The Early Italian Armies
Rome had to fight long and bitter wars before it became the master of Italy. From Gauls in the extreme north to Greek settlements in the south, Samnites and Etruscans. Here is a small example of some of the enemies of Rome in the republican era around the time Pyrrhus attacked Rome up until the invasion of Italy by Hannibal.
The Samnites were sworn enemies of the Romans in the early period of Rome. It is said that there army consisted of multi-coloured units (below) and elite units dressed in white tunics and silver coloured armour (Legio linteata).
A&A Samnites (left) - Tomb painting at Paestum (right)
The Samnite Legio Linteata
Redoubt Samnites as Legio Linteata
The Saminte Cavalry
South Italy was the land of the Oscan speaking tribes (which included the Samnites).
Old Glory Oscan/Italians with Wargames Foundry roman shields
The Tarentum Phalanx
The Tarantine phalanx was equipped with white shields (according to Dionysius, Book XX). When the Romans pressed south the Tarantines asked for the help of Pyrrhus. He immediately changed the hoplite phalanx into a pike phalanx.
The Tarentum cavalry
The cavalry from the southern Italian Greek colony of Tarentum became very famous. The Tarentine cavalry was one of the first that used larger shields and their name became synonymous with effective light cavalry. I painted the shields in a Samnite style to take into account the Italian influence.
The Light Infantry
The Italian light infantry.