was the name given by a tradition, probably of very ancient date, to a conquering people or tribe which invaded Latium at a period long before the historical age. Festus represents them as proceeding from Reate, and expelling the Siouli from the Septimontium, where Rome afterwards stood.
He tells us that their name was derived from their being the offspring of a “ver sacrum.” (Fest. s. v. Sacrani,
It hence appears probable that the Sacrani of Festus were either the same with the people called Aborigines by Dionysius (1.16
], or were at least one clan or tribe of that people.
But it is very doubtful whether the name was ever really used as a national appellation. Virgil indeed alludes to the Sacrani as among the inhabitants of Latium in the days of Aeneas (Sacranae acies, Aen,
7.796), but apparently as a small and obscure tribe. Servius in his commentary on the passage gives different explanations of the name, all varying from one another, and from that given by Festus, which is the most distinct statement we have upon the subject.
In another passage (ad Aen.
11.317) Servius distinguishes the Sacrani from the Aborigines, but little value can be attached to his statements on such subjects.