Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC

The two sieges of Plistica of 316-315 and 315 BC saw a Samnite army make two attempts to capture the city, which was allied with Rome, eventually taking it by assault.

The first siege was begun in an attempt to draw the Romans away from the besieged city of Saticula. Saticula was allied with the Samnites, and the Roman attack on it marked the end of a period of truce between the two powers. A Samnite army attempted to lift the siege, but was defeated in a battle outside the walls by the Dictator L. Aemilius.

In the aftermath of this siege the Samnites began a siege of Plistica, a Roman ally (the location of Plistica is uncertain, but it must have been close to the border between Samnium and Campania). This siege would appear to have lasted over the winter of 316-315 BC, but ended in failure. In 315 a new Dictator, Q. Fabius, took over at Saticula. The Samnites, who had been reinforced, abandoned the attack on Plistica, and returned to Saticula, where they made a second unsuccessful attempt to lift the siege.

After the failure of this second relief attempt the Samnites returned to Plistica. A few days after this Saticula fell to the Romans, but at about the same time the Samnites mounted an assault on Plistica, and captured the city. The Romans and Samnites then moved north-west towards Sora, before winning a major victory over the Romans at Lautulae.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 December 2009), Siege of Plistica, 316-315 and 315 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_plistica.html

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