Samnium is a local power in southern Italy, a powerful confederation of Oscan tribes centered in the Apennine uplands that was an early rival of Rome during its rise to power. In 450 AUC the Samnites had just concluded a peace after their defeat in the Second Samnite War, seeing their influence curtailed and their territory increasingly surrounded by the Roman colonies and allies. With the power of Rome only expanding and likely to soon be focused on further expansion, Samnium finds itself in a precarious position at the start and will need to seek more alliances at home and abroad - whether it be its fellow Italian states of Etruria and Lucania, the Greek powers of Syracusae and Epirus, or even the distant fleets of Carthage - if it hopes to avenge its defeats and supplant Rome as the dominant power in Italy. Historically, the Samnites would be conquered at the end of the Third Samnite War in 290 BC and subjugated as a Roman ally, unsuccessfully rebelling during the Pyrrhic and Social Wars and eventually disappearing from history after Sulla's civil wars.
- Main article: Italian flavor events#Samnite events
There is a single country-specific event for Samnium that triggers near the beginning of the game, giving it claims on Rome and military bonuses to simulate the start of the Third Samnite War.
Samnium begins the game with an alliance with Lucania to the south.