SLC/Classics Research Seminar Series - Sally Mubarak
All welcome to Visiting Scholar Sally Mubarak presenting her exploration of the stereotypes imposed on the Samnites by both ancient sources and modern scholars.
Event type: Seminars12 August 2021 from 3.10 pm - 5.00 pm
‘Montani atque agrestes’? – New Contexts for the Samnites
Presented by Sally Mubarak
St Andrews, PhD candidate in Classics
The Samnites of Central and Southern Italy have been characterised by ancient sources as a ‘barbarian Other,’ montani atque agrestes (Livy, 9.13.7). However, Anglophone scholarship has largely ignored the Samnites outside of their relationship to Rome. Samnium has typically been viewed as either an opponent or vassal of Rome, and modern academic literature often assumes that cultural features are connected to wider ethnic distinctions. Changes in cultural features and infrastructure in Samnite regions have therefore been linked to Roman invasion and decreases in local Samnite authority. Rome is seen as the prime mover behind Samnite development. In contrast, modern South Italian scholarship has explored the Samnites in a way that recognises Samnite autonomy, rather than discussing them solely in relation to Rome, and local archaeologists have given considerable weight to Samnium as a region with advanced economic, religious, and domestic infrastructure.
This paper will explore the stereotypes imposed on the Samnites by both ancient sources and modern scholars, and will re-evaluate Rome’s relationship with evolving Samnium in light of recent advances in the archaeology of the region.