Portal:Dacia

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Dacia Portal

In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—a branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range.

Dacia was bounded in the south approximately by the Danubius river (Danube), in Greek sources the Istros, or at its greatest extent, by the Haemus Mons (the Balkan Mountains). Moesia (Dobruja), a region south of the Danube, was a core area where the Getae lived and interacted with the Ancient Greeks. In the east it was bounded by the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea) and the river Danastris (Dniester), in Greek sources the Tyras. But several Dacian settlements are recorded between the rivers Dniester and Hypanis (Bug River), and the Tisia (Tisza) to the west.

At times Dacia included areas between the Tisza and the Middle Danube. The Carpathian Mountains were located in the middle of Dacia. It thus corresponds to the present day countries of Romania and Moldova, as well as smaller parts of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and Ukraine.

Dacians (or Getae) were North Thracian tribes Dacian tribes had both peaceful and military encounters with other neighboring tribes, such as Celts, Ancient Germanics, Sarmatians, and Scythians, but were most influenced by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Dacian symbols.
Dacian symbols
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Statues of Dacians surmounting the Arch of Constantine

The Dacians (Latin: Daci, Ancient Greek: Δάκοι) were an Indo-European people, part of or related to the Thracians. Dacians were the ancient inhabitants of Dacia, located in the area in and around the Carpathian Mountains and east of there to the Black Sea. This area includes the present-day countries of Romania and Moldova, as well as parts of Ukraine, Eastern Serbia, Northern Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland. The Dacians spoke the Dacian language, believed to have been closely related to Thracian, but were culturally influenced by the neighbouring Scythians and by the Celtic invaders of the 4th century BCE.

The Dacians were known as Geta (plural Getae) in Ancient Greek writings, and as Dacus (plural Daci) or Getae in Roman documents; also as Dagae and Gaete—see the late Roman map Tabula Peutingeriana. It was Herodotus who first used the ethnonym Getae. In Greek and Latin, in the writings of Caesar, Strabo and Pliny the Elder, the people became known as ‘the Dacians’.

The name Daci, Daki, or "Dacians" is a collective ethnonym. Dio Cassius reported that the Dacians themselves used that name, and the Romans so called them, while the Greeks called them Getae.

Romanian historian of religions Mircea Eliade attempted, in his book From Zalmoxis to Genghis Khan, to give a mythological foundation to an alleged special relation between "Dacians and the wolves"

  • Dacians might have called themselves "wolves" or "ones the same with wolves",
  • Dacians draw their name from a god or a legendary ancestor who appeared as a wolf
  • Dacians had taken their name from a group of fugitive immigrants arrived from other regions or from their own young outlaws, who acted similarly to the wolves circling villages and living from looting. As was the case in other societies, those young members of the community went through an initiation, perhaps up to a year, during which they lived as a "wolf".

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Decebalus
King of Dacia
Decebal's portrait.png
Decebalus, as depicted in Cartea omului matur (1919)
Reign 87–106 AD
Predecessor Duras
Died 106
Issue Meda
Cotizo
Father Scorilo (purported)

Decebalus (ruled 87-106) was the last king of Dacia. He is famous for fighting three wars, with varying success, against the Roman Empire under two emperors. After raiding across the Danube, he defeated a Roman invasion in the reign of Domitian, securing a period of independence during which Decebalus consolidated his power.

When Trajan came to power, he invaded Dacia to weaken its threat to Roman border territory. Decebalus was defeated. He remained in power as a client king, but continued to assert his independence, leading to a final and overwhelming Roman invasion in 105. Trajan reduced the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa in 106, absorbing Dacia into the Empire. Decebalus committed suicide to avoid capture.

Since the mid 19th century Decebalus has been portrayed as a national hero in Romania, the successor to ancient Dacia. There are several monuments depicting him.

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