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Marsi

Inhabited mountains and strategic passes in central Italy near the Fucinus Lacus. Their chief town was Marruvium (Strabo 5. 241). They probably spoke an Oscan-type dialect, but their early Latinization makes proof of this impossible. They were allied, ethnically and politically, with Marrucini, Vestini, and Paeligni, but from early times were friendly to Rome (cf. App.BCiv. 1. 46). In 340 bce they gave Roman troops passage through their territory and remained friendly in the Second Samnite War (see Samnium) (Livy 8. 6, 29; 9. 13; Diod. Sic. 20. 44, 101; records of Marsic hostility are suspect: Beloch, Röm. Gesch.403; Livy 9. 41, 45; 10. 3 probably confuses Marsi with Aequi). The Marsi were loyal against Hannibal (Livy 28. 45) but took the initiative in demanding Roman citizenship in the Social War (3) (hence often called the Marsic War: Vell. Pat. 2. 21). When this demand was granted, the separate nation of Marsi disappeared. Marsic magicians were famous for miraculous snake-bite cures. A grove, sacred to Angitia, Italic goddess of healing, stood on Marsic territory (whence mod. Luco ne' Marsi).

Bibliography

C. Letta, I Marsi e il Fucino nell'antichità (1972).Find this resource:

    C. Letta and S. D'amato, Epigrafia della regione dei Marsi (1975).Find this resource:

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