Hernici were an
Italic tribe of ancient Italy, whose territory was
Latium between the
Fucine Lake and the Sacco River (Trerus),
bounded by the
Volsci on the south, and by the
Aequi and the
In 495 BC
Livy records that they entered into a treaty with the Volsci
against ancient Rome.
They long maintained their independence, and in 486 BC were still
strong enough to conclude an equal treaty with the Latins.
In 475 BC they fought alongside the Latins against the
Volsci, and in the same year fought alongside
Rome against the
Veientes and Sabines. In 468 BC they fought alongside
They broke away from
Rome in 362 and in 306, when their chief
town Anagnia was taken and reduced to a praefectura, but Ferentinum,
Aletrium and Verulae were rewarded for their fidelity by being allowed
to remain free municipia, a position which at that date they preferred
to the civitas.
The name of the Hernici, like that of the Volsci, is missing from the
list of Italian peoples whom Polybius describes as able to furnish
troops in 225 BC; by that date, therefore, their territory cannot have
been distinguished from
Latium generally, and it seems probable that
they had then received the full Roman citizenship. The oldest Latin
inscriptions of the district (from Ferentinum) are earlier than the
Social War, and present no local characteristic.
Old Italic alphabet
A couple of inscriptions show that the Hernican language was a member
of the Sabellian group. Their name, with its "co" termination, classes
them along with the "co"-tribes, like the Volsci, who would seem to
have been earlier inhabitants of the west coast of Italy, rather than
with the tribes whose names were formed with the "no"-suffix.
^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, 2.22
^ Barthold Georg Niebuhr (1845). Niebuhr's History of Rome. D.A.
Talboys. pp. 180–.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Dionysius of Halicarnassus viii. 64 and 68
^ Livy, ii. 53.
^ Livy, ii. 64.
Livy vii.6 if.
^ ii. 24
^ C.I.L. x. 5837-5840
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hernici".
Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University