The Oscans were an Indo-european people who settled in Southern Italy between the 10th and 9th centuries BC. From the 8th century on, they inhabited a region lying between Latium and Campania. They were related to the Samnites, who also spoke Oscan.

As they were farmers, the Oscans first clashed with the Etruscans for possession of land in Campania. Then they also fought against the Romans for the fertile land of the Ager Pomptinus, which were very valuable to them. Nevertheless, the Oscans were defeated by the Romans. Later in the 5th century BC, the Samnites took over the Oscan region, subjugating them.

During the First Samnite War (343-341 BC), Rome gained control of Northern Campania and the Oscans became under Rome’s control. Thus, the Oscan people were assimilated into the Roman world. As a result, the Oscan ethnic identity and culture disappeared, and the Oscan language ceased to be spoken and written by the end of the 1st century BC.