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Geto-Dacian Religion and Philosophy, Zalmoxis, Derzelas, Bendis, Kogaion, Pangaion and the Dacian Rider.

The Death of Sarpedon:

Attic red figure krater showing the corpse of Sarpedon, slain by Patroklos, being lifted to Lykia by Sleep and Death as Hermes looks on.

It gives us a visual clue about the ritual of sending a messenger to Zalmoxis by the Geto-Dacians

The ritual of sending a messenger to Zalmoxis (every five years) is explained by this belief. "The messages are given while the man is still alive"[7] and this is their manner of sending: Three lances are held by men thereto appointed; others seize the messenger to Salmoxis by his hands and feet, and swing and hurl him aloft on to the spear-point. If he be killed by the cast, they believe that the gods regard them with favour; but if he be not killed, they blame the messenger himself, deeming him a bad man, and send another messenger in place of him whom they blame. It is while the man yet lives that they charge him with the message.

 "… Those who want to patronize them (the mightiest tribes in Europe) will easily notice that the barbarian Thracian tribes despise death because of their natural wisdom. All the Thracian unanimously respects volunteer (suicidal) death. Some of them believe that the souls do not die with the bodies and they continue to live even happier than on Earth. …"
Pomponii Mella
New: Dan Oltean, Religia Dacilor (Romanian only) Cuprins la: 

 Table of Contents, Cuprins:


Zalmoxian Religion

Geto-Dacian Holy Men in War



Derzelas, Darzalas

Bendis, Βενδις

Geto-Dacian Spirituality

Star map of the Getai found at king Dromichetes' Tomb at Sboryanovo

The Dacian Rider

Solomonari, "Zgrimties"

Câţi zei aveau dacii?  (Romanian only)



 ."I believe Zalmoxis have lived long before the time of Pytagoras", (Herodotus, book 4, 93-96, V BC)

·  "Zalmoxis, our king, who is also a god..." (Platon, Charmides)

·  "He taught them logic and made them skilled in reasoning beyond all other races." (Iordanes)

" Zamolxis was he named because he was born wrapped in a bear's skin, in Thracian called Zalmus." (Porphyry)

" Zamolxis, who also is said to have taught the Celtic Druids to cultivate the philosophy of Pythagoras. And they assert that Pythagoras learned from the Egyptians his system of numbers and measures; and I being struck by the plausible, fanciful, and not easily revealed wisdom of the priests, he himself likewise, in imitation of them, enjoined silence, and made his disciples lead a solitary life in underground chapels" (Hyppolytus)

Burebista's adviser the Great Priest Deceneu  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

Sources for Zalmoxis


The belief of the Getae in respect of immortality is the following. They think that they do not really die, but that when they depart this life they go to Zalmoxis, who is called also Gebeleizis by some among them. To this god every five years they send a messenger, who is chosen by lot out of the whole nation, and charged to bear him their several requests. Their mode of sending him is this. A number of them stand in order, each holding in his hand three darts; others take the man who is to be sent to Zalmoxis, and swinging him by his hands and feet, toss him into the air so that he falls upon the points of the weapons. If he is pierced and dies, they think that the god is propitious to them; but if not, they lay the fault on the messenger, who (they say) is a wicked man: and so they choose another to send away. The messages are given while the man is still alive. This same people, when it lightens and thunders, aim their arrows at the sky, uttering threats against the god; and they do not believe that there is any god but their own.

I am told by the Greeks who dwell on the shores of the Hellespont and the Pontus, that this Zalmoxis was in reality a man, that he lived at Samos, and while there was the slave of Pythagoras son of Mnesarchus. After obtaining his freedom he grew rich, and leaving Samos, returned to his own country. The Thracians at that time lived in a wretched way, and were a poor ignorant race; Zalmoxis, therefore, who by his commerce with the Greeks, and especially with one who was by no means their most contemptible philosopher, Pythagoras to wit, was acquainted with the Ionic mode of life and with manners more refined than those current among his countrymen, had a chamber built, in which from time to time he received and feasted all the principal Thracians, using the occasion to teach them that neither he, nor they, his boon companions, nor any of their posterity would ever perish, but that they would all go to a place where they would live for aye in the enjoyment of every conceivable good. While he was acting in this way, and holding this kind of discourse, he was constructing an apartment underground, into which, when it was completed, he withdrew, vanishing suddenly from the eyes of the Thracians, who greatly regretted his loss, and mourned over him as one dead. He meanwhile abode in his secret chamber three full years, after which he came forth from his concealment, and showed himself once more to his countrymen, who were thus brought to believe in the truth of what he had taught them. Such is the account of the Greeks.

I for my part neither put entire faith in this story of Zalmoxis and his underground chamber, nor do I altogether discredit it: but I believe Zalmoxis to have lived long before the time of Pythagoras. Whether there was ever really a man of the name, or whether Zalmoxis is nothing but a native god of the Getae, I now bid him farewell. As for the Getae themselves, the people who observe the practices described above, they were now reduced by the Persians, and accompanied the army of Darius. -- Book IV, 93-96.


The aforesaid race of which I speak is known to have had Filimer as king while they remained in their first home in Scythia near Maeotis. In their second home, that is in the countries of Dacia, Thrace and Moesia, Zalmoxes reigned, whom many writers of annals mention as a man of remarkable learning in philosophy. Yet even before this they had a learned man Zeuta, and after him Dicineus; and the third was Zalmoxes of whom I have made mention above. -- Getica, V.39.


In fact, it is said that a certain man of the Getae, Zamolxis by name, had been a slave to Pythagoras, and had learned some things about the heavenly bodies from him,1 as also certain other things from the Egyptians, for in his wanderings he had gone even as far as Egypt; and when he came on back to his home-land he was eagerly courted by the rulers and the people of the tribe, because he could make predictions from the celestial signs; and at last he persuaded the king to take him as a partner in the government, on the ground that he was competent to report the will of the gods; and although at the outset he was only made a priest of the god who was most honored in their country, yet afterwards he was even addressed as god, and having taken possession of a certain cavernous place that was inaccessible to anyone else he spent his life there, only rarely meeting with any people outside except the king and his own attendants; and the king cooperated with him, because he saw that the people paid much more attention to himself than before, in the belief that the decrees which he promulgated were in accordance with the counsel of the gods. This custom persisted even down to our own time, because some man of that character was always to be found, who, though in fact only a counsellor to the king, was called god among the Getae. And the people took up the notion that the mountain2 was sacred and they so call it, but its name is Cogaeonum,3 like that of the river which flows past it. So, too, at the time when Byrebistas,4 against whom already5 the Deified Caesar had prepared to make an expedition, was reigning over the Getae, the office in question was held by Decaeneus, and somehow or other the Pythagorean doctrine of abstention from eating any living thing still survived as taught by Zamolxis. -- Geographica, VII, 3:5 


His approving answers reassured me, and I began by degrees to regain confidence, and the vital heat returned. Such, Charmides, I said, is the nature of the charm, which I learned when serving with the army from one of the physicians of the Thracian king Zamolxis, who are to be so skilful that they can even give immortality. This Thracian told me that in these notions of theirs, which I was just now mentioning, the Greek physicians are quite right as far as they go; but Zamolxis, he added, our king, who is also a god, says further, "that as you ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this," he said, "is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas, because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well." For all good and evil, whether in the body or in human nature, originates, as he declared, in the soul, and overflows from thence, as if from the head into the eyes. -- Charmides, 156-8


Plato -- if I may quote him again -- in another passage dealing with a certain Zalmoxis, a Thracian and also a master of this art has written that magical charms are merely beautiful words. If that is so, why should I be forbidden to learn the fair words of Zalmoxis or the priestly lore. of Zoroaster? -- Apology, II, 26

Diodorus Siculus

Thus it is recorded that among the Arians Zathraustes claimed that the Good Spirit gave him his laws, among the people known as the Getae who represent themselves to be immortal Zalmoxis asserted the same of their common goddess Hestia, and among the Jews Moyses referred his laws to the god who is invoked as Iao. They all did this either because they believed that a conception which would help humanity was marvellous and wholly divine, or because they held that the common crowd would be more likely to obey the laws if their gaze were directed towards the majesty and power of those to whom their laws were ascribed. -- Book I, c.94,


Apparently Hellanicus also gives the story from Herodotus in his "Nomina Barbarica", remains of which in FGrH, 4 F 73.


14. Pythagoras had another youthful disciple from Thrace. Zamolxis was he named because he was born wrapped in a bear's skin, in Thracian called Zalmus. Pythagoras loved him, and instructed him in sublime speculations concerning sacred rites, and the nature of the Gods. Some say this youth was named Thales, and that the barbarians worshipped him as Hercules.

15. Dionysiphanes says that he was a servant of Pythagoras, who fell into the hands of thieves and by them was branded. Then when Pythagoras was persecuted and banished, (he followed him) binding up his forehead on account of the scars. Others say that, the name Zamolxis signifies a stranger or foreigner. -- Vita Pythagorae, 14-15.


Those who came from this school, not only the most ancient Pythagoreans, but also those who during his old age were still young, such as Philolaos, and Eurytus, Charendas and Zaleucus, Brysson and the elder Archytas, Aristaeus, Lysis and Empdocles, Zamoixis and Epimanides, Milo and Leucippus, Alcmaeon and Hippasus, and Thymaridas were all of that age, a multitude of savants, incomparably excellent, --- all these adopted this mode of teaching, both in their conversations, and commentaries and annotations. -- ch. 23 -- use of parables in instruction.

Nor need we specially admire those (above mentioned professional) legislators. Pythagoras had a slave by the name of Zamolxis, hailing from Thrace. After hearing Pythagoras's discourses, and obtaining his freedom, he returned to the Getae, and there, as has already been mentioned at the beginning of this work, exhorted the citizens to fortitude, persuading then that the soul is immortal. So much so is this that even at present all the Galatians and Trallians, and many others of the Barbarians, persuade their children that the soul cannot be destroyed, but survives death, so that the latter is not to be feared, so that (ordinary) danger is to be met with a firm and manly mind. For instructing the Getae in these things, and for having written laws for them, Zamolxis was by them considered as the greatest of the gods.-- ch.30.

Diogenes Laertius

He had brothers, the eldest of whom was named Eunomus, the middle one Tyrrhenius, and a slave named Zamolxis, to whom the Getae sacrifice, believing him to be the same as Saturn, according to the account of Herodotus (4:93). -- Life of Pythagoras 1


I should now like to name the famous persons I saw. To17 begin with, all the demi-gods, and the besiegers of Troy, with the exception of Ajax the Locrian; he, they said, was undergoing punishment in the place of the wicked. Of barbarians there were the two Cyruses, Anacharsis the Scythian, Zamolxis the Thracian, and the Latin Numa; and then Lycurgus the Spartan, Phocion and Tellus of Athens, and the Wise Men, but without Periander. And I saw Socrates son of Sophroniscus in converse with Nestor and Palamedes; clustered round him were Hyacinth the Spartan, Narcissus of Thespiae, Hylas, and many another comely boy. -- True History book 2.

Damis. Thank you; a timely reminder; national observances show better than anything else how vague religious theory is. Confusion is endless, and beliefs as many as believers. Scythia makes offerings to a scimetar, Thrace to the Samian runaway Zamolxis, Phrygia to a Month-God, Ethiopia to a Day-Goddess, Cyllene to Phales, Assyria to a dove, Persia to fire, Egypt to water. -- Zeus Tragoedus, 42.

Momus: Ah; and out of consideration for him I suppose I must also abstain from any reference to the eagle, which is now a God like the rest of us, perches upon the royal sceptre, and may be expected at any moment to build his nest upon the head of Majesty?--Well, you must allow me Attis, Corybas, and 9 Sabazius: by what contrivance, now, did they get here? and that Mede there, Mithras, with the candys and tiara? why, the fellow cannot speak Greek; if you pledge him, he does not know what you mean. The consequence is, that Scythians and Goths, observing their success, snap their fingers at us, and distribute divinity and immortality right and left; that was how the slave Zamolxis's name slipped into our register. However, 10 let that pass. But I should just like to ask that Egyptian there--the dog-faced gentleman in the linen suit 1--who he is, and whether he proposes to establish his divinity by barking? -- The Gods in Council.

Something perhaps in Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 173. Also in the Suda, Diogenes Laertius Proem. 1 and VIII, 1:1. Also Lucian, "true history", II, 17. Also "Iupp. trag. 42" and "deorum conc. 9", whatever those are (I'm reading Pauly's RealEncyclopadie). Also Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras 14. That may be it. NB: the Getae certainly also worshipped Hestia and Ares.

Apparently "Iupp. trag." is Lucian, "Jupiter Tragoedus" (a name in everyone's lips), lit. "Zeus rants". Trying to find an English translation. And "deorum conc." is another Lucian.


Among his followers, however, who escaped the conflagration were Lysis and Archippus, and the servant of Pythagoras, Zamolxis, who also is said to have taught the Celtic Druids to cultivate the philosophy of Pythagoras. And they assert that Pythagoras learned from the Egyptians his system of numbers and measures; and I being struck by the plausible, fanciful, and not easily revealed wisdom of the priests, he himself likewise, in imitation of them, enjoined silence, and made his disciples lead a solitary life in underground chapels. -- book 1, c.2.

22. And the Celtic Druids investigated to the very highest point the Pythagorean philosophy, after Zamolxis,123 by birth a Thracian,124 a servant of Pythagoras, became to them the originator of this discipline. Now after the death of Pythagoras, Zamolxis, repairing thither, became to them the originator of this philosophy. The Celts esteem these as prophets and seers, on account of their foretelling to them certain (events), from calculations and numbers by the Pythagorean art; on the methods of which very art also we shall not keep silence, since also from these some have presumed to introduce heresies; but the Druids resort to magical rites likewise. -- Refutation of all Heresies, book 1, c.22.


The Jew continues his address to those of his countrymen who are converts, as follows: 'Come now, let us grant to you that the prediction was actually uttered. Yet how many others are there who practise such juggling tricks, in order to deceive their simple hearers, and who make gain by their deception?—as was the case, they say, with Zamolxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and with Pythagoras himself in Italy; and with Rhampsinitus in Egypt (the latter of whom, they say, played at dice with Demeter in Hades, and returned to the upper world with a golden napkin which he had received from her as a gift); and also with Orpheus among the Odrysians, and Protesilaus in Thessaly, and Hercules at Cape Tænarus, and Theseus.' -- Origen Against Celsus 2:55

 Zalmoxis (Greek Ζάλμοξις, also known as Salmoxis, Σάλμοξις, Zamolxis, Ζάμολξις, or Samolxis Σάμολξις) was a legendary social and religious reformer, regarded as the only true god by the Thracian Dacians (also known in the Greek records as Getae Γέται). According to Herodotus,[1] the Getae, who believed in the immortality of the soul, looked upon death merely as going to Zalmoxis (who is also called Gebeleizis by some among them[citation needed]) as they knew the way to become immortals.


Herodotus was told by the Euhemeristic Pontic Greeks that Zalmoxis was really a man, formerly a disciple of Pythagoras[2], who taught him the "sciences of the skies" at Samos. Zalmoxis was manumitted and amassed great wealth, returned to his country and instructed his people, the Getae, about the immortality of the soul. Zenon reiterates the idea that Zalmoxis was Pythagoras' slave.

However, Herodotus, who declines to commit himself as to the existence of Zalmoxis, expresses the opinion that in any case Zalmoxis must have lived long before the time of Pythagoras

Pythagora died around 495 BC. Today, it is believed that Zalmoxis traveled around the world and mostly to Egypt between 1,800 BC and no later than 1,200 BC. The archaism of Zalmoxis's doctrine points out to a heritage from before the times of Indo-Europeans [3]

According to Herodotus, at one point Zalmoxis traveled to Egypt and brought the people mystic knowledge about the immortality of the soul, teaching them that they would pass at death to a certain place where they would enjoy all possible blessings for all eternity.

Zalmoxis then had a subterranean chamber constructed (other accounts say that it was a natural cave) on the holy mountain of Kogaion, to which he withdrew for three years (some other accounts considered he actually lived in Hades for these three years).

After his disappearance, he was considered dead and mourned by his people, but after three years he showed himself once more to the Getae, who were thus convinced about his teachings: an episode that some considered to be a resurrection (Thus he can be seen a life-death-rebirth deity, parallel to Tammuz or Jesus.)

Plato says in the Charmides dialogue that Zalmoxis was also a great physician who took a holistic approach to healing body and mind; not just the body, as was the Greek practice.

  Such, Charmides, I said, is the nature of the charm, which I learned when serving with the army from one of the physicians of the Thracian king Zamolxis, who are to be so skilful that they can even give immortality. This Thracian told me that in these notions of theirs, which I was just now mentioning, the Greek physicians are quite right as far as they go; but Zamolxis, he added, our king, who is also a god, says further, "that as you ought not to attempt to cure the eyes without the head, or the head without the body, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this," he said, "is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas, because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well." For all good and evil, whether in the body or in human nature, originates, as he declared, in the soul, and overflows from thence, as if from the head into the eyes. And therefore if the head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first thing. And the cure, my dear youth, has to be effected by the use of certain charms, and these charms are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance is, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body. And he who taught me the cure and the charm at the same time added a special direction: "Let no one," he said, "persuade you to cure the head, until he has first given you his soul to be cured by the charm. For this," he said, "is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body." And he added with emphasis, at the same time making me swear to his words, "Let no one, however rich, or noble, or fair, persuade you to give him the cure, without the charm." Now I have sworn, and I must keep my oath, and therefore if you will allow me to apply the Thracian charm first to your soul, as the stranger directed, I will afterwards proceed to apply the cure to your head. But if not, I do not know what I am to do with you, my dear Charmides.

And here lies the point; for if, as he declares, you have this gift of temperance already, and are temperate enough, in that case you have no need of any charms, whether of Zamolxis or of Abaris the Hyperborean, and I may as well let you have the cure of the head at once; but if you have not yet acquired this quality, I must use the charm before I give you the medicine.

"Zalmoxis had a tattoo-mark on his forehead which Greek writers, unaware of its religious significance, explained by saying that he had been captured by pirates, who branded him for the slave-market" (Herodotus: 5.6.2) The tattoing was as mark of dedication to a god. Tattooing was likewise practiced by Dacians (Pliny) [4]



 Fresco of the Aleksandrovo kurgan. The right figure with the double axe is identified with Zalmoxis


After the death of Zalmoxis, his cult grew into a popular religion. During the rule of Burebista, the traditional year of his birth, 713 BC, was to be considered the first year of the Dacian calendar. During the rule of Burebista between 82 BC and 44 BC, the priest Deceneu impose a series of reforms in Dacian cult, one of them being the restriction of wine consumption.

Iamblicus (280-333 AD)“For instructing the Getae in these things, and for having written laws for them, Zalmoxis was by them considered as the greatest of the gods” [5] Aristotle equates Zalmoxis with Phoenician Okhon and Libyan Atlas. It is possible that Zalmoxis is Sabazius, the Thracian Dionysus or Zeus. Mnaseas of Patrae identified him with Cronos (Hesychius also has Σάλμοξις ὁ Κρόνος).

In Plato, he is mentioned as skilled in the arts of incantation. Zalmoxis gave his name to a particular type of singing and dancing (Hesych) [4] His realm as a god is not very clear, as some considered him to be a sky-god, a god of the dead or a god of the Mysteries.

Lactantius (early Christian author 240 – 320 AD) about the Getae-Dacians belief in Zalmoxis provide an aproximate translation of Julian the Apostate writing, that he put this word in [emperor] Traian mouth.

Zalmoxis: Obscure Pagan, Lucian Blaga, Doris Plantus-Ru 
Doris Plantus-Runey (Translator),
Keith Hitchins (Introduction)


Burebista's adviser the Great Priest Deceneu  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




Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": ZALMOXIS, THE GOD OF THE GETAE

(Herodotus, 'History.' IV, 93-6)  

Zalmoxis (Saitnoxis) was the Supreme God of the Getae (or Dacians), a Thracian people inhabiting a territory including today's Romania, but also extending farther east and northeast. Our only important information concerning this rather enigmatic deity is the text of Herodotus quoted below. The scholars have interpreted Zalmoxis as a Sky-god, a god of the dead, a Mystery-god, etc.

93. But before he came to the Ister, he first subdued the Getae, who pretend to be immortal. The Thracians of Salmydessus and of the country above the towns of Appolonia and Mesambria, who are called Cyrmaianae and Nipsaei, surrendered themselves unresisting to Darius; but the Getae, who are the bravest and most law-abiding of all Thracians, resisted with obstinacy, and were enslaved forthwith.

94. As to their claim to be immortal, this is how they show it: they believe that they do not die, but that he who perishes goes to the god Salmoxis of Gebelexis, as some of them call him.

Once in every five years they choose by lot one of their people and send him as a messenger to Salmoxis, charged to tell of their needs; and this is their manner of sending: Three lances are held by men thereto appointed; others seize the messenger to Salmoxis by his hands and feet, and swing and hurl him aloft on to the spear-point. If he be killed by the cast, they believe that the gods regard them with favour; but if he be not killed, they blame the messenger himself, deeming him a bad man, and send another messenger in place of him whom they blame. It is while the man yet lives that they charge him with the message. Moreover when there is thunder and lightning these same Thracians shoot arrows skyward as a threat to the god, believing in no other god but their own.

95. For myself, I have been told by the Greeks who dwell beside the Hellespont and Pontus that this Salmoxis was a man who was once a slave in Samos, his master being Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus; presently, after being freed and gaining great wealth, he returned to his own country. Now the Thracians were a meanly-living and simple witted folk, but this Salmoxis knew Ionian usages and a fuller way of life than the Thracian; for he had consorted with Greeks, and moreover with one of the greatest Greek teachers, Pythagoras; wherefore he made himself a hall, where he entertained and feasted the chief among his countrymen, and taught them that neither he nor his guests nor any of their descendants should ever die, but that they should go to a place where they would live for ever and have all good things. While he was doing as I have said and teaching this doctrine, he was all the while making him an underground chamber. When this was finished, he vanished from the sight of the Thracians, and descended into the underground chamber, where he lived for three years, the Thracians wishing him back and mourning him for dead; then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and thus they came to believe what Salmoxis had told them. Such is the Greek story about him.

96. For myself, I neither disbelieve nor fully believe the tale about Salmoxis and his underground chamber; but I think that he lived many years before Pythagoras; and whether there was a man called Salmoxis, or this be the name the Getae for a god of their country, I have done with him.


Translation by A.D. Godley, in the Loeb Classical Library, vol II (New York, 1938)

Herodotus, 'History.' IV, 93-6)

Zalmoxis, or the northern Orpheus was the Teacher Ruler who introduced the faith in Immortality in the area between the Carpathian Mountains and Haemus (today the Balkan Range). He and his followers-aristocrats, organised in closed society trust in the Word that arouses the access to the Divine Knowledge. It is the Eternal Energy and only the deeply believing person who is continuously developing himself to spiritual perfection is able to aspire to it and to merge with it.

The faith in Immortality inspired the Getai during the hard periods of their history.


Alexandru Busuioceanu – Zamolxis sau mitul dacic în istoria şi legendele spaniole| Despre making-of-ul popoarelor

Cartea care include informatii despre felul in care erau priviti Geto-Dacii la Roma poate fi lecturata on line la:

Zamolxis sau mitul dacic în istoria şi legendele spaniole

Alexandru Busuioceanu – Zamolxis sau mitul dacic în istoria şi legendele spaniole|

Despre making-of-ul popoarelor
Napoleon spunea odată că în timp ce gloria este trecătoare, anonimitatea este în schimb eternă. În această reflecţie, meritul adevărat este ascuns sub praful anonimităţii nu de uitare, cât de mareea trivialităţii. “Confiscaţi, cum suntem, toţi de treburi personale şi nevoi personale, ni se întâmplă să trecem pe lângă opere excepţionale, fără să le vedem”. Aşa îi răspundea într-o scrisoare Mircea Eliade lui Alexandru Busuioceanu privind un studiu trimis de ultimul marelui istoric al religiilor.
Născut într-o generaţie strălucită care a îmbinat misiunea spiritului cu devotamentul patriotic şi care i-a dat pe Cioran, Nae Ionescu, Constantin Noica, Lucian Blaga sau Gheorghe Brătianu, Alexandru Busuioceanu este unul dintre fiii risipiţi ai ţării. Născut la Slatina în ianuarie 1894 şi rămas la Madrid în 1961, viaţa i-a permis să-şi valorifice pluralul talent în evantaiul artelor umaniste : poezie, istorie, diplomaţie, critică de artă. După absolvirea liceului la Ploieşti va participa ca voluntar la Primul război mondial şi în 1920 îşi va termina studiile la Facultăţile de Litere şi Filozofie. Studiile de istoria artei de la Roma şi Viena vor fi încununate de un doctorat magna cum laudae cu titlul : „Un ciclu de fresce din sec. al XVI-lea: Sant’ Urbano alla Caffarella”. După stabilirea în Spania, la Madrid, în 1945 predă română la Universitate şi face lobby pentru acceptarea limbii în şapte universităţi spaniole. Cele trei volume de poezii în limba lui Cervantes : „Poemas patéticos”; „Inominada luz”; „Proporción de vivir” îi vor aduce recunoaşterea mediului academic madrilen.

Studiul despre Zamolxis trimite către o preocupare azi încă fierbinte dar restrânsă la forumuri pe internet şi cenacluri pentru experţi : şi anume originea poporului român.
Versiunea actuală a întemeierii duale (daci + romani) este un compromis între latinismul paşoptiştilor şi sirena tracomanismului. În timp ce primul dorea să arate ultra-apăsat descendenţa romanică a românilor, cel de-al doilea vorbea despre primatul elementului tracic. Primul dorea să legitimeze aspiraţiile politice şi culturale occidentale ale românilor, celălalt exalta, mai mult sau mai puţin, un fel de utopie naţionalistă autarhică (“Nu avem nevoie de nimeni. Putem progresa doar prin noi înşine”).
Manualele de istorie ne învaţă că moştenirea Imperiului Roman a fost salba de naţiuni moderne. Dar nu ni se spune şi procesul propriu-zis al metamorfozei, acel making of. Cu alte cuvinte cum s-au influenţat reciproc popoarele în creuzetul roman.
Alexandru Busuioceanu îşi propune o istorie intelectuală. Cu o luciditate nuanţată el urmăreşte felul în care a fost redată istoria spaţiului geto-dacic prin lentila autorilor spanioli antici şi medievali.
Trei sunt etapele care impun imaginea spaţiului nord-dunărean în atenţia autorilor spanioli :
a) scrierile lui Seneca şi altor autori din secolul I d.Hr. Fragilul limes roman de la Rin şi Dunăre este mereu contestat de triburile germanice, scitice, celtice şi geto-dace, sedimentând o anxietate profundă în imaginarul colectiv al romanilor. În scrieri precum De brevitate vitae, Tragedii şi Naturales questionaes teama de invazia barbarilor se împleteşte cu teama apocalipsa unei reversări colosale a Danubiului care va înghiţi în cele din urmă întreaga lume :
“Cum crezi că vor fi Ronul, Rinul şi Danuviul.. atunci când vor ieşi toate din albia lor ? ..Când Danuviul nu mai atinge nu numai poalele ori brâul munţilor, ci le bate culmile, târând cu sine povârnişuri potopite, costişele smulse şi promontoriile vastelor ţinuturi, care, săpate din adâncuri, se vor desprinde de continent?” [p.52]
Un alt punct important, cu repercursiuni nebănuite în această istorie intelectuală este un poem al poetului latin Lucan:
“[O,zei] Învrăjbiţi-ne cu toate popoarele, numai abateţi de la noi războiul civil. Să ne ameninţe dintr-o parte dacul, din altă getul ; să năvălească unul în calea iberilor, să-şi întoarcă celălalt steagurile către tolbele cu săgeţi ale răsăritului partic” (Hinc Dacus premat, inde Getes, occurat Hiberis/ Alte, ad Eoas hic vertat signa pharetras). [p.41]
b) Al doilea mare episod ale serialului constă evident în cucerirea romană a Daciei. Împăraţii de origine spaniolă (de la Nerva Traian la Marcus Aurelius şi Commodus) scriu cea mai frumoasă linie de succesiune (minus Commodus) din istoria Imperiului şi impun o interacţiune între cele două provincii. O serie de legiuni şi unităţi auxiliare, alături de funcţionari şi colonişti originari din Peninsula Iberică sunt atestaţi în provincia nord-dunăreană.
c) Prăbuşirea treptată a Imperiului şi negura medievală care se instalează, induce şi o schimbare paradigmatică ce se vede şi în scrierea istoriei. Pentru autorii spanioli, legaţi mai mult de patria iberică decât de ideea imperială veştejindă, preocuparea va fi să unească o viziune creştină asupra istoriei cu elogierea regilor vizigoţi ! Preluând o confuzie iniţială a poetului Claudius, autori precum Paul Orosius şi după el Isidor din Sevilla vor confunda pe geţi cu goţi şi vor articula o întreagă mitologie în jurul acestei confuzii. Paulinus de Nola va avea şi el o contribuţie la această sinonimie, fiind citat mai târziu de Isidor : “Iar dacii au fost din neamul goţilor (Daci autem Gothorum soboles fuerunt)” [p.105]. Istoria însăşi a acestei confuzii este la rândul ei mai amplă decât permite spaţiul acestor rânduri. Trebuie completat prin a spune că autori de sorginte daco-romană sau gotică, apropiaţi spaţiului nord-danubian vor perpetua sinonimia dintre geţi şi goţi (ex : istoricul Iordanes şi episcopul Niceta din Ramesiana). Isidor din Sevilla însă, cu autoritatea teologică atât de importantă în timpurile medivale, va deveni referenţialul care va fi creditat filiaţia geto-goţilor. “Vremea lui Isidor nu este o epocă a curiozităţii geografice, ci a refugiului în orizonturi terestre mărginite, pe care omul nu le putea extinde decât prin legende şi superstiţii. Lumea largă era cutreierată numai de cetele de călăreţi barbari, care treceau vijelios printre ruine..Dacia..rămânea învăluită pentru el în neguri getice şi scitice, undeva în septentrionul îngheţat” [p.110] Cum istoriografia păgână pe care o consultă nu este suficientă, Isidor va tricota o poveste bazată pe speculaţii etimologice şi intuiţii biblice. Versul lui Lucan, mai sus menţionat : getul să năvălească unul în calea iberilor, este interpretat ca dovada că geţii şi goţii sunt acelaşi popor şi misiunea lor este să ajungă pe ibericele ţinuturi. Cu ajutorul lecturii din Flavius Josephus, autorul celebrelor Antichităţi iudaice, Isidor echivalează pe goţi şi cu neamul Magog din Biblie. Astfel geţii/goţii devin vehiculul unui potop profeţit de Scriptură pentru a pedepsi păgânismul roman şi a-l incinera pe altarul religiei christice. Traian, iberul, cuceriorul Daciei nu mai are ce căuta în poveste. Cuceritor al geţilor [goţilor] şi prigonitor al creştinilor este un personaj nefrecventabil în dubla cheie de lectură a Spaniei gotico-catolice. Sf Augustin, acuzându-l de prigonirea creştinilor îl va trece într-un index din care nu va mai fi scos decât de Dante în secolul XIV. [p.194]
În urzeala extrem de complicată a apud-urilor istoriografice, odată cu transformarea getilor în goţi, poveştile despre Zamolxe, Burebista şi Deceneu sunt prelucrate şi ele. Zamolxis, personaj controversat, aflat la limita dintre zeu şi supraom, este considerat elevul lui Pitagora, de către autori antici precum Herodot, Platon şi Strabo. Astfel Zamolxen, Boruista şi Deceneo ajung, alteraţi, parte a mitologiei fondatoare a Spaniei vizigote. Astfel ne putem explica cum în Cetatea Soarelui, Campanella alătură în Templul Ştiinţei pe Zamolxis lui Iisus şi Mahomed printre mari creatori de religii. [pp.131-148 şi 154]
Un amănunt deosebit de interesant ţine de heraldica regilor catolici, heraldică încă în vigoare. Un mit legitimator, cum a fost acela al originii răsăritene a goţilor poposiţi în Spania conţine multiple amănunte şi pătrunde până în capilarele unei comunităţi. Descrieri ale obiceiurilor, vestimentaţiei, armelor sau ocupaţiei geto-dacilor sunt prezente la autorii romani şi vor intra şi în atenţia celor spanioli medievali. Arcul dacic/getic, celebru în lumea acelor timpuri devine parte a simbolisticii gotice şi va fi în cele din urmă încrustrat pe emblema monarhică a Spaniei [p.202].§1 Vezi aici.
Asemeni culesului viilor toamna, parcurgerea cărţii lui Alexandru Busuioceanu oferă o plăcută recompensă la capătul efortului. Meritul său este acela de a arunca lumina fermentă a obiectivităţii peste o zonă istoriografică lacunară, dar traversată de părtiniri, fixisme, delir sau lupte de orgolii. Ştiind toate acestea, dacă vor fi fost adevărate nu putem să nu avem acea mândrie fraternă a sentimentului european. Suntem parte a unei lumi pe care am influenţat-o pentru că şi ea ne-a influenţat. Pentru mine cel puţin, nu poate să nu-mi trezească o mai veche meditaţie asupra viitorului : cum vom fi amintiţi peste secole oare ? Zgomotul de fond al lumii noastre ne va deveni cenuşa sub care vom fi uitaţi ? Cu ce compas harta frugală a viitorului va fi trasând fruntariile lumii noastre ? Poate că un film va deveni o sursă istorică ; un zvon o sentinţă ; numele unui produs comercial vreun zeu. Hmm…

Autor: Alexandru Busuioceanu
Editura: Dacica
 Anul apariţiei: 2009
 236 pagini
 Alexandru Busuioceanu – Zamolxis sau mitul dacic în istoria şi legendele spaniole|
Despre making-of-ul popoarelor
Cartea poate fi lecturata on line la:
Maicuta din Carpati-Nicu Alifantis


Dacian Holy Men in War


Jordanes - The Origin and Deeds of the Goths
Philip, suffering from need of money, determined
to lead out his forces and sack Odessus, a city of
Moesia, which was then subject to the Goths by reason of
the neighboring city of Tomi. Thereupon those priests
of the Goths (Getai) that are called the Holy Men suddenly
opened the gates of Odessus Varna) and came forth to meet them.
They bore harps and were clad in snowy robes, and
chanted in suppliant strains to the gods of their fathers
that they might be propitious and repel the Macedonians.

When the Macedonians saw them coming with such confidence
to meet them, they were astonished and, so to
speak, the armed were terrified by the unarmed. Straight-way
they broke the line they had formed for battle and
not only refrained from destroying the city, but even
gave back those whom they had captured outside by right
of war. Then they made a truce and returned to their
own country.

Zalmoxian Religion

Zalmoxian Religion

In fact, the Zalmoxian religion differentiated the Getae from the other Thracians, at the time of Herodotus.[6],[7].

Religion was characterized by monotheism, aniconism (including the interdiction of writing), the important role of the music, the cyclic resurrection" of the supreme god, the rites connected to immortality and the inititation


"...and they do not believe that there is any god but their own" (Herodotus) [7]. Ancient sources don’t present any other God of Getae-Dacians than Zalmoxis[3]. Among others, Vasile Pârvan, Jean Coman, R.Pettazzon, E.Rohde and S. Paliaga consider that Getae -Dacians religion is monotheistic. Others consider it henotheistic


was a specific characteristic of the Getae-Dacian religion. This trait is similar to Judaism and Islamism.
The only exception is the one of the so-called deity the "Thracian Knight" under the Greek Influence. After conquest (after 107 AD) it appears some representations of the Romans assimilated local deities (see Diana-Bendis)
The total interdiction of visual representation included the writing. This is similar to the Druids' doctrine (Hippolytus said that the druids learned Pythagorean philosophy from Zalmoxis)
Such an interdiction couldn’t function without a strong religious substratum, conventionally named Zalmoxian religion
This mentality survived until the 17th century within "Jus Valachicum" (Lex lachorm), a juridical and traditional system always oral[8]


 Zalmoxis were a main, or an indigenous Getan deity. The latter appears to have been the real state of the case. (Iambl. Vit. Pyth. § 173; Diog. Laërt. viii. 1; Phot. Cod. 166.) The Getae believed that the departed went to him. Every four years they selected a man by lot to go as a messenger to Zalmoxis, and tell him what they needed. The mode in which the man was killed is described by Herodotus (iv. 94; comp. Clem. Alex. Strom. iv. p. 497).



"They think that they do not really die, but that when they depart this life they go to Zalmoxis"[7]
The ritual of sending a messenger to Zalmoxis (every five years) is explained by this belief. "The messages are given while the man is still alive"[7] and this is their manner of sending: Three lances are held by men thereto appointed; others seize the messenger to Salmoxis by his hands and feet, and swing and hurl him aloft on to the spear-point. If he be killed by the cast, they believe that the gods regard them with favour; but if he be not killed, they blame the messenger himself, deeming him a bad man, and send another messenger in place of him whom they blame. It is while the man yet lives that they charge him with the message.

Music and dance

Music and dance were an important part of Zalmoxis teachings and this corresponds to the special importance given by Getae-Dacians to the music.
Zalmoxis gave his name to a particular type of singing and dancing (Hesych)

Initiation It is similar to the Pythagorean doctrine

Chthonic character It was an essential characteristic of a religious system that existed before Indo-Europeans, as expressed by Marija Gimbutas and Sorin Paliga [3]

 Expoziţie de piese arheologice dacice, folosite în ritualuri magice, la Deva


În cadrul expoziţiei şi a smpozionului ştiinţific, organizate la Hotel Deva, în perioada 5 – 6 mai,2011  printre piesele care vor fi prezentate se numără:

cercei decoraţi cu muluri de granule pe pandantiv (sec. XII-XIV), filiera dacică, piese de echipament militar roman din nordul Dobrogei, fibule sarmatice de pe teritoriul României (sec. III-IV) şi numeroase piese de lut dacice folosite în practicile magice.

 Iosif Ferencz, cercetător ştiinţific la Muzeul Civilizaţiei Daco-Romane, spune povestea artefactelor. Statuete, vase de lut în care se preparau poţiuni magice şi alte obiecte folosite în ritualuri sunt prezentate astăzi de istoricul hunedorean.

O pagină a istoriei antice mai puţin cunoscută publicului larg va fi prezentată, astăzi, de doctorul în istorie Iosif Ferencz. El a făcut un studiu asupra obiectelor folosite de daci pentru invocarea zeilor sau pentru prepararea unor poţiuni magice.

„Există dovezi certe că preoţii daci aveau reţete secrete, divulgate numai celor iniţiaţi, de preparare a unor poţiuni magice. Cu siguranţă foloseau anumite plante care erau macerate şi amestecate în proporţii numai de ei ştiute. Pentru păstrarea lor foloseau vase de lut. De asemenea, există numeroase obiecte folosite în diferite ritualuri”, a explicat cercetătorul hunedorean. O parte dintre obiectele magice împodobeau pereţii caselor vechilor daci. „Religia politeistă a dacilor implica ritualuri sacre de chemare a zeilor pentru a-i sprijini”, a spus Ferencz. Obiectele pot fi admirate la Muzeul Civilizaţiei Daco-Romane din Deva.






Kogaionon was the holy mountain of the North Thracian Geto-Dacians, the place where Zalmoxis stayed in an underground cave for three years. After his disappearance into Kogaionon, he was considered dead by the Getae but after three years he resurrected and showed himself to the people, who became convinced by his holy preaching when he emerged from Kogaionon.

Strabo claims that a river with the same name flowed in the vicinity.

One modern translation of Kogaionon is "sacred mountain", which would be connected to a probable Dacian word kaga meaning "sacred", attested in two early 2nd century inscriptions from Tomis.[1]

Kogaionon's location is still under debate, but thought to be either in the area around the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa (there is a 2291m summit there called Gugu and there are speculations that it could be the holy mountain; it may also have been Dealul Grădiştei where the ruins of the sanctuaries of Sarmizegetusa are located)[citation needed] or even the Ceahlău mountain, because every year on 6/7 August the shadow of the mountain forms a pyramid which is thought to have been made by the Dacians.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Olteanu


  • Dicţionar de istorie veche a României ("Dictionary of ancient Romanian history") (1976) Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică, pp. 363
  • Olteanu, Sorin. Καγα: an important Dacian word in Tomitian inscriptions.

Derzelas or Darzalas God of Odessos (Varna)


Derzelas (Darzalas) was a Thracian chthonic god of abundance and the underworld, health and human spirit's vitality, probably related with gods such as Hades, Zalmoxis, Great God Gebeleizis, Derzis, or the Thracian Knight.

Darzalas was the Great God of Hellenistic Odessos (modern Varna) and was frequently depicted on its coinage from the 3rd century BCE to the third century CE and portrayed in numerous terra cotta figurines, as well as in a rare 4th-century BC lead one (photo), found in the city. Darzalas was often depicted in himation, holding cornucopiae with altars by his side. There was a temple dedicated to him with a cult statue, and games (Darzaleia) were held in his honor every five years, possibly attended by Gordian III in 238 AD.

Another temple dedicated to Derzelas was built at Histria (Sinoe)[1] - a Greek colony, on the shore of the Black Sea in the 3rd century BC.

Gebeleizis (or Gebeleixis, Nebeleizis) was a god worshiped by the Getae, probably related to the Thracian god of storm and lightning, Zibelthiurdos.[1] He was represented as a handsome man, sometimes wearing a beard. The lightning and thunder were his manifestations. According to Herodototus, some Getae equated Gebeleizis with Zalmoxis as the same god.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Tomashek,Die Alten Thrakern, II, page 62





Gebeleizis, or Nebeleizis, was the Thracians' Supreme Divinity lightning constituting only one of the "weapons" that this he was said to have used. He was represented through the shape of a handsome sculptural male, occasionally wearing a beard. Gebeleizis provoked thunder and lightning. In some representations, he appears seated on a majestic throne, while in others on horseback, holding an arch in his left hand. A snake is seen coming down versus the horse's head. He is also accompanied, at times, by a one-horned vulture. The vulture holds a fish in its beak symbolizing the named Divinity by itself, and also has a rabbit entrapped within its claws. This God embodies the Absolute Master upon Heaven and Earth, the Patron of military aristocracy. He might possess, though, some Uranian- Solar attributes. The Supreme God, the Great God Gebeleizis is also known under the nicknames of Derzelas, Derzis or the Thracian Knight (others consider "THE THRACIAN KNIGHT" as being a later apparition of some Hero, and not of a God). Other times, the God shows up in the hypostasis of a warrior horseman, accompanied by a faithful hound. He holds a spear as an insignia of power, which is ready to be thrown upon a wild boar from the horse's gallop. When not being shown under a warrior or hunter's appearance, he appears as a peaceful horseman, carrying either a torch or a cornu copia. Sometimes, he is presented as having three heads (Tricephalus), alike the accompanying hound, while othertimes as a blessing God, having his right hand's first three fingers risen or opened, the rest being tightened towards the upper palm. He shows up in these ways within all epigraphic and numismatic testimonies found at the ancient cities of Histria and Odesos (the latter presently called Varna). At Limanu (Constanta County), Derzelas appears shown on horseback, as he similarly may be seen on the Racatau and Zimnicea old pottery, or the Bucharest-Herastrau and Surcea (Constanta County again) discovered hoards.

We shall also encounter him later throughout the Antique world, at the Macedonians -"Macedonian Horseman", while Greek Mithology would similarly carry him under the supreme name of Zeus. From Thracia, Gebeleizis' cult had spread to penetrate inside Asia Minor during 7th century B.C., where it was promptly assimilated by Armenians up to becoming their National Divinity, namely Vahagn or the God of War, most famous for his courage in slaying dragons. Vahagn was associated with lightning and thunder, being represented like an imposing man with hair and beard carved out of flames, while "his eyes were scintillating like two Suns". Ultimately, Gebeleizis or "the Thracian Knight", who is to be found in other people's Mithologies as Zeus or Vahagn, has been logically assimilated by Christian nations to become... Saint George (or Gheorghe) killing the Dragon!

The Supreme male Divinity of Geta-Dacians Gebeleizis, later referred to, at the Lower-Danube area Thracians under the likely Greekenized name of Zbelsurdos, also goes by having a feminine alter-ego, a double named BENDIS, the Great Goddess. Ancient representations, recently discovered, show her to our eyes through the face of a full-figured woman, with prominent cheek bones and curly hair either plaited into two tresses or splitted into two big curls surrounding her lovely looks. Is it really possible that the Goddess Bendis, with her two very long blond tresses gently resting on her back, might actually be a predecessor of the fairy Ileana Cosanzeana, from the later-born popular tales of Romanians? In certain situations, the Goddess appears standing between two sacred animals, which are either deers-like, or between a buck and a snake. The Great Goddess Bendis was mostly adored by Thracian women, for she was embodying the Goddess of Moon, Forests and... Magical charms. A head of the Goddess was discovered at Costesti, while archaeological digging around ruins of the old Sarmisegetuza fortress has brought to light a burned-clay made medallion (measuring 10 cm in diameter and 1.5 cm thickness) showing a Goddess bust with a quiver on shoulder. One of her bronze made busts was discovered at Piatra Rosie, measuring 14.7 cm in height and 13 cm width.

Besides the Supreme God Gebeleizis and the Great Goddess Bendis, Thracians have also had a Divinity of Flames and Fireplace and Guardian of the House, respectively the Goddess VESTA (or Hestia, Histia), to the veneration of whom Thracian houses were built strictly in a rectangular form with stoned or wooden walls. The floor was of trodden soil and had a "two-angle" roof. Not far away from Tartaria region, inside the triangular area of the three "Crish" rivers, astounding remains of the first surface dwellings dating from as early as fifth millenium B.C. have been recently uncovered, meaning they were no less than 7000 years old! These types of dwellings, which would spread afterwards through the entire world, indeed seemed to have been the result of a cult dedicated to this Goddess. The walls were initially meant to protect the sacred space within, and in the middle, flames were lit in a fireplace which were constantly taken care of to keep alight.

The fourth millenium B.C. wasn't exactly a lucky one for the future-to-be Romanian people, stated the experts referring themselves to the crumbling period of the legendary continental bridge which was linking Europe with Asia Minor. This bridge collapsed under the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, thus leaving plenty of room for the formation of a brand new sea, named the Egean Sea. This generated as well a multitude of larger and smaller islands. Due to the very existence of this terrestrial linking bridge, both ancient and modern Greek historians were entitled to acknowledge the possibility of a migration for the Thracian population from the Pontic-Danubian region to the South of the Balcan Peninsula, and from there, towards Asia Minor itself, reaching to some lands around the Eastern Mediterranean such as Bytinia, Missia, Phrygia, Throada, Lydia etc. As it is known today, the fate of each of these civilizations evolved quite differently. Some "lost themselves" among more numerous tribes and completely "vanished" as national identity inside History's immense pit called "forgetfulness"-the Hititians, for instance. Others disappeared at vast distances, as is the Trojans' case, about whom a legend (Virgilius' "Aeneida") tells how Aeneas, the Thracian, guided the survivors of Troja fortress' doomsday up to the Tybrus River's narrow valley on the Italic Peninsula, where they took over Seven "eternal" Hills and afterwards, gave them Thracian "Latin" names. Still, another legend states that within the Carpathian Space, an extremely wise sheperd, Zalmoxis, showed up who was to take over "the Noble Laws" (that is, the "Beleagin's Code") from the Goddess Hestia (or Vesta).

Here are Herodotus' testimonies on Zalmoxis: "According to what I have found out from the (ancient) Greeks living on the shores of Helespontus and Pontus Euxinus (which is today known as the Black Sea), the Zalmoxis whom I'm talking about, being just a mortal, was actually a former slave on Samos Island, specifically belonging to Phytagoras, son of Menesarcos. Being granted, afterwards, free man's status from his grateful master, he would skillfully amass large riches and would return to his homeland after accumulating enough wealth, where he would build a large mansion meant to host important gatherings and personally receiving these people and summoning the Thracian land's leaders to party. Meanwhile, preaching everybody that none of them, or their descendants would ever die for real, but everybody was to go to a certain place instead, where they would indeed live forever and enjoy all the finest meals and pleasures which they would only dream of. As he was accomplishing all the already mentioned deeds and was saying such things to the crowds, he secretly ordered an underground residence to be constructed for himself. When it was ready, Zalmoxis disappeared from the nucleus of Thracian social life and descended to his underground "bunker". He lived there for about three or four years. The Thracians thought he had vanished and wanted him back dearly, lamenting his loss as if he were really dead. At the end of his 4th year, Zalmoxis appeared once more to their eyes, thus managing to make his teachings believable through some kind of "personal example". Regarding Zalmoxis' background itself and his underground hiding shelter, I personally don't fully reject everything that is said, but don't believe too much in it either. It seems to me, though, that he might have actually lived many years before Phytagoras' time.So let Zalmoxis be well, whatever he represents, either a human being or some Demon of the Geta (namely Thracian) people" (Herodotus, "Histories", volume IV, pages 94-95). As we can see, the naive identification of God Zalmoxis with one of Pythagoras' slaves, who became afterwards free and wealthy, is being disputed even by Herodotus himself. Why should WE believe it then?...

Similar accounts are also made by Hellanicos from Mithilenes, by the Great Plato, Mnasea (this last one was even considering Zalmoxis as the Eternity God Chronos!), Diodorus from Sicily, Strabon mostly, Apulleius, Lucianus from Samosatas, Orygenes, Porphyrius (232-304) and Julian the Apostle, Aeneas from Ghaza, and Hesychios from Alexandria. All of them heard and discussed about Zalmoxis who remained within people's memories as a God of the so-called "Underworld Kingdom", as being otherwise suggestively described by the Romanian National Poet, Mihai Eminescu, in his poem "The Phantoms":

"On a huge Throne carved in rock, sits rigidly, pale, yet straight,
With his hand holding the Staff, the Pagan and righteous Priest..."

Lithuanians, at their turn, are going to take over "our" Zalmoxis as God Zemeuks, the name signifying "Land" or "Country". He still represents the God of the Earth's depths, but nevertheless the God of vegetation and fertility, the God of ploughmen and sheperds. But, if Gebeleizis was promising them only the immortality of spirit (for the ritual of cremating dead ones on funeral pyres is associated to his cult), Zalmoxis was yet overgranting to his faithfuls COMPLETE IMMORTALITY, both for the soul and body (the funeral procedure being, in this case, burial), while the believers' spirits would keep on living inside the Kingdom of the Underworld God (just alike Harald's, the teen-ager King, next to Maria's, the Danubian Queen, from the same poem "Phantoms" of our Great Eminescu).

The concept of Zamolxian immortality was representing the very Ethics' concept among all young warriors of the "the Dacian (Thracian) Wolves", who were enjoying the imminent Death's perspective and were even laughing at it, precisely in order to show their indifference towards such an event and their looking forward to faster reaching God's underground meadows. These youngsters were fighting and dying joyfully under the "Wolf's Head" Dacian banner, which we would also encounter at the Macedonians, as well as at the so-called "Roman " legions later, that had actually been formed from Thracians living within boundaries of the Roman-occupied territories.

Human sacrifices for religious purposes had proven to be quite singular in Europe, and one can find them strictly among Thracians. With this perspective in mind, most interesting appears to be a certain similarity with the Aztec civilization's religious traditions, about whose civilization Edgar Cayce was surely stating that they would be direct descendants of the "Atlantis" people (namely, inhabitants of former ancient continent Atlantida, from which the very last portion of land went down in the middle of Atlantic Ocean, through a huge disaster, some 12,600 years ago). Should this peculiar resemblance provide a clue, with respect to a very close friend's suggestion in supporting the presumed joint origin between Central America's Indians and Thracians?... Once every five years, Zalmoxis was sent a kind of "messenger" who was to inform the God on the people's wishes. The chosen one, some young warrior of great physical beauty, unparalleled courage in battles and untainted morality, was thrown into three sharpened spears belonging to his fellow warriors. Should he have had the bad luck not to die instantly, he would be insulted and mocked while another "herald" was prepared and immediately "sent" to personally deliver his message to the Underworld God.

While Zalmoxis represented a God of the "Underworld", Gebeleizis was the "Heavenly" God. The discoveries in Orastie Mountains, as well as of the Great Circular Sanctuary within the Sarmisegetuza (Dacians' main fortress), with its pillars' regular disposal, lead us to assume that some celestial examination was also carried out. Archaeological excavations done under the Cluj native historian Constantin Daicoviciu's supervision have brought to light, within the Gradistea Muscelului area (Orastie Mountains), not only an entire complex of Sanctuaries but also a likely original Dacian calendar, and also the remains of a staircase which was, probably, leading towards an underground place of religious cult.

From a wise man such as Socrates, the Great Greek philosopher quoted by one of his peers, namely Plato, we learn about Zalmoxis to have been, besides a brilliant psychotherapist, also a... magician. Overall, a person to whom our forefathers owe their spiritual status through one of the most righteous and human social order Antiquity has ever had. For we have been indeed a kind of "spiritual State", ambivalent creation of the ones initiated by Zalmoxis and of the Great Priests from Kogaion, the Holy Mountain, a reason for which our boundaries lasted always virtually unchanged, even if, at times, either some civilization overlappings or brief artificial territorial divisions might have occured. As Alexandru Strachina has said, in his book "Trailing the Forgotten Ancestors": "Water flows by, yet ... WE remain". And it is merely odd how most of our modern historians are still able to justify their naked indifference towards all these blatant facts.

In order to better outline the existence of a SOLAR CULT among Thraco-Geta-Dacians, along her book, "Romanian Archaic Linguistic References", Dr. Mariana Marcu mentions "the Thracian Horseman" HEROS, also cited in some Egyptian epigraphic documents (as HEROUS, son of the Solar God Amon Ra himself), while several other researchers have argued that this Divinity would represent nothing else but a newer hypostasis of Horus!... The Thracian Knight's Myth appears difficult to understand. Sometimes, his head is shown surrounded by a Solar halo, a four-leaves rosette. It was assimilated by the Greek population at once with their arrival within the Balcan Peninsula, between 1900-1400 B.C., as Zeus (Helios), the Supreme Divinity, also known under other names like Nefelegeretes (actually, the Greek version of Nebeleizis) -meaning "the One who Gathers Clouds", Ombryos -"the Rain Maker", Keraunos -"the One who Lightens" and some more. Within the entire Romanian tradition (that includes Dacian-Romanian, Aromanian, Macedonian), the Thracian Knight's Myth makes an almost canonical scenario of the old Christmas Carols in winter.

An astonished Mr. C. Cinodaru was noticing that Thracians used to hold so-called "PAGAN CELEBRATIONS" during entire APRIL, precisely organized in order to honor THE THRACIAN HERO. Simultaneously with Christianity's consolidation within the Thraco-Dacian zone, this celebration has been replaced with "Saint George's" ("Saint Gheorghe's"), a holiness whose iconography was apparently inspired by that of the "Thracian Knight". Though, in certain Christmas Carols, Saint Gheorghe and Jesus' names misteriously interchange, creating in this way a total discrepancy between the Carol's greeting verses and their supposedly singing time, respectively the Winter season:

"Along the Sun's river meadows
Grow white-bluish apple flowers.
It's God's flower garden essence,
Whitish flowers, apple flowers,
Apple essence, whitish flowers."


"...His black spurry little horse
Glistening like some raven,
Still his arrow-style cut bonnet,
Bent upon the eyes
Or his mighty spear,
Summer everlasting,
Evening flash of lightning..."

Anybody can see that nothing is mentioned within this so-called "Christmas Carol", which might suggest the Winter period. Yet, summertime appears to be explicitly recollected, as well as an extra quotation of "the Evening Flash of Lightning", namely what was the Thracian God Gebeleizis' symbol. Do you still have any doubts left about it? Within other Romanian Christmas Carol cycles, besides a personification of the Sun itself, the Sun's elder "sister", Salomina, shows up also. Nevertheless, the bride of the Hero coming back from hunting was named Ileana Daliana, or sometimes Lina Melina. We should remember here the Spring time for the Solar God's Celebration at the Thraco-Dacian tribes, just like its environmental background appears clearly pointed out along these "Christmas Carols" narrating, in fact, the time of Nature's rebirth and flourishing of "the apple whitish flowers".

And if within this mythological Romanian-Pelasgian, Thracian or Geta-Dacian puzzle, you choose to name it, we have been successful in discovering, together, our forgotten Faith in the Great God Gebeleizis, the Great Goddess Bendis or Histia, the Goddess of Flames and Fireplace, you still wouldn't have been told the essential unless we also mentioned a Great God of War's existence, namely ARES. The famous Black Sea-exiled Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (43 B.C.-17 A.D.) speaks in his writings about the "Geta individual" next door who was worshipping Ares (an equivalent to the Roman War God Marte), while another Roman, Vegetius, comes to proclaim, no more or less, that "the God Marte has been born from within Thracian Land". And, should we also pay respect to Jordanes' declarations, who was stating that "the Getae people have always adored Marte through an extremely savage cult, killing war prisoners as sacrifices dedicated to His glory...", why should WE wonder then how VLAD THE IMPALER, whom Americans love to call "DRACULA" through Bram Stoker's work of factual History distortion, used to punish the Turkish invaders on Romanian soil by "practicing" his gruesome, Middle Age habit on around 40,000 living prisoners daily?!... On the other hand, on the Roman Emperor Trajan's bas-relief sculpted Column in Rome is presented, probably, the most ancient Warrior God ever, looking grim and ferocious, constantly soliciting a great number of human sacrifices to His glorifying pleasure. Here also appears the barbarian scene of Roman war prisoners being tortured by... Dacian women!

At the South of Danube River, Thracian civilization living around the area used to celebrate as well DIONYSUS, the Grape-Vine Divinity, Patron of the well-known dizzying liquor, whose cult has again been taken over "en passant" by the Greeks who, by this time, were fair-spirited enough in reminding the World that, shortly before Dionysus' coming back home in Thracia, he had initiated himself on Phrygian mysteries at the insistences of His grandmother! Besides the grape-vine, the ivy counted as well among this God's favorite plants. Leaves of the latter, chewed by His extremely "hot" worshippers in combination with large wine quantities, were inducing within those not only drunkeness but even a temporary stage of madness, a mania. Thus, the fact that by far the Thracians' most popular celebration was dedicated precisely to THIS God shouldn't look so surprising. It was annually held in the Autumn, once the grape-vine harvest and grape squeezing were in full progress (some researchers argue, though, it might have taken place once every three years). The night when wine was finally boiling was actually the party's proper night, at the torches' light, and everyone would drink merrily, keeping the party on going this way well into dawn. Maybe this is why Thracians were widely said to be polygamous men. Herodotus, the Greek historian, describes each of them as supportively keeping several wives. Should a "Head of Household" have died, his surviving women were also to face an essential challenge, respectively one mostly beloved by the deceased had to be on the spot identified, so that the closest relative could strangle her in order to be buried along with the late husband. Yet, all other remaining women were simultaneously experiencing genuine pain and great shame not to have been selected as the chosen one (Herodotus-"Histories", fiftth volume, pages 5, Cool.

Opposite to the Grape-Vine God's wanton celebration, lasting through centuries was the cult of THE THRACIAN PRIEST, a relevant symbol for the beautiful, future life's acceptation, which was to be dedicated as well to human beings as to all other creatures' welfare. Thus, "THE SPHYNX", a giant megalithical rock standing alone on the Bucegi Mountains' upper platform and having this peculiar shape, was representing, to all Geta people, no less than the so-called "NIGHT MASTER", an entity later acquired by the same ancient Greeks as ORPHEUS. On another hand, every ancient author has written that "the Orphical Mysteries" were indeed celebrated during night time. However, due to their esotherism, Geta-Thracian Religion's elevated concepts were only acquainted to the Great Priests surrounded by a few initiated elite members. The Greek and Roman writers couldn't have left too much information about it, while being totally denied access within the Zamolxian mysteries.

Now, let us return to the "Night Master's" credo, a highly civilizing belief in Music able to tame not only humans, but nevertheless animals, by either cooling down their violent impulses or just soothing the evil instincts inside. Strabon, the already mentioned reputed historian, was also familiar with the last detail on such Pelasgian Priests, or "Prophets", namely telling us that these ones were omniscient men, truly skilled upon the dreams, Oracle prophecies and Divine signs' interpretation, who used to live in specially carved Underground Sanctuaries (called "katagoian", or "kagoian"). Regarding Orpheus' origins themselves, several Greek and Roman legends state that he WAS too a Thracian, "Prince of the Kyconian people" (which makes a perfect ethnical correspondent to the "Kogoian" term). Orpheus' native fortress is said to be Dion, and thus his descent comes from the legendary "Kogoian", Zalmoxis' Sanctuary.


The Dacian Rider, Cavalerul Trac

Cavalerul trac
Numit "Theos Heros"-stapan capetenie,mai apoi semizeu de origine muritoare iar in varinata romana, "Deus sanctus Heron", unele imagini ale calaretului trac sunt insotite de inscriptii unde numelui "Heron","Heros" ii urmeaza adesea diverse epitete: "Invictus"-Nebiruitul, "Aeternus"-Vesnicul, "Katahtonios"-Stapanul mortilor, "Ktistes"-intemeietorul de neamuri. mai des "Vetespios". Iconografia romaneasca l-a pastrat in chipul Sf.Gheorghe. 


The so-called Dacian Riders were associated with a mystery religion of the Getae and the Dacians, peoples of Thracian stock who lived in ancient Dacia (roughly equivalent to modern-day Romania). The cult of the Dacian, or Danubian, Riders began to spread among Roman soldiers soon after 106 CE, when Dacia was conquered by Trajan and made a province of the Roman Empire. Traces of the cult have been found as far away as the Roman provinces of Gaul and Britain.

Numerous reliefs and gems depicting the Dacian Riders are extant. Of the 232 items catalogued by Dumitru Tudor (1969–1976), 60 were found in Dacia, 24 in Moesia Superior, 34 in Moesia Inferior, 47 in Pannonia Inferior, and 25 in Pannonia Superior. Most of the Dacian reliefs are made of marble.


Funerary-Thracian Rider Stelae, Histria

 Photo: Ioana Grosu, International Academy East, Troy, MI USA


  They were copied on a large scale in lead, a very expensive material whose use can be explained only by the magical purposes for which the images of the Dacian Riders were intended. Of the 90 lead copies extant, 44 were found in Pannonia Inferior.

Numerous reliefs and gems depicting the Dacian Riders are extant. Of the 232 items catalogued by Dumitru Tudor (1969–1976), 60 were found in Dacia, 24 in Moesia Superior, 34 in Moesia Inferior, 47 in Pannonia Inferior, and 25 in Pannonia Superior. Most of the Dacian reliefs are made of marble. They were copied on a large scale in lead, a very expensive material whose use can be explained only by the magical purposes for which the images of the Dacian Riders were intended. Of the 90 lead copies extant, 44 were found in Pannonia Inferior.

The most ancient reliefs show only one horseman, whose iconography was influenced by that of the Thracian Rider. Later monuments show two riders at either side of a goddess whose principal symbolic attribute is a fish. Of the 31 pieces belonging to the one-horseman type, 18 were found in Dacia. The two-horseman type belongs to the later period of this cult, which flourished in the third century CE and declined in the fourth.

Besides the two horsemen and the goddess with a fish, the iconography of the monuments includes prostrated characters, attendants, and various symbols, such as the sun, the moon, stars, and numerous animals (including the ram, dog, lion, eagle, peacock, raven, cock, snake, and sometimes even the bull). Scholarly identifications of the goddess are widely divergent. The two horsemen have been identified with the Dioscuri by some scholars and with the Cabiri brothers by others. The Greek iconography of the Dioscuri has had a particular impact on that of the Dacian Riders, but all these scholarly hypotheses are more or less fanciful.

It is likely that certain beliefs and practices, borrowed especially from Mithraism, were added to a local Dacian cult and that these borrowings changed the cult into a mystery religion. Although the myth of the Danubian Riders remains unknown, it is safe to state that it was based on some Dacian beliefs not shared by the Thracians south of the Danube. The two horsemen and the goddess were probably supposed to establish a link between three cosmic layers (heaven, earth, and underworld), as the partition of the reliefs into three registers seems to suggest.

Only three degrees of initiation were present in the mysteries of the Dacian Riders: Aries ("ram"), Miles ("soldier"), and Leo ("lion"). The first two were placed under the influence of the planet Mars, the last one under the influence of the sun. If we interpret the numerous animals depicted in the reliefs of the Danubian Riders as astrological entities, then we may surmise that the symbolism of this mystery religion was fairly complicated. Inscriptions are unusually scarce in number, short (especially those on gems), and indecipherable. Initiates in the mysteries identified their grade by badges and seals; for example, a gem of unknown provenance bears as its inscription the single word leon. In all probability, sacrifice of a ram played an important part in these mysteries.

See Also

Thracian Rider.


On the Dacian Riders, see the excellent work of Dumitru Tudor, Corpus monumentorum religionis equitum Danuvinorum, 2 vols. (Leiden, 1969–1976). Volume 1, The Monuments, translated by Eve Harris and John R. Harris, is a detailed catalog; volume 2, The Analysis and Interpretation of the Monuments, translated by Christopher Holme, is a thorough survey of scholarly theories concerning the mysteries.



New Sources

Alexandrescu, Petre. "L'oiseau unicorne, Introduction à l'iconologie thrace." Comptes rendues de l'Académie d'Inscriptions et Belles Lettres (1993): 725–745. As well as the Dacian Rider, the god with the unicorn bird was an important presence in the Getan pantheon.

"Heros Equitans." In Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), vol. 6, 1–2. Zürich and Munich, 1992, pp. 1019–1081. Various specialists examine the iconography of the heroic horseman, including full lists of the monuments and the related illustrations. See especially the chapter on "Les Cavaliers Danubiens," pp. 1078–1081, providing a reappraisal of the relevant religious-historical issues.

Sanie, Silvin. "Kulte und Glauben im römischen Süden der Moldau (Ostrumänien)." In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt I, vol. II, 18, 2. Berlin and New York, 1989, pp. 1272–1316. See especially pp. 1294–1296, dealing with the Dacian Rider and its mystery cult guaranteeing immortality.

Geto-Dacian Spirituality

Philosophy and Religion 

"Think, I pray you, what pleasure it was for these brave men, when for a little space they had leisure from warfare, to be instructed in the teachings of philosophy."  Iordanes



Solomonari, "Zgrimties", or "Hultan"


Origins and name

Solomonarii are very important characters of the Romanian mythology, seen like a caste or congregation of wizards with special abilities. Their origin is often linked [1] [2] with that of the ancient Dacian priests. The name "Solomonarii" (plural), "Solomonar" (singular) is a recent name, given because of Christian influences into the folklore, probably in the seventeenth century. The original name for them, is "Zgrimties", or "Hultan".

[1] Traian Herseni, Le dragon dace, in Ethnologica, nr. 1, 1979, p. 13-22

[2] Eugen Agrigoroaiei, Tara neuitatelor constelatii, Iasi, 1981

Appearance and special abilities

The "Solomonari" are not supernatural creatures, but rather humans who have learned special abilities. It is said that the children which will became "solomonar", are born with different signs on them. Later, as the legend says, these children go into forests or in caves, which are usually marked with different inscriptions. There they learn the art of magic from the devil "Uniilă".

It is believed they also have the power to summon a balaur, which they may ride. Also, they can have the ability to control weather, they can bring rain and storms.

In the early history, the "solomonarii" were considered rather as benevolent, but as Christianity begun to supplement early beliefs, the "solomonarii" began to be considered evil, and the popular beliefs invented even an "anti-solomonar" sort of hero. The belief in the "solomonarii" has not died out completely, still remaining in some of the most remote villages.

[edit] Links

Preluata din Formula AS

- Stapani ai vanturilor si calatori prin nori, solomonarii traiesc jumatate in poveste, jumatate prin padurile Bucovinei. Nu exista sat prin care trecerea lor sa nu fi lasat in urma minuni. Aducatori de ploi si risipitori de furtuni, ei poarta oameni prin ceruri si fac sa curga laptele din copaci. Calatorie pe urmele unor mistere stravechi -

Solomonarul este unul dintre cele mai enigmatice personaje ale mitologiei populare romanesti. Mai mult decat niste simpli “vrajitori”, solomonarii, numiti si grindinari, hultani, ghetari, izgonitori de nori sau zgrabuntasi erau - ori poate mai sunt inca - initiati la “scolile de solomonarie” in stiintele astrologiei, ale prezicerii viitorului, dar mai ales in stapanirea tuturor fenomenelor meteorologice. Desi se pare ca termenul “solomonar” a patruns in lexicul romanesc abia prin secolele XVII-XVIII, originea primilor izgonitori de nori se pierde in adancimile istoriei. Unii ii alatura vechilor preoti asceti traco-geti - kapnobatai (“calatori prin nori” sau “umblatori prin fum”), cei care sagetau norii spre a opri balaurii furtunilor. Altii spun c-ar fi urmasi ai Sfantului Ilie, des intalnit in legendele populare, taumaturgul “care-i fulgera pe draci si oamenii pacatosi”. Mai este o varianta: asa cum se spune intr-un basm bucovinean, cules in 1932, “puterea, Solomonarii o au de la imparatul cel intelept Solomon, care a stapanit toate tainele de pe lumea asta”. Solomon, faimosul rege iudeu biblic, putea sa inchida si sa deschida cerurile, iar la porunca lui vanturile il ridicau chiar pana la Dumnezeu.

Dar urmele Solomonarilor nu se afla doar in poveste. Nu demult, am auzit ca prin vaile salbatice ale Bucovinei oamenii inca ii mai vad pe “magii cersetori”, urmasi ai stravechilor solomonari. Cele ce urmeaza se aduna, de fapt, in istoria unei cautari. Voi relata o calatorie varateca prin Bucovina, catre taramul aducatorilor de ploi, facuta de mine in luna lui ciresar a anului 2000, cel mai secetos din ultima jumatate de veac. Povestea s-ar putea numi simplu: “In cautarea Tarii solomonarilor”.


Basmul se apropia de sfarsit. Il ascultasem cu foame de amanunte pe povestitorul din fata mea, despre care se zicea ca-i dintr-un neam foarte vechi de hutuli. Auzisem o intreaga legenda cu solomonari, imblanzitori ai balaurilor furtunii, stapanitori de vanturi si ploi, istorisiri despre “hultanie”, o tehnica straveche de teleportare intre spatii si vremi, sau despre vechile “scoale de solomonarie” din Bucovina, care-i invata pe magii stihiilor prevestirea viitorului, cititul in stele, legarea si dezlegarea de ploi. Si totusi, interlocutorul meu nu reusise sa stranga pulberea acestor imprastiate legende, pe care le intalnise prin carti, gazete sau povesti relatate de babe si de batrani, nu-mi putea explica ce sunt misteriosii solomonari, nici daca ei au existat vreodata. Il interesasera toate aceste superstitii doar fiindca traise in copilarie o intamplare neobisnuita, ce avea legaturi cu misterioasele solomonii. Atunci nu-i daduse atentie, dar cu trecerea anilor a inteles ca secventa aceea are talcuri mult mai adanci si secrete. Isi amintea multi tarani cu straie albe si pielea arsa de soare, risipiti pe un camp nesfarsit. Asteptau ceva parca, privind in cer. Seceta pustiitoare, totul era rosiatic, ogorul fript de blestemul arsitei, iar catre amiaza, glia devenea precum jarul si aerul se curba. Taranii auzeau un zgomot inspaimantator, infundat, de joasa frecventa, si imediat incetau lucrul, batand speriati mii de cruci: “Doamne, ajuta-ne!”. Daca ridicau ochii spre soare, ei spuneau ca le fulgera privirea ceva ca un ghem de carpa alba, inconjurat de ceata, trecand prin vazduh, o nalucire spintecand cerul sau propriile lor minti, cine stie. “Oamenii scuipau in san cu obida, tipand: <>. Hultanul, adica uliul, vulturul, era de fapt solomonarul care fie mergea prin nori, fie <> pe cineva din locuri si timpuri indepartate... Batranii ne ziceau atunci ca-n sat umbla oameni anume creati pentru a fi vrajitori, nascuti cu camasa descantata si caita pe cap, pe care-i recunosti prin aceea ca se tin ca niste cersetori. Dar pe cersetorul acesta nu vezi sa-l huiduiasca cineva, ci lumea se uita la el cu sfiala, ca la un om sfant. Pita pe care o iau acesti milogi nu o mananca, ci o arunca pe ape, pentru sufletul mortilor sau pentru dezlegarea ploilor. Ei, copilaria a trecut... Apoi, cand am citit undeva ca hultania este asemanatoare chiar practicilor samanice, toate aceste secrete ale prunciei mele au inceput sa ma preocupe iarasi, si foarte intens”, isi aminteste tovarasul meu de drum.

Si totusi, omul meu nu vazuse vreodata vreun solomonar, nu stia nici daca in locurile copilariei sale mai exista cineva care sa poata povesti despre descantatorii ploilor. Mai mult, ca un semn rau, el pur si simplu nu reusea sa-si aminteasca nici macar satul bucovinean unde au avut loc aceste aparitii, avea insa credinta ca trebuie sa fie undeva in triunghiul Moldovita-Brodina-Arbore. Drept care acum, la sfarsit de poveste, s-a legat sa porneasca impreuna cu mine prin Obcinile Bucovinei, in cautarea adancilor sale obsesii.

O calatorie initiatica

Ei bine, trebuie sa marturisesc ca n-a fost usor, caci zile in sir am haladuit zadarnic prin catunele muntilor, cateodata batand din casa in casa, iscodindu-i pe batranii mai intelepti ai satelor, care de obicei traiesc sihastriti, dar slobozi in padurile de pe culmi, incercandu-i mereu cu aceeasi si aceeasi intrebare: “Ati auzit vreodata de oameni care, prin descantece, aduc, intorc sau opresc ploaia?”.

Langa hotarul de nord al tarii, la Nisipitu, un mosneag de 84 de ani incepuse sa ne dea speranta. Ioan Cobelita spune ca si acum sunt niste haiduci care stiu “a intoarce” vanturile si furtunile: “Au o lumanare ce-o sfintit-o de Pasti si stie zice niste descantece. Sa zicem c-aicea faceam fan si, daca bate piatra, ei descanta si-o da pe padure, o muta la Lupcina. Dar pentru asta, trebuie sa postesti douaspe vineri peste an. Vinerile mari, in post negru, sunt rugaciuni tare puternice. Uite ce puteau face: daca ei mergeau asa, pe-o poiana si vrea sa bea lapte, el stia asa de tare sa descante, ca infipta cutatul intr-un brad si curgea lapte. I-am cunoscut in persoana, zicea ca stie <>. Da’ de solomonari nu, n-am auzit... Numai cu rugaciune la Dumnezeu si credinta, aia-i!”.

Un alt raspuns am primit de la batrana Sutac Maria. Nu prea aude, aproape a asurzit din cauza unui frig mare care a fost altadata aici, in Nisipitu. Gurile rele zic ca, in taina, si ea s-ar indeletnici cu vraji ori descantece. Desi garbovita pana aproape de pamant, abia putand merge, oamenii o respecta cumva, ca pe o stramoasa a locului. Si in pofida aparentei uratenii a trupului ei sprijinit in carje, chipul prelung, brazdat de vremi, ascunde trasaturi delicate, nobile chiar, si o inteleapta cumpatare ii armonizeaza vorbele. Adanci si pline de talc ii erau povestile, insa de solomonari sau hultani nici pomeneala, nu auzise sau poate doar se facea ca nu auzise. De la batrana asta am aflat insa ca altadata, pentru adusul ploilor, fecioare impodobite ca de nunta erau duse cu sila la un iezer sau la Paraul Ascuns, unde erau imbaiate tocmai in perioada aceea “de boala”, cand n-aveau voie sa intre in biserica. Si ca prin aceasta scalda, fata imblanzea “duhul” apei.

In sfarsit, gasisem ceva. Citisem despre fecioarele curate, trimise in pustie, carora solomonarii le daruiau “capastrul cel fermecat” si puterea de a infrana stihiile firii, facandu-le astfel “solomonarite”. O veche legenda amintea cum “la o fantana, balaurul mananca in fiecare zi un chip de fata mare dupa ce o iubeste”, o alta ca “fecioara sorocea din gura sau cu niste betisoare de alun; in pielea goala se ducea cu betele langa iaz si aducea sau oprea ploaia”.

Din nou in masina, spre Moldovita.

Pazitorii de grindine

Multumiti ca totusi calatoria in tinuturile Brodinei n-a fost zadarnica, ne-am indreptat spre Moldovita, cea mai sudica patrie a hutulilor. Mult am colindat si obcinele acestea legendare, din Argel pana in Demacusa, cautand cu incapatanare pe vracii ploilor, dar calauza mea tot nu-si amintea pe unde vazuse hultanii. Dar un alt zvon ne trimite catre regiunile mai joase ale Bucovinei. Cineva ne zice ca nu aici, ci-n satele din apropierea Radautiului se angaja cate un om, doar ca sa bata clopotele sau toaca atunci cand se apropie o grindina mare, oameni tari cu duhul, numiti “pazitori de grindine” sau grindinari. Ei n-aveau altceva de facut decat sa vegheze in hotarul satului, uitandu-se in nori. Si iarasi, babele zvoneau: pe la Marginea, Casvana, Solca si Arbore se platea altadata cate un vrajitor care citea stelele si gonea norii, care prezicea oamenilor zodiile si vremea, statea pe dealuri, mereu cu ochii pe cer, pazind campii, traind din bucatele cu care il miluiau gospodarii. “La Arbore, da! La Arbore a fost!”, si un fulger de amintire a strabatut ochii tovarasului meu hutul, ca avea acolo un unches pe care nu-l mai vazuse de multi ani, Grigore Manoil pe nume. Pe data, asemeni parca unor “fantanari” insetati de basm, am pornit-o intr-acolo, mutandu-ne si noi cautarile catre zonele mai blande ale Bucovinei. In locuri unde ploua mai putin.

Arbore. Povestea noastra ar fi putut incepe de-aici

Daca se poate zice ca si satele au firea lor, in Arbore, la fiecare brazda de pamant, plugul zgarie cioburile unor batrane civilizatii. Dealurile Portarului, Blandului, Lupului sau Tapului, luncile Clitului si Solcii sunt locuri magice, pline de ciudatenii, ce-au inabusit comorile unor sate dacice. Taranii se minuneaza ca, in fiecare an, din molozuri ori din paraie rasar ulcioare, caramizi sau banuti de aur. Fratii se banuiesc intre ei pentru averi nemuncite, fiindca aici pizma nu-l strica pe om, ci-l face mai puternic. Observ la arboreni o suspecta uniformitate a felului in care si-au cladit casele, toate avand la strada garduri inalte de lemn, inaltate exact la acelasi nivel, si nimeni nu braveaza cu monumentalitatea in fata vecinilor, de parca fiecare ar ascunde cate o taina a casei si n-ar prea vrea “sa dea de banuit”. De-a lungul braului de garduri, cam din zece in zece metri, gospodarii si-au facut porti la fel de asemanatoare, ridicate pe doi stalpi inalti, in varf cu cate un mot de tigla.

Te intampina prietenosi, insa numai de peste gard. La trecerea noastra, capete imbrobodite apar din loc in loc, zambind fara dinti. Pe stalpii telegrafului, in pamatufuri de cuib, berze apocaliptice se arcuiesc catre cer. Remarc o alta bizarerie a arborenilor: in fata absolut tuturor caselor este cate o bancuta scunda din lemn. In zilele de lucru, pe ele nu sade nimeni. Abia la sarbatori toate familiile ies pe laitele astea, spre a vorbi cu vecinii: ulite intregi se impestriteaza de oameni, dar care nu se misca de la porti, nu se aduna in locuri publice, ci stau asa, ore in sir pe banci, comunicand doar cu cei apropiati, ca la o sezatoare intinsa pe cativa kilometri. Si astfel, nu e de mirare ca multi consateni nici nu se cunosc intre ei, ca nu au de unde sa stie ca la fiecare trei case ar locui cate un fermecator din vechime.

Importanta este in Arbore strigarea numelor. Fara economie de vorbe, cineva isi cheama vecinul si-i zice Ion Iliese a lui Gheorghe a lui Toader a lui Gheorghe a lui Duminte, iar pronuntarea acestei scurte genealogii nu este flecareala ieftina, ci arata ca omul chemat are stramosi de seama. Cand nu-l strigi asa, omului trebuie sa-i zici porecla. Absolut toti barbatii au porecla, ba se spune ca daca vezi numai cusma flacaului peste poarta stii cine-i acolo.

Si obiceiul asta are o noima: sunt neamuri numeroase si astfel multi sateni ajung sa aiba acelasi nume. Porecla magica rostita intr-un fel anume, cu accentul arborean, devine un fel de cod, de cheie spre inima si bunatatea omeneasca, si doar asa ii gasesti casa mai repede. In acest fel aflam ca-n sat sunt doi cu porecla “Hultanu” si unul cu porecla “Solomonariu”. Eram pe drumul cel bun.

Cei care aduc oameni pe sus

Buliga e neamul cel mai mare din Arbore. Buliga Ion traiesc astazi douazeci si sapte, iar satul ne indruma catre cel mai batran dintre ei, zis Hent, peste care trecusera 93 de ani de adanc zbucium. Locuieste in “Cotu de Jos” al Arborelui, doar el, impreuna cu nevasta, avand casuta, acareturile si ograda pictate in verde. Un mosneag ciolanos, cu fruntea inalta, sapata de necazuri si fata spanateca. Batranul ne vorbeste repezit, parca l-am fi trezit din cine stie ce treburi importante ori, poate, din cine stie ce basm. Ne zice ca si el, ca mai toti casvanenii si arborenii au stat mult “prezonieri” in lagare la rusi, astfel ca-n vremea asta, femeile si mumele lor cautau descantatori puternici, ingeri ai vanturilor. Astora le spunea “cei care aduc oamenii pe sus”, vrajitori care mai traiesc si astazi. “Din ceri se auzea ca un strigat: <>. Urla cei dusi pe sus: <>. Vrajtoriu ii chema, ii ducea si ii trantea unde vra el. S-auzea aici, apoi iarasi, la cativa kilometri, mergea peste noi prin nouri, saracii oameni...”

Ne-a scapat un strigat de uimire. Da!, asta era “hultania”, teleportarea calatorilor prin vazduh. Citisem despre apa sau laptele cald si proaspat pe care trebuie sa-l bea “chematul” spre a i se restabili echilibrul energetic, stiam ca daca umblatorul prin nori nu primeste apa imediat ce ajunge poate muri, caci “zborul” il osteneste de moarte.

La intervale rare, ne intrerupe si batrana Buliga, vorbind despre barbatul ei ca si cum n-ar fi de fata, ca si cum ar fi un lucru neinsufletit. Iata o istorie veche, de cand ea incercase sa-si aduca sotul pe sus, pe care preferam sa o redam cu exactitate: “N-o fost asta acasa trei ani din lagar. Eu n-am vrut sa-l ieu acasa si vrajitoarea m-o hulit. Mi-o zas: <>. Zac: <>. Na, ne-am luat doua femei si ne-am dus la vrajitoarea ceea, eu si o vecina cumatra. Intreb: <>. <>, zice ea. Mi-a cerut cinci sute de lei sa-i dau si de-ale mancarii. Amu, eu eram mai darnica, da’ cumatra asta, asa zgarcita era... n-ar fi dat nemica... Dar cand am vazut-o ca si ea se-ntinde sa deie, apai eu nici atata nu m-am oprit. Apai vin eu acasa, ii pun un pungalau de farina de grau si bani si-i dau. Amu, trece vreo doua zale, ma duc iarasi si-ntreb: <>. Zice: <>. <> <> Zic: <>. Vecina asta zice: <>. Eu zic: <>. Mai trece vreo doua zile, iar ma duc: <>. <>, zace ea. <> Ei, omul femeii istiia vine. Vrajitoarea zice: <>. Mai trece vreo saptamana, vine si a meu acasa. Ase m-am bucurat, c-am lasat si bani si tot, si nu mi-o mai pasat de nemica”.

Si, in sfarsit, o aparut solomonariu, calare pe balaur...

Punctul terminus al initierii nostre. Gasim in sfarsit omul care ne poate vorbi cu exactitate despre gonitorii de nori. E prima data cand auzim cuvantul “solomonar” rostit raspicat si firesc, de gura unui alt batran din neamul Buligilor. Omul din fata mea era el insusi o legenda: stie “cat in stele”, degetele noduroase inca ii umbla ca vrajite pe fluieras sau arcusul cobzei, ba arborenii spun ca mosneagul asta mai bate inca “lunca”, “randunica” sau alte jocuri vechi, dar asa de voiniceste, ca si feciorii tineri se inciudeaza cand il vad. Pe peretele din fund al odaii atarna zeci de distinctii si medalii castigate la mari festivaluri de folclor din lume. Spre deosebire de celalalt Buliga, batranul acesta era in putere, vanos si puternic, carnea nu i se botise de fel, iar pieptul ii era inca bombat si tare. In ochii sai mereu umezi si lucitori, de o inteligenta inspaimantatoare, s-au adunat intelepciunea celor 91 de ani si legendele unui sat intreg. Asa l-am gasit: in cerdacul lui sculptat cu migala, privind departarile, sau veghind parca ceva anume. Astfel isi incepe povestea, cu franchetea de temut a bucovineanului puternic: “Uitati-va la mine, 90 de ani cum ma vedeti, amu o sa ziceti, omu’ asta nu-i cuminte, dar eu atata ma samt de destept, parca nu mai am pereche, la varsta asta ajungi la asa o cumintenie si liniste, ca toate din lumea asta le vezi limpede”.

Despre solomonari i-a vorbit odata, la inceput de veac, prin 1929-1930, un vecin, Vasile Carcu, care a murit in 1940 “de tanar”, la varsta de 60 de ani. Iar acest Vasile Carcu a vazut solomonarul in carne si oase. Iata cum a fost: “Era langa un iezer un balaur care scotea ploile. Vasile asta a luat pusca si-o zis ca el o sa impuste balaurul, fiindca purta dusmanie oamenilor. In vremea asta, solomonariu sta-n balcon cu boieriu mosiei, amandoi. Apai, Vasile asta o vrut sa-l impuste si-atunci vai, s-o starnit o vantoasa si toata iarba dealului o-nceput sa se miste si sa se infoaie, dealu’ tot o prins viata si-atuncea, in sfarsit, o aparut solomonariu. Mare, cu sapte pieptare, cu traista, cartea de vraji in mana, avea un toiag cu care a fost omorat un sarpe, topor descantat si frau din coaja de mesteacan. Cu fraul asta el o imblanzit balaurul. Solomonariu ii spunea: <>. Cand solomonariu ii incalecat pe balaur prin cer, balaurul intreaba de solomonar daca-s in tarina ori pe padure. Solomonariu il pacaleste, zice ca-s in tarina cand is pe padure, asa muta ploile pe paduri si cruta satele”. Da, asta era istoria secreta a mentalitatii populare, de care stiam: balaurul, principiu al haosului si stihiilor, imblanzit si invins de solomonarul demiurg, urmasul zeului dac Gebeleizis, zeul furtunilor fertile, ce strunea cu fulgere fiara norilor de furtuna. Spusele batranului tainuiau pilde ancestrale, povestile sale veneau din veac. “Si solomonariu era om sau ce era? Locuia la boierul acela?”, intreb, iar mosneagul se repede sa-mi raspunda: “Daa, om era, cu musteata. Mergea pe hat si pazea cerul. Boieriu il ospata, dar el nu manca de dulce, manca numai oua, lapte, malai si faguri de miere, asa mananca solomonarii. De dormit nu doarme in casi, cat de ger ar fi, ci pe malul taurilor, in pesteri, scorburi sau in pamant. Traiesc fara femei, zic ca femeia ii stroarce de puteri si daca o singura data o iubit o femeie, se prefac in oameni ca toti oamenii. Si Vasile asta zicea c-o vazut cum venea balaurul inaintea ploii printre nouri, cu solomonariu pe dansul. Solomonariu il prindea de gat si batea grindina. Cand vroia s-o porneasca prin cer, se ducea pe malul helesteului si citea din carte, ca era dascalit. Dupa ce gata de citit, arunca baltagul in mijlocul baltii si cand iesea balauru’ ii arunca capastrul pe gat si pornea ca o naluca prin cer, calare pe balaur, si-l conducea pe unde vroia el, pe la boieri ce nu tineau sarbatorile, ce nu-i dadeau de pomana si le batea mosia cu piatra...”. Si batranul continua, istoria e atat de coerenta, nimic extrasenzorial sau fantastic, totul are o concretete cruda, solomonarul exista si este un om, balaurul e un sarpe sau peste mare, “ca 5 metri lung, mare, cu doua capete si avea patru labe, avea cam 2000 de chile, se lasa in balta ceea, in papura ceea si manca acolo peste. Asta, daca nu-i arunca boieriu in mocirla cate un bou sau o oaie de pomana. Vai, si cand sa ridicau amandoi, solomonariu smucind din frau balaurul cela balos, vecinu’ meu o pus pusca la ochi... da’ solomonariu i-o zis, cu mila, nu-l impusca, ca dupa aceea o sa fie mai rau, mai rau, ii batran aicea, batraan...”.

Repetand acelasi basm si aceleasi cuvinte, batranul parca imi descanta simturile. Prelungirea vocalelor producea un ritm halucinant, ca un suier molipsitor, vorbea despre potopuri, nouri repezi si vanturi, iti legana intreg sufletul ca intr-o dormitare plina de suspinari si surasuri. Aproape ca nu-l mai auzeam, aproape ca nu simtisem cand in ograda au intrat - si nu stiu sa-i fi poftit cineva - tarani casvaneni, in frunte cu hatrul satului Arbore, Grigore Manoila, asezandu-se pe unde-au apucat, ascultand si ei, fara un cuvant, aceasta poveste de demult.

La urma, iesind cu totii din mutenie, casvanenii se pornira sa vorbeasca, dar toti deodata si despre cu totul altceva. Curios este ca imediat au inceput cu totii sa rada si eu nu pricepeam in ruptul capului de ce radeau, caci nimeni nu spusese vreo gluma. Un raset inspaimantator, hohot de casta, profund si sanatos, cu mine in mijlocul lor, privindu-i nedumerit. Si toata carnea fetelor si pantecelor li se misca si, pentru o clipa, observandu-i un licar in coada ochiului lui nea Grigore, am avut impresia ca de fapt de mine radeau, dar asta nu mai avea nici un fel de importanta. Gasisem Tara Solomonarilor.


Bendis, Βενδις

 Artemis Bendis, Thracian goddess of the hunt identified with Artemis by the Greeks, here recognizable by the Phrygian cap and the fawn-skin. Terracotta, ca. 350 BC, may come from Tanagra; Louvre Museum Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sully wing, first floor, room 36 CA 159

By a decree of the oracle of Dodona, which required the Athenians to grant land for a shrine or temple her cult was introduced into Attica by immigrant Thracian residents,[2] and, though Thracian and Athenian processions remained separate, both cult and festival became so popular that in Plato's time (ca. 429-13 BCE) its festivities were naturalized as an official ceremonial of the city-state, called the Bendideia.[3] Among the events were nighttime torch-races on horseback, mentioned in Plato's Republic, 328:

"You haven't heard that there is to be a torchlight race this evening on horseback in honor of the Goddess?” “On horseback?” said I. “That is a new idea. Will they carry torches and pass them along to one another as they race with the horses, or how do you mean?” “That's the way of it,” said Polemarchus, “and, besides, there is to be a night festival which will be worth seeing."

The 'Bendideia' also featured a solemn joint procession of Athenians and Thracians to the Goddess's sanctuary, located at the harbor of Piraeus. A red-figure cup (skyphos) (at Tübingen University), of ca 440-430, seems to commemorate the arrival of the newly-authorized cult; it shows Themis (representing traditional Athenian customs) and a booted and cloaked Bendis, who wears a Thracian fox-skin cap.

Votive stele (British Museum)

A small marble votive stele of Bendis, ca. 350-325 BCE, found at Piraeus, (British Museum, illustration, left) shows the goddess and her worshippers in bas-relief. The image shows that the Thracian goddess has been strongly influenced by Athenian conceptions of Artemis: Bendis wears a short chiton like Artemis, but with an Asiatic snug-sleeved undergarment. She is wrapped in an animal skin like Artemis and has a spear, but has a hooded Thracian mantle, fastened with a brooch. She wears high boots. In the fourth century BCE terracotta figurine at the Louvre (illustration, right) she is similarly attired and once carried a (wooden?) spear.

Bendis in her Thracian cap approaches a seated Apollo. Red-figure bell-shaped krater by the Bendis Painter, ca. 380–370 BCE

Elsewhere in Greece, the cult of Bendis did not catch on.

"Just as in all other respects the Athenians continue to be hospitable to things foreign, so also in their worship of the gods; for they welcomed so many of the foreign rites that they were ridiculed for it by comic writers; and among these were the Thracian and Phrygian rites." --Strabo Geography (1st Century CE), 10.3.18.

The "Phrygian rites" Strabo mentioned referred to the cult of Cybele that was also welcomed to Athens in the 5th century.

The Athenians may have been blending the cult of Bendis with the equally Dionysiac Thracian revels of Kotys, mentioned by Aeschylus. Archaic female cult figures that are unearthed in Thrace or Bulgaria now are identified with Bendis.

Bendida Peak on Trinity Peninsula in Antarctica is named after the goddess.[4]

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ BENDIS : Thracian goddess of the moon & hunting ; mythology ; pictures
  2. ^ Extensive discussion of whether the date is 429 or 413 BCE was reviewed and newly analyzed in Christopher Planeaux, "The Date of Bendis' Entry into Attica" The Classical Journal 96.2 (December 2000:165-192. Planeaux offers a reconstruction of the inscription mentioninmg the first introduction, p
  3. ^ Fifth-century fragmentary inscriptions that record formal descrees regarding formal aspects of the Bendis cult, are reproduced in Planeaux 2000:170f
  4. ^ SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica

[edit] External links

 Bendis, Βενδις

 BENDIS was the Thracian goddess of the moon and hunting who was worshipped with Bakkhic-like orgies in the wilds of Thrake.

The Greeks identified her with the goddesses Artemis, Hekate and Selene (the Moon). Bendis may have been the same as the Thrakian goddess Kotys.


BENDIS (Bendis), a Thracian divinity in whom the moon was worshipped. Hesychius (s. v. dilonchon) says, that the poet Cratinus called this goddess dilonchos, either because she had to discharge two duties, one towards heaven and the other towards the earth, or because she bore two lances, or lastly, because she had two lights, the one her own and the other derived from the sun. In Greece she was sometimes identified with Persephone, but more commonly with Artemis. (Proclus, Theolog. p. 353.) From an expression of Aristophanes, who in his comedy "The Lemnian Women" called her the megalê theos (Phot. Lex. and Hesych. s. v.), it may be inferred, that she was worshipped in Lemnos; and it was either from this island or from Thrace that her worship was introduced into Attica; for we know, that as early as the time of Plato the Bendideia were celebrated in Peiraeeus every year on the twentieth of Thargelion. (Hesych. s. v. Bendis; Plat. Rep. i. 1; Proclus, ad Tim. p. 9; Xen. Hell. ii. 4. § 11; Strab. x. p. 471; Liv. xxxviii. 41.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. C19th Classics Encyclopedia.

Plato, Republic 327a, 328a & 354a (trans. Shorey) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"Sokrates: I went down yesterday to the Peiraios (Piraeus) with Glaukon (Glaucon), the son of Ariston, to pay my devotions to the Goddess [Bendis], and also because I wished to see how they would conduct the festival since this was its inauguration. I thought the procession of the citizens very fine, but it was no better than the show, made by the marching of the Thrakian contingent [i.e. the mercenary force who policed ancient Athens]. After we had said our prayers and seen the spectacle we were starting for town . . .
‘Do you mean to say,’ interposed Adeimantus, ‘that you haven't heard that there is to be a torchlight race this evening on horseback in honor of the Goddess?’ ‘On horseback?’ said I. ‘That is a new idea. Will they carry torches and pass them along to one another as they race with the horses, or how do you mean?’ ‘That's the way of it,’ said Polemarkhos, ‘and, besides, there is to be a night festival which will be worth seeing. For after dinner we will get up and go out and see the sights and meet a lot of the lads there and have good talk . . . Let this complete your entertainment, Sokrates, at the festival of Bendis.’ ‘A feast furnished by you, Thrasymakhos,’ I said."

Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 16 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Also resembling these rites [the sacred rites of Rhea and Dionysos] are the Kotytian (Cotytian) and the Bendideian rites practiced among the Thrakians, among whom the Orphic rites had their beginning."

Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 18 :
"Just as in all other respects the Athenians continue to be hospitable to things foreign, so also in their worship of the gods; for they welcomed so many of the foreign rites that they were ridiculed therefore by comic writers; and among these were the Thrakian and Phrygian rites. For instance, the Bendideian rites are mentioned by Plato."

Suidas s.v. Anoubeidion (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Anoubeidion (Anubis-temple): A particular place. But Bendis-temple (Bendideion)."


Museum Collection: Musem of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Museum Catalogue Number: Boston 1983.553
Beazley Archive Number: N/A
Ware: Apulian Red Figure
Shape: Krater, bell
Painter: Name vase of the Bendis Painter
Date: ca 370 - 360 BC
Period: Late Classical


The Thracian goddess Bendis, dressed in a northern body suit, and wielding a hunting spear, is greeted by the gods Apollon and Hermes. Apollon is seated on a rock, wearing a quiver, and holding in one hand a laurel branch, and the other a hare, which he offers to the goddess. Hermes wears a petasos (traveller's cap) and leans on his caduceus wand.

Detail of the Thracian goddess Bendis, from a vase depicting her with several Greek gods. She is depicted wearing a Thracian body-suit, an animal-skin cap, and holding in her hands a hunting spear and drinking cup 


Museum Collection: Eberhard-Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany
Catalogue Number: Tübingen S101347
Beazley Archive Number: 214330
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Shape: Skyphos
Painter: Attributed to the Phiale Painter
Date: --
Period: Classical


Side A: The Thracian goddess Bendis, stands facing Themis. She is depicted as a huntress, armed with hunting spears, and wearing a short skirt, boots, deer-skin cloak, and fox-skin cap. Themis holds a torch and tray.
Side B: Artemis & Kephalos (not shown).



  • Plato, The Republic - Greek Philosophy C4th B.C.
  • Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Suidas - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here: Proclus Platonic Theology 353; Hesychius s.v. Bendis; Dionysius of Halicarnassus Roman Antiquities 30.45


The Star Map of the Getai King Dromichetes at Dausdava Sboryanovo Complex

Sveshtari A stone tomb with half-tubular arch, which was built in the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC. It is discovered in 1982 under the Ginina mound, which is a part of the Eastern burial mound necropolis. The tomb is a unique monument of the Thracian sepulchral architecture. The extraordinary construction and picturesque ornaments draw out the Sveshtari tomb in the list of the world cultural-historical heritage of UNESCO. Two skeletons are discovered in the burial chamber – of a young man and a woman. The archaeologists consider that the dead are Gettian`s king Dromichite and his wife.

The Thracian funeral burial mounds (tumuli) in the archaeological reserve of “Sborianovo”, near Isperih are built as a mirror projection of the starry sky and hides an astronomical information, older than the Babylonian one.  This hypothesis is proposed by the 76-year-old historian and ex-director of the Isperih museum – Iordan Stephanov.

The disposition of these tumuli recreates the constellations of the visible part of the sky from our latitude: Ursa major, Camelopardalis (giraffe), Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Lacerta, Cepheus and Draco (dragon). The size of the tumuli corresponds to the brightness of the stars.

The hypothesis of Sborianovo, being a huge ancient astronomical complex, is sustained by the so-called “Mysterious stone” found in the atrium of the central chamber of the King mound in “Sveshtari”.  According to the astronomer prof. Vladimier Dermendjiev, from the astronomical observatory of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the stone hides an ancient astronomical information.

Nobody can explain the purpose of building this astronomical chart, but the precision of copying the sky with it’s constellations speaks about the exceptional geodesic skills of the Thracian and their knowledge of the outer space.

The star map of Sborianovo is much more complicated than the representation of the constellation Pleiades, founded in January this year, in Val-d’Aoste, Italy.

According to the historical Iordan Stephanov, the biggest mystery is how the architect has planed his conception to be executed for the further three centuries.



Câţi zei aveau dacii?


ISTORIE. De aproape un secol, partizanii teoriei monoteiste se înfruntă cu cei ai teoriei politeiste 

Câţi zei aveau dacii?  4 Mai 2012


Religia dacilor este un subiect extrem de delicat, din cauza puţinătăţii informaţiilor pe această temă.Un interes imens a apărut în ultimii ani în legătură cu istoria dacilor. Iar acest interes a oferit o tribună de exprimare pentru multe persoane neavizate. Astfel că au apărut teorii care mai de care mai abracadabrante. O serie de lucrări mai puţin cunoscute au fost scuturate de praful arhivelor şi sunt folosite pe post de argumente în disputa publică. Nu contează faptul că multe dintre aceste scrieri sunt depăşite din punct de vedere al ştiinţei istorice. Mai mult, nu contează faptul că multe dintre ele nu au avut niciodată o bază ştiinţifică reală. Argumentele utilizate acum o sută de ani sunt remestecate şi citate din nou. Cărţi referitoare la Dacia preistorică, precum cea semnată de Nicolae Densuşianu, ori la regatul dacilor, precum lucrările lui Vasile Pârvan, au fost reeditate sau circulă pe Internet. Unele teorii despre care cei mai mulţi istorici cred că sunt greşite au fost extrase din aceste lucrări, au fost îmbogăţite pe măsura imaginaţiei unor autori de literatură istorică de tip samizdat, iar acum alimentează o sumedenie de teorii conspiraţioniste.

Printre acestea se numără şi cele lansate de fostul securist Pavel Coruţ, care susţine că dacii ar fi urmaşii extratereştrilor. Alte teorii susţin că dacii ar fi fost strămoşii întregii omeniri. În acest context, a fost lansată şi faptul că, de fapt, limba romanilor, adică limba latină, nu ar fi fost decât un dialect al limbii dacilor, în ciuda dovezilor ştiinţifice care arată faptul că ele făceau parte din grupuri diferite ale limbilor indo-europene.

Monoteism vs. politeism

Religia dacilor stârneşte dispute la fel de vii. În principal, există două mari curente. Unul dintre acestea susţine că, de fapt, dacii ar fi avut o religie monoteistă, iar unicul lor zeu ar fi fost cunoscut sub mai multe nume, printre care Zamolxis şi Gebeleizis. Această teorie este bazată pe un pasaj din Herodot care se referă la credinţa dacilor în nemurire şi care spune: „Iată în ce fel se socot ei nemuritori: credinţa lor este că ei nu mor, ci că cel care piere se duce la Zamolxis - divinitatea lor -, pe care unii îl cred acelaşi cu Gebeleisis. Tot în al cincilea an aruncă sorţii, şi întotdeauna pe acel dintre ei pe care cade sorţul îl trimit ca solie la Zamolxis, încredinţându-i de fiecare dată toate nevoile lor. Trimiterea solului se face astfel: câţiva dintre ei, aşezându-se la rând, ţin cu vârful în sus trei suliţe, iar alţii, apucându-l de mâini şi de picioare pe cel trimis la Zamolxis, îl leagănă de câteva ori şi apoi, făcându-i vânt, îl aruncă peste vârfurile suliţelor. Dacă, în cădere, omul moare străpuns, rămân încredinţaţi că zeul le este binevoitor; dacă nu moare, atunci îl învinuiesc pe sol, hulindu-l că este un om rău; după ce aruncă vina pe el, trimit după un altul. Tot ce au de cerut îi spun solului cât mai e în viaţă. Când tună şi fulgeră, tracii despre care este vorba trag cu săgeţile în sus, spre cer, şi îşi ameninţă zeul, căci ei nu recunosc vreun alt zeu afară de al lor".

Partizanii teoriei monoteiste ridică acest text la rangul de adevăr absolut, cu toate că Herodot spune limpede doar că unii dintre contemporanii săi credeau că cele două divinităţi ar fi unul şi acelaşi zeu. Însă aceste „amănunte" nu contează atunci când este vorba de pasiune.

Evreii lui Decebal

Aceste teorii nu sunt tocmai o noutate. În secolul al XIX-lea, prin mediile intelectuale evreieşti din Transilvania circula o altă ipoteză, care spunea că monoteismul presupus al dacilor ar fi fost influenţat de evrei. Aceştia ar fi ajuns în Transilvania după distrugerea Ierusalimului de către romani. Evreii l-ar fi ajutat pe regale Decebal să fortifice zona Sarmisegetuzei Regia şi să lupte împotriva Imperiului Roman. Evident, această teorie era o simplă poveste romantică, fără baze reale, însă, în acea epocă în care curgeau râuri de cerneală în efortul de a demonstra „cine au fost primii în Ardeal", povestea evreilor lui Decebal avea rolul de a arăta anterioritatea evreilor în această provincie.

O altă teorie din categoria celor monoteiste face o paralelă cu creştinismul. Ea porneşte de la faptul că dacii făceau parte din marea familie a popoarelor indo-europene. În mitologia arienilor din India apare Krishna. Această teorie afirmă că, de fapt, Krishna ar fi fost... un dac din Crişana, care ar fi fost zeificat de către indo-europenii care ar fi „roit" din Carpaţi către Valea Indusului. Krishna ar fi fost, de fapt, un conducător al dacilor care au cucerit toate teritoriile până în India de azi. Iar Krishna ar fi fost un avatar al lui Zamolxis. Numele de creştinism ar deriva tot de la dacul Krishna, mai spune această teorie.

Modelul politeist

În ciuda tuturor teoriilor monoteiste, de la cele ale unor savanţi precum Vasile Pârvan până la cele abracadabrante cu extratereştrii, există o opinie majoritară, referitoare la politeismul dacilor. Această teorie se bazează pe mai multe denumiri de zeităţi, identificate ca atare în scrierile anticilor.

Acest model politeist ne arată că în Panteonul dacilor exista un zeu, Gebeleizis, care era zeul Soarelui, precum şi zeiţa Bendis, care era zeiţa Lunii şi a fertilităţii. De asemenea, ar fi fost zeificat şi Zamolxis, care, de fapt, ar fi venit pe pământ pentru a-i învăţa pe daci secretul nemuririi.

Unii istorici au scris că, de fapt, acest zeu al dacilor ar fi fost un sclav al lui Pitagora care ar fi deprins tainele magiei în Egipt. Zamolxis s-ar fi ascuns într-o peşteră, unde a trăit trei ani, iar când a revenit la lumină, dacii ar fi crezut că a înviat. Astfel, dacii au învăţat să nu se mai teamă de moarte. Bineînţeles, şi aceste scrieri antice trebuie privite cu discernământ, pentru că multe dintre ele amestecă realităţi cu fabulaţii.

Unii dintre adepţii teoriei politeiste mai amintesc şi de numele lui Derzelas, care ar fi fost zeul sănătăţii. În opinia celor mai mulţi istorici, este normal ca dacii să fi avut o religie politeistă, ca toate celelalte popoare indo-europene. Însă informaţiile exacte legate de religia dacilor sunt foarte puţine.

Muntele sfânt


Un lucru interesant este legat de faptul că dacii aveau un Munte Sfânt, Kogaion, unde credeau că trăiesc zeii, întocmai cum grecii credeau că zeii lor trăiesc pe Muntele Olimp. Astfel de munţi sacri sunt întâlniţi în multe dintre mitologiile popoarelor antice. Au fost propuse zeci de localizări pentru muntele sfânt al dacilor. Unii au considerat că acesta ar fi Ceahlăul. Alţii au propus munţii din jurul Grădiştei Muncelului de azi, care era odinioară Sarmisegetuza Regia. Însă nu există un consens în această privinţă.

Un înalt cod moral

Religia dacilor cuprindea şi numeroase imperative etice. Astfel, regele Burebista a fost asistat de marele preot, Deceneu, atunci când a decis să schimbe modul de viaţă al supuşilor săi. Regele dac a interzis excesul de vin pe care îl făceau dacii, relatează scriitorii antici. Promovarea unui sistem care punea accentul pe abstinenţă şi pe forţa spirituală a coincis şi cu ascensiunea regatului dac. Şi asta pentru că acest cod etic, care transpare din relatările antice, promova, probabil, nişte valori ale păturii militare a societăţii, asemănătoare cu principiile cavalerismului din Evul Mediu de mai târziu. Unii dintre istoricii Antichităţii spun că este posibil ca, în acea perioadă, să se fi produs şi o revoluţie spirituală, bazată pe cultul lui Zamolxis, care a căpătat o amploare tot mai mare. Astfel că sistemul de credinţe „uranice", bazat pe zeităţi ale Cerului, a luat tot mai mult locul unui sistem „chtonian", bazat pe credinţe legate de practicile agricole.

O teorie lansată de istoricii clujeni lansează o nouă temă de dezbatere. Erau dacii antropofagi? Unii cred că dacii ar fi practicat o formă rituală de canibalism. Alţii resping cu vehemenţă această teorie.

Interpretări diferite

Deocamdată, nimeni nu a putut demonstra într-o manieră de necontestat vreuna dintre teoriile legate de religia dacilor. Motivul este legat de faptul că există foarte puţine înscrisuri despre aceste aspecte. Puţinii autori antici care au făcut referire la sistemul de credinţe, la religia dacilor au lăsat fragmente de o întindere modestă. De la daci nu există urme scrise în acest domeniu. Aşa că interpretările puţinelor dovezi care au răzbătut prin milenii sunt bazate pe similarităţi cu alte sisteme de credinţe ale unor popoare indo-europene, ale căror mentalităţi şi religii sunt mai bine cunoscute, datorită faptului că există urme documentare mai bogate. Însă, dincolo de aceste discuţii, rămân câteva certitudini. Dacii au fost un popor care stăpânea certe cunoştinţe ştiinţifice, inclusiv în domeniul medicinei, dar care au construit şi cel mai complex sistem de fortificaţii din Europa situată în afara lumii greco-romane. Este vorba de cel de la Sarmisegetuza. O altă certitudine este aceea că au reuşit să dezvolte o metalurgie bogată. Din Dacia provine cel de-al doilea mare depozit de obiecte de fier, după cel de la Bologna, din Italia. În fine, indiferent că erau monoteişti ori politeişti, dacii nu erau deloc un popor înapoiat, ci unul viguros, care a reuşit să ţină piept vreme îndelungată uneia dintre superputerile vremii, Imperiul Roman.


Pangaion Hills, Pangaion from Space

The Pangaion Hills (Greek, Ancient/Polytonic: Παγγαῖον, Modern/Monotonic: Παγγαίο), ancient forms: Pangaeon, Pangaeum, Homeric name: Nysa are a mountain range in Greece, approximately 40 km from Kavala. The elevation is 1,956 m and the mountaintop name is Mati meaning eye. The Aegean Sea lies to the north and the plains of Philippi-Drama to the north The mountain ranges covers the southeastern portion of the prefecture of Serres as well as northwestern part of the Kavala prefecture which covers the most part of the hills. The hills are directly across a fertile plain from the ancient city of Philippi, they are located between the Strymon and the Xiropotamos rivers and are covered in Plane and Chestnut trees. Towns found in the Pangaion hills include Nikisiani (Νικήσιανη) and Palaiochori which are agricultural in nature and grow mainly grain and tobacco. The town of Palaiohori boasts the ruins of an ancient castle on a peak overlooking the town. Gold and silver were mined in the ancient times. The Athenian tyrant Pisistratus was exiled in the middle of the mountain. The sights of Athens on gold which had a reason of an attempt of an Athenian colony was settled in about 465 BC in the area of Strymon in a place called the Nine Roads (Ennea Odoi) which lead to a failure, the Thracians massacred the colonists and the colony became abandoned.

Pangaion Mt as seen from Philippi : North side. [Source]


The municipality of Pangaion (Δήμος Παγγαίου) is named after this mountain range and the seat of the municipality is Nikisani (Νικήσιανη)


The whole mythical "PANGAION", or "PANGEUL" MOUNTAIN was said to be a sacred place to all Southern Danube area's living Thracian population. On this holy location there supposedly existed a multitude of Sanctuaries, particularly because the mountain also contained plenty of richnesses, such as Gold and Silver lodes. It is assumed to have been situated somewhere within the Dragojon Massif, located in the Oriental Rodophes (a native place, also, for... Spartacus, the Pelasgian gladiator who was to fight and die hard for shaking the very foundations of Roman Empire). Other Sanctuaries were also discovered at Kilicine. Still, logically speaking, similar worshipping places must have existed and been dedicated to the glory of Great Goddess Bendis... if Thracians living in Athens, that is far away from their homeland, were nevertheless able to build a "Bendideion" for their Goddess. For the legendary Pangaion, as a main Thracian worshipping premise, seems to have been exclusively dedicated to Gebeleizis, whose Uranian- Solar Priests, the otherwise called "Wanderers through Clouds", were arguing the human body to be nothing else but the "spirit's prison", the only salvation for the soul being its liberation from the "reclusive" corpse.

Should we quote Adrian Bucurescu in accordance with his work, "The Secret Dacia", the LEGENDARY KOGAION was represented exactly by that mountain which was sheltering a cave where the Pelasgian Great Priest sought at times, refuge and confinement. Strabon writes inside his "Geography" (volume VII, pages 3-5) the following: "...In the same way, this Mountain has also been acknowledged as Sacred, and its very Geta name properly reflects the fact already mentioned: its name, Kogaion, is just alike the River's flowing near by. "KOG-A-ION" signifies "THE MAGNIFICENT'S HEAD", defining also the Bucegi Mountains' Platform where a mammoth sculpted mysterious stone head, covered with some kind of holy cap and locally known as "the Romanian Sphynx", is still to be found". Now, the river flowing "near by", at the mountain's proximity and which Strabon was depicting, couldn't have been another one but the Ialomitza, also called by Geta people through the name "Naparis", meaning "the Heavenly One" or "the Divine One". Yet, the one and only Geta-Thracian inscription explicitly referring to the name of Kogaion appears today to be a single text, made of Orphical versets, on a brick discovered at Romula (Resca, Dobrosloveni, inside the Olt County), sounding as follows: "Great is the God, always and everywhere! Thus should the Heros say, while looking towards Kogaion! Let the Disciples (namely, new recruits) sing: Holy is the Night Master!"

When Strabon used to carefully remind his readers about Dacian Priests living in underground shelters, he was actually referring to THE PRIESTS OF Zalmoxis, the same UNDERWORLD GOD who, from within KOGAION, was offering to his followers a THOROUGH IMMORTALITY, extending itself over body and soul as well. And should THE SPHYNX from Bucegi have represented, for the ancient Geta people, Orpheus' Head, either sculpted by human hands or moulded through some natural phenomena, at any rate it WAS, and WILL EXIST there FOREVER, within the Land of legendary Kogaion, always creating mysteries and spreading a majestic quietness.

Ultimately, I sincerely hope to have succeeded in sketching a complete Mythological Pantheon of our Forgotten Forefathers, either Pelasgians, Thracians or Geta-Dacians, as you choose to name them. Any so-called "Trajanic", "Latin" and "Slavonic" topics don't really belong to US, yet they were subsequently added within time by:

1). any of those willing to generate delusion and minimize the Carpatho-Danubian area population's essential role to the later development of European Civilization, by suggesting that Romania's present corresponding geographical region was not at all the very starting point, the civilization's cradle, but only an obscure province of the now fallen Roman Empire;
2). the ones to have always wanted some territorial revendication upon Romania's various regions, claims that were to be, somehow, vindicated, the only arguments capable of winning ignorants and fools' confidence being the ones related to "origins", "language", "religion" and "history", last one most easily in being mystified;
3). any of those affiliated to special groups of interest, regarding another World's geopolitical division and, as a result, being directly concerned in undermining both the importance and influence which the Romanian people's millenary civilization and culture still own among the Great Family of Nations around the Globe.

There exists, nevertheless, a so-called "FATE OF TRUTH", and, just as THOREAU has once cleverly pointed out, this one "needs only two groups of people to surface: some to EXPRESS IT and... others to HEAR IT".



Coin of Bergaios, a local king in the Pangaian District, Circa 350/20 BC. AR Drachm depicting satyrus carrying a nymph. Reverse inscription ΒΕΡΓΑΙΟΥ round quadripartite square. Source

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Amphipolis was about 32 miles west of Philippi and 3 miles from the Aegean Sea on the Via Egnatia. Its name, meaning "around the city" (from amphi, "around," and polis, "city"), is derived from the fact that Strymon (Strimón) River curved around the site on which it was built.

Originally a Thracian town called Ennea Hodoi ("Nine Roads"), it was colonized by Athens in 437 BC. A Spartan named Brasidas seized it in 424 BC and defeated the Athenian Cleon, who tried to recapture it in 422 BC. It was officially returned to Athens in 421 BC but actually remained independent, despite Athenian attempts to regain control.

Philip II of Macedonia occupied it in 357 BC, and it remained under Macedonian control until 168 BC, when Rome made it a free city and the prosperous capital of the first district of Macedonia. A strategic transportation center, it controlled the route from northern Greece to the Hellespont to the east, including the western approach to the timber, gold, and silver of Mount Pangaion in Thrace.

Excavations have revealed traces of the ancient walls, Roman aqueduct and gymnasium (below).

Outside the ancient city, immediately west of the bridge over the Srymon River, is a 4th century burial monument known as the "Lion of Amphipolis" (below).

Lion of Amphipolis

The site of the ancient city is now occupied by the modern Greek town of Amfípoli.



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