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Burebista, Βυρεβίστας, Βοιρεβίστας.

Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Dacian Gold

At its peak of power, the empire of Burebista streched from Slovakian Carpathians to the Balkans and from the Middle Danube to the Black Sea.


 Dacia around 60-44 BC during Burebista, including campaigns

 About the time when Trogus announces the “incrementa Dacorum per Burobusten regem”, we see Dacian civilization beginning to bear an individual stamp of its own.

Strabon wrote of him: "Burebista, the Get, having become the leader of a people exhausted by frequent wars, the Getic Burebista raised it so much through drilling, abstention from wine and obedience to orders that he achieved a powerful state within a few years, he created a great kingdom and brought almost all of the Getai's neighbors under their rule; coming to be feared by the Roman themselves, as he crossed the Danube without care of anyone and looted Thrace up until Macedonia and Illyria, while the Celts whom mixed with the Thracians and Illyrians were devastated, while the Boii who listened to the king Cristasiros, as well as the Taurisci were wiped off the face of the earth." As can be seen the Romans feared the Dacians, but the Dacians didn't fear Rome. 


Argedava, Burebista's Capital



Burebista (Ancient Greek: "Βοιρεβίστας") was a king of the Getae and Dacians, who unified for the first time their tribes and ruled them between 82 BC and 44 BC. He led plunder and conquest raids across Central and Southeastern Europe, conquering most of the neighboring tribes. After his assassination in an inside plot, the empire was divided into several smaller states.

Walls from the fortress of Blidaru (Hunedoara County, Romania), built by Burebista's kingdom
Walls from the fortress of Costeşti
Development of Burebista's state

The development of a La Tène-based economy in 3rd-2nd century BC allowed the consolidation of political power through tribal unions. Such regional unions were found both among the Transylvanian Dacians (under the rule of Rubobostes) and the Moldavian and Wallachian Getae (with a center of power in Argedava). Burebista was the first to create a union of tribes of both Dacians and the Getae.[1]

This tribe alliance was probably a weakly-centralized state, with a military organization, similar to the one of the Hellenistic Kingdoms.[1] The exact degree of centralization is still under debate, with some archaeologists, such as K. Lockyear, denying the existence of a state, because the archaeological evidence shows much regional diversity, with only a few regional-wide trends. Other archaeologists, such as A. Diaconescu, dispute this and consider that there was a centralized political structure. Nevertheless, due to a number of archaeological factors, it's unlikely there'd be found a definite answer to this question.[2]

During Burebista, the society in the region is sometimes considered to have started developing a system of slavery similar to the one in Rome and Ancient Greece, but probably most of the production was still made by free people.[1]

Strabo wrote that Burebista was able to obtain the complete obedience of his tribe with the help of Decaeneus, a wizard and a diviner who learnt his craft in Egypt. The people's obedience to Burebista was so complete, that they were even persuaded to cut their vines and give up drinking wine.[3] Jordanes further claims that the high priest held "almost royal powers" and taught the Dacians a code of laws called the "belagines laws", but also ethics, philosophy and sciences, including physics and astronomy.[4]

In the heart of Burebista's empire, in the Orăştie Mountains, he built a a system of stone fortifications on higher ground, the most important of such hill forts are located today in the villages of Costeşti, Blidaru, Piatra Roşie and Băniţa.[1]

 Conquests and external policy

Burebista led a policy of conquest of new territories: in 60/59 BC, he attacked and vanquished the Celtic tribes of Boii and Taurisci, who dwelt along the Middle Danube and in what is now Slovakia. After 55 BC and probably before 48 BC, Burebista conquers the Black Sea shore, subjugating the Greek fortresses from Olbia to Apollonia, as well as the Danubian Plain all the way to the Balkans.[1] Strabo also mentions the expeditions against a group of Celts who lived among the Thracians and Illyrians (probably the Scordisci).[5]

The only Greek polis with which Burebista had good relations was Dionysopolis.[1] According to an inscription found in this city, Akornion, a citizen of the city was a chief adviser (πρῶτοσφίλος, literally "first friend") of Burebista.[6]

At its peak of power, the empire of Burebista streched from Slovakian Carpathians to the Balkans and from the Middle Danube to the Black Sea. Strabo claims that the Getae could raise up to 200,000 soldiers in wartime[1], a rather improbable number,[7] but which could represent the total number of able males, not the number of any army.[1] Burebista was a worthy adversary for the Romans, as his army would cross the Danube and plunder the Roman towns as far as in Thrace, Macedonia and Illyria.[3]

In 48 BC, Burebista sided with Pompey during his struggle against Julius Caesar in the Roman civil war,[1] sending Akornion as an ambassador and a military adviser. After Caesar emerged as victor, he planned on sending legions to punish Burebista[8], but he was assassinated in the Senate before he could do so, on March 15, 44 BC.


Burebista was assassinated in a plot made by the tribal aristocracy, which felt that a consolidation towards a centralized state would reduce their power. After his death, the empire was dissolved, with the exception of the nucleus around the Orăştie Mountains,[1] while the rest being divided into various kindoms.[3] When Augustus Caesar sent an army against the Getae, the former state of Burebista was divided into four states.[8]

1980 Stamp from Romania, labeled "2050 years from the creation of the first centralized and independent state under the leadership of Burebista"
Statue of Burebista in Orăştie


There are only three ancient sources on Burebista: Strabo, Jordanes and a marble inscription found in Balchik, Bulgaria (now found at the National Museum in Sofia) which represents a decree by the citizens of Dionysopolis about Akornion.[9]

In Romania, starting with the 1970s, the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime used ancient history, seen from a nationalistic and questionable interpretation (Protochronism) as a way to legitimize its own rule.[10] For instance, Burebista, a great conqueror, was seen as merely a "unifier" of the Dacian tribes.[11]

Part of this tendency, in 1980, the Romanian government declared the celebration of the 2050th anniversary of the founding of the "unified and centralized" Dacian state of Burebista, drawing comparisons with Ceauşescu's Romania and claiming an uninterrupted existence of the state from Burebista to Ceauşescu.[12]

This commemoration led the press to note "similarities" between Burebista and Ceauşescu, and even professional historians such as Ion Horaţiu Crişan used about Burebista words of omage similar to the ones used by party activists about Ceauşescu.[10]

In 1980, a movie based on the life of Burebista was made.[10]


  1. Pippidi, D.M. (editor), Dicţionar de istorie veche a României, Editura ştiinţifică şi enciclopedică, Bucharest, 1976 pp.116-117
  2. Jinyu Liu, "Review of Roman Dacia. The Making of a Provincial Society", Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 12, 2005
  3. Strabo, Geography, VII:3.11
  4. Jordanes, XI
  5. John T. Koch, Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia, p.550, ABC-CLIO, 2006 ISBN 1851094407
  6. H. Daicoviciu, p. 127
  7. Boia, p.184
  8. Strabo, Geography, VII:3.5
  9. W. S. Hanson, Ian Haynes, Roman Dacia: the making of a provincial society, 2004, Journal of Roman Archaeology, ISBN 1887829563, p. 34
  10. Boia, p. 221
  11. Boia, 177
  12. Boia, p. 78; 125


Primary sources

Secondary sources

  • Lucian Boia, History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2001;
  • Hadrian Daicoviciu, Dacii, Editura Enciclopedică Română, Bucharest, 1972.



Burebista, the greatest king of Dacia ruled between 70 BC-44 BC.

He unifies the Thracian population from Hercinica (today's Moravia in the West, to the Bug in the East and from Northern Carpathians to Southern Dionysopolis, choosing his capital (called Argedava or Sargedava) near Costesti (the Orastie hills - see Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains).

The real name of Burebista was lost, but the fame was evoqued by the Greek writers, known under the name of Bu-ere-bu-ist-as ("the one that is not").

His wife was called Zina (according to some coins found in Transylvania and was the emperess and great priestess of the Thracians.

His adviser was the Great Priest Deceneu which instructed the Tracians to live according to the Nature Laws called the Belagines Laws and decided that the year 1 to be the birth year of Zamolxis, 713 BC. He went to Egypt where he taught the Egyptian priests the sacerdotal misteries of the Pelasgians, then returns to Dacia where together with Burebista unifies both spiritually and politically the Thracians.

The spiritual center was called by Strabon as Kagaion, the holly mountain, which is thought to be localized somewhere in the Bucegi mountains.

On the South of Danube, the Proconsul of the province of Macedonia, the general Varro Lucullus, during the second Mithridatic War (74 BC-72 BC) occupies the Greek cities on the West coast of Black Sea from Apollonia to the Danube Delta. The Greek inhabitants of the conquered cities ask Burebista to help and the Roman army of Antonius Hybrida is defeate near Histria and the Greek cities of Tomis, Calatis, Dionysopolis and Apollonia agree to be part of Burebista's kingdom. Burebista continues his incursion in the region conquering Aliobrix (Cartal, southern Bessarabia, now part of Ukraine), Tyras (now Tiraspol, Moldova) and Odessas (now Odessa, Ukraine).

In 48 BC, Burebista interfered with the internal Roman dispute between Julius Cesar and Pompei, choosing the latter as a ally. Three years later, Cesar defeats his adversary and sent legions to punish Burebista, but on March 15 44 BC before the decissive battle, Cesar is assassinated in the Senate.

Soon after, in the same year, Burebista dies in similar circumstances. 

The Romans secured the Adriatic coast in BC 35 to BC 33, but the mountainous regions of Illyria were more difficult to penetrate. With the aim of securing a land route from Europe to the  Middle East along the Danube the Romans took  Pannonia and Moesia.

There is a Roman record stating that 10,000 Gatae (from the modern southern Romania) were allowed to move to Moesia south of the Danube.



From Metapedia

Burebista was king of the Dacians, in the first century BC. Introducing religious and political reforms among his people, he managed to form a powerful kingdom, feared even by the Romans[1].

The Beginning

The writer Jordanes (VI century BC) indicates the year 82 BC as the beginning reign of Burebista, but historians Constantin C. Giurescu and Dinu C. Giurescu based on archaeological discoveries believe that the coming to power of Burebista would have occurred between 70 and 60 BC[1]. It is unknown how Burebista expanded authority over other tribes and unions of Geto-Dacian tribes, the fact is that peacefully or by force of arms he managed to unite the Geto-Dacians. This is attested by the disappearance of local monetary issues, which means that the kings of local tribes unions have accepted the authority of Burebista.

According to the estimation made by Strabo, the Burebista's army would have numbered about 200 000 people, a number considered by some historians as exaggerated[1], but others would not exclude that it may be real[1].

The Reform

According to the historian and geographer Strabo (c. 63 BC.-c. 19 AD), when Burebista became king, Dacians were tired of wars, and he imposed a reform that regulated the moral and religious life the Geto-Dacian people, rised them through exercise, abstaining from wine and obedience to his commands. Following these reforms, the kingdom soon became powerful and conquered new vast territories[1]. In all these actions Burebista had been advised and helped by the Great Priest Deceneu, which Burebista granted him the title of viceroy, according to Jordanes[1].

Politico-Military Actions

According to Strabo, Burebista "boldly crossed the Danube ... robbing Thrace - until Macedonia and Illyria". Dacian king undertake such incursions to get rich booty, but also to give preventive strikes to the Romans to curb their offensive actions. It seems that as a result of such incursions proconsul of Macedonia, Scribonius C. Curio, in the year 74 BC, he pursued the Getae and their allies Scordisci across the Danube, but according to Florus "Curio advanced into Dacia, but was terrified of the dark forest there." Reading the stories of Florus historians have concluded that the Romans had managed to reach the right bank of Danube (in today Banat region). Shortly thereafter, around the years 72-71 BC as a result of the battles from Dobrudja, the Roman armies conquered the Greek cities on the Black Sea, but they rebelled in 61 BC helped also by Bastarnae and banished the Romans. It is assumed that Burebista was involved in this uprising as a result of the good relations he had with the city Dionysopolis (today Balchik, Bulgaria), as evidenced by the inscription found here. The inscription shows the good relations between the two sides mentioning Acornion who went as an ambassador to Argedava[1].

By the year 60 BC, Burebista stretched his rule by defeating neighboring tribes, situated between the Middle Danube and the Western Carpathians and also the tribes from the east of the Carpathians untill south of the Lower Danube [1]. He defeated the Celts in the north-west of Dacia, and oxen led by Critasiros, and also the Taurians, and then abandoned the alliance with scordisci placed between the Morava and Drina Rivers devastating them.

Extent of the territory inhabited by the Dacians is attested by archeological discoveries which have revealed Dacian pottery in southwestern Slovakia (Bratislava, Devin), the Pannonian Danube (Budapest, Taban-Gellérthegy) or near pouring of Sava River into the Danube (at Gomolava), but also in other places [1]. After victories in the west and after stabilizing the situation in that part, by the year 55 BC, according to Greek historian Dion Chrysostom (40-120 AD) Getae have extended their dominion over the cities of the Pontus Euxin (Black Sea) [1] : Olbia (at the mouth of the Bug), Tyras (at the mouth of the Dnister), Histria, Tomis, Callatis Dionysopolis, Odessa, Mesembria and Apollonia. From existing sources is known that submission of the cities of Olbia and Mesembria was made using the force. Following the conquests, the Dacian Empire reached up in the East to the mouth of the Bug River, and in South to the Haemus Mountains (Balkans). Becoming a great force and having the vast expanse of territory inhabited by Dacians, in the the Dionysopolitan decree made in honor of Acornion, king Burebista was called "the first and greatest of the kings of Thrace", who possessed all the territory on this side the (Danube) river and beyond" [1].

After his ally, King of Pontus, Mitriade was defeated by the Romans (72-71 BC), Burebista looked to Pompey who appeared to win power struggle broke out in 48 BC at Rome. Using Acornion as an ambassador he offered his support to Pompey. Because Pompey lost the battle against Caesar, Burebista draws its hostility to the latter. Moreover, Caesar prepared to attack Dacia, but his assassination in 44 BC prevented this. Later Burebista is also assassinated, and according to Strabo, the state is divided into four parts, and later under Augustus in the five political entities"[1] [1]. Originally the capital of Dacia was Argedava, so far unidentified city, but later Burebista built a new one Sarmizegetusa[1].

Ancient Sources


From the historian and geographer Strabo (63 Bc-19 AD) we got concentrated about Burebista the most important aspects of his reign: Buerebista, the Getae, taking the leadership of his people, raised them from the endless wars, and he brought them to the right way by abstinence and sobriety, and obedience to the Commandments, so that, in a few years, founded a great power, and Getae subjugated almost all its neighbors; moreover was of great peril for Romans, because they crossed the Danube without care for anyone, and loot Thrace till Macedonia and Illyria, and the Celts who mixed with the Thracians and Illyrians were destroyed completely, and also the Boii ruled by King Critasiros, and the Teurisci were wiped off from the face of the earth[1].

An important source, contemporary with Burebista, which gives us information about the Geto-Dacian king, is the decree of the Dionysopolis city, witch recognized Acornion's outstanding achievements in his city job. The decree of the year 48 BC consist of a Greek inscription discovered in Balchik (formerly Dionysopolis) which speaks about Burebista as "the first and greatest of the kings of Thrace and ruler of all lands west of the Danube and beyond". Acornion was an ambassador at the Dacian kings court ever since Burebista's father. Acornion managed to obtain their support for the city Dionysopolis. Moreover, Burebista entitled to treat in his name an alliance with Pompey, who was in conflict with Caesar to gain power in Rome.

External Links

In other languages
 Jordanes, Getica
(67) Then when Buruista was king of the Goths, Dicineus came to Gothia at the time when Sulla ruled the Romans. Buruista received Dicineus and gave him almost royal power. It was by his advice the Goths ravaged the lands of the Germans, which the Franks now possess. (68) Then came Caesar, the first of all the Romans to assume imperial power and to subdue almost the whole world, who conquered all kingdoms and even seized islands lying beyond our world, reposing in the bosom of Ocean. He made tributary to the Romans those that knew not the Roman name even by hearsay, and yet was unable to prevail against the Goths, despite his frequent attempts. Soon Gaius Tiberius reigned as third emperor of the Romans, and yet the Goths continued in their kingdom unharmed. (69) Their safety, their advantage, their one hope lay in this, that whatever their counsellor Dicineus advised should by all means be done; and they judged it expedient that they should labor for its accomplishment. And when he saw that their minds were obedient to him in all things and that they had natural ability, he taught them almost the whole of philosophy, for he was a skilled master of this subject. Thus by teaching them ethics he restrained their barbarous customs; by imparting a knowledge of physics he made them live naturally under laws of their own, which they possess in written form to this day and call belagines. He taught them logic and made them skilled in reasoning beyond all other races; he showed them practical knowledge and so persuaded them to abound in good works. By demonstrating theoretical knowledge he urged them to contemplate the twelve signs and the courses of the planets passing through them, and the whole of astronomy. He told them how the disc of the moon gains increase or suffers loss, and showed them how much the fiery globe of the sun exceeds in size our earthly planet. He explained the names of the three hundred and forty-six stars and told through what signs in the arching vault of the heavens they glide swiftly from their rising to their setting.

Viata Regelui Burebista

Materialul de mai jos este o încercare de calcul a principalelor date din viaţa regelui Burebista, calcule bazate pe principalele izvoare istorice antice, care fac referire directă la regele Burebista şi anume: decretul dyonisopolitan în cinstea lui Acornion şi Getica lui Iordanes precum şi unele date arheologice din timpul regelui dac precum tezaurul de la Găliganul de jos, AG.
        Iată ce spune decretul amintit:
"Împreună cu tovarăşii săi de drum cu unul fiu al lui Theodorus şi cu Epi... , pe cheltuiala lui personală, a plecat în solie călătorind departe şi ajungând la Argedava, la tatăl acestuia şi întâlnindu-l, totodată a obţinut de la el... oraş... şi a dezlegat poporul... .
        Şi în timpul din urmă regele Burebista ajungând cel dintâi şi cel mai mare dintre regii din Tracia şi stăpânind tot teritoriul de dincoace de fluviu (Dunăre) şi de dincolo şi a ajuns deasemenea la acesta (la Burebista) în cea dintâi şi cea mai mare prietenie, a obţinut cele mai bune foloase pentru patria sa, vorbindu-i şi sfătuindu-l în ceea ce priveşte chestiunile cele mai importante, atrăgându-şi bunăvoinţa regelui spre binele oraşului; şi toate celelalte (ocazii) oferindu-se pe sine fără să se cruţe în soliile oraşului şi luând asupra-şi fără şovaire primejdii, pentru a contribui în tot chipul la binele patriei.
        Şi fiind trimis de regele Burebista ca ambasador la Cn(aeius) Pompeius, fiul lui Cnaeius, imperator al romanilor, şi întâlnindu-se cu acesta în părţile Macedoniei, lângă Heracleea Lyncestis, nu numai că şi-a îndeplinit cu bine însărcinarile primite de la rege, câştigând pentru acesta bunăvoinţa romanilor [...]"

        Burebista s-a născut în anul 111 îen la Argedava ca fiu al regelui burilor. Nu mai târziu de anul 84 îen, Burebista (în vârstă de 27 de ani) pleacă din oraşul natal, probabil cu o puternică armată primită de la tatăl său, cucerind poate, cea mai puternică cetate dacică: cea de la Costeşti, unde se instalează ca unificator al unui număr de triburi în continuă creştere. Acest fapt e susţinut atât de "Getica" lui Iordanes din care aflăm că atunci când Sylla pune mâna pe putere la Roma (adică în anul 84 îen), Burebista este deja la putere în Dacia. În plus tezaurul menţionat, conţine monezi din anii 150-81 îen ceea ce înseamna probabil, că au fost îngropaţi de proprietar (taraboste sau oraş) când au fost cuceriţi de Burebista. Între anii 80-70 îen Acornion (acum în vârstă de aproximativ 30 de ani) merge într-o misiune diplomatică la Argedava la tatăl lui Burebista (acesta cu vârstă aproximativă de 60-70 de ani) după cum reiese din textul menţionat. Însă această întrevedere nu îl mulţumeste pe dyonisopolitan sau poate este îndrumat mai departe, drept urmare va pleca la "drum lung" deci în cetăţile din munţii Orăştiei pentru a se întâlni cu regele însuşi. Această întâlnire are loc după 70 îen. Între 7 iunie-9 august 48 îen Acornion devenit prietenul personal al lui Burebista, îndeplineşte pentru acesta, ultima misiune diplomatică menţionată în decret şi anume pe lângă Pompeius, ceea ne arată că Burebista intervenise în politica Imperiului Roman pe lângă cel care se părea că deţine controlul la moment (sau poate să îl ajute pe cel care îl putea înlătura pe duşmanul Daciei - Cezar). Evenimentele ne arată că Pompeius nu aşteaptă ajutorul regelui şi este înfrânt. În 44 îen regele (acum la 67 de ani) este asasinat într-o pesupusă revoltă de palat.
        Deci o viaţă de 67 de ani între 111-44 îen şi o domnie de 40 de ani între 84-44 îen, par cifre perfect plauzibile confirmate şi de celebre izvoare istorice care în stadiul actual al cercetării istorice nu se exclud, ci se completează reciproc. 



Burebista's Balkan Policy by Mihail Gramatopol




The available information concerning Burebista, king of the Geto‑Dacians, although not abundant, is rich in significant implications for one who studies Balkan policy in the first century before our era. These implications derive from accurate, reliable sources. Chronologically, the first of these sources is a document dating from the reign of the Geto‑Dacian king: the decree specially issued for Acornion, son of Dionysios, a citizen of the city of Dionysopolis (Balcic) by which the Council and the inhabitants of this city, as a token of high esteem, granted him a golden crown and a bronze statue to reward his good deeds in the service of communal welfare. The inscription, carved in marble, was discovered at the end of the last century at Balcic and is on display at the National Museum in Sofia. Acornion's worthy deeds are listed in chronological order, the second half of the decree dealing with the relations between the former and Burebista and with Burebista's actions in the Balkans. What are we told about Burebista in this document? That not long before (the decree dated from the year 48 before our era, on the eve of the battle of Pharsalia, on August 9), he had become the greatest of the Thracian kings, ruling over territories north and south of the Danube. That Acornion, too, succeeded in becoming his close friend (after having been on good terms with the father of a prince of Dobrudja - whose capital was located at one of the Argedavas in Dobrudja, where his presence is attested by an inscription of the imperial epoch, R.R.H. XIV, 1975).
That he counselled Burebista with regard to several important issues. That on account of this friendship and of his counsels, he gained the goodwill of the Dacian king regarding the needs of the town. That, eventually, Burebista chose him as a messenger to Pompey whom he met near Heraclea Lyncestis, in Macedonia. Carrying out successfully his mission, he gained Pompey's goodwill for the Thracian king, at the same time conducting negotiations on behalf of his own city.
The second source is a text in Strabo's Geography (VII.3.11). Strabo (64 before our era - 21 our era, at the latest) was born in the town of Amasia in Pontus, a region located on the southern shore of the Black Sea; he was, consequently, 16 years old in 48 before our era (the year Burebista sent his envoy to Pompey and of the latter's defeat at Pharsalia) and 20 years old when he came to Rome, in 44, the year of Caesar's and Burebista's death. In other words, he was a witness fully aware of the political events of his time, the better conversant with the events that interest us as he himself belonged to the same geo‑political area. The drafting for his still extant work (The Geography), for which he sought information in the libraries of Alexandria and in the archives of Rome, was achieved, apparently, in his native Amasia, after the year 7 before our era. It follows that Strabo's information regarding Burebista, whose contemporary he was, were set down at a distance of almost four decades after the climactic moment of the latter's policy in the Balkans.
What does Strabo state about Burebista? That the Getae were exhausted with so many wars when he became their king. That he restored them to vigour and activity through physical exercises, temperance and observance of his regulations. That in a short time he became the ruler of an extensive territory (building up a state), bringing most of the neighbouring peoples under the dominion of the Getae. That he crossed the Danube cutting across Thrace up to Macedonia and Illyria. That he worked havoc among the Celts who had mingled themselves with the Thracians and the Illyrians and that he annihilated the Bóis, ruled over by Cristarios and the Tauriscians as well. The latter information can be assigned, chronologically speaking, to the beginning of Burebista's reign, while the last but one (the inroads into Thrace, Macedonia and Illyria), most likely after 48 before our era (the year of Pompey's defeat). To outline the major orientations of Burebista's policy, one has to clarify in the first place what were the relations of the Geto‑Dacian king with the Greek cities situated along the northern and western shores of the Black Sea, in general, and with those in Dobrudja in particular. moneda-pag-44This is prerequisite since, by corroborating literary sources and inscriptions which do not mention the name of the Geto‑Dacian king for half a century of historical exegesis, credit has been granted to the erroneous idea that Burebista was a destructive barbarian, a warrior waging war for the sake of waging war, and implicitly, destitute of any political vision and strategy.



Burebista and the Vine of the Dacians

The ancient homeland of the Getae-Dacians, Thrace – the Romanian historian A.D. Xenopol writes – was a wine-producing region, reason enough to consider it the birth place of the wine god – Dionysus.” A similar affirmation was made at the beginning  of the last century (1908), by the French historian Raymond Billiard, who wrote: “Out of all the regions of Europe, Thrace was probably the oldest and the most respected for its wines but also the one which kept its prestige for a longer period of time”.

Numerous archaeological discoveries attest the cultivation of vine on the Romanian territory ever since the Neolithic, and the words strugure [grape] and butuc [grape vine] are inherited from the Dacians.

Herodot, Platon and Homer are just a few names of the antiquity that wrote about Thracians as being great cultivators of vine.

The oldest variety of wine in Romania is the one known today under the name of Murfatlar, produced in the region bearing the same name even from the Thracians times, this wine being the object of commercial exchanges between Thracians and Greeks.

 Strabon wrote of him: "Burebista, the Get, having become the leader of a people exhausted by frequent wars, the Getic Burebista raised it so much through drilling, abstention from wine and obedience to orders that he achieved a powerful state within a few years, he created a great kingdom and brought almost all of the Getai's neighbors under their rule; coming to be feared by the Roman themselves, as he crossed the Danube without care of anyone and looted Thrace up until Macedonia and Illyria, while the Celts whom mixed with the Thracians and Illyrians were devastated, while the Boii who listened to the king Cristasiros, as well as the Taurisci were wiped off the face of the earth." As can be seen the Romans feared the Dacians, but the Dacians didn't fear Rome.

 Shortly Deceneu himself was considered as a God, as I said when I talked about Zamolxis. And in a sign of obedience, Getae people were convinced to cut vine and to live without wine [...]“ we cant specify the exact location for these “Getae” as we dont know if the text make reference to Tarabostes or Comati


Cucuteni Baiceni Getian gold helmet: 
drawing of a gold helmet from Baicheni, Romania, Fig. 16 from "Ancient Gold..." by Vladimir Dumitrescu & Alexandru Vulpe, Dacia Before Dromichaites, Bucharest, 1988, figure 33at:



Natura profană a călăreţilor de pe coif mi se pare întru totul evidentă. Transformarea imaginii umane în motiv decorativ repetitiv pledează tocmai în acest sens. Pe partea exterioară a pulparului drept sunt încă două reprezentări antropomorfe. Sus, un călăreţ cu arcul în mână, iar jos poate acelaşi principe, şezând pe tron, cu şoimul în mâna dreaptă şi ritonul în formă de corn în stânga. Ritonul pare ferecat în benzi de metal preţios. Relatând întâlnirea dintre Dromihete si Lisimah, Diodor din Sicilia precizează: „În cele din urmă, puse să le toarne macedonenilor vin în cupe de argint şi de aur, pe câtă vreme el şi tracii lui beau vinul în pahare de corn şi de lemn, aşa cum obişnuiesc geţii" (XXI, 12, 5).

Chiar dacă afirmaţia lui Diodor poate fi doar un topos cu valoare moralizatoare, şi nu numai o dovadă despre tezaurele getice de veselă din aur şi argint (în acest caz e bine că ştim de eventualitatea existenţei unui tezaur princiar la nord de Dunăre, format din vase de băut, aidoma celui de la Rogozen, dar ulterior acestuia cu poate câteva decenii). Iată deci ritonurile de corn getice atestate mult mai devreme decât momentul la care se referă Diodor, ele având a dăinui, alături de alte produse de valoare ale toreuticii geto-dacice aflate în tezaurele lui Decebal, până la cucerirea romană.

apud Mihai Gramatopol

A doua precizare se referă la personajul masculin reprezentat şezând, pe obrăzarul drept. În mâna dreaptă el ţine o cupă conică cu fundul rotunjit (mastos), exemplar premergător al celor lucrate în argint, similare şi foarte frecvente în tezaurele geto-dacice târzii (sec. I î.e.n. - sec. I e.n.). Atare cupe rituale îşi au nenumărate replici miniaturale în lut (cam de două ori mărimea unui degetar), descoperite în aşezările dacice contemporane tezaurelor târzii. Ritonul ţinut în mâna stângă are protomă de bovideu şi corpul lis (necanelat nici transversal, nici longitudinal). El ar fi de obârşie greacă, de tipul celui de la Poroina (decorat într-o fază mult ulterioară de toreutul traco-get, cu patru personaje feminine realizate în manieră artizanală, două din ele ţinând în mână câte un riton cu cap similar, dar cu caneluri longitudinale).
Atitudinea personajului de pe coiful de la Băiceni ar fi, după cum s-a mai spus, apoteotică. L-am vedea deci pe însuşi principele tronând în faţa supuşilor, învestit cu atributele preoţiei supreme. În general reprezentările antropomorfe de pe piesele de armură ale marilor tezaure timpurii (cu puţine excepţii certe) nu sunt susceptibile de a fi interpretate ca imagini ale unor divinităţi.


 Benvenuti Situla from Este, with Venetic Celtic Lord drinking, Late 7th c. BC


Burebista and the  Romans

  Burebista and the Romans



First of all there was a rather serious plan by Julius Caesar to attack the Dacian Kingdom before he was assassinated. In 89BC the consul Curio planned attacking the Dacians but upon arriving at the Danube he was too scared of them and decided not to (the Roman authors say he was "afraid of the dark forests" but we all know the truth ) [Florus, Epitome. III: "Curio Dacia tenus venit; sed tenebras saltuum expavit"]. Julius Caesar was considering fighting the Dacians according to Suestonius but his death prevented war [Suestonius, Julius Caesar. XLIV: "Dacos qui se in Pontum et Thraciam effuderant coercere... mors praevenit."].

So, assuming Julius Caesar does not die and he declares war on Dacia, what would have happened?

a) The Romans would have wiped out the Dacians. No question about it.
b) The Romans could have fought the Dacians to the Danube, then a peace settlement would have been made between Julius Caesar and Burebista, with a partial Roman victory.
c) The Dacians would have taken Illyria and Anatolia most likely with their confederate allies. The Romans would have been pushed back and sued for peace.
d) The Dacians would have taken Rome and become the preeminent power in the West.

-The Dacians were fierce horsemen, fighting in a style which the Romans had not encountered before.

According to Theucydides "The Getai [read: Dacians] and the other people from these lands are neighbors of the Scythians, they have the same weapons and the same customs; they all shoot with the bow from horseback."

-Burebista had interefered in the Roman Civil War, supporting Pompey. He knew the Romans and their style of warfare but they did not know his. Burebista is also considered to have been implicated in the Illyrian revolt of 48BC.

- Burebista's reign coincided with Dacian apogee. He has smashed the Bastarnae, Boii, Taurisci, Scordisi and Scythians. After his death his kingdom was split into four, then five pieces.

Strabon wrote of him: "Burebista, the Get, Having become the leader of a people exhausted by frequent wars, the Getic Burebista raised it so much through drilling, abstention from wine and obedience to orders that he achieved a powerful state within a few years, he created a great kingdom and brought almost all of the Getai's neighbors under their rule; coming to be feared by the Roman themselves, as he crossed the Danube without care of anyone and looted Thrace up until Macedonia and Illyria, while the Celts whom mixed with the Thracians and Illyrians were devastated, while the Boii who listened to the king Cristasiros, as well as the Taurisci were wiped off the face of the earth." As can be seen the Romans feared the Dacians, but the Dacians didn't fear Rome. It was not mutual according to Strabon.

-The people of Dyonisios referred to Burebista as "the first and the most powerful among the kings who ever reigned in Thraike, master of the entire region this side of the great river"

-Strabon gives Burebista's military power at 200,000 men. [Geografia, Book VII, 3, 13]. He sometimes even refers to Burebista's realm as an "empire." Whether exaggerated or not, it is clear Burebista had a considerable army at his disposal. Strabon himself says that once the kingdom was divided into 5, each kingdom could barely muster 40,000 men for their own defense. While 200,000 is an enormous figure, it is definitely not impossible to imagine, especially given that Burebista was the supreme lord of a vast land.

-When the Romans did conquer Dacia under Trajan they had to do it as the largest military operation in Roman history. Trajan brought 150,000 men in 101AD and 200,000 men in 106AD and only then was he able to conquer half of the Dacians. This leads me to believe that Julius Caesar would be hard-pressed for a victory given his far more limited manpower and far stronger opponent.


Burebista and the Romans

 On the south of Danube, the proconsul of the province of Macedonia, the general Varro Lucullus, during the second Mithridatic War (74 BC–72 BC) occupied the Greek cities on the west coast of the Black Sea from Apollonia to the Danube Delta. The Greek inhabitants of the conquered cities asked Burebista for help and the Roman army of Gaius Antonius Hybrida was defeated near Histria. The Greek cities of Tomis, Calatis, Dionysopolis and Apollonia then agreed to become part of Burebista's kingdom.

Burebista continued his incursion in the region, conquering the Celtic Aliobrix (Cartal, southern Bessarabia, now part of Ukraine), Tyras and Odessos.

In 48 BC, Burebista interfered with the internal Roman dispute between Julius Caesar and Pompey, choosing the latter as an ally. Three years later, Caesar defeated his adversary and planned on sending legions to punish Burebista, but on March 15, 44 BC before the decisive battle, Caesar was assassinated in the Senate. Soon after, in the same year, Burebista also died assassinated in a court plot.


Exhibit -The Dacians in the Carpathian Curvature


The National Museum of Eastern Carpathians opened a new thematic exhibition: “The Dacians in the Carpathian Curvature”. Five museums worked together in setting up this exhibition: the National Museum of Eastern Carpathians, the Transylvanian National History Museum, the Buzău County Museum, the Braşov County History Museum and the Museum of Brăila. “For the first time ever, this exhibition reunites the most representative pieces of Dacian heritage found in five archaeological sites that are placed on both sides of the Carpathian Curvature: Cârlomăneşti – „Cetăţuia”, Pietroasa Mică – „Gruiu Dării”, Olteni – „Cariera de nisip”, Covasna – „Cetatea Zânelor” and Racoş – „Tipia Ormenişului”. Besides these we also included the copies of two extraordinary Dacian treasures found in this area, one at Surcea, Covasna County and one at Sîncrăieni, Harghita County. Although they differ greatly by the way they were organized and by their functionality (open settlement and necropolis at Olteni, fortified settlement at Cârlomăneşti, fortress at Covasna, sacred areas at Pietroasa Mică-Gruiu Dării and Racoş), the five sites we present prove, through the artefacts that are exhibited, the homogeneity and the unity of the Gaeto – Dacian Culture, and, in the same time, the diversity that resulted of the local and regional economical, social and spiritual manifestations.

These sites are contemporaneous, the highlight of their existence being set between the 1st century B.C and the 1st century A.D.

The only exception is the settlement (and its necropolis) from Olteni, Covasna County that was inhabited in the 4th – 3rd centuries B.C. Although it is earlier than the other sites, it represents a reference point in following the development in time of the Gaeto – Dacian artefacts. Moreover, the site from Olteni is an unprecedented finding in the inner Carpathian area, the discoveries made here giving specialists hopes in finding similar settlements in other parts of Transylvania as well, sites which were not found yet, due not to the lack of the researches but to their deficiency.

Although they are significant for the pre-classic and classic periods of the Dacian civilization, the five sites we present are only a small part of what the Carpathian Curvature area really meant in the Dacian period. The summary archaeological researches, soundings and accidental findings on both sides of the Carpathian Curvature pointed out a large number of settlements and fortifications that had a flourishing social and economical life.” (Dr. Viorica Crişan, project manager) The exhibition will be opened at the Museum of Eastern Carpathians until the 10th of October 2009, after which it will be hosted by the Buzău County Museum. For further information please contact the Department of Public Relations and Marketing of the Museum (Deák Andrea, museologist, e-mail: [email protected]) or visit our web site: 

Burebista's Monument at Orastie, Romania



 Societatea Dacia Revival International din New York a realizat o lucrare exceptionala. Primul monument inchinat regelui dac Burebista, opera a sculptorului Ion Bolborea, dezvelit la Orastie pe 18 august 2001


Burebista, Marele Rege al tuturor getilor, s-a reintors astfel si in inima Daciei, si in devenirea Romaniei. Dezvelirea a avut loc la ora 11.00 in prezenta unui numeros public. Fanfara Comandamentului trupelor de jandarmi Timisoara a interpretat "Imnul de stat al Romaniei" . Un sobor format din 3 episcopi ai Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane a sfintit monumentul. A prezentat onorul un batalion al Centrului de Instructie Jandarmi Orastie. Corul de copii "Vlastarele Orastiei" a interpretat Imnul Dacic. Au vorbit dr. Napoleon Savescu, fondatorul si Presedintele societatii DACIA REVIVAL din New York, Mihail Rudeanu, Presedintele Consiliului judetean Hunedoara, Constantin Avram , vice Presedintele consilului judetean Hunedoara, Petre Margineanu, subprefect al judetului Hunedoara, preotii Octavian Rudeanu si Dumitru Balasa, jurnalistul Vladimir Brilinschy, P P.S. dr Timotei Seviciu episcopul Aradului si Hunedoarei , P.S.Calinic episcop al Argesului, P.S.Sofronie episcopul romanilor din Ungaria si primarul municipiului Orastie Iosif Blaga. La manifestare au participat reprezentanti din toate provinciile romanesti, inclusiv Basarabia si Transnistria.

Monumentul a fost realizat de o echipa condusa de sculptorul Ion Bolborea.Initiativa ridicarii monumentului apartine dlui Napoleon Savescu. Monumentul reea in linii mari una din statuile de tarabostes de pe Arcul lui Constantin cel Mare din Roma.

Finantatorii principali sint Napoleon Savescu, George Paunescu, Ovidiu Golea si Nick Stoian. Cu ocazia dezvelirii acestui monument primaria municipiului Orastie i-a decernat dlui Napoleon Savescu titlul de "cetatean de onoare al municipiului Orastie".





The Daco-Celtic War



               Between 60 and 40 BC it was fought the so called Daco-Celtic war, which saw the dacians attacking the celtic Boii and Taurisci confederations, and the Scordisci, too.

Burebista defeated the once powerful Boian confederacy, and its Taurisci allies, destroying also the Oppidum of Bratislava, their capital, in 60/59 BC.

The slovakian found pieces show the dacian conquest, at Pezinok found 5 pieces Sattelkopfpferd type tetradrachm (the Pezinok type in slovakian celt-coin catalog).

The architects show a Dacian centre at Nyitra and another was at Zemplin.

Between 56 and 50 BC, the Scordisci were also defeated by Burebista's Dacians, and became subject to him.

It’s coined just before the unification of the Geto-Dacian tribes into a unique reign under Burebista. These coins have been struck at the end of the second century BC and in the first three decades of the first century BC, [ca. 170-125 BC  (ALLEN), ca. 125-75 BC (PREDA)] in a Getic dava placed somewhere on the inferior course of the Argeş river (Muntenia), probably the center of the tribal union of the Piephigii.


List of Rulers of Thrace and Dacia

List of rulers of Thrace and Dacia

Map of Ancient Thrace made by Abraham Ortelius in 1585

This article lists rulers of Thrace and Dacia or parts of them whether Thracian, Paeonian, Celtic, Dacian, Scythian, Persian or Ancient Greek till its fall to the Roman empire. The mythological figures originate from Greek mythology.

[edit] Mythological[1]

Thracian king Rhesus slain by Odysseus

[edit] Persian

The Persian Empire in 490 BC

[edit] Tribal kings

Thracian tribes before the Roman period.

[edit] Paeonian

Thrace and Dacia as Roman provinces
  • Roman caretaker rules Rhoemetalces III part of Thrace 26-38

[edit] Getic and Dacian


Herodotus about Getae-Dacians "the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes."

[edit] References

  1. ^ Greek Mythology by Carlos Parada
  2. ^ Carlos Parada,"Orpheus, king of the Ciconians"
  3. ^ Tereus,"Tereus 1 is the cruel Thracian king who helped King Pandion 2 of Athens in his war against King Labdacus 1 of Thebes, and having received one of his daughters seduced the other"
  4. ^ Phineus,"Phineus is the blind king and seer"
  5. ^ Poltys,"Poltys. An Aenian who entertained Heracles when he came to Aenus in Thrace. He was son of Poseidon [Apd.2.5.9]."
  6. ^ Harpalyce (Ἁρπαλύκη).,"1. A daughter of Harpalycus, king of the Amymnaeans in Thrace. As she lost her mother in her infancy, she was brought up by her father with the milk of cows and mares, and was trained in all manly exercises. After the death of her father, whom she had once delivered from the hand of the Myrmidones, she spent her time in the forests as a robber, being so swift in running that horses were unable to overtake her. At length, however, she was caught in a snare by shepherds, who killed her. (Serv. ad Virg. Aen. 1.321; Hyg. Fab. 193.)"
  7. ^ Peiros, Peiros. Thracian leader, son of Imbrasus and father of Rhigmus. He was killed by Thoas 2, Leader of the Aetolians (Hom.Il.4.520ff., 20.484ff.).
  8. ^ Rhesus Rhesus 2 is chiefly remembered because he came from Thrace to defend Troy with great pomp and circumstance, but died on the night of his arrival, without ever engaging in battle.
  9. ^ Polymestor,"Polymestor 1 (Polymnestor). This is the king of the Bistonians in Thrace"
  10. ^ Carnabon,"Carnabon. King of the Getae in Thrace who came into power when grain was first given to men [see also Lyncus, and CONSTELLATIONS] [Hyg.Ast.2.14]."
  11. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 41: "... Trixae and Sophocles (Triptolem, FR 547) mentions a local king, Charnabon, as a typical anti-hero. ..."
  12. ^ The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth,ISBN 0-19-860641-9,"page 1515,"The Thracians were subdued by the Persians by 516"
  13. ^ The Histories by Herodotus, John M. Marincola, and Aubery de Selincourt,page 373: "... 500 mercenaries, and married Hegesipyle, daughter of the Thracian King Olorus. ..."
  14. ^ Plutarch's Lives by Plutarch,2008,ISBN 1-4404-1432-7,page 183: "... Danube, and by winning a signal victory over Syrmus, the King of the Triballi. After this, as he heard that the Thebans had revolted, ..."
  15. ^ The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth,2003,page 1515: "... *Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, and *Cicero calls Rabocentus, chief of the Bessi, a faithful ally, although hitherto they had been troublesome (Cic. ..."
  16. ^ Polyaenus: Stratagems - BOOK 7 ,The generals of the Cebrenii and Sycaeboae, two Thracian tribes, were chosen from among the priests of Hera. Cosingas, according to the tradition of the country, was elected to be their priest and general; but the army took some objection to him, and refused to obey him. To suppress the rebelliousness that had taken hold of the troops, Cosingas built a number of long ladders, and fastened them one to another. He then put out a report, that he had decided to climb up to heaven, in order to inform Hera of the disobedience of the Thracians. The Thracians, who are notoriously stupid and ridiculous, were terrified by the idea of their general's intended journey, and the resulting wrath of heaven. They implored him not to carry out his plan, and they promised with an oath to obey all of his future commands.
  17. ^ The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998,ISBN 0-19-815047-4,page 106
  18. ^ Ancient Coins of Greek Cities and Kings: From Various Collections Principally in Great Britain by James Millingen,2004,page 42: "... silver mines so renowned in history. A coin of Geta, king of the Edones, with the legend FETAI HAONEON BAIIAEYI of the same types, ..."
  19. ^ Catalogue of Greek Coins: Thessaly to Aetolia by Percy Gardner, 2004,Front Matter: "... present to the money of Philip II. of Macedon, and Lycceius and Audoleon, kings of Paeonia, that they must be given ..."
  20. ^ Patraus's coin
  21. ^ A Guide to the Principal Gold and Silver Coins of the Ancients: From Circ. B. C. 700 to a. D. 1. (1895) by British Museum Dept. of Coins and Medals, 2009,page 62: "... of Athena, facing. Bee. AYAnA EONTOZ. Horse. Wt. 193.4 grs. Patraus and his son Audoleon reigned over Paaonia between B.C. 340 ..."
  22. ^ Polyaenus, Stratagems of War, 4.12.3,"Lysimachus conducted Ariston, son of Autoleon, to his father's kingdom in Paeonia; under pretence that the royal youth might be acknowledged by his subjects, and treated with due respect. But as soon as he had bathed in the royal baths in the river Arisbus, and they had set before him an elegant banquet, according to the custom of his country, Lysimachus ordered his guards to arm. Ariston instantly mounted his horse and escaped to the land of the Dardani; and Lysimachus was left in possession of Paeonia."
  23. ^ a b Pausanias, Description of Greece Phocis and Ozolian Locri,10.13.1,"A bronze head of the Paeonian bull called the bison was sent to Delphi by the Paeonian king Dropion, son of Leon".
  24. ^ The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe (Oxford Illustrated Histories) by Barry Cunliffe,2001,page 380
  25. ^ Strabo,Geography(7.5.2),"A part of this country was laid waste by the Dacians when they subdued the Boii and Taurisci, Celtic tribes under the rule of Critasirus"
  26. ^ Celts and the Classical World by David Rankin,ISBN 0-415-15090-6,1996,page 189: "... and destroyed it. According to Polybius, the last of the kings of Tylis, Cavarus, was a man of magnanimity and regal character (8.24). ..."
  27. ^ The Ancient Celts by Barry Cunliffe,ISBN 0-14-025422-6,2000,page 86: "... distinguished suggests that one of the returning groups, led by Bathanatos, finally settled in the Middle Danube region at the confluence ..."
  28. ^ Celts - a History, The by Daithi O HOgain,ISBN 1-905172-20-6,2006,page 60,"... those who, on their return from Greece under their leader Bathanatos, had settled at the confluence of the Danube and the ..."
  29. ^ Heckel, Waldemar. Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire. Blackwell Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1-4051-1210-7, p. 155. "In 306 or 305, he assumed the title of "King", which he held until his death at Corupedium in 282/1."
  30. ^ Heckel, Waldemar. Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire. Blackwell Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1-4051-1210-7, p. 155. "In 323 Lysimachus was assigned control of Thrace, and was probably strategos rather than satrap. The subordinate position of strategos may account for the failure of the sources to mention Lysimachus in the settlment of Triparadeisus; his brother Autodicus was, however, named as a Somatophylax of Philip III at that time
  31. ^ The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 by Christopher Webber,ISBN 1-84176-329-2,2001,page 11,"Philip V of Macedon occupied all the cities in Thrace up to the Hellespont,"
  32. ^ The Thracians, 700 BC - AD 46 by Christopher Webber,ISBN 1-84176-329-2, 9781841763293,2001,page 14,"It shows a Hellenised king of the Getae"
  33. ^ The Peloponnesian War: A Military Study (Warfare and History) by J. F. Lazenby,2003,page 224,"... number of strongholds, and he made himself useful fighting `the Thracians without a king' on behalf of the more Hellenized Thracian kings and their Greek neighbours (Nepos, Alc. ...
  34. ^ The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998,ISBN 0-19-815047-4,page 105
  35. ^ The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998,ISBN 0-19-815047-4,page 107
  36. ^ The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms) by Christopher Webber and Angus McBride,2001,ISBN 1-84176-329-2,page 5
  37. ^ The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology) by Z. H. Archibald,1998,ISBN 0-19-815047-4,page 104
  38. ^ Readings in Greek History: Sources and Interpretations by D. Brendan Nagle and Stanley M. Burstein,ISBN 0-19-517825-4,2006,page 26: "... Ariapeithes, the Scythian king, had several sons, among them, ... by Spargapeithes, king of the Agathyrsi; whereupon Scylas succeeded to the throne, and married one of ..."
  39. ^ Thracian Kings, University of Michigan
  40. ^ Thracian Kings, University of Michigan,"On the death of the last Astaean king in 11 BC, the emperor Augustus conferred all Thrace to his Sapaean uncle Roimētalkēs I. In 46, on the murder of Roimētalkēs III by his wife, the kingdom of Thrace was annexed to the Roman Empire by the emperor Claudius I."
  41. ^ Atlas of Classical History by R. Talbert,1989,page 63,"Getae under Cothelas"
  42. ^ The Hellenistic Age from the Battle of Ipsos to the Death of Kleopatra VII by Stanley M. Burstein,1985,Index Rhemaxos Getic or Scythian ruler
  43. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,Index Dromichaetes King of the Getians
  44. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,Index Rubobostes Dacian King
  45. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 53,"Dacian King Oroles"
  46. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 47,"Dicomes of the Getians"
  47. ^ The Roman History: The Reign of Augustus by Cassius Dio, Ian Scott-Kilvert, and John Carter,1987,page 85: "... Then he completed their destruction with the help of Roles, the king of a tribe of the Getae. When Roles visited Octavian, he was treated as a friend ..."
  48. ^ Cassius Dio. Roman History, Book LI. "While he was thus engaged, Roles, who had become embroiled with Dapyx, himself also king of a tribe of the Getae, sent for him. Crassus went to his aid, and by hurling the horse of his opponents back upon their infantry he so thoroughly terrified the latter also that what followed was no longer a battle but a great slaughter of fleeing men of both arms. Next he cut off Dapyx, who had taken refuge in a fort, and besieged him. In the course of the siege someone hailed him from the walls in Greek, obtained a conference with him, and arranged to betray the place. The barbarians, thus captured, turned upon one another, and Dapyx was killed along with many others. His brother, however, Crassus took alive, and not only did him no harm but actually released him."
  49. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 48,"The Dacian king Cotiso"
  50. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 146,"Zyraxes who ruled in Dobruja"
  51. ^ Studies in Ancient Greek and Roman Society by Robin Osborne,2004,page 128: "... of its citizens, named Akornion, went on an embassy to Burebista, the first and greatest of the kings in Thrace'"
  52. ^ Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,Index (Decaeneus/Dekaineus/Dicineus) Dacian High priest"
  53. ^ a b Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 72,"At least two of his succesors Comosicus and Scorillo/Corilus/Scoriscus became high priests and eventually Dacian kings"
  54. ^ a b Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization by Ioana A Oltean,2007,page 47 ,"Kings Coson (who minted his own coins) and Duras"
  55. ^ De Imperatoribus Romanis". Retrieved 2007-11-08. "In the year 88, the Romans resumed the offensive. The Roman troops were now led by the general Tettius Iulianus. The battle took place again at Tapae but this time the Romans defeated the Dacians. For fear of falling into a trap, Iulianus abandoned his plans of conquering Sarmizegetuza and, at the same time, Decebalus asked for peace. At first, Domitian refused this request, but after he was defeated in a war in Pannonia against the Marcomanni (a Germanic tribe), the emperor was obliged to accept the peace."
  56. ^ inscription in Rome, Muratori 1039 and Ptolemy's maps of northern Europe Gudmmd Schotte
55) The histories by Herodotus, Donald Lateiner, G. C. Macaulay - 2004

[edit] See also





Burebista's Military Campaignes

rcarea pe tron

Cei mai multi cercetatori considera ca inceputul domniei lui Burebista trebuie situat în jur de 82. i.e.n., poate putin mai devreme. Textul lui Iordanes este unicul care ofera un indiciu cronologic. El spune ca, pe vremea lui Burebista, a venit în tara gotilor Deceneu, care a aparut în momentul în care Sylla a preluat puterea la Roma. Se stie ca Sylla s-a proclamat dictator în anul 82 i.e.n. Burebista nu putea fi de mult| vreme rege, mai ales ca a domnit foarte mult.

Politica interna

 Este de presupus ca, înainte de a-si fi început campaniile de cucerire spre vest sud si pe litoralul Marii Negre, Burebista a facut un efort de a unifica formatiunile politice ale getilor si dacilor. Izvoarele nu ne spun nimic despre cum a procedat Burebista. Ni se da de înteles doar ca neamul lui Burebista era istovit de razboaie. Cum primele campanii pentru cucerirea de noi teritorii par a începe pe la 60 i.e.n., înseamna ca Burebista si-a consumat cam jumatate din domnie pentru a  unifica aceste formatiuni. Este greu de crezut ca  au prevalat mijloacele pasnice, poate doar casatoriile ar fi putut reprezenta un mijloc nonviolent de convingere. Se constata  arheologic ca  multe cetati, precum cele de la Cârlomanesti, Zimnicea, Radovanu, Cascioarele, Crasani, Cetateni au urme de distrugere în sec. I a. Chr. Ar putea fi argumente pentru o supunere prin violenta. Altfel nu existau motive care sa determine pe micii sefi locali sa renunte la autoritatea lor  caci nu exsta nici un factor extern de presiune. Roma nu avea gânduri de cucerire în Pen. Balcanica, fiind total ocupata cu extinderea posesiunilor sale în Asia, puterea celtilor era, dupa toate aparentele, în regres, devenisera sedentari, ba chiar sunt frecvente afirmatiile ca multt, cei care au convieÛuit cu autohtonii, ar fi fost asimilati de daci. În ciuda acestor evidente, sunt multi aceia care cred ca pericolul celtic sau roman i-ar fi determinat pe micii conducatori  de triburi sa accepte stapânirea lui Burebista. Chiar daca  aceste pericole ar fi fost reale, este greu de crezut ca acesti conducatori marunti le-ar fi putut percepe. Stim însa ca mâna dreapta a lui Burebista a fost Deceneu care a reusit sa impuna supusilor ascultarea poruncilor, sobrietatea, ba chiar i-ar fi determinat sa-si taie vita de vie (stire neconfirmat| arheologic).

Campaniile de cuceriri

Strabon prezinta cuceririle lui Burebista în urmatoarea ordine:

1. trece Dunarea si jefuieste Tracia, Macedonia si Illyria, ocazie cu care, poate la întoarcere, îi pustieste pe celtii care traiau amestecati cu tracii si illyrii- mai mult ca sigur este vorba de scordisci, situati la sud de fluviu si la vest de Morava, în zona de varsare a Savei în Dunare

2. nimiceÕte pe de-a întregul pe boii aflati sub conducerea lui Critasiros Õi pe taurisci.

Pare a fi vorba de doua campanii diferite. Dacǎ Strabon respecta ordinea evenimentelor, campania sudic| a fost prima. Cercetatorii de la Cluj, C. Daicoviciu si I. H. Crisan cred ca cea vestica a fost cea dintâi.

Textul lui Strabon nu ne da de înteles ca Burebista ar fi alipit teritoriile neocupate de romani de la sud de Dun|re, scopul campaniei sudice pare a fi mai ales jaful. TotusiI, decretul în cinstea  lui Acornion precizeaza ca Burebista a stapânit  teritoriul de o parte si de alta a Dunarii. Desigur ca afirmatia ar putea sa se refere strict la cursul inferior al Dunarii, deci sa aiba în vedere Dobrogea si nu si zona de la sud de Romania. Cercetarile arheologice arata ca, dupa campania lui Burebista, scordiscii au ramas pe loc, nu au fost dizlocati.

Campania vestica ar fi avut loc pe la 60 i.e.n. I.H. Crisan considera ca acest razboi ar fi fost nu unul de cucerire, ci unul de eliberare, în urma caruia ar fi fost recuperate de la celti teritoriile dacice din zona Tisei. Boii si tauriscii locuiau în zona Austriei si a Câmpiei Pannonice, respectiv în Ungaria si Slovacia. Campania ar fi fost purtata pân| la Dun|re, în dreptul Bratislavei. Se crede ca Burebista s-a ferit sa mearga mai departe, spre vest, pentru ca ar fi riscat un razboi cu regele suebilor, Ariovist. Rezultatul a fost ca celtii ar fi fost nimiciti cu totul. Se crede ca aceasta campanie a avut loc în anul 60 deoarece Caesar vorbeste la un moment dat despre boii care s-au stabilit pe la 59-58 în teritoriul de azi al Elvetiei. Se crede ca doar campania distrugatoare a lui Burebista i-ar fi putut determina sa se mute în masa. Campania împotriva celtilor ne face sa ne îndoim de temeinicia si adev|rul unor consideratii istorice facute de literatura arheologica. I. H. CriÕan spune ca celtii, la momentul Burebista, nu mai prezentau un pericol, deci ei nu ar fi putut determina unificarea de frica a formatiunilor politice. De asemenea se face frecvent afirmatia ca multi dintre celtii stabiliti în sec. IV-III în Pannonia si în NV României ar fi avut relatii bune cu autohtonii, s-au înmormantat în aceleasi necropole si ca ar fi fost chiar dacizati, deci, cu alte cuvinte,  s-ar fi pierdut în masa autohtonilor. Probabil este vorba de anarti. Ceilalti celti, boii si tauriscii, erau asezati si ei de multa vreme, deci devenisera, în virtutea timpului trecut, un fel de autohoni în zona pe care au locuit-o. Daca nu prezentau pericol, de ce Burebista îi nimiceste pe de-a întregul si ce vrea sa recupereze de la ei, ducând acest razboi de eliberare? Teza razboiului de eliberare nu prea are sustinere.

Cucerirea coloniilor grecesti

 Fara îndoiala ca atunci când Burebista a pornit la cucerirea cetatilor grecesti a avut serioase motivatii de ordin economic: cetatile nu numai ca erau bogate, aveau o economie prospera, dar stapânirea litoralului asigura si supravegherea comertului pe Marea Neagra. Nu trebuie uitat ca devenise o practica pentru regii sau conducatorii barbari din zona sa protejeze cetatile grecesti (Zalmodegikos, Rhemaxos, Zoltes). Burebista a profitat de doua evenimente care, prin cumul,  au contribuit la usurarea efortului militar: moartea lui Mithridathes al VI-lea Eupator în 63a. Chr. si înfrângerea lui Antonius Hybrida, în 61 a. Chr. Vasile Pârvan a facut supozitia ca Burebista ar fi fost  aliatul cetatilor grecesti cu ocazia razmeritei acestora, dar ea este puÛin probabila, având în vedere ca,  în anul 61 i.e.n., Burebista trebuie ca se pregatea pentru campania împotriva celtilor. Litoralul pontic a fost cucerit în intervalul 59-48, mai probabil 55-48a. Chr. Anul 55 ca an de început al campaniei de cucerire a litoralului este sugerat de Dion Chrisostomos care, vorbind despre Olbia, dar fara a-l pomeni pe Burebista, spune ca la 95p, Chr. ,când a vizitat el Olbia, oraÕul se mai resimtea dupa ce cu 150 de ani mai înainte, getii au cucerit toate orasele grecesti de la Olbia pân| la Apollonia.  Întelegem ca constructiile se aflau în stare proasta, iar teritoriul cetatii era considerabil mai mic. Având în vedere ca Olbia trebuie sa fi fost primul oraÕ cucerit, anul de început trebuie sa fi fost 55a. Chr.  Campania de cucerire a litoralului era sigur încheiata în anul în care s-a dat decretul în cinstea lui Acornion. S-a ajuns la concluzia ca decretul a foat sapat în piatra cândva în intervalul cuprins între 7 iunie si 9 august 48 a. Chr.  Inscriptia a fost sapata în piatra dupa ce Pompeius a obtinut titlul de imperator, deci dupa prim|vara lui 48, dar înainte de a fi înfrânt în batalia de la Pharsalus de catre Pompei, batalie care a avut loc în  9 august. Având în vedere distrugerile suferite de Olbia , este sigur ca colonia a fost cucerita prin lupte. Despre Tyras se crede ca s-ar fi supus de buna voie, pentru ca nu au fost observate distrugeri  ale cetatii, care , fara îndoiala, n-ar fi dorit sa aiba soarta Olbiei.  La Egyssus  au fost constatate arheologic distrugeri, deci probabil ca a fost cucerit prin lupta.  Aceeasi soarta a avut-o si Histria. Un decret dat în cinstea lui Aristagoras, fiul lui Apaturios,  pomeneste despre distrugerea zidurilor cetatii si arata ca Aristagoras s-a remarcat prin eforturile de refacere a zidurilor. Inscriptia ne da de înteles ca stapânirea a fost de lunga durata, caci, dup| trei ani, averile cetatenilor erau secatuite, iar sanctuarul lui Apollo Tamaduitorul ramasese fara preot. Arheologic au fost constatate urme de distrugere în zona sacra. Despre Tomis si Callatis nu avem informatii, dar se banuieste ca s-au supus de buna voie, evitând sa impartaseasca aceeasi soarta ca Histria. Dionysopolis probabil ca s-a predat de buna voie, judecând dupa bunele relatii pe care le-a avut cu Burebista. O inscriptie de la Odessos (Varna) vorbeste despre întoarcerea unor cetateni din bejenie, care s-ar putea sa aiba leg|tura cu cucerirea orasului de catre Burebista. Mesembria a fost cucerit| cu armele. O inscriptie  pomeneste trei strategi care au condus o oaste împotriva lui Burebista. Apollonia este foarte probabil ca s-a predat de bun| voie, caci nu s-a putut apara, era distrusa de generalul  Lucullus. I. H. Crisan crede ca,  înainte de supunerea cetatilor grecesti, ar fi fost cucerita din mâinile bastarnilor Moldova. Singurul indiciu în acest sens este ca dispare  cultura Poienesti -Lukaševka în ultima jumatate a sec. I a. Chr.

Dupa înfrângerea lui Pompeius, ne spun atât Appianus, cât si Suetonius, Caesar, devenit dusman personal al lui Burebista, a planuit o expeditie împotriva getilor si parÛilor. Suetonius precizeaza ca ar fi fost trimis în acest sens Octavian la Apollonia spre a pregati razboiul.  Campania nu a mai avut loc caci, la idele lui Marte, Caesar este asasinat.În acelasi an, în timpul unei r|scoale, moare si Burebista. Se crede ca a fost asasinat pentru a se evita iminentul atac roman, ipoteza care este discutabila .  Ea ar fi credibila doar daca moartea lui Burebista ar fi precedat-o pe cea a lui Caesar. Teritoriul stapânit de Burebista s-a dezmembrat initial în 4 parti, mai apoi în 5.



Dupa asasinarea lui Caesar la idele lui Marte în 44a.Chr., cel mai important eveniment este razboiul civil ai carui protagonisti au fost Octavianus, adoptat prin testamnt de Caesar, si Marcus Antonius. Deznodamântul acestui razboi se consuma la Actium, în 31a. Chr., când Marcus Antonius este înfrânt.

Conflictul din lumea romana va fi urmarit cu interes de capeteniile dacilor si getilor, care promit ajutor miltar când uneia când alteia dintre cele doua parti. Sunt câteva izvoare literare care fac aluzie la o posibila implicare a getilor si dacilor în razboiul civil, din pacate ele nu sunt foarte explicite. Vergiliu, spre exemplu, în Georgicele, spune ca dacii adesea coboara de la Istru si conspira împotriva noastra. Horatiu, în Satire, are câteva versuri:Oricine îmi iese în cale ma întreaba ce-ai mai auzit despre daci? Cassius Dio, în Istoria romana, ne relateaza ca dacii ar fi trimis o solie la Octavianus, dar n-au c|p|tat nimic din câte au cerut, motiv pentru care au trecut de partea lui Marcus Antonius, fara a-i fi nici acestuia de mare folos caci era foarte dezbinati. Din cele trei izvoare reiese ca urmasii lui Burebista, la fel ca si predecesorul lor, intervin în luptele pentru putere de la Roma, încercând sa obtina maxium de foloase. E greu de crezut ca politica dacilor si getilor i-ar fi îngrijorat prea tare pe romani, cum pare a sugera Horatiu, în conditiile în care puterea lor era în declin ca urmare a împartirii stapânirii lui Burebista. Strabon spune cât se poate de clar ca stapânirea lui Burebista s-a împartit initial în 4, ulterior, adica pe vremea lui Augustus, în 5 parti.

O list| a succesorilor lui Burebista exista doar la Iordanes. Nu stim daca ea este completa. Majoritatea istoricilor cred ca regii pomeniti de Iordanes sunt urmasii lui Burebista din zona de SV a Transilvaniei, care se banuieste a fi fost una dintre cele 4 parti care au rezultat dupa împartirea mostenirii. Potrivit lui Iordanes, urmasul lui Burebista fost Deceneu, care a fost urmat de Comosicus, care a fost în acelasi timp rege, mare preot si judecator suprem, iar mai apoi de Coryllus care ar fi domni timp de 40 de ani peste daci.

Pe lâng| numele atestate de lista lui Iordanes, izvoarele mai amintesc câtiva regi daci si geti. Mai multe referiri se fac la rege Cotiso, care este consemnat de trei izvoare literare diferite: Suetonius, Horatius si Florus. Cele trei izvoare par a face referire la trei momente diferite din domnia acestui rege. Suetonius, în Vietile celor 12 cezari, spune ca, potrivit lui Marcus Antonius, Octavianus si-ar fi fagaduit fiica (Iulia) de nevasta unui rege al getilor numit Cotiso, acesta din urma, la rândul sau, urmând a-si da fata de nevasta lui Octavianus. Este poate vorba de o alianta matrimoniala pusa la cale spre a atrage capetenia barbara de partea lui Octavianus. Horatius, într-o oda pe care a scris-o în anul 29 a. Chr., deci la doi ani dupa victoria de la Actium, spune ca armata dacului Cotiso a pierit. Se banuieste ca este vorba de un conflict cu romanii din anul 29 a. Chr.. cand Cotiso s-a confruntat cu generalul roamn Licinius Crassus, fiind înfrânt. Florus, în Rezumatul istoriei romane, arata ca dacii traiesc nedezlipiti de munti. Din munti coboara adesea, sub conducerea regelui Cotiso, trec Dunarea pe gheata si devasteaza tinuturile de la sud de Dunare. Augustus a hot|rât sa termine cu aceasta populatie agresiva si l-ar fi trimis pe guvernatorul Pannoniei, Cornelius Lentulus împotriva lor. Generalul i-a alungat la nord de Dunare si a asezat la sud de fluviu garnizoane romane. Florus spune ca dacii nu au fost înfrântiI, ci doar respinsi si împrastiati. Evident ca aceste evenimente sunt posterioare anului 27 a. Chr., întâmplându-se cândva la începutul erei noastre. Unele variante ale textului lui Suetonius folosesc în loc de de numele Cotiso pe cel de Coson, de unde a aparut banuiala ca Cotiso ar fi fost emitentul enigmaticelor monede de aur cunoscute sub numele de kosoni. Se observa ca Cotiso, în două izvoare, este dac, în al treilea get. El este plasat într-o zona muntoasa, destul de aproape de Dunare , motiv pentru care istoricii cred ca el a domnit undeva în vestul Olteniei si estul Banatului. Daca aceasta pozitionare este corecta, ea vine în contradictie cu teoria potrivit careia Cotiso ar fi emitentul monedei de tip Koson, moneda care a fost descoperita doar în zona de SV a Transilvaniei.

Un alt rege al getilor, contemporan cu razboiul civil de la Roma, este amintit de Plutarh în Vieti paralele, în biografia lui Marcus Antonius. Este vorba de Dicomes. Si acest rege s-ar fi amestecat în conflictul dintre Octavianus si Marcus Antonius. El ar fi promis o oaste numeroasa lui Marcus Antonius. Izvorul nu da alte amanunte Acest rege se crede ca ar fi domnit undeva în spatiul extracarpatic, poate în sudul Moldovei sau în Muntenia.

Tot în spatiul extracarpatic este atestat de o inscrptie cu litere grecesti, de pe un vas, basileul Thiamarchos. Inscriptia fost descoperita la Ocnita, în jud. Vâlcea, deci formatiunea lui politica trebuie ca era plasata undeva în zona de nord a Olteniei.

Istoria politica a dacilor si getilor în sec. I p. Chr. este destul de putin cunoscuta. Ceea ce este sigur este ca adeseori ei au atacat provinciile de la sud de Dunare. Romanii, initial,  au raspuns la aceste atacuri prin expeditii punitive, iar mai apoi, pentru a-si asigura linistea au utilizat trei mijloace: transbordarea getilor la sud de Dunare, unde erau mai usor de supravegheat, capturarea unor ostateci din rândul aristocratiei, care deveneau garanti ai pacii sau plata unor subsidii. Toate aceste mijloace de represiune sunt atestate de izvoarele epigrafice sau literare. O expeditie împotriva dacilor, potrivit unei inscriptii, ar fi organizat Marcus Vinicius. Strabon arata, la rândul sau, ca Aelius Catus a stramutat de la nord de Dunare în Tracia 50.000 de geti. Actiunea ar fi avut loc  în priml deceniu al sec. I p. Chr. În c|teva rânduri getii ataca cetatile din Pont. Informatii despre aceste atacuri avem de la Ovidius. Potrivit acestuia getii (din sudul Moldovei?) au atacat mai întâi cetatea Aegyssus (Tulcea) prin anul 12 p. Chr., iar mai apoi, în anul 15, cetatea Troesmis pe care au cucerit-o, fiind apoi respinsi de catre Pomponius Flacus (legatul Moesiei), caruia i s-ar fi datorat linistea la Dunare. Intensitatea atacurilor în Dobrogea se diminueaza dupa anul 46 p. Chr. când Dobrogea intra sub stapânire romana, fiind integrata provinciei Moesia.

Un alt rege al dacilor este pomenit de Frontinus. Este vorba de Scoryllo, nume foarte asemanator cu Coryllus, cel ce a domnit 40 de ani, din lista lui Iordanes. Cei mai multi istorici cred ca este vorba de acelasi personaj si ca numele corect este Scoryllo. Acest nume este sigur dacic, el fiind consemnat si de alte doua inscriptii. Este vorba de o stampila de pe un vas descoperit la Sarmizegetusa Regia (Decebalus per Scorillo) si de o inscriptie descoperita la Aquincum. Potrivit lui Frontinus, acest Scorillo este contemporan cu un razboi civil care s-a desfasurat la Roma, care nu poate fi altul decât cel din 68-69, deci de pe vremea lui Nero. Frontinus ne da de înteles ca Scoryllo a fost foarte întelept si a evitat sa se amestece în acest razboi civil, de teama ca implicarea sa ar fi putut aduce razbunarea romanilor.

Pentru istoria relatiilor cu romanii sunt importante doua inscriptii, una descoperita la Tibur, alta la Fundi. Inscriptia de la Tibur este un elogiu funebru adus lui Plautius Silvanus Aelianus, guvernator al Moesiei în perioada 60-68, care a stramutat 100.000 de transdanubieni împreuna cu copii, sotiile, principii si regii lor. Cu aceasta ocazie ar fi fost înapoiat unui rege dac fratele care fusese prizonier al romanilor. Inscriptia de la Fundi spune ca guvernatorul Pannoniei, Tampius Flavianus, a obligat neamurile de dincolo de Dunăre sa predea ostateci romanilor.

Ultimul dintre regii daci anteriori lui Decebal, pomenit de izvoare, este Diurpaneus. El  apare atât la Orosius cât si la Iordanes. Potrivit lui Iordanes, Diurpaneus a fost contemporan cu Domitianus. Sub acest rege, getii au rupt tratatul ce l-au avut cu împaratii de dinainte caci Domitianus era foarte zgârcit. Cel mai probabil a diminuat stipendiile. Drept urmare, getii au atacat la sud de Dun|re, unde guvernator era Oppius Sabinus, i-au t|iat capul guvernatorului si au jefuit provincia. Îngrijorat, Domitian a venit în Illyria si a trimis o armata împotriva dacilor comandata de generalul Fuscus, care a trecut Dunarea pe un pod de vase. De la prima ciocnire, romanii au fost învinsi, Fuscus ucis, dupa care a urmat jefuirea armatei romane. Orosius se refera la acelasi eveniment, fara a da detalii. Ne da doar de înteles ca Fuscus a suferit o înfrângere dezastruoasa, pe care, însa, Domitian a avut grija sa o prezinte ca pe o victorie, organizându-si un triumph. Cu privire la Diurpaneus exista douǎ pareri: ca ar fi unul si acelasi cu regele Duras sau ca ar fi doar un alt nume al lui Decebal (N. Gostar, V. Lica). Regele Duras este amintit de Excerpta Valesiana ca cedând de buna voie puterea lui Decebal. Motivul nu-l cunoastem, fie a fost prea batrân, fie si-a atras pizma dacilor ca urmare a ruperii tratatului cu Domitian si nu mai putut guverna. 


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Argedava, Burebista's Capital

Argedava Capital of Burebista

Argedauon, Sargedava, Sargedauon, Zargedava, Zargedauon

Argedava (or Sargedava) was the capital of Burebista's Dacian kingdom. Modern Costeşti is located near ancient Argedava.

Historically, after the Galatai destroyed Helis, the surviving population moved north of the Istros and rebuilt their capital at Argedava, now known as Popesti. What had been an insignificant fishing and agricultural settlement quickly became one of the largest in all of the Getic lands. The population at Helis had already been well-acquainted with advanced metallurgy, and traded extensively with Skythians, Kelts, and especially Hellenes. This did not change at Argedava, which--judging from archaeological remains--became the source for the best-equipped and most disciplined Getic soldiers

Argedava. Popesti. Reconstituire grafica realizata de Radu Oltean

Argedava (by Alexandru Vulpe) the Dacian capital, the most important economic, military-political and spiritual centre of the Geto-Dacians in the Romanian Plain has been identified and investigated through archaeological excavations carried out at Popesti, Mihailesti commune, Ilfov county. The Dava-type fortified settlement unearthed there is located on a promontory on the right bank of the Arges river terrace.
        This complex archaeological area covers the whole surface of the eminence which, towers over the surrounding area. It consists of three sectors divided by three defensive ditches. The first sector, topping the promontory, had been a residential site. An acropolis is situated next to the settlement area which, despite its modest aspect shows definite evidence of intense habitation. The third sector which,  is also the largest, used to be a place of refuge for the population in the surrounding area when danger was foreseeable. 

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 Argedava ( Sargedava) is constantly referred to as the site for chief-town of the ancient Dacian Kingdom of Burebista. The Costesti Town in Vâlcea County is located near the ancient Argedava.[citation needed] The site rests, in a straight line, 100 km away from the Bucharest City, the Municipality of Romania. Nowadays, Argedava is a handful of traces of the great stronghold it once was. It lies on a plain hill with three slopes down to the Olt River bed, with Popesti village


Argedava sau Sargedava era o așezare getică, reședință începând cu o căpetenie dinainte de Burebista. Menționată în decretul dyonisopolitan [1] în cinstea lui Acornion din Dionysopolis.

 Cetatea Argedava este situată în localitatea actuală Popești [2], lângă orașul Mihăilești, Giurgiu, și a fost declarată rezervație arheologică.[3] Cercetările arheologice au descoperit acropola cetății dacice Argedava, cea mai importantă așezare din Câmpia Munteniei, în care se presupune că și-a avut reședința regele Burebista. Între zidurile cetății s-au descoperit colibe, vetre de foc, unelte, depozite de grâne, ș.a.

Argedava a fost clădită pe o terasă, dominând valea Argeșului, fiind apărată din trei părți de bălțile din luncă, iar dintr-o parte de trei șanțuri transversale și de un val de pământ[4]. Istoricul român Vasile Pârvan a efectuat cercetări la Argedava.[necesită citare]


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Legături externe

 Argedava lui Burebista,epoca-burebista,1101609.html

 ARGEDAVA (POPESTI), com. Mi-hailesti, jud. Ilfov, civilizatia geto-dacica. Cladirile, carora li se atribuie funcliile de sanctuar si palat (sf. sec. III i.e.n. - sec. I e.n.), ocupau zona de sud-est a acropolei, nucleul inilial, fortificat, al asezarii. Sanctuarul, compus dintr-o cella absidata si o a doua incapere precedata de o curte, s-a suprapus peste un ansamblu anterior compus dintr-o ampla curte patrata cu vatra dispusa central, flancata de doua incaperi alungite. In imediata vecinatate a sanctuarului se aflau clitdirile palatului: una, probabil mai mare, din care se disting urmele a doua incaperi, cealaltia, de plan tripartit (cu o tinda prinsa intre doua incaperi), precedata pe doua din laturi de o prispa. Invelitoarea celei din urma cladiri era executata din tigle de factura greceasca 

Starea proasta de Conservare a cetatii Argedava

Recent, am fost la Argedava (Sargedava) cetatea unde s-a nascut regele dac Burebista. Este vorba, de fapt, despre o colina in apropierea Bucurestiului (circa 20 km de centru, in linie drepata). Puteti ajunge acolo in urmatorul mod: Bucuresti (Sos. Alexandriei) – Bragadiru (Cornetu) – Barajul peste Arges – localitatea Popesti-Nucet (subdiviziune a orasului Mihailesti de Giurgiu). Treceti de baraj si, in dreapta, sunt doua troite. In dreptul lor, in stanga, printre doua buticuri, este un drum. Se merge circa 2 km. pana in localitatea Popesti-Nucet. Trebuie sa intrebati cum se ajunge la cimitirul Bisericii Sf. Treime (monument istoric ridicat in 1689 de Constantin Brancoveanu). De fapt, C. Brancoveanu a ridicat cate o biserica langa fiecare dava de pe malul Argessis-ului (raul Arges). Davele constituiau o linie de aparare pentru capitala Argedava. Inainte de biserica, undeva in stanga, este o scoala generala care adaposteste un muzeu legat de Argedava. Am fost sambata si, din pacate, scoala era inchisa. Astfel ca nu am putut vizita muzeul. Langa cimitirul bisericii, spre Arges, este o colina: ARGEDAVA. Cred ca au fost puse placi de beton peste sapaturile arheologice realizate de V. Parvan, dar si de alti arheologi romani si straini. Daca va uitati cu atentie pe platou, veti vedea mici capace de beton. La Argedava s-au descoperit diverse obiecte arheologice, dar si schelete de uriasi. Toate au disparut.
Problemele ar fi urmatoarele:
Unde sunt obiectele si scheletele descoperite?
De ce autoritatile locale nu protejeaza situl arheologic? Zona este o imansa groapa de gunoi.
De ce autoritatile locale nu protejeaza biserica brancoveneasca? Aceasta se degradeaza deoarece nu se executa lucrari de restaurare a monumentului istoric.
De ce nu se poate vizita muzeul din scoala?
Nu cred ca Popesti-Nucet are primarie proprie. Cred ca apartine de primaria orasului Mihailesti (jud. Giurgiu).
Daca se implica autoritatile locale (de la Primaria Mihailesti), autoritatile centrale (de la Ministerul Mediului si Ministerul Culturii), autoritatile judetene (Prefectura, Consiliul Judetean si Directia Judeteana pentru Cultura, Culte si Patrimoniu National) si arheologi cunoscuti, atunci problemele ar fi rezolvate destul de rapid.

Inscriptia de la Dionysopolis (Romanian)

Inscriptia de la Dionysopolis


Sorin Olteanu's transliteration of text and translation in Romanian at: 





        Împreună cu tovarăşii săi de drum cu unul fiu al lui Theodorus şi cu Epi..., pe cheltuiala lui personală, a plecat în solie călătorind departe şi ajungând la Argedava, la tatăl aceluia şi întâlnindu-l, totdeodată a obţinut de la el ..., oraş ... şi a dezlegat poporul...
        Ajungând (apoi) preot al Marelui Zeu a săvârşit în chip strălucit procesiunile şi jertfele şi a împărţit şi cetăţenilor părţi de carne (a animalelor sacrificate). Fiind ales preot al lui Serapis, tot aşa a suportat cu vrednicie şi bunăvoinţă cheltuielile. Iar pentru că Dionysos (zeul) eponim al oraşului, nemaiavând de mulţi ani preot şi fiind aclamat (tot) el de cetăţeni, s-a consacrat pe sine (acestei slujbe); şi pe vremea iernării lui C(aius) Antonius luând (iarăşi) coroana zeului (adică devenind preot) a împlinit procesiuni şi sacrificii frumos şi cu măreţie şi a dat cetăţenilor carne din belşug. Şi acceptând pe viaţă cununa zeilor din Samothrace, îndeplineşte procesiuni şi sacrificii pentru iniţiaţi şi pentru oras.
        Şi în timpul din urmă regele Burebista ajungând cel dintâi şi cel mai mare dintre regii din Tracia şi stăpânind tot teritoriul de dincoace de fluviu (Dunăre) şi de dincolo şi a ajuns de asemenea la acesta (la Burebista) în cea dintâi şi cea mai mare prietenie, a obţinut cele mai bune foloase pentru patria sa, vorbindu-i şi sfătuindu-l în ceea ce priveşte chestiunile cele mai importante, atrăgându-şi bunăvoinţa regelui spre binele oraşului; şi în toate celelalte (ocazii) oferindu-se pe sine fără să se cruţe în soliile oraşului şi luând asupră-şi fără şovăire primejdii, pentru a contribui în tot chipul la binele patriei.
        Şi fiind trimis de regele Burebista ca ambasador la Cn(aeius) Pompeius, fiul lui Cnaeius, imperator al romanilor, şi întâlnindu-se cu acesta în părţile Macedoniei, lângă Heraclea Lyncestis (astăzi Bitoli-Monastir), nu numai că şi-a îndeplinit cu bine însărcinările primite de la rege, câştigând pentru acesta bunăvoinţa romanilor, dar şi pentru patrie a purtat cele mai frumoase negocieri; în general în orice situaţie a împrejurărilor expunându-se cu trup şi suflet şi folosind cheltuieli din ale vieţii proprii (adică din averea lui particulară) şi dând puteri noi din averea sa (de la el însuşi) la unele dregătorii ale oraşului (adică ajutând cu bani tezaurul public) arată cel mai mare zel pentru binele patriei sale.
        Aşadar, pentru ca şi poporul să arate că cinsteşte pe oamenii cei buni şi vrednici şi care îi fac lui bine a hotărât Sfatul şi poporul (dionysopolitanilor) ca Acornion al lui Dionysios să fie lăudat pentru aceste (merite) şi să fie încununat el la sărbătoarea lui Dionysos cu o cunună de aur şi o statuie de bronz şi să fie încununat şi în timpul ce urmează, în fiecare an la Dionysii cu o coroană de aur şi să i se dea pentru ridicarea statuii locul cel mai de cinste din agora.


 Anul 48 ien : Mesteri pietrari din Dionysopolis, cunoscuta colonie greceasca asezata la capatul sudic al tarmului dobrogean, primesc porunca sa scrie pe o placa de marmura un decret in cinstea lui Acornion, cetatean de seama al orasului. Ce hotarasera adunarea poporului si pe reprezentantii ei sa-i acorde o asemanea pretuire? De mai multi ani, vremurile erau tulburi; armatele romane, cu staruinta si duritate, se asezau in tinuturile de la miazazi de Dunare, sfaramand impotrivirile. Veniturile coloniilor elene din Dobroge scazusera mult, tot mai putini cetateni se hotarau sa ia asupra lor cheltuielile unei magistraturi in care ar fi fost alesi; pana si zeul eponim al orasului, Dionysos – care, alaturi de celelalte divinitati, vegheaza oamenii liberi ai comunitatii sa-si stapaneasca nestingheriti bunurile si sa-si adune veniturile din munca sclavilor - , ramasese fara preotul slujitor ce i se cuvenea, data fiind grija sa pentru cei muritori! Intr-o atare imprejurare, spre multumirea tuturor, Acornion si-a implinit, cu fast si generozitate, raspunderile fata de zeul protector al destinelor dionisopolitanilor.

      "Iar pe vremea iernarii lui Gaius Antonius la noi – scriau mesterii pe marmura - , luand iarna asupra sa preotia zeului eponim Dionysos, a implinit dupa cuvinta si cu marinimie procesiunilesi sacrificiile pentru zeu… " .

     Dar nu aceasta era temeiul principal pentru care se aduceau multumiri lui Acornion. Tot el, cu ani in urma, trecuse in tinuturile din stanga Dunarii, ca purtator al unei solii la un carmuitor al getilor si castigase bunavointa acestuia; acum, din nou si tot cu cheltuiala sa, mersese dincolo de fluviu, in tara getilor, pana la Argedava, in ambasada la puternicul lor rege Burebista.

     "Si in timpul din urma, precizeaza decretul, regele Burebista ajungand cel dantai si cel mai mare dintre regii cati au stapanit in Tracia si stapanitor al tuturor tinuturilor de dincolo si de dincoace de Dunare, Acornion a fost si pe langa acesta in cea dintai si cea mai mare apropiere si a obtinut cele mai bune rezultate pentru patria sa, inspirand si colaborand la cele mai eficace masuri si, nu mai putin, castigand bunavointa regelui pentru mantuirea cetatii sale si, de asemenea, si in toate celelalte ocazii, oferindu-se fara rezerva pentru implinirea soliilor orasului si luandu-si asupra sa fara intarziere infruntarea primejdiilor numai spre a izbuti in toate chipurile la castigarea unui folos pentru patria sa".

     Cu lumea geto-daca, orasele elene de pe tarmul Pontului Ospitalier aveau legaturi vechi, incepute cu multe generatii in urma, de cand primii colonisti din Milet si din Heracleea hotarasera sa se aseze statornic la Histria, apoi Callatis si la Tomis, vanzand capeteniilor si fruntasilor geti, stapanitorii in stanga si in dreapta Istrului (Dunarii), ceramica, vinuri alese, untdelemn, podoabe sau tesaturi in schimbul granelor, sarii, lemnului, si fireste, al sclavilor.

     Bunele rezultate si "bunavointa" castigate de Acornion pentru patria sa marcau o intreaga evolutie a raportului intre lumea elena si cea geto-daca. Desigur, aceste raporturi nu au fost intotdeanuna linistite; ele au ajuns, in cele din urma, la un echilibru, la o intelegere, in care fiecare parte primea sidadea celeilalte produse ale muncii, in care si unii si ceilalti si in primul rand stapanitorii de averi, gaseau folos. Erau fapte si intamplari ce dainuiau in traditia oraselor pontice,la Histria, Tomis sau la Callatis, ca si la vecinul lor, la Dionysopolis, unde, acum se cinsteau ambasadele lui Acornion.

     Asa, marele Alexandru, inaintea de o porni la asaltul Orientului, isi aduse ostenii pana la Istru (335 ien), unde urmarea sa supuna semintimea traca a tribalilor condusa de "regele" Syrmos; urmariti fiind de ostile macedonene, acestia se refugiasera si se intarisera pe o insula a Dunarii, unde primeau provizii de la getii de pe malul stang. Alexandru hotarase atunci un atac in zona identificata astazi in partile Zimnicei, folosind pentru trecerea fluviului numeroase monoxyle ale getilor. Povesteste istoricul Arrian:

     "Trecerea s-a intamplat noaptea, in fata unui camp acoperit cu grane dese, putand, in acest chip, sa ascunda mai usor iesirea la mal. Iar cand se crapa de ziua, Alexandru porni prin grane, poruncind pedestrasilor sa calce cu sulitele piezise graul si, astfel, sa inainteze spre locurile necultivate. Calarimea se tinea in urma pedestrimii atat timp cat acesta inainta prin lanuri, dar, o data ce iesira pedestrasii din ogoarele lucrate, Alexandru in persoana conduse calarimea la aripa dreapta, iar lui Nicanor ii ordona sa inainteze cu pedestrimea in formatie de careu…"

     Asa au patruns macedonenii in tinuturile nord-dunarene, prin locuri unde holdele de grau atat de dese, incat pedestrimea culca spicele cu lancile inclinate, deschizand drum falangei mai greu inarmate. Dar demonstratia de forta a lui Alexandru ramase fara urmare, caci getii se retrasesara din fata atacatorilor, care, la randu-le, dupa ce obtinura, in cele din urma, restabilirea pacii cu tribalii si cu celelalte triburi, se inapoiara de la Dunare spre Macedonia.

     Mai tarziu (pe la anul 300 ien), puterea macedoneana se ciocni cu aceea a getilor stransi sub o singura carmuire, a lui Dromichaites. Lysimah, regele Traciei, urmas al marelui Alexandru, aducand sub ascultarea sa cetatile grecesti de tarmul Pontului, trecuse, la randul lui, Dunarea impotriva getilor; nici el nu izbandi si, chiar mai mult, isi lasa fiul, pe Agathocles, prizonier; acesta petrecu vreo opt ani in tinuturile din nordul Dunarii, pana prin 292, cand tracii ( de fapt Dromichaites si getii sai) – adauga Diodor din Sicilia in a sa "Biblioteca istorica" – "l-au trimis cu daruri inapoi la tatal sau, pregatindu-si astfel o scapare impotriva intamplarilor prevazute ale soartei. In acelasi timp, ei (adica getii) nadajduiau sa-si recapete prin acesta binefacere pamantul pe care-l ocupase Lysimah…"

     Suveranul Macedoniei insa, prea sigur inca de puterea sa, nu intelese ca dialogul deschis de geti era mai folositor decat razboiul si ataca din nou.

     Nu izbuti nici de asta data; macedonenii, gasind totul ars in fata lor, suferira de foame si, pana la urma, prinsi in frunte cu regele lor, au fost condusi, cu toata cinstea, de altfel, pana la cetatea getilor Helis, undeva in campia munteana. "Ajungand ostirea lui Lysimah in puterea tracilor (adica a getilor) – continua Diodor povestea -, acestia se strasera la un loc, alergand in numar mare, si strigara ca sa le fie dat pe mana regele prizonier ca sa-l pedepseasca. Caci – spuneau ei – poporul, care luase parte la primejdiile (razboiului), trebuie sa aibe dreptul de a chibzui asupra felului cum sa fie tratati cei prinsi. Dromichaites fu impotriva pedepsirii regelui si-I lamuri pe osteni ca este bine sa-l crute pe barbatul acesta. Daca l-ar omori pe Lysimah, spunea el, alti regi au sa-i ia domnia si se prea poate ca regii acestia sa fie mult mai de temut decat inaintasul lor. Dar crutandu-l pe Lysimah, acesta – cum se si cuvine – are sa se arate recunoscator tracilor, care I-au daruit viata. Iar locurile intarite aflate mai inainte vreme in stapanirea tracilor, ei le vor dobandi inapoi fara nici o primejdie".

     Dromichaites socotise deci mai chibzuit sa incerce din nou calea intelegerii, staruind pe langa ostenii sai sa-i urmeze sfatul. Si, ca sa-l aduca pe Lysimah la intelepciunea pacii, dau porunca sa se pregateasca doua ospete : mancaruri alese servite pe o masa de argint asezata pe un covor de pret pentru macedoneni, zarzavaturi si carne "pregatite cu masura", randuite pe talere de lemn, pentru daci. Dar cand ospatul a fost in toi, pe cand macedonenii serveau vinul in cupe de aur si de argint, iar getii din pahare de corn si de lemn, Dromichaites intreba care din cele doua ospete i se pare mai vrednic de un rege: al macedonenilor sau al dacilor. Lysimah ii raspunse al macedonenilor. "Atunci… de ce ai lasat acasa atatea deprinderi, un trai cat se poate de ademenitor si o domnie plina de straluciri… De ce te-ai silit, impotriva firii, sa-ti aduci osteni pe niste meleaguri in care orice oaste straina nu poate afla scapare sub cerul liber?"

     Macedoneanul fagadui sa ramina, pe viitor, prieten si aliat si intorcandu-se in tara sa, la sud de Dunare, el inapoie getilor pamanturileocupate. Ratiunea politica si simtul masurii restabilisera buna vecinatate, care, de altfel, a fost pastrata si in alte imprejurari.

     Asa buna oara, tot in cursul secolului al III-lea îen, sfatul si poprul din Histria, reunit sub presedintia lui Theocritos, hotarau sa inscrie printre "binefacatorii obstii" pe Diodoros, Procritos si Chearchos, care, trimisi in solie la capetenia geta Zalmodegikos, au dat dovada "de cea mai deplina ravna", aducand inapoi pe cei 60 de concetateni ai lor ramasi chezasi – dupa cum se obisnuia in acele vremi – pentru a garanta indeplinirea unor acorduri intre histrieni si conducatorul get. Mai mult, ca urmare a tratativelor, Zalmodegicos se invoise "sa restituie cetatii veniturile", ingaduindu-i – avem toate temeiurile s-o credem – sa-si administreze mai departe teritoriul rural si sa pescuiasca in Delta. Histrienii, recunoscatori, acordasera celor trei ambasadori, ca si urmasilor lor, dreptul de a purta "cununa" de aur la toate spectacolele de teatru, "pentru ca si ceilalti cetateni, cunoscand ca poporul cinsteste pe barbatii vrednici, sa se indemne a sluji cetatea". Spre aducere aminte, decretul a fost scris pe doua placi de marmura, una fiins asezata in agora, in fata porticului, iar a doua in apropierea altarului lui Zeus Polieus. Cinstea acordat celor trei negociatori arata totodata importanta, pentru histrieni, a pastrarii unor bune relatii cu Zamoldegikos, care, ii garanta folosirea teritoriului rural, pescuitul si, probabil, exercitarea obisnuitului negot.

     De altfel, aceiasi histrieni au vazut si cu alt prilej foloasele unei politici de intelegere. Cand un carmuitor trac, Zoltes, atacase in doua randuri unele asezari ale litorarului, Histria, spre a inlatura amenintarea, obtinuse, prin solul ei Agathocles, ajutorul regeloi get Rhemaxos, carmuind in stanga Dunarii, care, ca si Zalmodegicos, isi intinde protectia si asupra pamanturilor pontice (180 ien). Decretul care enumara meritele lui Agathocles, desi fragmentar pastrat, lumineaza raporturile stabilite intre cetate si acel bazileus, destul de puternic pentru a-si impune autoritatea asupra diferitelor capetenii locale ce tulburau linistea tinuturilor pontice. Cetatile grecesti de pe litoral se aflau – o spune inscriptia – "sub abladuirea lui Rhemaxos", de la care, prin solia lui Aghatocles, cerea cuvenitul ajutor armat impotriva lui Zoltes si a cetelor lui.

     "Iar mai tarziu – continua decretul –, calcand tracii juramantul si învoiala si tot dand navala (pe pământurile cetatii), ales de popor comandant cu depline puteri teritoriale si strangand osteni voluntari dintre cetatenii si barbarii adapostiti in cetate, a pazit ogoarele si turmele si granele pana la trecerea (spre noi) a regelui Rhemaxos. Iar cand dupa ce regele a trecut pe malul din fata, nelasand in urma-i straji, de teama, si trimitand numai vestitori ca sa ceara tributul (Aghatocles), ales sol si pornind la drum pe apa, intrucat tinutul era cuprins de razboi, l-a convins pe regele Rhemaxos sa dea spre paza cetatii calareti o suta; iar cand tracii au cazut in numar mare asupra strajerilor, iar acestia, de frica, au fugit pe celelalt mal, lasind teritoriul cetatii fara paza, trimis sol la feciorul regelui Phra(dmon?), l-a convins pe acesta sa dea straja cetatii calareti sase sute, care intrecand oastea vrajmasilor, au infrant pe capetenia acestora Zoltes…"

     Legaturile intre Histria (inclusiv celalalte orase pontice) si regele get la inceputul secolului al II-lea ine, erau bine determinate: Rhemaxos primea tribut – precizarea apartine, de altfel, decretului –, indatorindu-se in schimb a acorda cetatilor elene protectie militara impotriva dusmanilor; sunt relatii cu clauze si obligatii de o parte si de alta, care, alaturi de stirile mai vechi despre Zalomodegicos, ilustreaza antecedentele "politicii pontice" duse de Burebista pe vremea lui Acornion din Dionysopolis.

     Lumea elena urmarise, de altfel, cum taria dacilor sporise de-a lungul secolelor. O istorie a lumii vechi isi insemnase "cresterea puterii dacilor sud regele Rubobostes (incrementa Dacorum per Rubobosten regem)", probabil un inaintas a lui Burebista la care mersese Acornion. Sud o alta capetenie – Oroles, carmuind poate prin rasaritul Transilvaniei si Moldova, ei se luptasera cu neamul rasaritean al bastarnilor si, intrucat nu izbutisera sa-i invinga prima oara, au fost rau dojeniti de Oroles pana cand "prin vitejia lor au sters rusinea pe care si-au atras-o in razboiul de mai inainte", povesteste aceeasi istorie a lumii vechi. Erau cunoscuti in lumea mediteraneana dacii, care se "pricep mai bine decat toti la aruncarea sagetilor", cum sublinia intr-o oda poetul Romei Horatius Flaccus, tanar de 17 ani la vremea cand dionysopolitanii tratau cu Burebista. Dar vitejia singura nu facuse puterea dacilor.

       Acornion intelese de unde venea aceasta taria cand, in calatoria sa pe Dunare si prin campie pana la resedinta conducatorului get, avusese ragazul sa cerceteze locurile si oamenii pe care ii mai vazuse odata, cu ani in urma, trimis tot de concetatenii sai din Dionysopolis in solie la tatal lui Burebista, care ii acordase, de asemenea, increderea si pretuirea.

     La Argedava, cladita pe o terasa, dominand valea Argesului, aparata din trei parti de baltile din lunca, iar dintr-o parte de trei santuri transversale si de un val de pamant, vazuse Acornion amfore si ceramica fina pictata, venite din atelierele oraselor grecesti, cupe si alte vase lucrate la fata locului dupa modelele aduse din Elada, felurite podoabe pretuite de daci – aplice din bronz cu ornamente in relief, fibule de fier si de argint, inele si coliere; intrase intr-un palat, care, prin planul si dimensiunile vaste ale incaperilor, ii amintea de arhitectura elena. Observase Acornion turme si holde bogate, poporul numeros al comatilor (oamenii dependenti sub ascultarea pilatilor) lucrand pe ogoare si in ateliere, spre folosul lor, dar mai ales a mai marilor acelor tinuturi; constatase circulatia continua a banilor, monezi de argint ale cetatilor pontice sau ale celorlalte orase din lumea greaca, cele batute de geti ca si denari romani; solul orasului Dionysopolis cunostea, de asemenea, si multe oppida, orase al dacilor. Toate acestea atestau o intensa activitate, o viata economica organizata, desfasurata fara intrerupre de sute de ani din cetatea carpatica pana la tarmul marii si in care gasea temeiul puterea dacilor, ale caror legaturi multiple cu civilizatia elenica n-au incetat in tot acest rastimp.

     Cetatile pontice erau porti deschise catre Europa de sud, catre tarmul Egeei si a Mediteranei ; raspandirea monezilor batute de orasele elene de pe litoralul dobrogean ilustreaza sensibil cum aceste "capete de pod" ale lumii grecesti in tinuturile locuite de inaintasii romanilor erau integrate in viata materiala si spirituala a societatii geto-dace. Asemenea vechi legaturi de negot si indelungata cunoastere a oamenilor aratase elenilor ca dacii apartineau de fapt civilazatiei pontice si mediteraneene; aceasta integerare avea deosebita insemnatate pentru dezvoltarea raporturilor de vecinatate, existente treptat in domeniul economic al schimbului de marfuri, la acela politic, protectia acordata de carmuitorii geti cetatilor litoralui si sfarsind cu asimilarea valorilor de arta si cultura. Integrarea societatii dacice in aria civilizatiei europene vechi a fost exprimata, de altfel, si direct de autorii antichitatii.

     Daca pentru Herodot, la anul 514 ien, cand armatele persane isi croiau drum spre Dunare, getii erau "…cei mai viteji si cei mai drepti dintre traci…", pentru Dion Chrysostomos, care a trait la finele secolului I en in tinuturile dace si a vizitat tocmai orasele pontice, scriind si o istorie a getilor (astazi pierduta), "getii sunt mai intelepti decat aproape toti barbarii si mai asemenea grecilor".

     Cuvintele cetateanului din Dionysopolis sapate in marmura decretului lui Acornion, care-l socoteau pe Burebista "cel dintai si cel mai mare dintre regii Traciei, stapan al tinutului de dincolo si de dincoace de fluviu" (de Dunare), nu exprimau numai obisnuita formula de respect adresata – asa cum se cuvenea intr-un text oficial – suveranului protector, ci insumau o realitate poitica si militara recunoscuta de contemporani, ca si de istoricii de mai tarziu.

     Strabon, traind cam in aceiasi vreme cu Acornion, isi inseamna in a sa "Geografie" cresterea puterii dacice. "Ajungand in fruntea neamului sau, care era istovit de razboaie dese, getul Burebista l-a inaltat atat de mult prin exercitii, abtinere de la vin si ascultare fata de porunci, incat, in cativa ani, afaurit un stat puternic si a supus getilor cea mai mare parte a poparelor vecine. Ba inca a ajuns sa fie temut si de romani", sublineaza Strabon. Centrul acestei stapaniri se afla in Transilvania, in muntii Orastiei, la Costesti, Piatra-Rosie, Cioclovina, Aninis si Gradistea Muncelului, unde munca staruitoare si grea a comatilor daci a ridicat constructii impresionante prin conceptie, dimensiuni si tehnica, fortificand un intreg teritoriu,el insusi intarit de natura. Si astazi, dupa doua milenii, ele ne dau imaginea, mereu vie prin continuitatea poporului roman in acelasi tinuturi, a puterii economice, a carmuirii politice si fortei militare, tinand in cumpana un secol si jumatate inaintarea Romei la Dunarea de jos.

     Etapele acestei organizari de stat, in diferite parti ale teritoriului patriei, se precizeaza la intervale, prin carmuirile lui Dromichaites, Zalmodegicos sau Rhemaxos, ce stapaneu din campia dunareana pana la tarmul Marii Negre, prin acea a lui Oroles din Moldova si rasaritul transilvan, biruitorul bastarnilor, prin acea a lui Rubobostes, cand a sporit puterea geto-daca, si altor carmuitori pe care istoria nu-i mai stie astazi, ducand la constituirea, in marea cetate a Transilvaniei, inca de pe la inceputul secolului I ien, a statului condus de Burebista. Dupa ce pe la anul 60 ien a invins cu totul pe boi si taurisci, triburi celtice asezate in vestul Daciei, asa incat teritoriul lor "a ramas un loc de pasunat pentru turmele neamurilor vecine", Burebista, avand hotarul apusean acoperit, si-a indreptat atentia spre sudul Dunarii si tarmul marii. Privind spre Pontul Euxin, carmuitorul get continua,de fapt, politica inaintasilor sai. Daca insa pentru Zamoldegikos sau pentru Rhemaxos unul sau celalalt din orasele elene asigurau indeajuns lagatura cu alte centre de peste mari, pentru Burebista, care adunase intregul tarm de vest al Euxinului era urmarea logica a operei infaptuite pana atunci. Acesta cu atat mai mult cu cat mersul evenimentelor la sud de Dunare indrepta deopotriva catre o asemenea actiune.

     La sud de munti Haemus, in fost regat al Macedoniei, peste orasele si cetatile Eladei, in Asia Mica – in Pergam, Bitinia si de curand in regatul Pontului, unde domnise Mithridate Eupator –, in toate aceste locuri stapaneau armatele Romei; ele inaintasera de altfel si catre Dunare.

     Catava vreme, cel mai temut potrivnic al romanilor fusese Mithridate, care unise intr-o liga toate orasele elene din jurul Euxinului. Histrienii, tomitanii si calatienii, vecinii dinspre nord ai Dionysopolisului, batusera pe staterii lor de aur in locul obisnuitului chip al lui Lysimah pe acela al noului carmuitor al Pontului.

     Dar romanii reactionasera puternic, ocupand intr-o campanie de doi ani (73-71 ien) toate orasele grecesti de pe litoralul vestic al marii Apollonia (luat cu asalt de trupele comandate de guvernatorul Macedoniei, M. Terentius Varro Lucullus), Mesembria, Odessos, Dionysopolis isi aminteau tratatul (foedus) incheiat intre Callatis si Roma, in care cele doua parti isi fagaduiau prietenie si sprijin reciproc in cazul unui atac impotriva unuia din cei doi semnatari; tratatul mai preciza cum se vor putea aduce modificari clauzelor in vigoare, cum textul va fi sapat in piatra si expus in locuri speciale, la Callatis si Roma. Asemenea intelegeri, incheiate, probabil, si cu alte cetati grecesti, consolidau granita de nord a Macedoniei romane si asigurau controlul armatei romane asupra intregului litoral vestic al Euxinului. Prietenia tinuse cam zece ani, pana cand, nemaisuportand suprevegherea si abuzurile guvernatorului roman din Macedonia, orasele elene se rasculara.

     Proconsulul Antonius Hybrida (amintit, de altfel, in inscriptia lui Acornion) a fost invins de eleni, ajutati de geti si bastarni (61 ien). Nu mai stim astazi daca Burebista a condus el insusi lupta; dar este sigur ca trupele sale au participat hotarator la aceasta biruinta, ale carei trofee au fost duse intr-o cetate, la Genucla (undeva in nordul Dobrogei).

     Atare evenimente grabeau pe Burebista sa-si asigure stapanirea pana la mare, asa cum si-o consolidase si la hotarul vestic, impotriva celtilor; altminteri, legiunile Romei aveau sa constituie un front continuu impotriva pamanturilor dacice, atacand pe toata linia Dunarii.

     Cei din Dionysopolis urmasera calea traditionala a bunei intelegeri si primisera protectia dacilor. Decretul lui Acornion aminteste cum acesta fusese trimis si la tatal lui Burebista, la care, de asemenea, se bucurase de cea mai mare cinste. Se pare ca si vecinii lot tomitani au avut aceeasi atitudine (des unii cercetatori socot – dupa un decret, nedatat, in care sunt laudati doi strategi si garda constituita de ei pentru paza turnurilor – ca orasul a rezistat totusi dacilor).

     De altfel, dionysopolitanii avusera dreptate procedand astfel. La Histria, teritoriul rural fusese ocupat timp de trei ani, pana cand negocierile au restabilit pacea. Un decret dat in cinstea lui Aristagoras evoca sugestiv urmarile, nu tocmai placute, ale impotrivirii histrienilor:

     "Intru-cat Aristagoras al lui Apaturios, coborand dintr-un parinte de seama si din stramosi binefacatori de obstii… nazuind sa le urmeze pilda si sa calce pe urmele lor, la intoarcere in patrie, dupa nenorocirea abatuta asupra orasului, cand cetatea era fara ziduri, iar locuitorii se gaseau din nou in primejdie impreuna cu nevestele si copiii, insarcinat de cetateni cu repararea zidurilor, a luat asupra-si cu barbatie si devotament intreaga supraveghere a lucrarilor, fara sa se sustraga ostenelilor turpesti, nici vreuneia din celelalte griji legate de opera de recladire; iar dupa ce patria a fost din nou intarita si, unul cate unul, cetatenii au prins sa revina in oras de pe meleaguri dusmane (din captivitate), cateodata negociind cu iscusinta cu barbarii ce stapaneau tinutul, alteori punand la dispozitia cetatenilor sumele necesare pentru rascumparare, s-a arata saritor la toate nevoile celor mintuiti, acordand nu numai alor nostri, ci si strainilor imprumuturi numeroase si purtandu-se si purtandu-se cu toti in chipul cel mai dezinteresat".

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Dacia By Vasile Pârvan, Radu Vulpe



Acornion a fost solul lui Burebista trimis pe lângă Pompeius din Heracleea. Concetățenii săi din Dionysopolis l-au iubit, de vreme ce la moartea sa i-au așezat o piatră din care reiese că a fost în slujba lui Burebista. Inscripția, datând din anul 48 î.Hr., a fost descoperită la sfârșitul secolului XX la Balcic (Bulgaria) și se păstrează în Muzeul Național din Sofia. Iată un fragment: „Și în timpul din urmă regele Burebista ajungând cel dintâi și cel mai mare din regii din Tracia și stăpânind tot teritoriul de dincoace de fluviu (Dunărea) și de dincolo și a ajuns de asemenea la acesta (la Burebista) în cea dintâi și cea mai mare prietenie, a obținut cele mai bune foloase pentru patria sa ... atrăgându-și și bunăvoința regelui spre binele orașului ... Și fiind trimis de regele Burebista ca ambasador la Cn(aeius) Pompeius și întâlnindu-se cu acesta în părțile Macedoniei, lângă Heracleea Lyacestis (azi Bitolia-Monastir) ... a purtat cele mai frumoase negocieri.“

Intre 80-70 Acornion acum cam la 30 de ani sau mai mult il intalneste pe tatal lui Burebista in varsta de 65 de ani la Argedava de unde a plecat Burebista


Patterns of Continuity in Geto-Dacian Foreign Policy under Burebista by Paul Vadan

 69 HIRUNDO 2008
Pattern of Continuity in Geto-Dacian Foreign Policy
Under Burebista
Paul Vădan

Following the death of Alexander the Great, the ancient world was affected by prolonged political turmoil as many states emerging after 323 BC, both within and withoutAlexander’s former Empire, sought to impose their regional hegemony at each other’s expense in an attempt to restore stability.

In the context of such discourse in power politics, the Geto-Dacian state emerged and sought to assert tself in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic region under the rule of Burebista in the 1st century BC. Despite odern claims that Burebista’s achievements were without precedent in the history of Geto-Dacia,1
this paper will attempt to place the rule of Burebista in the context of a long tradition of Geto-Dacian oreign policy of assertion and interaction with the Hellenistic οιкоυμένη (oikoumene the perceived reek world as opposed to barbarian lands).

In order to do this, we will need to analyze Burebista’s political and economic goals in order o determine whether his rule conformed to an established pattern. Unfortunately, such a project is irreparably lawed because no Geto-Dacian written accounts (if there were any) have survived; all that as been passed on to us in terms of literary “evidence” are approximately four hundred Geto-Dacian
words that are still in use in the Romanian language. As a result, scholars are forced to appeal exclusively and with caution) to Greek and Roman written sources if they are to construct a generally coherent istory of the Geto-Dacians.

Archeological evidence, on the other hand, is more available, providing a priceless parallel account, especially for the earlier centuries.

Before discussing Burebista’s foreign policy, it must first be determined how the Greco-Roman world perceived the people living north of the Danube. The first literary attestation of the Getae homes from Herodotus, who writes in his ’Iστoρίης Απóδειξις (Histories Apodeixis literally Display of inquiry):“the Getae […] are the most courageous and upright Thracian tribe.”2 This passage is critical
because, while identifying the Getae as socio-culturally interrelated with the Thracians, it also singles them out as a distinct cultural entity. Centuries later, Strabo also identifies the Getae as “a tribe with the ame tongue as the Thracians.”3 However, Herodotus does not make any reference to the Dacians, a term hich only appears for the first time in Julius Caesar’s account of the GallicWar. He identifies as “Dacians” he peoples living in the intra-Carpathian space when he writes that “the breadth of the Hercynian forest […] begins at the frontiers of the Helvetii, Nemetes and Rauraci, and extends in a right line long the river Danube to the territories of the Dacians.”4 This distinction has raised questions con-
1Crişan, 7 and Tudor, 93.
2Hdt. 4. 93.
3 Strab. 7.3.10.
4 Caes. Bel. Gal. 6.25.
Geto-Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 70
5 Strab. 7. 3. 13.
6 Justin. 32. 3.
7 Cass. Dio, Roman History, 51. 24-27.
8 Sue. Aug. 21.
9 Aug. Res Gestae, 30.
10 Silius Italicus, Punica, 1. 320-325.
11 Strab. 7.3.12.
12 Dueck, 7-8.
13 Ibid. 10-11.

cerning the perceived differences between the Getae and the Dacians as later authors tried to make sense f Caesar’s claim. From Strabo’s point of view they were culturally inter-related, since “the language f the Dacians is the same as that of the Getae;”5 an opinion supported by Justin’s Epitome of the Philippic
History of Trogus Pompeius where the Dacians are identified as “descendants of the Getae.”6 infortunately, other ancient sources do not provide more clarity on this topic. For example, he accounts of the retaliation campaigns of Licinius Crassus north of the Danube in 29-28 BC present he difficulty ancient authors themselves had to deal with when discussing potential similarities between he Getae and the Dacians. Cassius Dio, writing sometime between the end of the second century
and the beginning of the third centuryAD, mentions the Getae as the allies of the Bastarnae invading Roman lands south of the Danube.7 Yet Suetonius argues that Augustus put a stop to the incursions of the Dacian forces,”8 a version corroborated by Augustus himself who proudly declares in his Res Gestae
that “when an army of Dacians crossed to this side of the Danube, it was defeated and routed under my auspices.”9 Granted, Cassius Dio wrote more than a century after both Suetonius andAugustus, but the distinguished first centuryAD politician Silius Italicus says of Hannibal in his Punica that he “shot from his bow arrows soaked with viper venom […] which he constantly [took] out from his perfidious
quiver, as a Dacian does from the war-torn lands of the Getae.”10

For the purposes of this paper it is sufficient to point out that the distinction between the Getae and the Dacians was hopelessly unclear even
in the eyes of ancient writers, although they perceived a certain level of uniformity.
The only clearer explanation of Caesar’s claim is provided by Strabo, writing between 63 BC and 21 AD. He writes that in the 20s BC “Augustus Caesar sent an expedition against [the Getae].”

However, he specifies that “there is also another division of the country which has endured from early times, for some people are called Dacians, whereas others are called Getae,” explaining that any difference is merely geographical; the Getae being “those who incline towards the Pontus and the east”, while the Dacians “those who incline in the opposite direction towards Germany and the sources of the Ister.”11 To provide clarity, this paper will refer to the peoples living in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space as Geto-Dacians.

The main literary source for the reign of Burebista is Strabo’s qpt Geographikar. Strabo came from a prominent family which had held high office at the courts of the Pontic kings Mithradates V Euergetes and VI Eupator, and who later transferred its allegiance to Rome when its victory over Pontus seemed very probable; for their services they were later offered Roman citizenship by Pompey.12 This
leads us to believe that Strabo had access to detailed information about the events taking place during is lifetime (64 BC - 24 AD) or a little earlier. He received and promoted an encyclopedic education, was surrounded by the most enlightened minds of the day, such as Boethius,Aristodemus, Diodotus and Xenarchus, and was fortunate enough to travel to the most prominent centers of knowledge of that time: Alexandria and Rome.13 The fact that he was surrounded by a highly academic environment and that his family’s history was intimately connected to some of the events presented in his work makes Strabo a
generally reliable source for Burebista’s reign and for other accounts as well, although the familial connection might create biases at some points in his narrative.
71 HIRUNDO 2008
14 Strab. 7.3.11.
15 Jordanes. Getica. 11.67.
16 Crişan ,45 and Rădulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 639.
17Winks and Matern-Parkes, 210.
18 Jordanes. Getica. 11.67.
19 Jordanes. Getica. 11.39.
20 Crişan, 70.
21 Crişan, 43.
22 Strab. 7.3.13.
23 Strab. 7.3.11.
Judging from his actions, Strabo presents Burebista as a determined leader whose campaigns and rule was so successful that he felt obliged to place emphasis on the importance of his reign by writing:

On setting himself in authority over the tribe, [Burebista] restored the people, who
had been reduced to an evil plight by numerous wars, and raised them to such a
height through training, sobriety, and obedience to his commands that within only
a few years he had established a great empire and subordinated to the Getae most of the neighboring peoples

Unfortunately, none of the extant sources specify the date of Burebista’s ascendancy to the throne, with the exception of Jordanes who identifies him as a contemporary of Sulla, placing the beginning of his reign at around 82 BC.15 Eager historians from the 50s and 60s such as Rădulescu and Crişan accept this
date in light of no other clear information.16 However, the simple fact that Jordanes wrote in the sixth century AD must at least raise suspicion with regard to the accuracy of his text. In fact, Jordanes’work
has been recently catalogued by historians as nothing more than “the result of the Goths’ growing awareness
or creation of themselves as a people”17 in the context of late antiquity. Just to show Josephus’ confusion
concerning Geto-Dacian history, it is enough to quote him that “when Burebista was king of the
Goths, Deceneos came to Gothia at the time when Sulla ruled the Romans.”18 Even if we overlook his
awkward identification of the Getae and the Goths as the same people, it suffices to point out that earlier
in his work he claims that “[the Goths/Getae?] had a learned man Zeutha, and after him Deceneos;
and the third was Zalmoxis.”19 This chronology is completely wrong, since all other ancient sources mentioning
both Deceneos and Zalmoxis, whom we will discuss in detail later in the paper, agree that they
lived centuries apart. Also, Zeutha is not mentioned by any other ancient author; Jordanes might have
used a source now lost to us.
While sources (again) do not offer enough information about the position of the territory originally
controlled by Burebista, historians are nevertheless relatively certain that Burebista exercised his
power from the OrăştieMountains in south-western Transylvania. Ion Crisan, for example, points to the
most impressive fortifications on the Geto-Dacian territory present in this area at that time, as being a
center which continued to dominate Dacian politics long after Burebista’s demise.20 Also, Radulescu,
Glodariu and Vulpe believe this position demanded that Burebista’s initial campaigns be undertaken in
north–western Transylvania in preparation for future campaigns in the East.
Indeed, military might has played a crucial role in the political consolidation of all of Geto-
Dacia. The name ‘Burebista’ itself denotes military prowess, with definitions ranging from “the brilliant
one” to “powerful” and even to “well-known.”21 Strabo suggests that Burebista “could send forth an expedition
of two hundred thousand men.”22 Even if we dismiss this number as exaggerated, it does indicate
that his army was a formidable fighting force. In fact, Burebista’s first mentioned campaign,
undertaken against the Celtic tribes situated in the west of Transylvania, was so successful that “[he] actually
caused the complete disappearance of the Boii […] and also of the Taurisci.”23
Geto-Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 72
24 Strab, 7.3.5.
25 Strab. 7.3.11.
26 Rădulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 637.
27 Chantraine, s.v. ”sqbasileus.”
28 Drews, 128.
29 Liddell and Scott, s.v. “sqbasileus.”
30 Babeş, Spatiul Carpato-Dunarean, 517, 520.
31 Justin. 24.4.
32 The ‘Dying Gaul’ series of statues are a vivid reminder of this event: Gates, 282.
33 Strab. 7.5.2.
34 The fact that Burebista headed towards the east, whileAriovistus went to face Caesar has raised questions among historians:Macrea,
Burebista’s consolidation of his Geto-Dacian conquests was also facilitated by his strong affiliation
with Deceneos, the religious leader of the Geto-Dacians as successor of the semi-legendary
Zalmoxis, who controlled the sacred mountain Cogaeonum in the Orăştie Mountains in south-western
Transylvania. The location of this important religious center has also been interpreted by historians as
further evidence for Burebista’s Transylvanian origin.24 Deceneos accordingly played a significant role
“to help [Burebista] secure the complete obedience of his tribe,”25 an achievement not described in detail
but which resulted in “the Getae and Dacians [attaining] very great power.” Trogus Pompeius also
mentions “the progress made by the Dacians because of sqβασιλεύς (basileus) Burobostes,” a name interpreted
by scholars such as Vladimir Iliescu to be an equivalent of Burebista.26 Strabo describes his
rule as an ’áρχη („~ƒarche‚), a term whose meaning was generally used since the time of Homer to describe
sovereignty, power and authority. Burebista’s undisputed control led Strabo to also call him a basileus;
according to the Dictionaire Etymologique, at the time of Homer the word had meant “high-born leader”,
sometimes even “king”.27 However, by the fourth century, following historical developments during
the Classical period and the Greeks’ contacts with monarchs such as Amyntas in Macedon, Amasis in
Egypt and Cyrus in Persia, sqbasileus came to possess very strong regal connotations.28 Thus, by the time
of Burebista, the term came to denote monarchy, kingship and sole rule according to the model of
Alexander and his Diadochoi (Successors).29
Archeological evidence presents a sharp contrast between western Transylvania, containing
Celtic ware dating from the third to the second centuries BC, and the typically Dacian culture present
in the central area at that time.30 If we believe Trogus Pompeius that “after having subdued the Pannonians,
[the Celts] carried on various wars with their neighbors for many years,”31 then we have a
clearer picture concerning the relations between the Geto-Dacians and the Celts in Transylvania. As
part of Brennus’ formidable force which had invaded and terrorized the Greek Peninsula andAsiaMinor
in the third to second centuries BC,32 the Celts must have been a serious threat whose advance was
eventually stopped by the local authorities, of whom we know regrettably little.
According to Strabo, Burebista’s advance in Transylvania was so successful that he conquered
all the territory east of the Tisza River, the perceived border between the Celtic and Dacian lands, and
advanced even beyond this point. According to the Greek author, “this country was laid waste by the
Dacians when they subdued the Boii and Taurisci, Celtic tribes under the rule of Critasirus. [The Dacians]
alleged that the country was theirs, although it was separated from theirs by the River Parisus.”33
Thus, no other force remained in western Transylvania, at least not for the moment, which could threaten
Burebista’s regional authority or distract him from future campaigns in the East. Some historians such
asMacrea and Jullian have even suggested, based on geographical analogies, a possible alliance between
Burebista and the Suebian leader Ariovistus,34 but there simply is not enough evidence to corroborate
this theory.
73 HIRUNDO 2008
35Radulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 642 and Crişan, 86.
36 Crişan, 7.
37 Radulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 635.
38 Tudor, 93.
39 Diod. 19.73.
40 Diod. 19.73.
41 Diod. 19.105.
42 Vulpe, Istoria si Civilizatia, 461.
43Lund, 43.
44 He tells of how Lysimachus, marching south of the Haemus to faceAntigonos, met Seuthes at the pass over the HaemusMountains:
Diod. 19. 73.
Therefore, Burebista’s campaign in north-western Transylvania must be regarded as a counteroffensive
against an invading force. Buried Celtic jewelry and other expensive objects and remains of
destruction in Celtic settlements have allowed historians to date Burebista’s campaign to the 60s BC;
after this date Celtic presence and influence seems to have ceased.35 Because of his military success,
1970s and 1980s communist historiography hailed Burebista as “unquestionably one of the leading figures
and heroes of the first half of the first century BC” and as “one of the greatest men of genius that
Antiquity had ever produced.”36 While such claims with nationalistic undertones must be rejected, we
can nevertheless agree with contemporary historians such as Vulpe, Glodariu and Rădulescu that Burebista’s
initial campaigns were the first stage of a policy of consolidation in order to secure his position
in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space.37
Gheorghe Tudor sees Burebista’s actions as a unique effort whose success led to the creation
of “the first centralized and independent state in the multi-millenary history of the Romanian people.”38
Omitting again the nationalistic flavor of such comments, it must be pointed out that Burebista’s actions
are not without precedent. The first detailed literary attestation of a centralized Geto-Dacian polity on
the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic political stage appears in the context of a major revolt of the poleis on
the western bank of the Pontus Euxinus against Lysimachus, the self-proclaimed “king of Thrace”.According
to Diodorus Siculus the uprising took place in 313 BC, ten years after the death of Alexander
the Great and two hundred and fifty years before Burebista. He gives us an account of how Odessos,
Istros, Tomis and Dionysopolis expelled the Macedonian garrisons at the instigation of Callatis39 and
claimed qαυτονομίαq(autonomia, independence, self-governing), taking advantage of the distraction
caused by the Third War of the Diadochoi (315-311 BC) in which Lysimachus also participated. The
Greeks were supposedly assisted by “the Thracians and Scythians whose lands bordered upon their
own.”40 The conclusion of the conflict in 311 BC betweenAntigonos and Kassander, Ptolemy and Lysimachus
obliged them all to agree, among other things, “that the Greeks be autonomous.” However,
“they did not abide by these agreements.”41Whether the revolt was successful or not is less relevant than
the fact pointed out byA. Vulpe that this event created a precedent regarding Geto-Greek diplomatic relations.
His argument is based on the claim that the Thracians assisting the Greeks were actually Getae.
He admits that Diodorus’ text does not mention the Getae anywhere with regard to this episode, but he
appeals to the cultural closeness between the Getae and the Thracians to prove his point, given that the
dominant population living both east and west of the Danube River crossing the Dobrogea region was
Getic.42 Helen Lund, who presents more recent conclusions based on excavation of Getic sites in Dobrogea,
corroborates Vulpe’s theory.43 Furthermore, Diodorus Siculus makes a clear distinction between
the Thracians assisting the Greeks living north of the Haemus Mountains and the Odrysian Kingdom
of Seuthes the Thracian to the south of the mountain range.44
Later events suggest that the revolt led by Callatis did not succeed in bringing stability to the
Black Sea region. Twenty years after the Greek revolt and subsequent peace agreement, sources attest
a punitive expedition of Lysimachus to the north of Thrace against Dromichaetes, whom Diodorus SicuGeto-
Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 74
45 Diod. 21.11.
46 Diod. 21.12.
47 Strab. 7.3.14.
48 Paus. 1.9.6.
49 Strabo. 7.3.8. and Paus. 1.9.6.
50 Diod. 21.11.
51 Diod. 21.11.
52 Vulpe. Istoria si Civilizatia. 462.
53 Loeb, 15-17.
54 Lund, 43.
55 Vulpe. Istoria si Civilizatia. 464, 468.
56 Ibid. 491.
lus identifies as the basileus of “the Thracians [who had] capturedAgathocles, the king’s son, but [who
then] sent him home with gifts;”45 in the next paragraph he specifies that the ‘Thracians’ are actually
Getae.46 This event is also attested by Strabo, who argues that Lysimachus “not only ran the risk but actually
was captured alive.”47 Pausanias offers an integrated version of the events surrounding
Dromichaetes.While he initially agrees with Diodorus that “Agathocles […] was taken prisoner by the
Getae,” he also accepts Strabo’s suggestion that these events took place during a single campaign, since
“[Agathocles] was serving with [Lysimachus] then for the first time,” not excluding the possibility, on
the other hand, that the expedition might have ended instead with the capture of Lysimachus.48
However, for the purposes of this paper, it is important to point out that all accounts of the conflict
between Lysimachus and Dromichaetes agree that it was in fact theMacedonian monarch who initiated
the hostilities.49 Even Diodorus agrees that the hostility of the Getae came “in the hope of
recovering […] that part of their territory which Lysimachus had seized.”50 Accepting Diodorus’more
detailed version makes sense in the historical context of the expedition. Although none of the sources
give details concerning the capture of Agathocles, Diodorus does say that his release resulted from the
Getae’s loss of hope for victory against Lysimachus, “since almost all the most powerful kings were now
in agreement, and were in military alliance one with another.”51 The reference here is aimed at the end
of the FourthWar of the Diadochoi, placing the campaign of Lysimachus after the battle of Ipsos in 301
BC,52 a generally accepted inference since he was in Asia Minor before that time; the Loeb translation
of Diodorus dates these events between 294 and 292 BC.53
Dromichaetes must have responded to Lysimachus’ aggressive policy in the area over the
decades, which likely had disruptive consequences for commercial relations between the Getae and the
Greeks, leading Helen Lund to conclude that “the [Greek] cities found themselves the object of competition
between Macedonian and Getic ‘protectors’.”54 Archeological data is indeed able to demonstrate
the importance of commerce in Dromichaetes’ time by providing a model of the nature and
development of trade in the region. The extensive character of trade goods is evidence that the closeness
between the Getae and the Greek colonies facilitated communication and exchange between the two
civilizations as early as the seventh century, soon after the Milesian colonies were founded. Archeologists
have revealed that Greek pottery was the most sought-after product. Its popularity among the natives
encouraged imports from many locations in the Greek world, as is attested by many examples of
amphorae from Chios, Lesbos, Heraclea and especially Thasos.
That Dobrogea was a critical node of interaction is showed by the process of distribution of
Greek products, first appearing (obviously) in Dobrogea, then in Moldova and then even across the
Carpathians.55 One of the most important outcomes of extensive trade between the Getae and the Greeks
was the introduction of the potter’s wheel on the territory of the Geto-Dacians around the sixth century
BC. It was initially believed that this was a consequence of the Celtic invasions of Transylvania during
the fourth century BC, but many earlier examples of Getic imitations of Greek pottery disprove this
hypothesis.56As a matter of fact, by the time of Dromichaetes wheel-made Geto-Dacian pottery imitating
75 HIRUNDO 2008
57 Berciu. Băstinasii. 121.
58 Lund, 44.
59 Delev, 389.
60 Diod. 21.12.
61 Lund’s conclusion is supported by Pippidi also: Lund, 49.
62 Dickey, 78-79.
63 Diod. 21.12.
64 Lund, 48.
65 Paus. 1.9.6.
66 Memnon, FGrHist III B 434 F 5, quoted by Vulpe, 462.
67 Strab. 7.3.8.
68 Liddell and Scott, s.v. “philiaq.”
69 Vulpe. Istoria si Civilizatia. 463.
Greek styles such as the kantharos, lekythos, amphora and krater replaced earlier hand-made lower-quality
pottery as the dominant style.57
Based on this evidence it may be inferred that Dromichaetes took advantage of Lysimachus’
departure from Thrace and sought to consolidate his position in the area, most importantly to re-establish
direct commercial contact with the Greek poleis at the expense of the belligerent Macedonian
monarch.58 This leads one to the conclusion that the Getae were fully aware of and involved in events
taking place in Thrace at that time. P. Delev goes so far as to suggest that Dromichaetes’ actions were
partly encouraged by Antigonid agents working against Lysimachus who later retracted their support
once peace was concluded in 301 BC.59Although the analogy is tempting, it remains improbable given
the lack of clear evidence.
After ambushing Lysimachus somewhere north of the Danube, Diodorus continues,
“Dromichaetes […] kissed him and even called him ‘father’,” and then, while at dinner, he “obtained
the return of the districts that Lysimachus had seized, placed a diadem on his head, and sent him on his
way.”60 This fragment has led historians to believe that “Lysimachus [had to] abandon theWest Pontic
cities to Getic control.61 The term pater (father) is used in Diodorus’ text as denoting kinship and suggesting
“exceptionally kind address to those who had previously been unfortunate, [revealing] the kindness
which was about to befall them.”62 Dromichaetes is presented as a shrewd politician who, realizing
the opportunity at hand, sought an understanding which would bring regional stability, lest “other kings,
possibly more to be feared than their predecessor, would assume the authority of Lysimachus.”63 This
has led Lund to conclude that Dromichaetes was well aware that eliminating Lysimachus would have
destabilized relations among the Diadochoi, making Demetrius, Lysimachus’ rival, “undesirably
strong.”64 This presumed alliance was sealed by the symbolic placing of a diadem on Lysimachus’ head
and his swearing that “for the future he would endeavor to aid [Dromichaetes] as a friend and not to fall
short in returning kindness for kindness,” then giving his own daughter in marriage to Dromichaetes.65
Memnon mentions that prisoners were nevertheless kept by the Getae as a precaution, suggesting realist
diplomatic behavior.66
The same kinship relationship is mentioned by Strabo who writes that the two kings concluded
peace “and made a compact of friendship, and then [Dromichaetes] released [Lysimachus].”67
The use here of φιλοĩς (philois) denotes friendship between states while showing affectionate regard between
equals.68 Therefore, whether one gives credence to Diodorus’ description of Lysimachus’ capture
or judges it as being too moralistic, what is significant is the fact that Dromichaetes is portrayed by
Greek literary sources as acting in accordance with the Hellenistic model of a monarch. He also appears
to have detailed knowledge of the subtleties of Hellenistic diplomacy, being considered by ancient
sources as an active participant in events taking place in Thrace around 300 BC. Finally, the description
of Dromichaetes as sqbasileus—a term already explained in detail—by both Diodorus and Strabo
has been interpreted as evidence for the first mention of a centralized political force of the Getae.69
Geto-Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 76
70 Vulpe, 463.
71 Pippidi. Contributii la Istoria Veche a Romaniei. 170-171.
72 Babeş. Spaţiul Carpato-Dunărean în Secolele III-II a.Chr. 504.
73 Pippidi. Străinii de peste Mări. 228-229.
74 Pippidi. Contributii la Istoria Veche a Romaniei. 190-191.
75 Pippidi. Străinii de peste Mări. 225, 227.
76 His own unsupported opinion is that Zalmodegikos “must have been” a sqbasileus: Pippidi, Contribuţii la Istoria Veche a României,
77 Glodariu, 16-17.
78 Ibid. 56-57.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of crucial evidence we are left in the dark about the fate of
Dromichaetes or of his political organization after the 290’s BC. This silence raises the supposition that
he was ultimately unsuccessful in decisively imposing his authority over theWestern Black Sea region.
Whatever the case, A. Vulpe has argued that it is improbable that Dromichaetes was a victim of the
Celts in the context of their invasion of the Greek mainland in the 280’s and 270’s, given that there is
no evidence that the invaders ever advanced north of the Odrysian kingdom.70 Despite this, there is evidence
of continuity of interaction between the Greek poleis and the Getae along the same lines of
Dromichaetes’ “protectorate” of the latter over the former. Two invaluable inscriptions have been found
among the ruins of Istros. The first inscription (ISM I 8), from the third century BC, was dedicated in
honour of Diodoros of Thrasycles, Proclitos of Pherecles and Clearchos ofAristomachos who “on being
sent to Zalmodegikos, concerning the soldiers, […] managed to bring back the hostages, sixty in all, by
convincing Zalmodegikos to hand back her proceeds.”71 Judging from the etymology of the name, it is
generally accepted that Zalmodegikos was a Getic leader. Also, judging from the fact that he had such
influence over Istros suggests that he belonged to a powerful military formation situated somewhere in
west or north-west Dobrogea;72 of course this also suggests that the Greeks did not dispose of a powerful
The second inscription (ISMI 15) dates from around the second century BC, and it too praises
the success ofAgathokles in trying to ‘convince’ – a euphemistic term used in Hellenistic decrees to describe
a bribe – a certain Thracian called Zoltes to abstain from plundering the Istrian hinterlands with
his army.73 The inscription further tells us that “later, the Thracians breaking the oaths and the agreement
and plundering the hinterland of the polis, […] he convinced basileus Rhemaxos to send one hundred
horsemen for the defense of the polis.” After they did not prove enough, Agathokles convinced Rhemaxos
“to [further] send six hundred horsemen to the polis, who, being victorious in battle, defeated
Zoltes.”74 The description of Rhemaxos as basileus,75 a title awarded neither to Zalmodegikos nor to
Zoltes despite Pippidi’s suppositions,76 suggests that the Greeks were clearly able to discern between regional
warlords and more powerful and better organized Getic Hellenistic-like polities in the Western
Black Sea region under the leadership of basilei such as Rhemaxos and Dromichaetes. Therefore, there
is evidence for Geto-Dacian continuity of a “Pontic policy” with the Greek poleis having a decisive
factor in asserting regional hegemony; efforts which would be hampered in the first half of the 1st century
with the arrivals of Mithridates VI Eupator and of Rome in Dobrogea.
That commercial and financial interest continued to influence politics in the Dobrogea region
during the third and second centuries is proven by the seminal work of Ioan Glodariu. Trade continued
to grow in the Black Sea region, especially the wine and oil markets, which were dominated in turn by
Sinope, Rhodes and then Thasos. Pottery, however, experienced a sharp decline because of competition
from Geto-Dacian potters whose skill almost rivaled that of the Greeks.77 Exports on the other hand, dealt
generally with raw materials such as wood, leather, honey, silver from the Apuseni Mountains, and
above all salt, a resource which was in high demand in the Balkan Peninsula, as its own reserves were
insignificant.78After Roman involvement in the East, there seems to have been considerable demand for
salt in Italy as well, eventually turning the Geto-Dacian salt mines into the northern counterpart of the
77 HIRUNDO 2008
79 Gramatopol, 37.
80 Glodariu, 66.
81 Ibid. 67-68.
82 Chiţescu, 24.
83 Glodariu, 47.
84 Ibid. 14.
85 Babeş, Spaţiul Carpato-Dunărean în Secolele III-II a.Chr, 505.
86 It has actually been suggested that it was the hugely profitable salt trade that brought about the adoption of Greek and later Roman
coins; it was especially used for leather treatment in the smelting of armour: Gramatopol, 25, 50.
87 Tudor, 93. Blavatskaia, 7. Vulpe, Glodariu and Rădulescu, Burebista, 635. Pippidi, Străinii de peste Mări, 282.
88 Plut. Marius, 31.
Egyptian granaries supplying Rome.79
According to archeological evidence, actual trade took place through strategically-positioned
trade posts throughout the Geto-Dacian territory. For example, we have Brad and Poiana, the most important
settlement in Moldova, situated on the Siret River which pours in the Danube Delta, allowing
for a direct trade route east of the Carpathians.80 Another settlement on the Danube was Zimnicea, an
intermediary between the southern and northern regions. Other sites worth mentioning are Popeşti, in
the area of modern-day Bucharest, and those in the Bran Pass at Cetăţeni connecting Transylvania to the
extra-Carpathian territories.81
This trade network was very effective and very profitable, if we believe extensive numismatic
evidence, but it relied on the volatile political situation in the Dobrogea region.We have thousands
of Greek andMacedonian coins which penetrated Dobrogea and then spread both south and north of the
Carpathians, especially in the above-mentioned settlements of Poiana, Zimnicea, Popeşti and Cetăţeni
and more particularly at the salt mines;82 about 2900 tetradrachms were issued by Thasos alone.83As a
matter of fact, Greek influence was so significant that Geto-Dacians used the model of Greek andMacedonian
coins to launch their own issues on the market, with regional variations, as early as the fourth
century BC. Dies found at Tilişca, the most important numismatic center situated in the Orăştie Mountains,
attest this.84 The most famous example is that of a Getic leader of the 3rd century BC from northern
Dobrogea who actually inscribed on his coins “ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΟΣΚΩΝΟΣ.” Some historians have
been persuaded that this shows superior political conscience from the Getae,85 and although the suggestion
is tempting, there is not enough information to be able to know for sure whether this Moskon
actually understood the full significance of the word bsqasileus. It does suggest, however, an active Geto-
Dacian interest in maintaining both cultural and economic relations with the Greeks. Therefore, one
may argue that, seeing the opportunities of adopting the most popular coin in the Balkan region, the
Geto-Dacians took this decision for pragmatic economic reasons in light of the great reach of the Greek
Therefore, Burebista’s subsequent interest in the Western Pontic poleis was fueled by their
economic and strategic potential, which had attracted the attention of the Geto-Dacians for centuries and
which proved to be an essential element in the consolidation of a state. Writing in the 1960s, T.
Blavatskaia saw Burebista’s re-orientation towards the east as proof of an attempt to create a powerful
anti-Roman front. However, there is no clear evidence to support such a claim. On the other hand, we
must agree with Pippidi, who sees Burebista’s actions towards the Greek poleis on the western bank of
the Pontus Euxinus as a continuation of the centuries-old aspirations of previous Getic regional rulers
to control the economic and strategic aspects of these cities.87
By the time Burebista made his appearance in Mikra Skythia, as Strabo calls Dobrogea, the
region was the scene of endemic conflict between the advancing power of Rome andMithridates VI Eupator.
The expansive policies of a reformed Pontic Kingdom led Marius to warn Mithridates “either to
be greater than the Romans or to obey them,”88 following the integration of the Western Pontic Greek
Geto-Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 78
89 Boatwright, Gargola, Talbert, 214.
90 The fact that Strabo (7.6) mentions that Varro Lucullus took the statue ofApollo fromApollonia in order to take it to Rome has been
interpreted by historians as proof that the city fell after hard fighting and plundering: Pippidi, Străinii de peste Mări, 277.
91 The text was supposedly put up in the agora and at Rome also, in the temple of Concord: Pippidi, Străinii de peste Mări, 279.
92 Cass. Dio, Roman History, 38.10. Livy also mentions the unsuccessful campaign of Hybrida: Liv. Periochae, 103.59.
93 Cass. Dio, 51.26.
94 Radulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 646.
95 Tudor, 84, 92.
96 Tudor, 92.
colonies into the Pontic system of alliances. As in the case of Geto-Dacian perception of these poleis,
the Pontic Kingdom deemed them as critical in its successful expansion and assertion in Thrace due to
their commercial and economic potential and to their strategic position.89 Inevitably, war broke out between
the two states by 89 BC. The Romans moved against the Pontic monarch in a series of campaigns,
first led by Sulla (87-85 BC) and then by Terentius Varro Lucullus (74-67 BC), with a clear
plan to drive Mithridates out of Europe across the Bosporus straights. To do this, Lucullus followed a
plan of seizingMithridates’Pontic possessions. It appears thatApollonia was the first polis to fall under
Roman authority after putting up steadfast resistance. Following Apollonia’s conquest and subsequent
destruction as punishment, Mesambria, Odessos, Dionysopolis, Callatis, Tomis and Istros yielded one
by one to Roman power.90
An inscription unearthed at Callatis describes a treaty between the Greek colony and Rome.
The presented clauses of neutrality, mutual help and the possibility of amending the treaty only with mutual
consent led scholars to conclude that the submission of the Pontic cities was ratified through a foedus
treaty;91 the fact that it was concluded on a basis of equality suggests that Rome recognized the
economic and strategic importance of the conquered cities and sought to conciliate them. Despite this,
in 62-61 BC a massive revolt of theWestern Pontic cities against Roman authority took place. This was
probably caused by the governor of Macedonia Antonius Hybrida, who, Cassius Dio reports,
“had inflicted many injuries upon the subject territory as well as upon that which
was in alliance with Rome, and had suffered many disasters in return [after] taking
away their plunder from them.When he tried the same tactics on the allies inMoesia,
he was defeated near the city of the Istrians by the Bastarnian Scythians who
came to their aid; and thereupon he ran away.”92
We later find out from the same author that it was the Getae who actually led the revolt, seizing the battle
standards of Hybrida and placing them in a strong fortress called Genucla.93 Vasile Pârvan suggested
that Burebista himself might have commanded the Greco-Getic-Scythian force against the Romans,
given that his western campaign was by then supposedly finished.94 However, his name is not specifically
mentioned by any literary source, a detail which has prompted some historians to disbelieve this
claim, and further argue that he might have needed more time to re-organize his army after the campaign
in Transylvania. The military historian Colonel Gheorghe Tudor supports Blavatskaia’s claim of an anti-
Roman front by arguing that support for the Greek cause from Burebista was actually possible if we believe
Strabo’s affirmation that he could muster a considerable fighting force. Tudor claims that even if
he did not personally lead the attack, Burebista could send the troops dislocated south of the Carpathians
who were already preparing for the eastern campaign.95 Although it is an attractive theory, it rests
solely on the supposition that such eastern assistance was meant as no more than a reconnaissance force
in Dobrogea after 61 BC.96 But since the actual eastern campaign would take place only six years later,
this is very unlikely.
Returning to Burebista, the incorporation of the Pontic colonies into the Dacian Kingdom
79 HIRUNDO 2008
97 Radulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 647.
98 Dion Chrys. Orationes. 36.4.
99 Unfortunately, the only secondary source mentioning the inscription does not provide the text itself: Pippidi, Străinii de peste Mări,
100 Pippidi. Străinii de peste Mări. 284-285.
101 Pippidi. Străinii de peste Mări. 283.
102 Radulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 647.
103 Crişan, 48.
104 Ibid.
105 Ibid.
suggests that he was fully aware of the socio-political conditions affecting Dobrogea, while taking advantage
of the retreat ofMithridates and of the setbacks suffered by Rome after the Greek revolt, in order
to impose his authority over the Greeks.97 Recalling a visit to Mikra Skythia€in 96 AD, Dion Chrysostomos
describes Burebista’s conquest when writing that “[Olbia] does not have a size fitting to its former
glory because of the many barbarian conquests […] No more than one hundred and fifty years ago,
the Getae took both [Olbia] and other poleis situated on the left shore of the Pontus Euxinus, up to
Apollonia.”98 This has helped historians date Burebista’s campaign to somewhere around the 50s BC.
Further information provided by fragmentary decrees has not only confirmed this date, but has
also given some details about the Greeks’wars supposedly against Burebista. For example, a fragmentary
inscription (IGB I 323) from Mesambria mentions three στρατεγοί (strategoi, generals) who took
part in the war against Burebista, without naming other disasters.99 Furthermore, a decree dating from
around 50 BC was found at Istros in honour ofAristagoras ofApaturios for his services to the community
“following the disaster afflicting the city, when the polis was without walls and its people were
again in danger along with their wives and children.” Aristagoras is portrayed “negotiating with skill
with the βαρβάροι (barbaroi, meaning “foreigners” but also the derogatory term “barbarians”) who
ruled the land, and in other occasions giving citizens the necessary amount for ransom;”100 the hostility
of the Greeks towards their conquerors may explain the use of sqbarbaroi in this context. Therefore, historians
have conjectured that, while some poleis such as Olbia, Istros and Mesambria initially resisted
Burebista and ended up partially destroyed, the others, namely Tomis, Callatis, Odessos, Dionysopolis
andApollonia submitted to his will without a fight.101 Due to lack of precise evidence, archeologists unfortunately
can not tell for certain in what order the Greek cities fell under Burebista’s control.102
The campaign of incorporation undertaken by Burebista on the Pontic left shore must have
ended by 48 BC, the accepted date for the issuing of the Decree in honour of Acornion of Dionysopolis
(IGB I2 13); it informs us that “Burebista had recently become the greatest king of Thrace, ruling over
the whole territory on this side of the [Danube] and on the other.”103 This inscription found on the territory
of present-day Bulgaria is the most important source for the policy of Burebista as King of Dacia,
presenting an unprecedented level of political discourse. The text itself speaks of the great deeds of
Acornion who, on being sent to Burebista, “went to him, became his best friend, talking to him and advising
him with respect to the most important questions, winning the king’s goodwill for the benefit of
the city.”104 It is possible to connect the ‘goodwill’ of Burebista towards the Dionysopolitans with their
voluntary submission to his authority. In this case, one may argue that the citizens of Dionysopolis had
plans of their own and took advantage of the coming of Burebista in their own efforts “to contribute to
the good of the country in all possible ways.”105 Such policy seems to have been dictated by the realization
of the complicated position Dionysopolis was in, being caught in the middle of a power struggle
between the major powers in the region at the time: Dacia and Rome.
The fact that prior to the acclamation of Acornion, Dionysos the eponymous god of the city
“had no priest at all,” has been interpreted by Pippidi as evidence for a precarious economic situation
Geto-Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 80
106 Pippidi. Străinii de peste Mări. 281.
107 Crişan, 48.
108 Liddell and Scott, s.v. “philiaq” and “megistan”.
109 R…dulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 651.
110 Hdt. 5.7.
111 Sanie, 93.
112 Jones, 50-51.
113 Crişan, 48.
114 Radulescu, Glodariu, Vulpe, Burebista, 649.
in Dionysopolis. This might have originated from long years spent under costly foreign domination.106
As the treaty itself shows, a prominent figure such asAcornion was needed to finance excessive expenses
under the administration of Hybrida: “while [Caius]Antonius was spending the winter there, he (again)
took the crown of the god (becoming a priest), beautifully and magnificently carried out processions and
sacrifices and gave the people plenty of meat.”107 Therefore, it is reasonable to infer that by approaching
Burebista the Dionysopolitans sought to gain a better economic deal.
It does not follow, however, that Burebista was not aware of or that he did not understand
such diplomatic discourse. To provide clarity, we must look at the epigraphic evidence provided by the
decree. The term basileus having already been discussed, the next striking element is the construction
’εν τή μεγίστη φιλίαq. Crişan translates this as “best friend;” the literal translation would actually be “into
the greatest friendship.” However, the connotations of this construction are much more encompassing.
Taking the dative case, its more precise meaning has been translated as “being accepted in the family
circle as a sign of the highest regard by superiors towards their dependents.”108 As a result, it may be
safely argued that the Greeks perceived Burebista as being familiar with the subtleties of Hellenistic
diplomatic language, since such a title was often used at the Hellenistic courts.109
The prominence of Dionysopolis is worth looking into in detail because it reveals more about
diplomatic relations between Burebista and the city than we might expect at first glance. Representations
either of Dionysos or of figures prominent in his cult found on jewelry, pottery, coins, or other decorative
material such as bone unearthed in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space suggest the
prominence of the god in Thracian religion. Furthermore, Herodotus tells us that “the only deities [the
Thracians] worship areAres, Dionysos andArtemis.”110 This has been interpreted as mutual recognition
of the Greek and Geto-Dacian pantheons through association; Artemis, for example, was equated with
Bendis.111 Therefore, it may be inferred that Dionysos provided the channel for a privileged kinship relationship
between Acornion, as priest of Dionysos, and Burebista, given the prominence of Dionysos
in both Greek and Geto-Dacian religion. This is not unusual since such a relationship was characteristic
of the interaction between poleis and monarchs during the Hellenistic period.112
Based on this information, we can only infer why Burebista chose Acornion as his diplomat,
since the decree does not disclose his reasons for such a decision. What the inscription does tell us,
however, is that “on being sent by King Burebista as ambassador to Cnaeius Pompeius, son of Cnaeius,
emperor of the Romans and meeting him in Macedonia near Heraclea Lyncestis, [Acornion] fulfilled
the tasks assigned to him by the king, winning for [Burebista] the Romans’ goodwill and conducting negotiations
for his homeland.”113 Obviously, the decree serves to glorify Acornion, but the fact that Burebista
nevertheless appointed him as his intermediary suggests that the fact that Acornion was Greek
and that he was from a town which had rebelled against Rome influenced the King’s decision. In that
case, one may argue that Acornion’s Greek pedigree was probably meant to smooth relations between
Burebista, a relatively unknown yet powerful individual from the Roman perspective, and Pompey.
The aims of this diplomatic mission must be studied as a result of Burebista’s Pontic campaign.
It is not so much the fact that he sought international recognition of his conquests114 – which was
81 HIRUNDO 2008
115 Liddell and Scott, s.v. “foedus”.
116 From 1101 in the 90’s, 3672 in the 80’s and 1342 coins in the 70’s, the number dropped to 408 in the 60’s and 562 in the 50’s BC:
Chiţescu, 10.
117 Liddell and Scott, s.v. “qautokrator.”
118 Crişan, 49.
119 App. BC. 2.63. Caes. Civ. 3.72.
120 App. BC. 2.51.
121 Chiţescu, 10.
122 Glodariu, 59.
123 Hoards have been found from the northernmost point of Transylvania to the south-easternmost point of Dobrogea: Chiţescu, 13.
clearly welcome – as much as an attempt to conciliate the Romans. The right of conquest was a generally
accepted concept throughout the Hellenistic world, but when Burebista decided to incorporate into
his Dacian Kingdom poleis which were tied to Rome through a foedus treaty, he automatically declared
war on Rome; a foedus agreement once enacted was valid in perpetuity, no matter what the political circumstances.
115 From the point of view of Dionysopolis, it also sought conciliation with Rome, since it
had revolted against its authority. Numismatic evidence further attests the idea that Burebista’s expansion
was not favourably regarded. The number of coins entering the Dacian Kingdom dramatically decreased
to about 33% of its initial number during the 60s and especially in the 50s BC.116
In theory, however, Pompey did not have the authority to grant such a pardon. Yet the designation
of Pompey as qαυτοκράτορα (autokratora) in the Decree to Acornion suggests that, both in Burebista’s
and in the Dionysopolitans’ eyes, he indeed could. The term was used to identify an absolute
ruler, authors using it as a synonym for ‘dictator’ and ‘imperator’. Most importantly, Plutarch, writing
the life of Pompey, used qαυτοκράτωρ (autokrator) to present him specifically as “the Emperor.”117 We
also know for a fact that, following his short-lived victory over Caesar at Dyrrhachium on the 7th of June,
his soldiers hailed him as “imperator,” which was later translated into Greek as autokrator.118 This is further
corroborated by Caesar and Appian who mockingly observed that “Pompey sent letters to all the
kings and cities magnifying his victory” before the battle at Pharsalus took place “and he expected that
Caesar’s army would come over to him directly.”119
Unfortunately, the decree does not specifically mention what Burebista offered Pompey in
exchange for “the Romans’ goodwill.” Appian reproduces one of Pompey’s speeches to his troops in
which he proudly says that “we may say that all the nations of the East and around the Euxine Sea, both
Greek and Barbarian, stand with us; and kings, who are friends of the Roman people or of myself, are
supplying us soldiers, arms, provisions, and other implements of war.”120 Therefore, it may be argued
that Burebista offered Pompey military assistance against Caesar in the CivilWar, since by that time Burebista’s
kingdom had reached its maximum limits, reaching and controlling the western bank of the
Pontus Euxinus.
Cooperation between Pompey and Burebista is further suggested by the discovery of coins
representing Juba, a Numidian king in friendly terms with Pompey, in four hoards of Republican denarii
on the territory of the Dacian Kingdom.121 It must be pointed out, however, that Burebista had no choice
but to attempt an alliance with Pompey. Beside his recent victory over Caesar, Pompey controlled the
territories next to Dacia and also the trade routes into the Black Sea which he made safe from pirates.
An alliance with the victorious Roman general would have contributed to the development of trade between
Dacia and the Greco-Roman world,122 given that an eventual increase of the number of denarii
entering into Dacia depended, as mentioned earlier, on the diplomatic relations with Rome; the Republican
denarius replaced Greek money as the dominant currency throughout the entire Geto-Dacian
territory by the 1st century BC.123
For a short period of time it looked as though Burebista’s gamble would pay off and his diplomatic
schemes come to fruition. Unfortunately for him, Pompey was defeated by Caesar on the 9th of
Geto-Paul Vădan Dacian Foreign Policy 82
124 App. 2.110. Sue. Div. Iul, 44. Strab. 7.3.5.
125 Ibid. 3.25.
126 Strab. 7.3.11.
127 Petolescu, Radulescu, De la Burebista la Cucerirea Romană, 655.
128 Sue. Aug, 63.
129 Plut, Anthony, 5.
130 Chiţescu, 10.
131 Strab. 7.3.12.
132 Pothecary, 246.
August 48 BC at Pharsalus.We do not know whether Burebista’s supposed help actually reached Pompey
or not, just as we are left in the dark concerning whether Burebista participated in the battle itself
or not. However, with Pompey out of the way, a confrontation between Burebista and Caesar was inevitable
since the former had become the latter’s personal enemy by supporting Pompey. On this note,
Appian writes that Caesar “conceived the idea of a long campaign against the Getae and the Parthians.
The Getae, a hardy, warlike, and neighboring nation, were to be attacked first,” a claim supported by
both Suetonius and Strabo.124 Caesar, Appian continues, also “sent across the Adriatic in advance sixteen
legions of foot and ten thousand horsemen.”We later learn from the sameAppian that this contingent
was appropriated after 44 BC by Marcus Antonius for his personal aims against Octavian on the
pretext that “the Getae, learning of Caesar’s death, had made an incursion intoMacedonia and were ravaging
As a matter of fact, the death of Burebista corresponded with the death of Caesar, following
a coup d’état which reduced his kingdom into four, then five parts. Strabo adds that “such divisions, to
be sure, are only temporary and vary with the times.”126 Due to Burebista’s keen understanding of the
subtleties of Hellenistic diplomatic language, the Geto-Dacians continued to play an active role on the
international political scene. However, the fragmentation of his kingdom has led some scholars to suggest
that Burebista’s model was not viable, as the regional character of the Geto-Dacian territory was
too powerful.127 The implication of such a conclusion is that the suggested policy of consolidation and
assertion was nothing but an isolated and individual effort, not a segment of an entire process defining
centuries of Geto-Dacian policy in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space. Later events, however, prove
the opposite.
We learn from Suetonius that during the Civil War between Octavian and Marcus Antonius
which had erupted soon after Caesar’s death, “Marcus Antonius writes that Augustus first betrothed
Julia to his own son Antony, and later to Cotiso, king of the Getae, at the same time requesting in turn
the hand of the king’s daughter for himself.”128 Even if this was just one of many ways in which MarcusAntonius
sought to taint the image of Octavian, it is significant that the Geto-Dacians still play a role
in the political discourse of the time. Furthermore, Plutarch writes in the biography ofMarcusAntonius
that on the eve of the battle of Actium a commander by the name of Canidius “advised Antony to send
Cleopatra away, to withdraw into Thrace or Macedonia, and there to decide the issue by a land battle.
For Dicomes the king of the Getae promised to come to their aid with a large force.”129 Based on numismatic
evidence, there is reason to give credence to Plutarch’s claim given that out of a total of 1260
denarii dated between 39 and 31 BC no less than one thousand of them have been identified as actual
part of Marcus Antonius’ own coin issues for the legions.130
Strabo further argues that even after fragmentation, the Getae “are capable, even today, of
sending forth an army of forty thousand men.”131 Although the expression “even today” has been interpreted
by Susan Pothecary to mark the beginning of Pompey’s reorganization after Mithridates’ defeat,
132 in this case it definitely marks the death of Burebista, since he died much later than Pompey.
Therefore, disintegration of the Dacian Kingdom does not seem to have affected the pattern of active
implication in Greco-Roman affairs as a way to gain regional stability. On the contrary, it shows conti83
133 Cass. Dio, 51.24.
134 Ibid. 51.26.
135 Aug. Res Gestae, 30. Sue. Aug, 21.
136 Cassius Dio mentions that he would have gained such a prestigious glory if he had been in supreme command: Cass. Dio, 51.24.
137Wells, 15, 56.
138 Cass. Dio. 51.24.
nuity as Geto-Dacian regional kings sought alliances with prominent figures such as Octavian andMarcus
Antonius, who could in turn provide security and privileges.
Cassius Dio provides more information about the Geto-Dacians in the aftermath of Octavian’s
victory in the Civil War. While discussing the retaliation campaign of Licinius Crassus against a supposedly
invading army of Dacians and Bastarnae, he points out that “the Bastarnae [urged] him not to
pursue them, since they had done the Romans no harm.”133 This incident may suggest that the “barbarian”
invaders consciously tried to avoid a confrontation with Rome, being fully aware of the diplomatic
implications of such an act. On that note, it may be argued that Crassus’ campaigns were actually aimed
at avenging the shameful defeat of Antonius Hybrida and to recover his lost standards. Cassius Dio relates
that “after this success he gave no respite to the rest of the Getae […], he advanced against Genucla
[…] because he heard that the lost standards […] were kept there.”134 This episode is mentioned
neither by Suetonius nor Augustus, who actually writes in his Res Gestae that “when an army of Dacians
crossed to this side of the Danube, it was defeated and routed under my auspices [and I] forced
the Dacian peoples to submit to the orders of the Roman people.”135 This omission has been interpreted
as a check on the growing prestige and influence of Crassus, given that he had gained spolia opima
while in Thrace,136 in an attempt by Octavian to avoid another Civil War with Crassus as contender to
the title of Princeps.137 Most importantly, however, Cassius Dio specifically mentions that “[Crassus]
completed [the enemy’s] destruction with the help of Roles, the king of a tribe of the Getae.” As a reward
for his assistance, “Roles visited Octavian, [being] treated as a friend and ally.”138 This last observation
offers clear insight into what a king of a small polity could hope for on the international
political stage in the aftermath of the transition from the Hellenistic Age to the Roman Empire. At the
same time, it also shows how such regional kings could be manipulated and drawn into the political
games of those aspiring to or possessing the supreme office of Princeps. Roles is an example of such a
leader who adapted quickly to the new diplomatic language, which depended on personal loyalty to the
Emperor, thus assuring his continued existence within the Roman κόσμος (kosmos, world, universe)‚.
In conclusion, Burebista’s foreign policy operated on a grander scale than earlier Geto-Dacian
leaders, but nevertheless adhered to the same patterns of consolidation within the Hellenistic oikoumeneu
defined through economic and diplomatic interaction with the western Pontic Greek cities. However,
this tradition did not end with Burebista’s demise, but continued under later Geo-Dacian rulers, providing
them with the premises needed to adapt to the changing political environment in the Mediterranean
world after the rise of Augustus as Princeps.
Geto-Dacian Foreign Policy
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Paul Vădan 86

Burebista's Treasure from Lupu

Images with phalerae from the Dacian Silver Treasure found at Lupu, Romania...
The treasurse is dated between the 1st century BC - 1st century AD.
As Romanian archaeologist I.H. Crisan remarked, the female dresses depicted on the phalerae are almost identhicall to those used by Romanian peasant woman in rural areas until the 1950`s. 

Expresie a spiritualităţii dacice, tezaurul de la Lupu proiectează, prin reprezentările de pe falerele de argint, o imagine a divinităţilor din panteonul dacic (de ex. Marea Zeiţă şi Cavalerul). 

 video you tube:Dacian Treasure from Lupu.mpg 




PHALERA (φάλαρον), a boss, disc, or crescent of metal, in many cases of gold (Herod. I.215; Athen. XII p550; Claudian, Epig. 34) and beautifully wrought so as to be highly prized (Cic. Verr. IV.12). Ornaments of this description, being used in pairs, are scarcely ever mentioned except in the plural number. The names for them are evidently formed from the term φάλος, which is explained under Galea (compare Hom. Il.  XVI.106). Besides the metallic ornaments of the helmet similar decorations were sometimes, though very rarely, worn by warriors on other parts of their dress or armour, probably upon the breast (Virg. Aen. IX.359, 458). The negro slavesb who were kept by opulent Romans wore them suspended round their necks (Sueton. Nero, 30). Also the tiara of the king of Persia was thus adorned (Aeschyl. Pers. 668). But we most commonly read of phalerae as ornaments attached to the harness of horses (Xen. Hellen. IV.1 § 39; Virg. Aen. V.310; Gell. V.5; Claudian, Epig. 36), especially about the head (ἀμπυκτήρια φάλαρα, Soph. Oed. Col. 1069; Eurip. Suppl. 586; Greg. Cor. de Dialect. p508, ed. Schäfer), and often worn as pendants (pensilia, Plin. H. N. XXXVII.12 s74), so as to produce a terrific effect when shaken by the rapid motions of the horse (turbantur phalerae, Claudian in IV. Cons. Honor. 549).º These ornaments were often bestowed upon horsemen by the Roman generals in the same manner as the Armilla, the Torques, the hasta pura [Hasta], and the crown of gold [Corona], in order to make a public and permanent acknowledgment of bravery and merit (Juv. XVI.60; Gell. II.11).



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