The Samnite legacy : an examination of the Samnitic influences upon the Roman state

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Doberstein, William
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of History
The objective of this thesis is to fully deconstruct and isolate the considerable Samnite contributions to the Roman state during the period of the Samnite Wars. Although the literary sources have espoused a Samnitic origin for many Roman institutions, very little academic focus has been directed towards these claims. Scholars have generally tended to focus on one or two of these claims only as part of a larger argument. Thus no comprehensive examination of Romano-Samnite interactions exists, with the majority of studies depicting a unilateral process of Romanization. Since the Romanization of the Samnites has been widely documented, this study will focus on the reverse process, a “Samnitization” of Roman society. This will be achieved by examining the potential Samnite origins of the Roman military oath, gladiatorial munus, and the manipular organization and its armaments. Although the available literary and archaeological evidence prevents any definitive conclusions, these institutions appear to have significant Samnite elements; this illustrates a vibrant society which was not dominated by Roman society, but actively interacted and integrated with it.
gladiatorial munus , manipular organization , Roman military oath , Roman society , Samnite influences , Samnites