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SIDICI´NI

Eth. SIDICI´NI (Eth. Σιδικῖνοι), a people of Central Italy bordering on the Samnites and Campanians. In the time of the geographers they had disappeared as a people, or become absorbed into the general appellation of Campanians (Strab. v. p.237), but at an earlier period they appear as a wholly independent people. Their chief city was Teanum, on the E. slope of the volcanic mountain group of Rocca Monfina: but they had at one time extended their power considerably further to the N. and up the valley of the Liris, as the territory of Fregellae is said to have been subject to them, before they were dispossessed of it by the Volscians (Liv. 8.22). It is clear however that this extension of their limits was of short duration, or at all events had ceased before they first appear in history. Strabo tells us expressly that they were an Oscan tribe (l.c.), and this is confirmed by the coins of Teanum still extant, which have Oscan inscriptions. They were therefore closely allied to the neighbouring tribes of the Campanians on the S. and the Aurunci and Ausones on the W. Hence Virgil associates the inhabitants of the Sidicinian plains ( “Sidicina aequora,” Aen. 7.727) with the Auruncans and the inhabitants of Cales. The last city is assigned by Silius Italicus to the Sidicini, but this is opposed to all other authorities (Sil. Ital. 8.511). The name of the Sidicini is first mentioned in history in B.C. 343, when they were attacked by the Samnites, who had been long pressing upon their neighbours the Volscians. Unable to contend with these formidable assailants, the Sidicini had recourse to the Campanians, who sent an army to their assistance, but were easily defeated (Liv. 7.29, 30), and being in their turn threatened by the whole power of the Samnites, invoked the assistance of Rome. During the war which followed (the First Samnite War), we lose sight altogether of the Sidicini, but by the treaty which put an end to it (in B.C. 341) it was particularly stipulated that the Samnites should be at liberty to pursue their ambitious designs against that people (Id. 8.1, 2). Thus abandoned by the Romans to their fate the Sidicini had recourse to the Latins (who were now openly shaking off their connection with Rome) and the Campanians: and the Samnites were a second time drawn off from [p. 2.996]their special attack on this petty people to oppose a more powerful coalition (Ib. 2, 4, 5). It is clear that the Sidicini took part as allies of the Latins and Campanians in the war that followed: but we have no account of the terms they obtained in the general settlement of the peace in B.C. 338. It is certain, however, that they retained their independence, as immediately afterwards we find them engaging in a war on their own account with their neighbours the Auruncans. The Romans espoused the defence of the latter people, but before they were able to take the field, the Auruncans were compelled to abandon their ancient city, which was destroyed by the Sidicini, and withdrew to Suessa. (Liv. 8.15.) The Ausonians of Cales had on this occasion been induced to make common cause with the Sidicini, but their combined forces were easily defeated by the Roman consuls. Cales soon after fell into the hands of the Romans; but though the territory of the Sidicini was overrun by the consuls of B.C. 332, who established their winter-quarters there to watch the movements of the Samnites, their city of Teanum still held out (Ib. 16, 17). Nor do we know at what tine it fell into the power of the Romans, or on what terms the Sidicini were ultimately received to submission. But it is probable that this took place before B.C. 297, when we are told that the consul Decius Mus advanced to attack the Samnites “per Sidicinum agrum” in a manner that certainly implies the district to have been at that time friendly, if not subject, to Rome (Liv. 10.14).

After this the name of the Sidicini never appears in history as that of a people, but their territory (the “Sidicinus ager” ) is mentioned during the Second Punic War, when it was traversed and ravaged by Hannibal on his march from Capua to Rome (Liv. 26.9). The Sidicini seem to have gradually come to be regarded as a mere portion of the Campanian people, in common with the Ausonians of Cales and the Auruncans of Suessa, and the name still occurs occasionally as a municipal designation equivalent to the Teanenses (Liv. 26.15; Cic. Phil. 2.41). Strabo speaks of them in his time as an extinct tribe of Oscan race: and under the Roman Empire the only trace of them preserved was in the epithet of Sidicinum, which still continued to be applied to the city of Teanum. (Strab. v. p.237; Plin. Nat. 3.5. s. 9; Ptol. 3.1.68; Sil. Ital. 5.551, 12.524.) [TEANUM]

[E.H.B]

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