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Sabelli is not synonymous with Sabini. It is the Roman name for speakers of Oscan. They called themselves Safineis and their chief official meddix. They expanded from their original habitat (reputedly Sabine Amiternum) by proclaiming sacred springs (see ver sacrum) and settling in fresh lands where they usually imposed their language and coalesced with the pre-Sabellian populations. Thus originated Samnites, Frentani, Campani, Lucani, Apuli, Bruttii, and Mamertini. (Paeligni, Vestini, Marrucini, Marsi, and Aequ (?), who spoke Oscan-type dialects, presumably had a similar origin.) These migrations were still continuing in the 5th cent. bce and later: Sabelli conquered Campaniac.450–420, Lucaniac.420–390; Bruttii appeared c.356. But the Sabelli were more expansive than cohesive. The Samnites (see samnium), the most typical Sabelli, had no feeling of political unity with their ancestors the Sabines, nor the Frentani with theirs, the Samnites.

Old Sabellic is the description inaccurately applied to some untranslated inscriptions from Picenum, including the oldest non-Etruscan inscriptions from Italy. See italy, languages of.


E. T. Salmon, Samnium and the Samnites (1967).Find this resource:

    M. Pallottino, Storia della prima Italia (1984), 183 f.Find this resource:

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