You can run maven in offline mode
mvn -o install. Of course any artifacts not available in your local repository will fail. Maven is not predicated on distributed repositories, but they certainly make things more seamless. Its for this reason that many shops use internal mirrors that are incrementally synced with the central repos.
In addition, the
mvn dependency:go-offline can be used to ensure you have all of your dependencies installed locally before you begin to work offline.