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Sabelli  

Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

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.