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Short facts about Italic tribes

Italic tribes in V century BC

In the V century, vast majority of tribes on the Apennines peninsula were Italics, while Sabine tribes had a significance role in Roman history. Italic tribes were: Umbri, Osci and Latins. At the same time, in the far north and southeast stayed Illyrian tribes, whose origin was from the Balkans and also they had some other origins like Venetians, Iapyges, etc. …).
The tribes were lived isolated from others. Italic people for very long time retained the origin order of the first community, which was divided on to “genus”. Unlike the Etruscans, Italic people had lived a patriarchal form of life…

Overpopulation of the tribes forced people to seek new habitats. Custom of the ‘Sacred Spring’ has remained for a long time (ver sacrum) – when spring arrived a group of young people moved in order to seek their own place for the settlements.  Picenes tribe brought at new settlements a woodpecker (Picus), Samnites brought – bull, Hirpine – wolf…

The tribes did not enter into alliances with other tribes. During the earliest Iron Age culture in Italy, Villanovan culture, burning of the corpses was very common.

Umbri lived in the upper stream of the river Tiber. Umbrian towns were build around 9 century BC.

Samnites – were the most numerous of Sabellian group, one part of the group defeated Osco from Campania. Campanians originated by mixing Osco and Samnites (+ Greek influence). In the middle part of Apennine Mountains, most of the Samnites were in farmers and they were considered the most warlike tribes, and also they were burying corpses. During Roman expansion, a Samnite federation was created – that gave bitter resistance to the Romans.

Latins – lived south from the lower stream of the river Tiber. Lazio has settled relatively late in I millennium – Villanovan culture has been influenced by an earlier Bronze Age (Terramare culture). Latins like Umbro-Sabellian tribes have preserved many features of the original community. They lived in fortified settlements (oppidum). Tradition preserved awareness about 30 such settlements with Alba Longa at a head of these settlements. Relatively early was created a federation of Latin cities, which had a common sanctuary.

Latins were not the only inhabitants of Lazio – there was Sabellian tribe named Sabine (inhumation) and in the upper areas were tribes Aequi, Hernici and Volsci (these tribes were close to Latins).

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