The Sanniti Pentri: The True History of Italy
Molise is like a rich library, every mountain is an open book unravelling the truth about Italy and the people from whom it takes its name. Every forest, every stone, every place tells stories of ancient and valiant men whose memory and culture were bloted out by Rome. Get ready to know the epic of a people who suffered an historical injustice that never healed: The Samnites Pentri.
“Sequitur Regio Quarta, gentium vel fortissimarum Italiae”, had no doubt The Latin writer Pliny the Elder: the Fourth Region, the name by which the Sannio and its inhabitants were designated, is the most valiant people of Italy. Rome owes everything to the Samnites : the gladiator’s games, turned into bloody and gory shows of cruelty; the armor and the feathered helmet; Mamerte, god of the vital force, made theirs by the Romans and turned into Mars, the god of war; the organization of the best youth that was transformed into the Juventus romanae, trained and formed only for war purposes and much more. Rome conquered the world thanks to the value, courage and loyalty of the Samnite tribes. But the Samnites Pentri, who were only a few days’ march from Rome, were more a source of struggle than the ferocious Gauls or the whole of Asia Minor. They did not surrender to the disloyalty and arrogance of Rome and gave up their lives in order not to give up their freedom. The Penturites were magnificent and indomitable warriors, a people with a high level of civilization and a sophisticated socio-political organization; initially dedicated to pastoralism, this population lived in scattered settlements, organized in tribes federated into a League. It was during the Social Wars for Independence from Rome that the allied tribes minted the coins in which the name Italy appeared for the first time along with a head with a lauriel wreath personificating the Nation politically proclaimed for the first time. It is the first epigraphic evidence of the use of the name of our Nation derived from the equivalent term osco Viteliù, the term with which the sons of the bull were designated. Everything shows echoes of the Hellenic culture: from migrations to follow a totemic animal for the foundation of a new city to writing, from the scenic architectural complex of the sanctuary of the Pentri di Pietrabbondante to the bouleterion, a building improperly called the theater, where the council of leaders met sitting on unique and still perfectly preserved anatomical seats. Walking on the Matese massif we can still come across the remains of ancient megalithic walls of fortified cities dating back to XI – VII B.C. built in such a way as to be mutually visible in an extraordinary and efficient strategic defensive system placed on the paths of the sheep-tracks, ancient roads of transhumance still used today by herds and flocks. The walls, built with huge limestone boulders on top of each other, still preserve impressive and evocative walls, occupying vast areas from which you can enjoy an extraordinary and wide view of almost the entire region. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the descendants of the few who escaped the massacre, returned to those heights where their ancestors had lived and built new walls and castles and the extensive territory occupied by the Samnites Pentri since the eleventh century. C. constituted in 1142 the County of Molise.
With these premises the journey becomes an immersion, an experience never lived before, where you can discover and meet knowledge, tastes, stories, characters, artistic, landscape and human beauty impossible to forget.