A Samnite warrior on horseback, depicted on a funerary painting c. 330 BCE, at the time of the Samnite Wars. The Samnites inhabited southern Italy, and were originally conquered by the Romans with the end of the Samnite Wars in 290 BCE. They supplied auxiliary forces to the Roman army at times, but also rebelled at times, allying with Pyrrhus and later coming to the aid of Hannibal when he swept through Italy. Although they were again contributing troops to Rome by the time of the 3rd Punic War, they remained a thorn in Rome’s side, and were eventually eradicated in the Social Wars of the early 1st Century BCE.
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