Definitions for OSCI
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an ancient Italic people from Campania in Italy
The Osci, were an Italic people of Campania and Latium adiectum during Roman times. They spoke the Oscan language, also spoken by the Samnites of Southern Italy. Although the language of the Samnites was called Oscan, the Samnites were never called Osci, or the Osci Samnites. The linguist, Carl Darling Buck, hypothesized that a population originally speaking the same language dissimilated in name only, and that the Romans, encountering the Osci first, gave their name to the entire language. Traditions of the Opici fall into the legendary period of Italian history, approximately the first half of the first millennium BC, down to the foundation of the Roman Republic. No agreement can be reached concerning their location and language. At the end of that time the Oscan language appeared and was spoken by a number of sovereign tribal states. By far the most important in military prowess and wealth was the Samnites. They rivalled Rome for about 50 years in the 2nd half of the 4th century BC, sometimes siding with it, and sometimes being against it, until they were finally subdued with considerable difficulty by the unique Roman military system and were incorporated into the Roman state.
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