Frentani - Encyclopedia




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FRENTANI, one of the ancient Samnite tribes which formed an independent community on the east coast of Italy. They entered the Roman alliance after their capital, Frentrum, was taken by the Romans in 305 or 304 B.C. (Livy ix. 16.45). This town either changed its name or perished some time after the middle of the 3rd century B.C., when it was issuing coins of its own with an Oscan legend. The town Larinum, which belonged to the same people (Pliny, Nat. Hist. iii. 103), became latinized before 200 B.C., as its coins of that epoch bear a legendLARINOR(VM) - which cannot reasonably be treated as anything but Latin. Several Oscan inscriptions survive from the neighbourhood of Vasto (anc. Histonium), which was in the Frentane area.

On the forms of the name, and for further details see R.S.Conway, Italic Dialects, p. 206 ff and p. 212; for the coins id. No. 195-196.

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