CIC 474

Past Issues
CIC 473
CIC 472
CIC 471
CIC 470
CIC 469
CIC 468
CIC 467
CIC 466
CIC 465
CIC 464
CIC 463
CIC 462
CIC 461
CIC 460
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10
CIC 9
CIC 8
CIC 7
CIC 6
CIC 5
CIC 4
CIC 3
CIC 2
CIC 1

Short Rounds

Scorecard: The Samnite Wars

Although the Romans fought many enemies during their long history, perhaps the toughest, and certainly the most persistent, were the Samnites.  A loose federation of several tribes, the Samnites spoke Oscan, a language akin to Latin, and had a similar cultural background, though preferring rural life to urban.  From at least as early as 600 B.C., the Samnites dominated much of Italy to the southeast of Roman territory and eastward from Naples, from the Apennines to the Adriatic.  A good case can be made that no people came closer to defeating Rome than the did the Samnites, nor resisted longer; at least 29 Roman generals celebrated triumphs for victories over the Samnites, more than those earned fighting any other enemy.

The Romans fought the Samnites repeatedly until they were finally crushed in the early first century B.C. 

  • The First Samnite War (343-341 B.C.).  Around the middle of the fourth century B.C. the Samnites began making incursions into Campania.  In 343 B.C., they were threatening Capua, the principal city of the region, and the Campanians appealed to Rome.  After an embassy was treated badly by the Samnites, the Romans declared war.  The war went well for the Romans, who gained several victories, despite the need to put down a revolt among some of their Latin allies.  To their surprise, the Campanians found themselves safe from the Samnites, but now subject-allies of the Romans (never ask someone else to help fight your wars). 
  • The Second or "Great" Samnite War (326-304 B.C.).  In 327 B.C. the Samnites again began pressuring the Campanians, and even took control of Naples.  The Romans intervened in 326.  The war went well for them, and in 321 the Samnites sued for peace.  But the Romans terms were very severe, and the Samnites resumed the fight.  Later that year the entire Roman Army fell into a trap at a mountain pass known as the Caudine Forks.  The Samnites forced the Romans to surrender their arms and to pass "under the yoke," symbolizing their utter defeat and disgrace. [See "Gaius Pontius' Dilemma"].  A five year truce resulted on terms favorable to the Samnites.  During the truce both sides rebuilt their forces (the Romans apparently later fabricated a bogus victory in 319 to make up for the Caudine Forks disaster).  When the war resumed, in 315 the Romans found themselves repeatedly defeated, and in 311 the Etruscans, to Rome's north, joined the Samnites.  Surprisingly, this potentially disastrous development seems to have strengthened Roman resolve, and things began to go their way.  The Etruscans dropped out of the war in 308, and the Samnites quit in 304.  Rome imposed a stern peace, which included what may have been the first disarmament inspections. 
  • The Third Samnite War (298-290 B.C.).  Allied with the Etruscans, Umbrians, and Gauls, the Samnites resumed the war.  Although the Romans had to fight on several fronts, they juggled forces back and forth, beating off their various enemies, and then in 295, at Sentinum in Umbria, in the largest battle yet fought in Italy, defeated a combined Gallo-Samnite force.  The war then began going Rome's way, and the Samnites sued for peace in 290, receiving surprisingly generous terms. 
  • The end of the Third Samnite War didn't end the struggle between Romans and Samnites, it did, however, mark the end of the Samnites as a major power.  Although they disdained joining King Pyrrhus of Epirus in his war against Rome (280-275 BC), the Samnites allied themselves with Hannibal when he invaded Italy (218203 B.C.), took part in the Social War (90-88 B.C.), during which Rome's subject-allies attempted a massive secession, and took up arms in support of the popular party during the Second Roman Civil War (8281 B.C.), only to meet total disaster when Lucius Cornelius Sulla massacred their last army outside the gates of Rome on October 26, 81 B.C.

BookNote: E.T. Salmon's recently reissued Samnium and the Samnites , is the best work on this sturdy warrior people.

 

How Much is that in English?

For many centuries it was common to designate cannon caliber by the weight of the projectile.  So we hear of a "12-pounder" or a "32-pounder," which tells us that the gun fired a round of approximately the indicated weight.  Now that sounds reasonable, until one recalls that it was rare for the word "pound" to mean the same thing in two different countries.

Comparative Weight of the Pound
CountryEnglish Ounces
Austria 15.9
Bavaria 19.75
Denmark 17.64
France 17.33
Greece 16.96
Hanover 16.50
Hansa Towns 17.09
Hesse 17.12
Naples 12.00
Netherlands 17.44
Papal States 11.96
Piedmont 11.70
Portugal 16.19
Russia 14.56
Saxony 16.49
Sicily 11.20
Spain 16.20
Sweden 15.00
Venice 16.80

To give some idea of the differences, consider the comparative weight in English measure of the 24 pounder cannon ball of each of the principal naval powers in the period 1790-1815:

Denmark 26 pounds7.75ounces
France 25   14.50 
Netherlands 26  2.25 
Russia 21  10.50 
Spain 24   5.50 
Sweden 22   7.75 

Surprisingly, it's a rare historian who takes into account the differences in weight between the apparently identical gun poundage of opposing forces, which could reach significant proportions when dealing which major warships such as frigates (carrying anywhere from 28 to 44 guns) or ships-of-the-line (with 64 to 120 guns).  In fact, for the age of sail, only William M. James (1780-1827), author of the six volume A Naval History of Great Britain: During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Vol. 1: 1793-1796 addressed the question directly.  When preparing accounts of engagements, James carefully converted gun weights into English measure to more accurately reflect comparative firepower.

 


© 1998 - 2019 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy