Capture of Neapolis

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The capture of Neapolis was the victorious capture of the city of Neapolis by the Romans in 327 BC, in the Second Samnite War. Treachery by Samnite citizens of the city was the cause of the city's fall to the Romans.

Prelude[edit]

A treaty with the Romans in 354 BC set a southern border of Samnium at the Liris River. 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.[1] In 328, the Romans, clearly looking for another fight with the Samnites, established a colony at Fregellae on the Liris River and another Cales. Earlier in 334 BC, the Samnites found that to be an unacceptable intrusion by Rome, but were too pre-occupied to respond at the time.[2] The Samnites had to wait until after they finished their conflict with the Greek colony of Tarentum and its ally, King Alexander of Eprius.[3]

Roman-Samnite tensions[edit]

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 Latins 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.[4] 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.[5]

Battle[edit]

Faced with unspecific demands for help, the Romans failed in capturing Neapolis by means of blockade or assault, thus they used the only other available option: treachery. The city was shifting; citizens no long sided with the Samnites, instead, favoring the Roman cause. They[who?] hatched a plot with the Romans to allow their forces into the town under the cover of night.[6] When night came on the agreed day 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.[7] 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 caused a shift inland and away from the Tyrrhenian coast towards the inland valleys and the eastern littoral.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davis, Gordon. "The Second Samnite War". France. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Heaton, C. "Second Samnite War". UNRV publisher. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Second Samnite War". UNRV History. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Daviscles, Gorodn. "327 BC- The War Begins". The Second Samnite War:Phase 1. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Davis, Gordon. "327 BC: The War Begins". The Second Samnite War:Phase 1. Retrieved 11/8/11.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Davis, Gordon. "326 BC: The Fall of Neapolis". The Second Samnite War: Phase 1. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Davis, Gordon. "326 BC: The Fall of Neapolis". The Second Samnite War: Phase 1. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Davis, Gordon. "326 BC: The Fall of Neapolis". The Second Samnite War: Phase 1. Retrieved 22 November 2011.