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Unique Samnite helmet and neck armor

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Unique Samnite helmet and neck armor from 450 BCE
Unique Samnite helmet and neck armor from 450 BCE

Samnite helmet and armour to protect the neck. The objects are dated back to 450 BCE and are made of bronze. The Samnites were staunch enemies of the Romans with whom they fought many wars.

The Samnites were located east of Latium, in the central part of the Apennine Peninsula, in the immediate vicinity of expansionist Rome. In the 4th century BCE, political and military alliances were formed, in which the Samnite Union (under the leadership of the Samnites) and the Latin Union (under the leadership of Rome) stood against each other.

As a result of the three so-called Samnite wars, the Samnites were defeated and had to recognize the supremacy of Rome. The Samnites were granted limited citizenship (without voting rights) and in return had to provide military contingents during the wars. The rebellious nature of the Samnites and their dislike of Rome often led them to act against Roman authority. This was the case, inter alia, at the beginning of the 3rd century BCE. on the occasion of Rome’s battles against Pyrrhus, Second Punic War, Social war (at the beginning of 1st century BCE) or fights in 82 BCE. It was then that Sulla finally exterminated the Samnite country by truly purging the inhabitants. Many Samnites were sold into slavery and the country vanished from history. As Strabo reports: “cities have now come to be mere villages (though some have utterly vanished)”1.

  1. Strabo, Geographica, V 4.11
  • Historia Powszechna t. 4. Konsolidacja hellenizmu. Początki Rzymu i przemiany świata klasycznego, kons. prof. dr hab. E. Papuci-Władyka, prof. dr hab. J. Ostrowski

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