The Hernici were an ancient people of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, whose territory was in Latium
Lazio is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, situated in the central peninsular section of the country. With about 5.7 million residents and a GDP of more than 170 billion euros, Lazio is the third most populated and the second richest region of Italy...

 between the Lago di Fucino
Fucine Lake
The Fucine Lake was a large lake in central Italy, stretching from Avezzano in the northwest to Ortuccio in the southeast, and touching Trasacco in the southwest. It was drained in 1875.-Roman drainage:...

 and the Sacco River (Trerus), bounded by the Volsci
The Volsci were an ancient Italic people, well known in the history of the first century of the Roman Republic. They then inhabited the partly hilly, partly marshy district of the south of Latium, bounded by the Aurunci and Samnites on the south, the Hernici on the east, and stretching roughly from...

 on the south, and by the Aequi
thumb|300px|Location of the Aequi in central Italy.The Aequi were an ancient people of northeast Latium and the central Appennines of Italy who appear in the early history of ancient Rome. After a long struggle for independence from Rome they were defeated and substantial Roman colonies were...

 and the Marsi
Marsi is the Latin exonym for a people of ancient Italy, whose chief centre was Marruvium, on the eastern shore of Lake Fucinus, drained for agricultural land in the late 19th century. The area in which they lived is now called Marsica. During the Roman Republic the people of the region spoke a...

 on the north.

They long maintained their independence, and in 486 BC
486 BC
Year 486 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Viscellinus and Rutilus...

 were still strong enough to conclude an equal treaty with the Latins. They broke away from Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in 362 and in 306, when their chief town Anagni
Anagni is an ancient town and comune in Latium, central Italy, in the hills east-southeast of Rome. It is a historical center in Ciociaria.-Geography:...

a was taken and reduced to a praefectura, but Ferentinum
Ferentino is a town and comune in Italy, in the province of Frosinone, Lazio, 65 km southeast of Rome.It is situated on a hill 400 m above sea-level, in the Monti Ernici area.-History:...

, Aletrium
Alatri is a town and comune of province of Frosinone in the Italian region of the Lazio, with c. 30,000 inhabitants. A part of the traditional region of Ciociaria, it is famous for its megalithic acropolis.-History:...

 and Verulae
-History:Veroli became a Roman municipium in 90 BCE. It became the seat of a bishopric in 743 CE, and was occupied by Spanish milices, allied to the Colonna family, in the 16th troops.-Main sights:...

 were rewarded for their fidelity by being allowed to remain free municipia
Municipium , the prototype of English municipality, was the Latin term for a town or city. Etymologically the municipium was a social contract between municipes, the "duty holders," or citizens of the town. The duties, or munera, were a communal obligation assumed by the municipes in exchange for...

, a position which at that date they preferred to the civitas.

The name of the Hernici, like that of the Volsci, is missing from the list of Italian peoples whom Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

 describes as able to furnish troops in 225 BC
225 BC
Year 225 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Papus and Regulus...

; by that date, therefore, their territory cannot have been distinguished from Latium generally, and it seems probable that they had then received the full Roman citizenship. The oldest Latin inscriptions of the district (from Ferentinum) are earlier than the Social War, and present no local characteristic.

There is no evidence to show that the Hernici ever spoke a really different dialect from the Latins; but one or two glosses indicate that they had certain peculiarities of vocabulary, such as might be expected among folk who clung to their local customs. Their name, however, with its "co" termination, classes them along with the "co"-tribes, like the Volsci, who would seem to have been earlier inhabitants of the west coast of Italy, rather than with the tribes whose names were formed with the "no"-suffix.
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