Pentrian Samnites: A history of social and political change in the Central Apennines
Van Dusen, Rachel Esther
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This dissertation is a study of the social and political changes that took place among the Pentrian Samnites in the Central Apennines of Italy. One of the larger questions which this project seeks to address is how the Pentrians emerged as a people and how they evolved socially and politically over time. For this reason, the chronological scope stretches from the late Bronze Age to the early first century B.C. The dissertation, which is divided into nine major chapters, is intended to act as a complement to Togo Salmon's Samnium and the Samnites (1967) which was the first attempt to study the Samnites in a systematic way. This dissertation also incorporates many of the ideas coming out of the reinterpretations of traditional Romanization and Hellenization theories, which have, so far, not been fully applied to the region of Samnium. One of the major conclusions made in this study is that the Pentrian elite class was very long-lived and highly adaptable to the changes taking place in Italy between the fourth and first centuries B.C. In addition, it has been determined that Roman policy towards Pentrian Samnium in the period following the Samnite Wars was relatively mild despite statements made by both ancient and the modern scholars to the contrary. Ultimately, this study, which has brought together some of the most important archaeological research conducted in the region of Pentrian Samnium in the last forty years, has moved our knowledge of the Samnites forward and revealed a new, more progressive, picture of life among this proud group of people.