South Italy in teh Fourth Century B.C." pp. 398-400 in CAH VI; Salmon 1967, p.65. Also see D. Musti 1988 (supra n.12) pp. 217-234, on the Campanians and pp. 259-287 , on the Lucanians. See also Frederiksen 1984, pp.98-102.
This is especially the case with Timaeus, the most frequently cited source. See D. Musti. Strabone e La Magna Grecia: Città e popoli dell'Italia antica. (Padova, 1988), pp. 217-234 (= D.Musti. "Per una valutazione delle fonti sulla storia della Campania fra il VI e il III secolo" in La Campania pp.31-46); E. Lepore. Origini e Strutture Della Campania Antica: Saggi di storia etno-sociale. (Bologna, 1989) pp. 85-99, for a discussion of the sources used by the Augutan writers specifically concerning Campania. See also E. Lepore. Storia di Napoli. vol. 1. (Napoli, 1968), pp.193- 240.
Strabo, for example, seems to have known the history of Timaeus, who wrote during the period of the Samnite wars in the late fourth, early third centuries B.C., only through Artemidorus and Posidonius (Greek geographers of the second and first centuries B.C). See Frederiksen 1984. p.100.
See E.T. Salmon. "The Iron Age: The Peoples of Italy". CAH Vol.IV.pp 676-719. For archaeological materials from Campania in the Iron Age see the following by W. Johannowsky: Il Museo archeologica, pp.17-45; Materiali; For late Iron age and the 'Samnite' period, see W. Johannowsky, "Il Sannio", in Italici in Magna Grecia, pp.13-21; W. Johannowsky, "Problemi riguardanti la situazione culturale della Campania interna in rapporto con le zone limitrofe fra il sesto sec. a.C. e la conquista romana" in La Campania, pp. 257-276; W. Johannowsky, "Nuove tombe dipinte" in Le genti non Greche. See also the several works on the subject by B. D'Agostino, supra 1 and "Greci, Campani e Sanniti: città e campagna nella regione Campana" in La Campania, pp.73-83; G. Collona, supra 1; S. De Caro, supra 1; L. Cerchiai, supra 1; P. Caputo. Cuma; N. Valenza Mele, "Le necropoli di Cuma: il supermento della commnità primitiva" in Italici in Magna Grecia, pp.23-33; N. Valenza Mele, "La necropoli cumana di VI e V a.C. o las crisi di un aristocrazia" in Nouvelle Contribution à l'étude de la société et de la colonisation Eubéennes. (Naples, 1981), pp.97-130; N. Valenza Mele, "Hera ed Apollo nella colonizzazione Euboica D'Occidente" MEFRA 89 (1977,2),pp. 493-524. L. La Rocca, C. Rescign and G. Soricelli. "Cuma: l'edificio sacro di fondo Valentino" in Campania Preromana, pp.51-79.
See Frederiksen 1984, 118; D'Agostino in The Greek World, p,533-534 supra 1; Johnnowsky in Capua Antica,
D'Agostino in Greek World, p.533, supra 1, and D'Agostino 1987, supra 1. See also L. Cerchiai, "Il processo di struuturazione del politico. I Campani". in AION (archeol) IX, (1987), pp. 41-53, and Campani, p.21.
Frederiksen 1984, p. 120.
See Capua Antica, pp. 21-51.
Frederiksen 1984, p.118
This led Gabrici in the late nineteenth century to mistakingly believe Cumae to be occupied by Etruscans from the time of its founding. See Frederiksen 1984, 119; and N. Valenza Mele in Italici in Magna Grecia and 1981, supra 15. Valenza Mele discusses the difficulty of working with Cuma due to its chaotic history of excavation.
Frederiksen 1984, p.127
Frederiksen 1984, p.69-71 and A.G. McKay, Ancient Campania, vol.1 (Hamilton, 1972), pp.135-144, for the buildings which can be dated to this period (525-428 B.C), and the nature of his rule.
This was soon after Aristodemus was murdereded by the aristocrats who were sent into exhile. The Etruscans and Carhaginians attacked by sea in 474 B.C., but they were defeated by the Cumaeans who had joined foces with Hieron of Syracuse. This Greek victory was celebrated in Pindar's First Phythian Ode, dedicated to Hieron. See Mckay supra 25, pp. 144-146.
Livy (4.37.1-2)
26. 27.
Diodorus Siculus XIV,101-102. Diodorus relates how the 'Lucanians' took the Greek colonial city of Thurii and were supported by the brother of Dionyius I of Syracuse. Dionysius intended to subjugate the weak Greek colonial cities and thought that supporting the Lucanians would advance his plans. See N. Horsfall in CAH VI, p.387. Salmon 1967, p.42-43.
Since the Lucanians were harassing the Thurians as early as 443 and 433 B.C. See Salmon in CAH IV, p.710.
Capue Preromaine, pp. 81-90.
Salmon 1967, p36-39
Samnites, p. XXIX;
Frederiksen 1984, pp. 137-138.
33. 34.
See D'Agostino in Greek World, p.540; D'Agostino 1987 supra 1. See also Cerchiai supra 17, and Campani, pp. 187- 190.
See F. Weege, "Oskische Grabmalerei". JdI 24 (1909).pp.8-162. He includes references to the excavation reports regarding the tombs in other regions.
See works of Trendall, supra 1.
See Schneider-Hermann for an excellent presentation of these various scenes, including subtelties of clothing and armour.
See H. Koch, "Hellenistische Architekturstücke in Capua", RM 22, pp.24-428; Johannowsky, Capua Antica. Heurgon, Capua Preromaine.
39. 40.
See W. Johannowsky in Capua Antica, pp. 57-63; Frederiksen 1984. p. 145-146
See Schneider-Hermann in Samnites, pp.3-4. Frederiksen 1984, p. 144-145.
See D'Agostino in Greek World, p.540, arguing for this contact to have occured in the territory of the 'Caudini', the mountain region adjacent to the plain on which Capua was situated. See Salmon 1967, pp.45-46, for his introduction of this branch of the Samnites.
Strabo 6.I.2.
Livy IX.40.17.
See Pontandolfo 1992 supra 1 (personaggi mascherati); Schneider-Hermann, Samnites, pp. 85-88 ('The Mock Fight'),
Strabo 6.I.2.
D.Ridgway. The First Western Greeks. (Cambridge, 1992), p.67, quoting G. Buchhner in "Nuovi aspetti e problemi posti dagli scavi di Pithecusa con particolari considerazioni sulle oreficerie di stile orientalizzante antico", Contribution à l'étude de la société et la colonisation eubéenes (Naples 1975), 59-86; English, adapted version, in "Early orientalizing: aspects of the Euboean connection" in Italy Before the Romans, 129-144.
The text is as follows: "And the dwellers in the islands, when for a second time they have settled, not by guile but by force, and resolutely, on the Cumaean land of their adversaries, let them set up a wooden image of Hera, the holy goddess, and a temple in accordance with their ancestral laws." Frederiksen 1984, p.59.
Strabo 5.4.3. The actual Greek word is "kataschein", from "katechw", to occupy, possess.
See Whitehouse & Wilkins, pp. 102-103.
Fried 1975, p. 114, and Fried 1967, p. 170-174.
Whitehouse & Wilkins, p.122.
See J. Noble in Art of South Italy, pp.37-47.
Greek World, pp. 465-468
See N. Purcell in CAH VI, p.381
Salmon 1967 , p.65
M. Frederiksen "Campanian Cavalry", DialArch vol.ii (1968), pp.3-31.
Terra Mater. (Breslau, 1931)
Cerchiai, in Campani, p. 161-163.
F.Van Wonterghem, "Il culto di Ercole fra i popoli Osco-Sabellici". in Herakles. eds. C. Bonnet and C. Jourdain-Annequin. (Bruxelles, 1992).pp.319-351.
T. Hadzisteliou Price. Kourotrophos: Cults and Representations of the Greek Nursing Deities. (Leiden, 1978)
Livy 40.42

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