Roman Dacia
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Roman Dacia ( ; also known as Dacia Traiana, "Trajan Dacia", or Dacia Felix, "Fertile/Happy Dacia") was a
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period of . As a it included large territorial holdings around the in , , and ruled by . From the t ...

Roman Empire
from 106 to 271–275 AD. Its territory consisted of what are now the regions of
Oltenia Oltenia (, also called Lesser Wallachia in antiquated versions, with the alternative Latin names ''Wallachia Minor'', ''Wallachia Alutana'', ''Wallachia Caesarea'' between 1718 and 1739) is a historical province and geographical region of Romania i ...

Oltenia
,
Transylvania Transylvania is a historical region in central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Apuseni Mountains. Broader definitions of Transylvania also encompass the western and north-western R ...

Transylvania
and
Banat Banat (, ) is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it ...

Banat
(today all in
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
, except the last one which is split between Romania,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
, and
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
). During Roman rule, it was organized as an
imperial province An imperial province was a Roman province during the Pri ...
on the borders of the empire. It is estimated that the population of Roman Dacia ranged from 650,000 to 1,200,000. It was conquered by
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Trajanus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was from 98 to 117. Officially declared by the ''optimus princeps'' ("best ruler"), Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the second-g ...

Trajan
(98–117) after two campaigns that devastated the
Dacian Kingdom Dacia (, ; ) was the land inhabited by the Dacians. The Greeks referred to them as the Getae (east of Dacia) and the Romans called them Daci. Dacia was bounded in the south approximately by the Danubius river (Danube The Danube ( ; ) ...
of
Decebalus Decebalus () and sometimes referred to as Diurpaneus was the last king of Dacia. He is famous for fighting three wars, with varying success, against the Roman Empire under two emperors. After raiding south across the Danube The Danube ( ; ) i ...

Decebalus
. However, the Romans did not occupy its entirety;
Crișana Crișana ( hu, Körösvidék, german: Kreischgebiet) is a geographical and historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic areas which at some point in time had a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encomp ...
,
Maramureș Maramureș ( ro, Maramureș ; uk, Мармарощина, ''Marmaroshchyna''; hu, Máramaros) is a geographical, historical and cultural region in northern and western . It is situated in the northeastern , along parts of the upper drainag ...
, and most of
Moldavia Moldavia ( ro, Moldova, or , literally "The Moldavian Country"; in : or ; chu, Землѧ Молдавскаѧ; el, Ἡγεμονία τῆς Μολδαβίας) is a and former in and , corresponding to the territory between the and t ...

Moldavia
remained under the
Free Dacians The so-called Free Dacians ( ro, Daci liberi) is the name given by some modern historians to those Dacians who putatively remained outside, or emigrated from, the Roman Empire after the emperor Trajan's Dacian Wars (AD 101-6). Dio Cassius named the ...
. After its integration into the empire, Roman Dacia saw constant administrative division. In 119, it was divided into two departments: Dacia Superior ("Upper Dacia") and Dacia Inferior ("Lower Dacia"; later named Dacia Malvensis). Between 124 and around 158, Dacia Superior was divided into two provinces, Dacia Apulensis and Dacia Porolissensis. The three provinces would later be unified in 166 and be known as ''Tres Daciae'' ("Three Dacias") due to the ongoing
Marcomannic Wars The Marcomannic Wars (: ''bellum Germanicum et Sarmaticum'', "German and Sarmatian War") were a series of wars lasting from about 166 AD until 180. These wars pitted the against, principally, the and and the ; there were related conflicts w ...
. The area was the focus of a massive Roman colonization. New mines were opened and ore extraction intensified, while agriculture, stock breeding, and commerce flourished in the province. Roman Dacia was of great importance to the military stationed throughout the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkans
and became an urban province, with about ten cities known and all of them originating from old
military camps
military camps
. Eight of these held the highest rank of ''
colonia Colonia may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Colonia (music group), a Croatian dance music group *Colonia (Autopsia album), 2002 *Colonia (A Camp album), 2009 *Colonia (film), ''Colonia'' (film), a 2015 historical romantic thriller Places *Col ...
''.
Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more for ...
was the financial, religious, and legislative center and where the imperial ''procurator'' (finance officer) had his seat, while
Apulum
Apulum
was Roman Dacia's military center. From its creation, Roman Dacia suffered great political and military threats. The Free Dacians, allied with the
Sarmatians The Sarmatians (; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mi ...
, made constant raids in the province. These were followed by the
Carpi Carpi may refer to : Places * Carpi, Emilia-Romagna, a large town in the province of Modena, central Italy * Carpi (Africa), a city and former diocese of Roman Africa, now a Latin Catholic titular bishopric People * Carpi (people), an ancie ...
(a Dacian tribe) and the newly arrived
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
tribes (
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern ...
,
Taifali The Taifals or Tayfals ( la, Taifali, Taifalae or ''Theifali''; french: Taïfales) were a people group of Germanic or Sarmatian The Sarmatians (; Ancient Greek, Greek: ; la, Sarmatae , ) were a large Iranian peoples, Iranian confederation th ...
,
Heruli The Heruli (or Herules) were an early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germ ...
, and
Bastarnae The Bastarnae (Latin language, Latin variants: ''Bastarni'', or ''Basternae''; grc, Βαστάρναι or Βαστέρναι) were an ancient people who between 200 BC and 300 AD inhabited the region between the Carpathian Mountains and the river ...
) allied with them. All this made the province difficult for the Roman emperors to maintain, already being virtually lost during the reign of
Gallienus Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (; c. 218 – September 268) was Roman emperor The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of ...

Gallienus
(253–268).
Aurelian Aurelian ( la, Lucius Domitius Aurelianus; 9 September 214c. October 275) was Roman emperor from 270 to 275. As emperor, he won an unprecedented series of military victories which reunited the Roman Empire after it had practically disintegrated ...

Aurelian
(270–275) would formally relinquish Roman Dacia in 271 or 275 AD. He evacuated his troops and civilian administration from Dacia, and founded Dacia Aureliana with its capital at
Serdica Serdika or Serdica is the historical Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Rom ...
in
Lower Moesia Moesia (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman R ...
. The
Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lan ...
population still left was abandoned, and its fate after the Roman withdrawal is controversial. According to one theory, the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...
spoken in Dacia, mostly in modern Romania, became the
Romanian language Romanian (obsolete spellings: Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: ''limba română'' , or ''românește'', ) is a Balkan Romance language spoken by approximately 22–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania Romani ...
, making the
Romanians The Romanians ( ro, români, ; dated exonym ''Vlachs'') are a Romance languages, Romance ethnic group and nation native to Romania and Moldova, that share a common Culture of Romania, Romanian culture, Cultural heritage, ancestry, and speak ...
descendants of the
Daco-Roman The term Daco-Roman describes the Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studyi ...
s (the Romanized population of Dacia). The opposing theory states that the
origin of the Romanians Several theories address the issue of the origin of the Romanians. The Romanian language Romanian (dated spellings: Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: ''limba română'' , "the Romanian language", or ''românește'', lit. "in Romanian") is a B ...
actually lies on the Balkan Peninsula.


Background

The
Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the area near the Carpathian Mountains and west of the Black Sea ...
and the
Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest ri ...
frequently interacted with the Romans prior to Dacia's incorporation into the Roman Empire. However, Roman attention on the area around the lower Danube was sharpened when
Burebista Burebista ( grc, Βυρεβίστας, Βοιρεβίστας) was a Thracians, Thracian king of the Getae and Dacians, Dacian tribes from 82/61BC to 45/44BC. He was the first king who successfully unified the tribes of the Dacian Kingdom, which ...
(82–44 BC) unified the native tribes and began an aggressive campaign of expansion. His kingdom extended to
Pannonia Pannonia (, ) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as ...

Pannonia
in the west and reached the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
to the east, while to the south his authority extended into the Balkans. By 74 BC, the Roman legions under Gaius Scribonius Curio reached the lower Danube and proceeded to come into contact with the Dacians. Roman concern over the rising power and influence of Burebista was amplified when he began to play an active part in
Roman politics Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in ...
. His last minute decision just before the
Battle of Pharsalus The Battle of Pharsalus was the decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. It began as a series ...

Battle of Pharsalus
to participate in the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
's
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independenc ...
by supporting
Pompey Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization f ...
meant that once the Pompeians were dealt with,
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of anc ...

Julius Caesar
would turn his eye towards Dacia. As part of Caesar's planned
Parthian
Parthian
campaign of 44 BC, he prepared to cross into Dacia and eliminate Burebista, thereby hopefully causing the breakup of his kingdom. Although this expedition into Dacia did not happen due to Caesar's assassination, Burebista failed to bring about any true unification of the tribes he ruled. Following a plot which saw him assassinated, his kingdom fractured into four distinct political entities, later becoming five, each ruled by minor kings. From the death of Burebista to the rise of
Decebalus Decebalus () and sometimes referred to as Diurpaneus was the last king of Dacia. He is famous for fighting three wars, with varying success, against the Roman Empire under two emperors. After raiding south across the Danube The Danube ( ; ) i ...

Decebalus
, Roman forces continued to clash against the Dacians and the Getae. Constant raiding by the tribes into the adjacent provinces of
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
and Pannonia caused the local governors and the emperors to undertake a number of punitive actions against the Dacians. All of this kept the Roman Empire and the Dacians in constant social, diplomatic, and political interaction during much of the late pre-Roman period. This saw the occasional granting of favoured status to the Dacians in the manner of being identified as '' amicii et socii'' – "friends and allies" – of Rome, although by the time of
Octavianus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...

Octavianus
this was tied up with the personal patronage of important Roman individuals. An example of this was seen in Octavianus' actions during his conflict with
Marcus Antonius Marcus Antonius (14 January 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from a constitutional republic ...
. Seeking to obtain an ally who could threaten Antonius' European provinces, in 35 BC Octavianus offered an alliance with the Dacians, whereby he would marry the daughter of the Dacian King,
Cotiso Cotiso, Cotish or Cotison (flourished c. 30 BC) was a Dacian monarch, king who apparently ruled the mountains between Banat and Oltenia (modern-day Romania). Horace calls him king of the Dacians.John T. White, D.D. Oxon, ''The first (-fourth) book ...
, and in exchange Cotiso would wed Octavianus' daughter,
Julia Julia is usually a feminine given name. It is a Latinate feminine form of the name Julio (given name), Julio and Julius. (For further details on etymology, see wikt:Iulius#Latin, Wiktionary entry “Julius”.) The given name ''Julia'' had been ...
. Although it is believed that the custom of providing royal
hostage A hostage is a person seized by a criminal abductor in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract A contract is a legally binding document betwe ...
s to the Romans may have commenced sometime during the first half of the 1st century BC, it was certainly occurring by Octavianus' reign and it continued to be practised during the late pre-Roman period. On the flip side, ancient sources have attested to the presence of Roman
merchant A merchant is a person who trades in Commodity, commodities produced by other people, especially one who trades with foreign countries. Historically, a merchant is anyone who is involved in commerce, business or trade. Merchants have operated for ...

merchant
s and
artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example fur ...

artisan
s in Dacia, while the region also served as a haven for runaway Roman slaves. This cultural and mercantile exchange saw the gradual spread of Roman influence throughout the region, most clearly seen in the area around the Orăștie Mountains. The arrival of the Flavian dynasty, in particular the accession of the emperor Domitian, saw an escalation in the level of conflict along the lower and middle Danube. In approximately 84 or 85 AD the Dacians, led by King Decebalus, crossed the Danube into Moesia, wreaking havoc and killing the Moesian governor Gaius Oppius Sabinus. Domitian responded by reorganising Moesia into Moesia Inferior and Moesia Superior and launching a Domitian's Dacian War, war against Decebalus. Unable to finish the war due to troubles on the German frontier, Domitian concluded a treaty with the Dacians that was heavily criticized at the time. This would serve as a precedent to the emperor Trajan's Dacian Wars, Trajan's wars of conquest in Dacia. Trajan led the Roman legions across the Danube, penetrating Dacia and focusing on the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains, important area around the Orăștie Mountains. In 102, after First Dacian War, a series of engagements, negotiations led to a peace settlement where Decebalus agreed to demolish his forts while allowing the presence of a Roman garrison at Sarmizegetusa Regia (Grădiștea Muncelului, Romania) to ensure Dacian compliance with the treaty. Trajan also ordered his engineer, Apollodorus of Damascus, to design and build Trajan's Bridge, a bridge across the Danube at Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Drobeta. Second Dacian War, Trajan's second Dacian campaign in 105–106 was very specific in its aim of expansion and conquest. The offensive targeted Sarmizegetusa Regia. The Romans Battle of Sarmizegetusa, besieged Decebalus' capital, which surrendered and was destroyed. The Dacian king and a handful of his followers withdrew into the mountains, but their resistance was short-lived and Decebalus committed suicide. Other Dacian nobles, however, were either captured or chose to surrender. One of those who surrendered revealed the location of the Decebalus Treasure, Dacian royal treasury, which was of enormous value: of gold and of silver.


Dacia under the Antonine and Severan emperors (106–235)


Establishment (106–117)

With the annexation of Decebalus' kingdom, Dacia was turned into Rome's newest province, only the second such acquisition since the death of Augustus nearly a century before. Decebalus' Sarmatians, Sarmatian allies to the north were still present in the area, requiring a number of campaigns that did not cease until 107 at the earliest; however, by the end of 106, the legions began erecting new ''castra'' along the Limes (Roman Empire), frontiers. Trajan returned to Rome in the middle of June 107. Roman sources list Dacia as an imperial province on 11 August 106. It was governed by an Legatus Augusti pro praetore, imperial legate of ''Roman consul, consular'' standing, supported by two ''Legatus, legati legionis'' who were in charge of each of the two legions stationed in Dacia. The ''Procurator (Roman fiscal), procurator Augusti'' was responsible for managing the taxation of the province and expenditure by the military. The territory conquered by Trajan was portioned between the newly formed province and the existing provinces bordering imperial Dacia. Moesia Inferior absorbed what eventually became South
Moldavia Moldavia ( ro, Moldova, or , literally "The Moldavian Country"; in : or ; chu, Землѧ Молдавскаѧ; el, Ἡγεμονία τῆς Μολδαβίας) is a and former in and , corresponding to the territory between the and t ...

Moldavia
, Muntenia, eastern
Oltenia Oltenia (, also called Lesser Wallachia in antiquated versions, with the alternative Latin names ''Wallachia Minor'', ''Wallachia Alutana'', ''Wallachia Caesarea'' between 1718 and 1739) is a historical province and geographical region of Romania i ...

Oltenia
, and the south-eastern edge of the Carpathian Mountains, while Dacia Traiana was composed of the western portions of Oltenia,
Transylvania Transylvania is a historical region in central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Apuseni Mountains. Broader definitions of Transylvania also encompass the western and north-western R ...

Transylvania
, and
Banat Banat (, ) is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it ...

Banat
. To Roman Dacia's east and south was the province of Moesia, which the emperor Domitian had split into two in 86 AD – Moesia Superior, having its capital at Singidunum (modern Belgrade in
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refe ...

Serbia
), and Moesia Inferior, with Tomis as its capital (modern Constanța, Romania). Along Roman Dacia's exposed western border and stretching towards the vast Pannonian Plain lived the Iazyges, a Sarmatian tribe. Northern Moldavia was the home of the
Bastarnae The Bastarnae (Latin language, Latin variants: ''Bastarni'', or ''Basternae''; grc, Βαστάρναι or Βαστέρναι) were an ancient people who between 200 BC and 300 AD inhabited the region between the Carpathian Mountains and the river ...
, Roxolani, and
Carpi Carpi may refer to : Places * Carpi, Emilia-Romagna, a large town in the province of Modena, central Italy * Carpi (Africa), a city and former diocese of Roman Africa, now a Latin Catholic titular bishopric People * Carpi (people), an ancie ...
, while the northern section of Transylvania was populated by the remaining non-Romanized Dacians and another Dacian tribe, the Costoboci. Transforming Dacia into a province was a very resource-intensive process. Traditional Roman methods were employed, including the creation of Roman architecture, urban infrastructure such as Thermae, Roman baths, forums and temples, the establishment of Roman roads, and the creation of Colonia (Roman), colonies composed of retired soldiers. However, excluding Trajan's attempts to encourage colonists to move into the new province, the imperial government did hardly anything to promote resettlement from existing provinces into Dacia. An immediate effect of the wars leading to the Roman conquest was a decrease in the population in the province. Titus Statilius Crito, Crito wrote that approximately 500,000 Dacians were enslaved and deported, a portion of which were transported to Rome to participate in the gladiatorial games (or ''lusiones'') as part of the celebrations to mark the emperor's Roman triumph, triumph. To compensate for the depletion of the population, the Romans carried out a program of official colonisation, establishing urban centres made up of both Roman citizenship, Roman citizens and non-citizens from across the empire. Nevertheless, native Dacians remained at the periphery of the province and in rural settings, while local power elites were encouraged to support the provincial administration, as per traditional Roman colonial practice. Trajan established the Dacian capital,
Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more for ...
, some west of the ruined Sarmizegetusa Regia. Initially serving as a base for the Legio IV Flavia Felix, it soon was settled by the retired veterans who had served in the Dacian Wars, principally the Legio V Macedonica, Fifth (''Macedonia''), Legio XI Claudia, Ninth (''Claudia''), and Legio XIV Gemina, Fourteenth (''Gemina'') legions. It is generally assumed that Trajan's reign saw the creation of the Roman road network within imperial Dacia, with any pre-existing natural communication lines quickly converted into paved Roman roads which were soon extended into a more extensive road network. However, only two roads have been attested to have been created at Trajan's explicit command: one was an arterial road that linked the military camps at Napoca (ancient city), Napoca and Potaissa (modern Cluj-Napoca and Turda, Romania). Epigraphic evidence on the milliarium of Aiton indicates that this stretch of road was finished sometime during 109–110 AD. The second road was a major arterial road that passed through Apulum (modern Alba Iulia, Romania), and stretched from the Black Sea in the east all the way to Pannonia Inferior in the west and presumably beyond.


First re-organizations (117–138)

Hadrian was at Antioch in Syria (Roman province), Syria when word came through of the death of Trajan. He could not return to Rome, as he was advised that Gaius Julius Quadratus Bassus, Quadratus Bassus, ordered by Trajan to protect the new Dacian territories north of the Danube, had died there while on campaign. As a result of taking several legions and numerous Auxiliaries (Roman military), auxiliary regiments with him to Trajan's Parthian campaign, Parthia, Trajan had left Dacia and the remaining Danubian provinces below strength. The Roxolani allied themselves with the Iazyges to revolt against Rome, as they were angry over a Roman decision to cease payments to which Trajan had agreed. Therefore, Hadrian dispatched the armies from the east ahead of him, and departed Syria as soon as he was able. By this time, Hadrian had grown so frustrated with the continual problems in the territories north of the Danube that he contemplated withdrawing from Dacia. As an emergency measure, Hadrian dismantled Apollodorus' bridge across the Danube, concerned about the threat posed by barbarian incursions across the Olt River and a southward push between a number of Trajan's ''colonia'' and the ''castrum'' at Bersobis (castra), Bersobis. By 118, Hadrian himself had taken to the field against the Roxolani and the Iazyges, and although he defeated them, he agreed to reinstate the subsidies to the Roxolani. Hadrian then decided to abandon certain portions of Trajan's Dacian conquests. The territories annexed to Moesia Inferior (Southern Moldavia, the south-eastern edge of the Carpathian Mountains and the plains of Muntenia and Oltenia) were returned to the Roxolani. As a result, Moesia Inferior reverted once again to the original boundaries it possessed prior to the acquisition of Dacia. The portions of Moesia Inferior to the north of the Danube were split off and refashioned into a new province called Dacia Inferior. Trajan's original province of Dacia was relabelled Dacia Superior. It was at this time that Hadrian moved the Legio IV Flavia Felix from its base at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and ordered it stationed in Moesia Superior. By 124, an additional province called Dacia Porolissensis was created in the northern portion of Dacia Superior, roughly located in north-western Transylvania. Since it had become tradition since the time of Augustus that former consuls could only govern provinces as imperial legates where more than one legion was present, Dacia Superior was administered by a senator of praetorian rank. This meant that the imperial legate of Dacia Superior only had one legion under his command, stationed at Apulum. Dacia Inferior and Dacia Porolissensis were under the command of ''praesidial procurators'' of ducenary rank. Hadrian vigorously exploited the opportunities for mining in the new province. The emperors monopolized the revenue generated from mining by leasing the operations of the mines to members of the Equestrian order, who employed a large number of individuals to manage the operations. In 124, the emperor visited Napoca and made the city a ''municipium''.


Consolidation (138–161)

The accession of Antoninus Pius saw the arrival of an emperor who took a cautious approach to the defense of the provinces. The large amount of milestones dated to his reign demonstrates that he was particularly concerned with ensuring that the roads were in a constant state of repair. Stamped tiles show that the amphitheater at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, which had been built during the earliest years of the ''colonia'', was repaired under his rule. In addition, given the exposed position of the larger of the Roman fortifications at Porolissum (near Mirșid, Moigrad, Romania), the camp was reconstructed using stone, and given sturdier walls for defensive purposes. Following a revolt around 158, Antoninus Pius undertook another reorganization of the Dacian provinces. Dacia Porolissensis (in what is now northern Transylvania), with Porolissum as its capital, remained as it was. Dacia Superior was renamed Dacia Apulensis (in Banat and southern Transylvania), with Apulum as its capital, while Dacia Inferior was transformed into Dacia Malvensis (situated at Oltenia). Romula was its capital (modern Dobrosloveni, Reșca Dobrosloveni, Romania). As per Hadrian's earlier reorganization, each zone was governed by equestrian ''procurators'', and all were responsible to the senatorial governor in Apulensis.


Marcomannic Wars and their effects (161–193)

Soon after the accession of Marcus Aurelius in 161 AD, it was clear that trouble was brewing along Rome's northern frontiers, as local tribes began to be pressured by migrating tribes to their north. By 166 AD, Marcus had reorganized Dacia once again, merging the three Dacian provinces into one called ''Tres Daciae'' ("Three Dacias"), a move that was geared to consolidate an exposed province inhabited by numerous tribes in the face of increasing threats along the Danubian frontier. As the province now contained two legions (Legio XIII Gemina at Apulum was joined by Legio V Macedonica, stationed at Potaissa), the imperial legate had to be of consular rank, with Marcus apparently assigning Sextus Calpurnius Agricola. The reorganization saw the existing ''praesidial procurators'' of Dacia Porolissensis and Dacia Malvensis continue in office, and added to their ranks was a third ''procurator'' for Dacia Apulensis, all operating under the direct supervision of the consular legate, who was stationed at the new provincial capital at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. Dacia, with its northern, eastern, and western frontiers exposed to attacks, could not easily be defended. When barbarian incursions resumed during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the defences in Dacia were hard pressed to halt all of the raids, leaving exposed the provinces of Upper and Lower Moesia. Throughout 166 and 167 AD, barbarian tribes (the Quadi and Marcomanni) began to pour across the Danube into Pannonia, Noricum, Raetia, and drove through Dacia before bursting into Moesia. A conflict would spark in northern Dacia after 167 when the Iazyges, having been thrust out of Pannonia, focused their energies on Dacia and took the gold mines at Alburnus Maior (modern Roșia Montană, Romania). The last date found on the wax tablets discovered in the mineshafts there (which had been hidden when an enemy attack seemed imminent) is 29 May 167. The suburban Roman villa, villas at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa were burned, and the camp at Slăveni was destroyed by the Marcomanni. By the time Marcus Aurelius reached Aquileia in 168 AD, the Iazyges had taken over 100,000 Roman captives and destroyed several Roman ''castra'', including the fort at Tibiscum (modern Jupa in Romania). Fighting continued in Dacia over the next two years, and by 169, the governor of the province Sextus Calpurnius Agricola, was forced to give up his command – it is suspected that he either contracted the plague or died in battle. The emperor decided to temporarily split the province once again between the three sub-provinces, with the imperial legate of Moesia Superior, Marcus Claudius Fronto, taking on the governorship of the central sub-province of Dacia Apulensis. Dacia Malvenis was possibly assigned to its ''procurator'', Macrinius Avitus, who defeated the Langobardi and Obii. The future emperor Pertinax was also a ''procurator'' in Dacia during this time, although his exact role is not known. Very unpopular in Dacia, Pertinax was eventually dismissed. By 170, Marcus Aurelius appointed Marcus Claudius Fronto as the governor of the entire Dacian province. Later that year, Fronto's command was extended to include the governorship of Moesia Superior once again. He did not keep it for long; by the end of 170, Fronto was defeated and killed in battle against the Iazyges. His replacement as governor of Dacia was Sextus Cornelius Clemens. That same year (170) the Costoboci (whose lands were to the north or northeast of Dacia) swept through Dacia on their way south. The now weakened empire could not prevent the movement of tribespeople into an exposed Dacia during 171, and Marcus Aurelius was forced to enter into diplomatic negotiations in an attempt to break up some of the barbarian alliances. In 171, the Astingi invaded Dacia; after initially defeating the Costoboci, they continued their attacks on the province. The Romans negotiated a settlement with the Astingi, whereby they agreed to leave Dacia and settle in the lands of the Costoboci. In the meantime, plots of land were distributed to some 12,000 dispossessed and wandering tribespeople, in an attempt to prevent them from becoming a threat to the province if they continued to roam at the edges of Dacia. Throughout this period, the tribes bordering Dacia to the east, such as the Roxolani, did not participate in the mass invasions of the empire. Traditionally seen as a vindication of Trajan's decision to create the province of Dacia as a wedge between the western and eastern Danubian tribes, Dacia's exposed position meant that the Romans had a greater reliance on the use of "client-states" to ensure its protection from invasion. While this worked in the case of the Roxolani, the use of the Roman-client relationships that allowed the Romans to pit one supported tribe against another facilitated the conditions that created the larger tribal federations that emerged with the Quadi and the Marcomanni. By 173 AD, the Marcomanni had been defeated; however, the war with the Iazyges and Quadi continued, as Roman strongholds along the Tisza and Danube rivers were attacked by the Iazyges, followed by a battle in Pannonia in which the Iazyges were defeated. Consequently, Marcus Aurelius turned his full attention against the Iazyges and Quadi. He crushed the Quadi in 174 AD, defeating them in battle on the frozen Danube river, after which they sued for peace. The emperor then turned his attention to the Iazyges; after defeating them and throwing them out of Dacia, the Roman Senate, Senate awarded him the title of ''Samarticus Maximus'' in 175 AD. Conscious of the need to create a permanent solution to the problems on the empire's northern frontiers, Marcus Aurelius relaxed some of his restrictions on the Marcomanni and the Iazyges. In particular, he allowed the Iazyges to travel through imperial Dacia to trade with the Roxolani, so long as they had the governor's approval. At the same time he was determined to implement a plan to annex the territories of the Marcomanni and the Iazyges as new provinces, only to be derailed by the revolt of Avidius Cassius. With the emperor urgently needed elsewhere, Rome once again re-established its system of alliances with the bordering tribes along the empire's northern frontier. However, pressure was soon exerted again with the advent of Germanic peoples who started to settle on Dacia's northern borders, leading to the resumption of the northern war. In 178, Marcus Aurelius probably appointed Pertinax as governor of Dacia, and by 179 AD, the emperor was once again north of the Danube, campaigning against the Quadi and the Buri (Germanic tribe), Buri. Victorious, the emperor was on the verge of converting a large territory to the north-west of Dacia into Roman provinces when he died in 180. Marcus was succeeded by his son, Commodus, who had accompanied him. The young man quickly concluded a peace with the warring tribes before returning to Rome. Conflict continued in Dacia during the reign of Commodus. The notoriously unreliable ''Historia Augusta'' mentions a limited insurrection that erupted in Dacia approximately 185 AD. The same source also wrote of a defeat of the Dacian tribes who lived outside the province. Commodus' legates devastated a territory some deep along the north of the ''castrum'' at modern day Gilău, Cluj, Gilău to establish a buffer in the hope of preventing further barbarian incursions.


Revival under the Severans (193–235)

The reign of Septimius Severus saw a measure of peace descend upon the province, with no foreign attacks recorded. Damage inflicted on the military camps during the extensive period of warfare of the preceding reigns was repaired. Severus extended the province's eastern frontier some east of the Olt River, and completed the Limes Transalutanus. The work included the construction of 14 fortified camps spread over a distance of approximately , stretching from the Castra of Poiana, ''castra'' of Poiana (situated near the Danube River, in modern Flămânda, Romania) in the south to Cumidava (modern day Brețcu in Romania). His reign saw an increase in the number of Roman ''municipia'' across the province, while Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and Apulum acquired the ''ius Italicum''. As part of his military reforms, Severus allowed Roman soldiers to live away from the fortified camps, within the accompanying ''canabae'', where they were allowed to tend nearby plots of land. He also permitted the soldiers to Marriage in ancient Rome, marry local women; consequently, if the soldier was a Roman citizen, his children inherited his citizenship. For those soldiers who were not Roman citizens, both he and his children were granted citizenship upon his discharge from the army. The next emperor, Caracalla, in order to increase tax revenue and boost his popularity (at least to the historian Cassius Dio), Constitutio Antoniniana, extended the citizenship to all males throughout the empire, with the exception of slaves. In 213, on his way to the east to begin his Parthian campaign, Caracalla passed through Dacia. While there, he undertook diplomatic maneuvers to disturb the alliances between a number of tribes, in particular the Marcomanni and the Quadi. At Porolissum he had Gaiobomarus, the king of the Quadi, killed under the pretext of conducting peace negotiations. There may have been military conflict with one or more of the Danubian tribes. Although there are inscriptions that indicate that during Caracalla's visit there was some repair or reconstruction work undertaken at Porolissum and that the military unit stationed there, Cohors V Lingonum, erected an equestrian statue of the emperor, certain modern authors, such as Philip Parker and Ion Grumeza, claim that Caracalla continued to extend the Limes Transalutanus as well as add further territory to Dacia by pushing the border around east of the Olt River, though it is unclear what evidence they are using to support these statements, and the timeframes associated with Caracalla's movements do not support any extensive reorganization in the province.Caracalla's activities in Dacia need to be placed within the verified dates in his progress to the east. On 11 August 213, Caracalla crossed the frontier at Raetia into Barbaricum, while in 8 October 213, his victories over the Germanic tribes were announced at Rome, and sometime between 17 December 213 and 17 January 214, he was at Nicomedia – see In 218, Caracalla's successor, Macrinus, returned a number of non-Romanized Dacian hostages whom Caracalla had taken, possibly as a result of some unrest caused by the tribes after Caracalla's assassination. There are few epigraphs extant in Dacia dating from the reign of Alexander Severus, the final Severan dynasty, Severan emperor. Under his reign, the Council of Three Dacias met at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, and the gates, towers, and ''praetorium'' of Ad Mediam (Mehadia, Romania) camp were restored.


Life in Roman Dacia


Native Dacians

Evidence concerning the continued existence of a native Dacian population within Roman Dacia is not as apparent as that of Germanic peoples, Germans, Celts, Thracians, or Illyrians in other provinces. There is relatively poor documentation surrounding the existence of native or indigenous Dacians in the Roman towns that were established after Dacia's incorporation into the empire. Although Eutropius (historian), Eutropius, supported by minor references in the works of Cassius Dio and Julian the Apostate, describes the widespread depopulation of the province after the siege of Sarmizegetusa Regia and the suicide of king Decebalus, there are issues with this interpretation. The remaining manuscripts of Eutropius' ''Breviarium ab urbe condita'', which is the principal source for the depopulation of Roman Dacia after the conquest, are not consistent. Some versions describe the depletion of men after the war; other variants describe the depletion of things, or possibly resources, after Trajan's conquest. There are such interpretations of archaeological evidence which shows the continuation of traditional Dacian burial practices; ceramic manufacturing continued throughout the Roman period, in both the province as well as the periphery where Roman control was non-existent. Differing interpretations can be made from the final scene on Trajan's Column, which either depicts a Dacian emigration, accelerating the depopulation of Dacia, or Dacians going back to their Human settlement, settlements after yielding to Roman authority. While it is certain that colonists in large numbers were imported from all over the empire to settle in Roman Dacia, this appears to be true for the newly created Roman towns only. The lack of epigraphic evidence for native Dacian names in the towns suggests an urban–rural split between Roman multi-ethnic urban centres and the native Dacian rural population. On at least two occasions the Dacians rebelled against Roman authority: first in 117 AD, which caused the return of Trajan from the east, and in 158 AD when they were put down by Marcus Statius Priscus. The archaeological evidence from various types of settlements, especially in the Oraștie Mountains, demonstrates the deliberate destruction of hill forts during the annexation of Dacia, but this does not rule out a continuity of occupation once the traumas of the initial conquest had passed. Hamlets containing traditional Dacian architecture, such as Obreja and Noșlac, have been dated to the 2nd century AD, implying that they arose at the same time as the Roman urban centres. Some settlements do show a clear continuity of occupation from pre-Roman times into the provincial period, such as Cetea, Alba, Cetea and Cicău. Archaeological evidence taken from pottery show a continued occupation of native Dacians in these and other areas. Architectural forms native to pre-Roman Dacia, such as the traditional sunken houses and storage pits, remained during Roman times. Such housing continued to be erected well into the Roman period, even in settlements which clearly show an establishment after the Roman annexation, such as Obreja. Altogether, approximately 46 sites have been noted as existing on a spot in both the La Tène culture, La Tène and Roman periods. Where archaeology attests to a continuing Dacian presence, it also shows a simultaneous process of Romanization. Traditional Dacian pottery has been uncovered in Dacian settlements, together with Roman-manufactured pottery incorporating local designs. The increasing Romanization of Dacia meant that only a small number of earlier Dacian pottery styles were retained unchanged, such as pots and the low thick-walled drinking mug that has been termed the "Dacian cup". These artifacts were usually handmade; the use of the pottery wheel was rare. In the case of homes, the use of old Dacian techniques persisted, as did the sorts of ornaments and tools used prior to the establishment of Roman Dacia. Archaeological evidence from burial sites has demonstrated that the native population of Dacia was far too large to have been driven away or wiped out in any meaningful sense. It was beyond the resources of the Romans to have eliminated the great majority of the rural population in an area measuring some . Silver jewellery uncovered in graves show that some of the burial sites are not necessarily native Dacian in origin, but are equally likely to have belonged to the Carpi or
Free Dacians The so-called Free Dacians ( ro, Daci liberi) is the name given by some modern historians to those Dacians who putatively remained outside, or emigrated from, the Roman Empire after the emperor Trajan's Dacian Wars (AD 101-6). Dio Cassius named the ...
who are thought to have moved into Dacia sometime before 200 AD. Some scholars have used the lack of ''Peregrinus (Roman)#Local authorities, civitates peregrinae'' in Roman Dacia, where indigenous peoples were organised into native townships, as evidence for the Roman depopulation of Dacia. Prior to its incorporation into the empire, Dacia was a kingdom ruled by one king, and did not possess a regional tribal structure that could easily be turned into the Roman ''civitas'' system as used successfully in other provinces of the empire. Dacian tribes mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia (Ptolemy), Geography may represent indigenous administrative structures, similar to those from Moesia, Pannonia, Dalmatia (Roman province), Dalmatia, or Noricum. Few local Dacians were interested in the use of Epigraphy, epigraphs, which were a central part of Roman cultural expression. In Dacia this causes a problem because the survival of epigraphs into modern times is one of the ways scholars develop an understanding of the cultural and social situation within a Roman province. Apart from members of the Dacian elite and those who wished to attain improved social and economic positions, who largely adopted Roman names and manners, the majority of native Dacians retained their names and their cultural distinctiveness even with the increasing embrace of Roman cultural norms which followed their incorporation into the Roman Empire. As per usual Roman practice, Dacian males were recruited into auxiliary units and dispatched across the empire, from the eastern provinces to Roman Britain, Britannia. The ''Vexillation Dacorum Parthica'' accompanied the emperor Septimius Severus during his Parthian expedition, while the ''cohort I Ulpia Dacorum'' was posted to Cappadocia (Roman province), Cappadocia. Others included the ''II Aurelia Dacorum'' in Pannonia Superior, the ''cohort I Aelia Dacorum'' in Roman Britain, and the ''II Augusta Dacorum milliaria'' in Moesia Inferior. There are a number of preserved relics originating from ''cohort I Aelia Dacorum'', with one inscription describing the ''sica'', a distinctive Dacian weapon. In inscriptions the Dacian soldiers are described as ''natione Dacus''. These could refer to individuals who were native Dacians, Romanized Dacians, colonists who had moved to Dacia, or their descendants. Numerous Roman military diplomas issued for Dacian soldiers discovered after 1990 indicate that veterans preferred to return to their place of origin; per usual Roman practice, these veterans were given Roman citizenship upon their discharge.


Colonists

There were varying degrees of Romanization throughout Roman Dacia. The most Romanized segment was the region along the Danube, which was predominately under imperial administration, albeit in a form that was partially barbarized. The population beyond this zone, having lived with the Roman legions before their withdrawal, was substantially Romanized. The final zone, consisting of the northern portions of
Maramureș Maramureș ( ro, Maramureș ; uk, Мармарощина, ''Marmaroshchyna''; hu, Máramaros) is a geographical, historical and cultural region in northern and western . It is situated in the northeastern , along parts of the upper drainag ...
,
Crișana Crișana ( hu, Körösvidék, german: Kreischgebiet) is a geographical and historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic areas which at some point in time had a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encomp ...
, and Moldavia, stood at the edges of Roman Dacia. Although its people did not have Roman legions stationed among them, they were still nominally under the control of Rome, politically, socially, and economically. These were the areas in which resided the Carpi, often referred to as "Free Dacians". In an attempt to fill the cities, cultivate the fields, and mine the ore, a large-scale attempt at colonization took place with colonists coming in "from all over the Roman world". The colonists were a heterogeneous mix: of the some 3,000 names preserved in inscriptions found by the 1990s, 74% (c. 2,200) were Latin, 14% (c. 420) were Greek, 4% (c. 120) were Illyrian languages, Illyrian, 2.3% (c. 70) were Celtic languages, Celtic, 2% (c. 60) were Thracian language, Thraco-Dacian, and another 2% (c. 60) were Semitic languages, Semites from Syria. Regardless of their place of origin, the settlers and colonists were a physical manifestation of Roman civilisation and imperial culture, bringing with them the most effective Romanizing mechanism: the use of Latin as the new ''lingua franca''. The first settlement at Sarmizegetusa was made up of Roman citizens who had retired from their legions. Based upon the location of names scattered throughout the province, it has been argued that, although places of origin are hardly ever noted in epigraphs, a large percentage of colonists originated from Noricum and western Pannonia. Specialist miners (the List of ancient tribes in Illyria#Pirustae, Pirusti tribesmen) were brought in from Dalmatia. These Dalmatian miners were kept in sheltered communities ''(Vicus Pirustarum)'' and were under the jurisdiction of their own tribal leadership (with individual leaders referred to as ''princeps)''.


Roman army in Dacia

An estimated number of 50,000 troops were stationed in Dacia at its height. At the close of Trajan's first campaign in Dacia in 102, he stationed one legion at Sarmizegetusa Regia. With the conclusion of Trajan's conquest of Dacia, he stationed at least two legions in the new province – the Legio IV Flavia Felix positioned at Berzobis (modern Berzovia, Romania), and the Legio XIII Gemina stationed at Apulum. It has been conjectured that there was a third legion stationed in Dacia at the same time, the Legio I Adiutrix. However, there is no evidence to indicate when or where it was stationed, and it is unclear whether the legion was fully present, or whether it was only the ''vexillationes'' who were stationed in the province. Hadrian, the subsequent emperor, shifted the fourth legion (Legio IV Flavia Felix) from Berzobis to Singidunum in Moesia Superior, suggesting that Hadrian believed the presence of one legion in Dacia would be sufficient to ensure the security of the province. The
Marcomannic Wars The Marcomannic Wars (: ''bellum Germanicum et Sarmaticum'', "German and Sarmatian War") were a series of wars lasting from about 166 AD until 180. These wars pitted the against, principally, the and and the ; there were related conflicts w ...
that erupted north of the Danube forced Marcus Aurelius to reverse this policy, permanently transferring the Legio V Macedonica from Troesmis (modern Turcoaia in Romania) in Moesia Inferior to Potaissa in Dacia. Epigraphic evidence attests to large numbers of auxiliary units stationed throughout the Dacian provinces during the Roman period; this has given the impression that Roman Dacia was a strongly militarized province. Yet, it seems to have been no more highly militarized than any of the other frontier provinces, like the Moesias, the Pannonias, and Syria, and the number of legions stationed in Moesia and Pannonia were not diminished after the creation of Dacia. However, once Dacia was incorporated into the empire and the frontier was extended northward, the central portion of the Danube frontier between Novae (fortress), Novae (near modern Svishtov, Bulgaria) and Durostorum (modern Silistra, Bulgaria) was able to release much-needed troops to bolster Dacia's defences. Military documents report at least 58 auxiliary units, most transferred into Dacia from the flanking Moesian and Pannonian provinces, with a wide variety of forms and functions, including ''Numeri (Roman troops), numeri'', ''Cohort (military unit), cohortes milliariae'', ''quingenariae'', and ''Ala (Roman military), alae''. This does not imply that all were positioned in Dacia at the same time, nor that they were in place throughout the existence of Roman Dacia.


Settlements

When considering provincial settlement patterns, the Romanized parts of Dacia were composed of ''urban satus'' settlements, made up of ''coloniae'', ''municipia'', and rural settlements, principally villas with their associated ''Latifundium, latifundia'' and villages (''Vicus (Rome)#Ad hoc settlements, vici''). The two principal towns of Roman Dacia, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and Apulum, are on par with similar towns across the Western Roman Empire in terms of socio-economic and architectural maturity. The province had about 10 Roman towns, all originating from the military camps that Trajan constructed during his campaigns. There were two sorts of urban settlements. Of principal importance were the ''coloniae'', whose free-born inhabitants were almost exclusively Roman citizens. Of secondary importance were the ''municipia'', which were allowed a measure of judicial and administrative independence. *
Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa was the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more for ...
was established by Trajan, was first to be given ''colonia'' status, and was the province's only ''colonia deducta''. Its pre-eminence was guaranteed by its foundation charter and by its role as the administrative centre of the province, as well as its being granted ''Ius Italicum''. *
Apulum
Apulum
began as one of Trajan's legionary bases. Almost immediately, the associated ''canabae legionis'' was established nearby, while at some point during the Trajanic period a civilian settlement sprang into existence along the Mureș River, approximately from the military encampment. The town evolved rapidly, transforming from a ''vicus'' of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa into a ''municipium'' during Marcus Aurelius' reign, with the emperor Commodus elevating it to a ''colonia''. Transformed into the capital of Dacia Apulensis, its importance lay in being the location of the military high command for the tripartite province. It began to rival Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa during the reign of Septimius Severus, who allocated a part of Apulum's ''canabae'' with municipal status. * Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Drobeta was the most important town of Dacia Inferior. Springing up in the vicinity of a stone camp housing 500 soldiers and established by Trajan to guard the northern approaches to Trajan's Bridge, the town was elevated by the emperor Hadrian to a ''municipium'', holding the same rights as an Italian town. During the middle 190s, Septimius Severus transformed the town into a full-fledged ''colonia''. * Romula was possibly the capital of Dacia Malvensis. It held the rank of ''municipium'', possibly under the reign of Hadrian, before being elevated to ''colonia'' status by Septimius Severus. * Cluj-Napoca, Napoca was the possible location of the military high command in Dacia Porolissensis. It was made a ''municipium'' by Hadrian, and Commodus transformed it into a ''colonia''. * Turda, Potaissa was the camp of the Legio V Macedonica during the Marcomannic Wars. Potaissa saw a ''canabae'' established at the gates of the camp. Granted ''municipium'' status by Septimius Severus, it became a ''colonia'' under Caracalla. * Porolissum was situated between two camps, and laid alongside a walled frontier defending the main passageway through the Carpathian Mountains. It was transformed into a ''municipium'' during Septimius Severus' reign. * Dierna (castra), Dierna (modern Orșova, Romania), Tibiscum (Jupa, Romania), and Ampelum (Zlatna, Romania) were important Roman towns. Although the biggest mining town in the region, Ampelum's legal status is unknown. Dierna was a customs station which was granted ''municipium'' status by Septimus Severus. * Sucidava (modern Corabia, Romania) was a town located at the site of an earthwork camp. Erected by Trajan, Sucidava was neither large enough nor important enough to be granted ''municipium'' or ''colonia'' status. The town remained a ''pagus'' or perhaps a ''vicus''. It is often problematic to identify the dividing line between "Romanized" villages and those sites that can be defined as "small towns". Therefore, categorizing sites as small towns has largely focused on identifying sites that had some evidence of industry and trade, and not simply a basic agricultural economic unit that would almost exclusively produce goods for its own existence. Additional settlements along the principal route within Roman Dacia are mentioned in the ''Tabula Peutingeriana''. These include Brucla, Blandiana, Germisara (ancient city), Germisara, Petris, and Călan, Aquae. Both Germisara and Aquae were sites where natural thermal springs were accessible, and each are still functioning today. The locations of Brucla, Blandiana, and Petris are not known for certain. In the case of Petris however, there is good reason to suppose it was located at Uroi in Romania. If this were the case, it would have been a crucial site for trade, as well as being a vital component in facilitating communication from one part of the province to another. It is assumed that Roman Dacia possessed a large number of military ''vici'', settlements with connections to the entrenched military camps. This hypothesis has not been tested, as few such sites have been surveyed in any detail. However, in the mid-Mureș valley, associated civilian communities have been uncovered next to the auxiliary camps at Castra of Orăștioara de Sus, Orăștioara de Sus, Castra of Cigmău, Cigmău, Salinae (castra), Salinae (modern Ocna Mureș), and Micia (castra), Micia, with a small amphitheatre being discovered at the latter one. During the period of Roman occupation, the pattern of settlement in the Mureș valley demonstrates a continual shift towards nucleated settlements when compared to the pre-Roman Iron Age settlement pattern. In central Dacia, somewhere between 10 and 28 villages have been identified as aggregated settlements whose primary function was agricultural. The settlement layouts broadly fall between two principal types. The first are those constructed in a traditional fashion, such as Rădești, Alba, Rădești, Vințu de Jos, and Obreja. These show generally sunken houses in the Dacian manner, with some dwellings having evolved to becoming surface timber buildings. The second settlement layout followed Roman settlement patterns. The identification of ''villa'' sites within central Dacia is incomplete, as it is for the majority of the province. There are about 30 sites identified throughout the province which appear on published heritage lists, but this is felt to be a gross underestimation.


Economy

With the Roman army ensuring the maintenance of the Pax Romana, Roman Dacia prospered until the Crisis of the Third Century. Dacia evolved from a simple rural society and economy to one of material advancement comparable to other Roman provinces. There were more coins in circulation in Roman Dacia than in the adjacent provinces. The region's natural resources generated considerable wealth for the empire, becoming one of the major producers of grain, particularly wheat. Linking into Rome's monetary economy, bronze Roman coinage was eventually produced in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa by about 250 AD (previously Dacia seems to have been supplied with coins from central mints). The establishment of Roman roads throughout the province facilitated economic growth. Local gold mines provided another incentive for Dacia's incorporation into the empire. Dalmatian miners were brought in to operate the gold mines in the Bihor Mountains, adding to the imperial coffers. At Alburnus Maior, the gold mines flourished between 131 and 167 AD, but over time they began to see diminishing returns as the local gold reserves were exploited. Evidence points to the closure of the gold mines around the year 215 AD. Dacia also possessed salt, iron, silver, and copper mines dating back to the period of the Dacian kings. The region also held large quantities of building-stone materials, including schist, sandstone, andesite, limestone, and marble. Towns became key centres of manufacturing. Bronze casting foundries existed at Porolissum, Romula, and Dierna; there was a brooch workshop located in Napoca, while weapon smithies have been identified in Apulum. Glass manufacturing factories have been uncovered in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and Tibiscum. Villages and rural settlements continued to specialise in craftwork, including pottery, and sites such as Micăsasa could possess 26 kilns and hundreds of moulds for the manufacture of local ''terra sigillata''.


Religion

Inscriptions and sculpture in Dacia reveal a wide variety in matters of religion. Deities of the official state religion of Rome appear alongside those originating in Greece, Asia Minor, and Western Europe; of these, 43.5% have Latin names. The major gods of the Roman pantheon are all represented in Dacia: Jupiter (mythology), Jupiter, Juno (mythology), Juno, Minerva, Venus (mythology), Venus, Apollo, Liber, Libera (mythology), Libera, and others. The Roman god Silvanus (mythology), Silvanus was of unusual importance, second only to Jupiter. He was frequently referred to in Dacia with the titles ''silvester'' and ''domesticus'', which were also used in Pannonia. About 20% of Dacian inscriptions refer to Religion in ancient Rome#Absorption of cults, Eastern cults such as that of Cybele and Attis, along with more than 274 dedications to Mithras, who was the most popular among soldiers. The cult of the Thracian horseman, Thracian Rider was imported from Thracia (Roman province), Thrace and Moesia. The Gallo-Roman religion, Gallic horse goddess Epona is attested in Dacia, as are the Matronae. While the Dacians worshiped local divinities, there is no evidence of any Dacian mythology, Dacian deity entering the Roman pantheon of gods, and there is no evidence of any Dacian deity worshiped interpretatio romana, under a Roman name. It is conjectured that the Dacians lacked an anthropomorphic conception of deity, and that the Thraco-Dacian religion and their art was characterized by aniconism. Dacian citadels dated to the reigns of Burebista and Decebalus have yielded no statues in their sanctuaries. With the destruction of the main Dacian sacred site during Trajan's wars of conquest, no other site took its place. However, there were other cult sites of local spiritual significance, such as Germisara, which continued to be used during the Roman period, although religious practices at these sites were somewhat altered by Romanization, including the application of Roman names to the local spirits. Highly Romanized urban centres brought with them Roman funerary practices, which differed significantly from those pre-dating the Roman conquest. Archaeological excavations have uncovered funerary art principally attached to the urban centres. Such excavations have shown that ''Stele, stelae'' were the favoured style of funerary memorial. However, other more sophisticated memorials have also been uncovered, including ''aediculae'', ''tumuli'', and mausoleums. The majority were highly decorated, with sculptured lions, medallions, and columns adorning the structures. This appears to be an urban feature only – the minority of cemeteries excavated in rural areas display burial sites that have been identified as Dacian, and some have been conjectured to be attached to ''villa'' settlements, such as Deva, Romania, Deva, Sălașu de Sus, and Cincis. Traditional Dacian funerary rites survived the Roman period and continued into the post-Roman era, during which time the first evidence of Christianity begins to appear.


Last decades of Dacia Traiana (235–271/275)

The 230s marked the end of the final peaceful period experienced in Roman Dacia. The discovery of a large stockpile of Roman coins (around 8,000) at Romula, issued during the reigns of Commodus and Elagabalus, who was killed in 222 AD, has been taken as evidence that the province was experiencing problems before the mid-3rd century. Traditionally, the accession of Maximinus Thrax (235–238) marks the start of Crisis of the Third Century, a 50-year period of disorder in the Roman Empire, during which the Barracks emperor, militarization of the government inaugurated by Septimius Severus continued apace and the Crisis of the Third Century#Economic impact, debasement of the currency brought the empire to bankruptcy. As the 3rd century progressed, it saw the continued migration of the
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern ...
, whose movements had already been a cause of the Marcomannic Wars, and whose travels south towards the Danubian frontier continued to put pressure on the tribes who were already occupying this territory. Between 236 and 238, Maximinus Thrax campaigned in Dacia against the Carpi, only to rush back to Italy to deal with a civil war. While Gordian III eventually emerged as Roman Emperor, the confusion in the heart of the empire allowed the Goths, in alliance with the Carpi, to take Histria (Sinoe), Histria in 238 AD before sacking the economically important commercial centres along the Danube Delta. Unable to deal militarily with this incursion, the empire was forced to buy peace in Moesia, paying an annual tribute to the Goths; this infuriated the Carpi who also demanded a payment subsidy. Emperor Philip the Arab (244–249) ceased payment in 245 AD and the Carpi invaded Dacia the following year, attacking the town of Romula in the process. The Carpi probably burned the castra of Răcari, ''castra'' of Răcari between 243 and 247. Evidence suggests the defensive line of the Limes Transalutanus was probably abandoned during Philip the Arab's reign, as a result of the incursion of the Carpi into Dacia. Ongoing raids forced the emperor to leave Rome and take charge of the situation. The mother of the future emperor Galerius fled Dacia Malvensis at around this time before settling in Moesia Inferior. At the end of 247 the Carpi were decisively beaten in open battle and sued for peace; Philip the Arab took the title of ''Carpicus Maximus''. Regardless of these victories, Dacian towns began to take defensive measures. In Sucidava, the townspeople hurriedly erected a trapezoidal stone wall and defensive ditch, most likely the result of a raid by the barbarian tribes around 246 or 247 AD. In 248 AD, Romula enhanced the wall surrounding the settlement, again most likely as an additional defensive barrier against the Carpi. An epigraph uncovered in Apulum salutes the emperor Decius (reigned 249–251 AD) as ''restitutor Daciarum'', the "restorer of Dacia". On 1 July 251, Decius and his army were killed by the Goths during their defeat in the Battle of Abrittus (modern Razgard, Bulgaria). Firmly entrenched in the territories along the lower Danube and the Black Sea's western shore, their presence affected both the non-Romanized Dacians (who fell into the Goth's sphere of influence) and Imperial Dacia, as the client system that surrounded the province and supported its existence began to break apart. Continuing pressures during the reign of the emperor
Gallienus Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (; c. 218 – September 268) was Roman emperor The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of ...

Gallienus
(253–268 AD) and the fracturing of the western half of the empire between himself and Postumus in Gaul after 260 meant that Gallienus' attention was principally focused on the Danubian frontier. Repeated victories over the Carpi and associated Dacian tribes enabled him to claim the title ''Dacicus Maximus''. However, literary sources from antiquity (Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, and Festus) write that Dacia was lost under his reign. He transferred from Dacia to Pannonia a large percentage of the ''cohorts'' from the fifth Macedonica and thirteenth Gemina legions. The latest coins at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and Porolissum bear his effigy, and the raising of inscribed monuments in the province virtually ceased in 260 AD, the year that marked the temporary breakup of the empire. Coins were minted during the restoration of the empire (c. 270) under Aurelian which bear the inscription "DACIA FELIX" ("Fertile/Happy Dacia"). The pressing need to deal with the Palmyrene Empire meant Aurelian needed to settle the situation along the Danube frontier. Reluctantly, and possibly only as a temporary measure, he decided to abandon the province. The traditional date for Dacia's official abandonment is 271; another view is that Aurelian evacuated his troops and civilian administration during 272–273, possibly as late as 275. The end result was that Aurelian established a new province of Dacia called Dacia Aureliana with its capital at
Serdica Serdika or Serdica is the historical Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Rom ...
, previously belonging to Lower Moesia. A portion of the Romanized population settled in the new province south of the Danube.


After the Roman withdrawal


Settlement of the Tervingi

The emperor Galerius once declared a complaint which the Romans were aware of: the Danube was the most challenging of all the empire's frontiers. Aside from its enormous length, great portions of it did not suit the style of fighting which the Roman legions preferred. To protect the provinces south of the Danube, the Romans retained military forts on the northern bank of the Danube long after the withdrawal from Dacia Traiana. Aurelian kept a foothold at Drobeta, while a segment of the Thirteenth Legion (Legio XIII Gemina) was posted in Desa, Dolj, Desa until at least 305 AD. Coins bearing the image of emperor Gratian (reign 375–383 AD) have been uncovered at Dierna, possibly indicating that the town continued to function after the Roman withdrawal. In the years immediately after the withdrawal, Roman towns survived, albeit on a reduced level. The previous tribes which had settled north of the Danube, such as the Sarmatians, Bastarnae, Carpi, and Quadi were increasingly pressured by the arrival of the Vandals in the north, while the Gepids and the Goths pressured them from the east and the northeast. This forced the older tribes to push into Roman territory, weakening the empire's already stretched defences further. To gain entry into the empire, the tribes alternated between beseeching the Roman authorities to allow them in, and intimidating them with the threat of invasion if their requests were denied. Ultimately, the Bastarnae were permitted to settle in Thrace, while the Carpi which survived were permitted to settle in the new province of Pannonia Valeria west of their homeland. However, the Carpi were neither destroyed by other barbarian tribes, nor fully integrated into the Roman Empire. Those who survived on the borders of the empire were apparently called ''Carpodacae'' ("Carps from Dacia"). By 291 AD, the Goths had recovered from their defeat at the hands of Aurelian, and began to move into what had been Roman Dacia. When the ancestors of the Tervingi migrated into north-eastern Dacia, they were opposed by the Carpi and the non-Romanized Dacians. Defeating these tribes, they came into conflict with the Romans, who still attempted to maintain control along the Danube. Some of the semi-Romanized population remained and managed to co-exist with the Goths. By 295 AD, the Goths had managed to defeat the Carpi and establish themselves in Dacia, now called Gothia; the Romans recognised the Tervingi as a ''foederatus''. They occupied what was the eastern portion of the old province and beyond, from Bessarabia on the Dniester in the east to Oltenia in the west. Until the 320s, the Goths kept the terms of the treaty and proceeded to settle down in the former province of Dacia, and the Danube had a measure of peace for nearly a generation. Around 295 AD, the emperor Diocletian reorganized the defences along the Danube, and established fortified camps on the far side of the river, from Sirmium (modern Serbia) to Ratiaria (near modern Archar, Bulgaria) and Durostorum. These camps were meant to provide protection of the principal crossing points across the river, to permit the movement of troops across the river, and to function as observation points and bases for waterborne patrols.


Late Roman incursions

During the reign of Constantine the Great, Constantine I, the Tervingi took advantage of the civil war between him and Licinius to attack the empire in 323 AD from their settlements in Dacia. They supported Licinius until his defeat in 324; he was fleeing to their lands in Dacia when he was apprehended. As a result, Constantine focused on aggressively pre-empting any barbarian activity on the frontier north of the Danube. By 328 AD, he had constructed at Sucidava a new bridge across the Danube, and repaired the road from Sucidava to Romula. He also erected a military fort at Daphne (modern Spanțov, Romania). In early 336, Constantine personally led his armies across the Danube and crushed the Gothic tribes which had settled there, in the process recreating a Roman province north of the Danube. In honor of this achievement, the Senate granted him the title of ''Dacicus Maximus'', and celebrated it along with the 30th anniversary of his accession as Roman Emperor in mid 336. The granting of this title has been seen by scholars such as Timothy Barnes (classicist), Timothy Barnes as implying some level of reconquest of Roman Dacia. However, the bridge at Sucidava lasted less than 40 years, as the emperor Valens discovered when he attempted to use it to cross the Danube during his campaign against the Goths in 367 AD. Nevertheless, the ''castra'' at Sucidava remained in use until its destruction at the hands of Attila the Hun in 447 AD. Driven off their lands in Oltenia, the Tervingi moved towards Transylvania and came into conflict with the Sarmatians. In 334, the Sarmatians asked Constantine for military help, after which he allowed the majority of them to settle peacefully south of the Danube. The Roman armies inflicted a crushing defeat on the Tervingi. The Tervingi signed a treaty with the Romans, giving a measure of peace until 367. The last major Roman incursion into the former province of Dacia occurred in 367 AD, when the emperor Valens used a diplomatic incident to launch a major campaign against the Goths. Hoping to regain the trans-Danubian beachhead which Constantine had successfully established at Sucidava, Valens launched a raid into Gothic territory after crossing the Danube near Daphne around 30 May; they continued until September without any serious engagements. He tried again in 368 AD, setting up his base camp at Carsium (castra), Carsium, but was hampered by a flood on the Danube. He therefore spent his time rebuilding Roman forts along the Danube. In 369, Valens crossed the river into Gothia, and this time managed to engage the Tervingi, defeating them, and granting them peace on Roman terms. This was the final attempt by the Romans to maintain a presence in the former province. Soon after, the westward push by the Huns put increased pressure on the Tervingi, who were forced to abandon the old Dacian province and seek refuge within the Roman Empire. Mismanagement of this request resulted in the death of Valens and the bulk of the eastern Roman army at the Battle of Adrianople in 378 AD.


Controversy over the fate of the Daco-Romans

Based on the written accounts of ancient authors such as Eutropius, it had been assumed by Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment historians such as Edward Gibbon that the population of Dacia Traiana was moved south when Aurelian abandoned the province. However, the fate of the Romanized Dacians, and the subsequent
origin of the Romanians Several theories address the issue of the origin of the Romanians. The Romanian language Romanian (dated spellings: Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: ''limba română'' , "the Romanian language", or ''românește'', lit. "in Romanian") is a B ...
, became mired in controversy, stemming from political considerations originating during the 18th and 19th centuries between Romanian nationalists and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. One theory states that the process which formed the Romanian people began with the Romanization of Dacia and the existence of a
Daco-Roman The term Daco-Roman describes the Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studyi ...
populace which did not completely abandon the province after the Roman withdrawal in 275 AD. Archaeological evidence obtained from burial sites and settlements supports the contention that a portion of the native population continued to inhabit what was Roman Dacia. Pottery remains dated to the years after 271 AD in Potaissa, and Roman coinage of Marcus Claudius Tacitus and Crispus (son of Constantine I) uncovered in Napoca demonstrate the continued survival of these towns. In Porolissum, Roman coinage began to circulate again under Valentinian I (364–375); meanwhile, local Daco-Romans continued to inhabit Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, fortifying the amphitheatre against barbarian raids. According to this theory, the Romanian people continued to develop under the influence of the Roman Empire until the beginning of the 6th century, and as long as the empire held territory on the southern bank of the Danube and in Dobruja, it influenced the region to the river's north. This process was facilitated by the trading of goods and the movement of peoples across the river. Roman towns endured in Dacia's middle and southern regions, albeit reduced in size and wealth. The competing theory states that the transfer of Dacia's diminished population overlapped with the requirement to repopulate the depleted Balkans. Although it is possible that some Daco-Romans remained behind, these were few in number. Toponymic changes tend to support a complete withdrawal from Roman Dacia, as the names for Roman towns, forts, and settlements fell completely out of use. Repeated archaeological investigations from the 19th century onwards have failed to uncover definitive proof that a large proportion of the Daco-Romans remained in Dacia after the evacuation; for example, traffic in Roman coins in the former province after 271 show similarities to modern Slovakia and the steppe in what is today Ukraine. On the other hand, linguistics, linguistic data and place names attest to the beginnings of the
Romanian language Romanian (obsolete spellings: Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: ''limba română'' , or ''românește'', ) is a Balkan Romance language spoken by approximately 22–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania Romani ...
in Lower Moesia, or other provinces south of the Danube of the Roman Empire. Toponymic analysis of place-names in the former Roman Dacia north of the Danube suggests that, on top of names which have a Thracian, Scytho-Iranian, Celtic, Roman and Slavonic origin, there are some un-Romanized Dacian place-names which were adopted by the Slavs (possibly via the Hungarians) and transmitted to the Romanians, in the same way that some Latin place-names were transmitted to the Romanians via the Slavs (such as "Olt (river), Olt"). According to those who posit the continued existence of a Romanized Dacian population after the Roman withdrawal, Aurelian's decision to abandon the province was solely a military decision with respect to moving the legions and auxiliary units to protect the Danubian frontier. The civilian population of Roman Dacia did not treat this as a prelude to a coming disaster; there was no mass emigration from the province, no evidence of a sudden withdrawal of the civilian population, and no widespread damage to property in the aftermath of the military withdrawal.


See also

* Dacia Mediterranea * Dacia Ripensis * History of Romania * List of ancient cities in Thrace and Dacia * List of Roman governors of Dacia Traiana * Roman provinces


Notes


References


Bibliography


Ancient

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Modern

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * {{coord, 45.7000, N, 26.5000, E, source:wikidata, display=title Roman Dacia, Dacia, Roman Dacia Provinces of the Roman Empire, Dacia Ancient history of Romania Ancient history of Transylvania Roman frontiers Romanization of Southeastern Europe History of Banat Oltenia 107 establishments 100s establishments in the Roman Empire 100s establishments, Roman Dacia 270s disestablishments in the Roman Empire 270s disestablishments, Roman Dacia