The Greeks defeated the Etruscans in both 524 and 474 BCE and probably proceeded to take control of Pompeii (qtd. from Pompeii before the Romans involvement, 2005).As evidence, the hill near the mouth of the Sarno River or Sarnus River was used as a safe port by Greek and Phoenician sailors (Wikipedia, 2005). This theory is supported by the architecture and art in Pompeii that was influenced by the Greeks, such as the temple to Apollo mentioned earlier. Around 420 BCE the Samnites came to occupy the city of Pompeii (Leppman, 1968). The Samnites seem to have imposed their language, customs, and civic organizations upon Pompeii (qtd. from Pompeii before the Romans involvement, 2005).
Rome entered onto the Pompeiian scene following the end of the Second Samnite War (290 BCE). The Romans landed their fleet at the mouth of the Sarno and sacked neighboring Salerno (Leppman, 1968). For almost two hundred years, however, the Roman rule of Pompeii was more a "matter of form than substance" (Leppman, 1968). Pompeii was under Rome's control, however, its inhabitants were practically independent (qtd. from Roman involvement in Pompeii, 2005). Although Pompeii was practically independent, its future was tangled with that of Rome. The Roman success in war over Carthage in the Second Punic War (218-201) and Romes victorious marches into Greece, Asia Minor, and Syria paved the way for an abundant economic enterprise for the Pompeiians (qtd. from Roman involvement in Pompeii, 2005). A colony of Roman veterans was planted in Rome as a punishment for Pompeiis role in the Social War (Carrington, 1994). Scholars have pointed out, however, that the Pompeiians ended up profiting in the whole ordeal, since Pompeii was quick to take advantage of the Roman destruction of neighboring Stabiae. This conflict did, however, mark the end of Pompeii's virtual independence, as Rome became much more active in Pompeii. This shift in power is borne out by the fact that ten years after the Social War, Rome renamed Pompeii Colonia Cornelia Venena Pompeianorum (qtd. from Roman involvement in Pompeii, 2005).
The city of Pompeii has an irregular shape because it was formed by a prehistoric lava flow. Excavations indicate that the southwestern part of the town is the oldest, but scholars do not agree on the stages by which the walls were expanded or on who the builders were. The walls are 2 miles (3 km) in circumference, and they enclose an area of about 163 acres (66 hectares). Seven city gates have been excavated (Description of the remains, 2005).