Capture of Neapolis

The Spark to the Second Samnite War

The Romans confronted the Samnites in the middle of the Liris river valley, sparking the Second, or Great Samnite War (326-304 BC), which lasted twenty years. . In 328 the Romans, clearly looking for another fight with the Samnium, established a colony at Fregellae on the Liris and another Cales, earlier in 334 BC, the Samnites, of course found this to be an unacceptable intrusion by Rome, but were too pre-occupied to respond at the time. The Samnites had to wait until after they finished their conflict with the Greek colony of Tarentum and its ally, King Alexander of Eprius.

Tensions Leading to the Capture

Fear of the Samnites caused the cities of Northern Campania to accept incorporation in the Roman state, and it was resumed policy of supporting the more civilized and peaceful lowlanders against the aggressive highland neighbors. The results led to a prolonged and desperate struggle between Rome and Samnites. Having used the Samnites to help subdue the Latin’s in the recent war, the Romans thereafter ignored the alliance that they had with the Samnites. The Samnites did not originally see the Roman annexation of Northern Campania as a hostile act. The indifference the Samnites were showing was due to the preoccupation of the Samnites with a war against the Tarentines, who were supported by an able ally, Alexander, King of the Molossians in northern Greece. The Samnites felt that the Roman expansion was extremely outrageous.

The Battle

Faced with un-specific demands for help, the Romans failed in capturing the city by means of blockade or assault, thus they used the only other availble option:treachery. The city was shifting, they no long sided with the Samnites instead favoring the Roman cause hatched a plot with the Romans to allow their forces into the town under the cover of night. When night came on the agreed daym the Samnites issued onto the shoreline awaited the promised ships.While they milled about on the dark shore in confusion, a Roman force was let in through a postern . Once the gates were opened, the calamity that comes with battle started. Neapolis fell to Rome. The city was handled with positively for switching sides during the war. The end of this conflict casued a shift inlandand, away from the tyrrhenian coast towards the inland calleys and the eastern littoral.
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