Dacian fortresses from the area of Sarmizegetusa

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Ion Goldariu

Near Costesti-Cetatuie, on a 250 meters high knoll, lies the fortress from Costesti-Blidaru. The rectangular plan, the bulwarks placed at the corners, the entrance – placed in a bulwark – and an inhabitable tower, they all point out the same Hellenistic influence, despite the fact that the technique of building the fortress’ walls do not completely conform to that influence. Due to this deviation from the rule they built, made of shaped stone, without those blocks that were placed perpendicularly on the direction of the wall. During a second phase, the defence work was enlarged – its area being doubled -, behind the northern and the western walls of the precincts, shaped stone walls being, alternating with unshaped stone walls tied with earth. They represented provision storehouses, their floors being used as combat platforms. During the same period, a little lower than the defence work, a tank was built, strictly following Vitruvius’ principles. The Greek letters that were on the walls of the inhabitable tower, as well as on the southern wall, represent signs of quarry marking. The supervision of the ways of access was provided from the height of those 14 towers. Not far from the defence work there were two sanctuaries. West of Blidaru […] there is the fortress from Luncani – Piatra Rosie. First, the precincts walls were simultaneously built on an arranged plateau. They were provided with five bulwarks – four at the corners and one on the tract of the western wall -. During this same phase, two big constructions and a sanctuary were also built, the large building from the precincts, too, – which we call ”barrack” – and three isolated towers. During a subsequent phase, two of them have been linked, at the basis of the plateau, by unshaped stone walls, tied with earth. The access inside the fortress – through a bulwark -, the monumental stone stair and the rectangular plan of the ensemble are of Hellenistic inspiration, while the unshaped stone walls reveal the Dacian technique, inspired by the Hellenistic one. Having in view the fact that the defence works from Varful lui Hulpe were not deliberately, archaeologically studied, the last explored fortress was that of Sarmizegetusa. Watchtowers supervised the ancient road, 20 km. long, from Costesti-Blidaru to this place, […]. The capital city of the Dacian kingdom, Sarmizegetusa, stretched over an area of 6 km., the constructions being placed on terraces, some of which are sustained by walls, 14 meters high. During the ancient age, the town was made of three different areas: two civilian districts and, between them, the defence work and the sacred zone; the whole ensemble was provided with water pipes, sewers, paved roads, stairs etc.
The defence works surround a 1,000 meters high knoll and they consist of a ground elevation that blocks the access way. The elevation is overlapped by a stockade in the southern side, while the precincts wall is built with Dacian technique of Hellenistic inspiration. Partly destroyed in106 […], the fortress was enlarged and rebuilt by the conquerors […]. The sacred zone is situated East of the defence work. Ten rectangular sanctuaries as well as a big stone altar, were discovered, all of them made completely or mostly of limestone or andesite. The rectangular sanctuaries are limited, to the outside, by a row of stone pillars, while to the inside, massive wooden or stone columns were raised. […]
For achieving all these constructions, there is no doubt that the effort was out of common, because this area lacks in stone for building. […]
Except for its sanctuaries, the micro-area from Sarmizegetusa certifies an unwonted resembling of native (Dacian) traditional elements and Hellenistic influences […]. At the same time, by their number and proportions as well as by their placing and way of building, the constructions from Sarmizegetusa represent the most important ancient European architectural achievements outside the Greco-Roman world; they do not have any correspondent from the same era, on the ”barbarian” areas of the continent.

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Over a period of more than 150 years (the 1st. century BC – the 1st. century AD) Dacia disposed of a genuine defense system, containing more than 90 defense works, of various types: fortified settlements, fortresses and earth works. As for the defense works of pre-Roman Dacia, those from the southwestern area of the nowadays Transylvania represent a particular group. Built in the southern side of the middle basin of the Mures river – in that part of the Meridional Carpathians that form the Sureanu Massif – they permitted a continuous control of the ways of access to the capital city of the Dacian kingdom, Sarmizegetusa. […] In this area of the capital city of the Dacian kingdom, the vestiges of the Dacian dwelling make up a unique ensemble, in which the elements of the autohtonic civilisation mould extremely well with those that have been borrowed from the Greco-Roman classical world.The archaeological excavations effectuated at Sarmizegetusa – which is situated on the western side of the Sureanu Mountain – revealed rural Dacian dwellings in the vicinity of the quasi-urban ones, proving a preoccupation for the urban and the territorial arrangement, as well as the existence of some economical functioning that belong to the similar centres (Fetele Albe, Ceata, Sarmizegetusa – Grãdiºtea de Munte); on this occasion there were discovered defence works proper that had been set on fire by the Romans, on the occasion of their victory, obtained by Trajan in 106, which thus concluded the second military campaign against the Dacian King, Decebalus. The defence works proper can be divided into three categories: fortresses that were built in the proximity of the civilian centres (Costesti-Cetatuie, Vârful lui Hulpe and Sarmizegetusa – the latter two on the area of the present – day locality of Gradistea de Munte) fortresses that do not have civilian centres around them – they have been built strictly from military reasons (Costesti – Blidaru, Luncani – Piatra Rosie) and the imposing defence wall from Cioclovina-Ponorici. This one is built of wood and unshaped stones; it is more than 2,5 km. long and it has immense bulwarks of 40 to 80 meters in diameter, as well as oblique and perpendicular walls which are to the main wall and have the role of braking up the enemy’s front of attack. The whole wall reveals the traditional Dacian technique, but the bulwarks and the perpendicular walls betray elements that have been borrowed from the Hellenistic world.

In the case of the fortresses, the plans are either traditional (but adapted as much as possible to the configuration of the land, without significant adjustments), or Hellenistic architecture. The category of the fortresses with traditional plans include the defense works made of wood and earth, at Costesti-Cetatuie, as well as those of earth, wood and stone, at Sarmizegetusa. The fortresses with plans inspired by the Hellenistic architecture include the defense works from Costesti-Blidaru and Luncani-Piatra Rosie. The same observation can be made for the defense works, as well: walls of stone shaped in Hellenistic manner (at Costesti-Cetatuie and, partly, at Costesti-Blidaru) and walls of shaped stone, inspired by the Hellenistic technique (partly, at Costesti-Blidaru and at Luncani – Piatra Rosie and Sarmizegetusa). All together, these defence works constitute a defensive system for Sarmizegetusa, but taken separately, each of them represent, through their specific features, a well configured entity. There is, however, a generally valid characteristic: the fortresses can not resist to prolonged sieges due to the fact that the permanent source of water is lower than the height of the defence work […]. The oldest defence work is that of Costesti-Cetatuie, and it was built on the brink of the 2nd century AD when, on a 150 meters high knoll, two ground elevations with a multiple stockade on their tops, were arranged. […] It is probable that, around the year 55 BC, after the conquest of the Greek fortresses from the western shore of the Black Sea, by the Dacian King Burebista, the native craftsmen and the builders contributed to the raising of the wall (4 meters thick), of shaped stone, on an angular tract. It was provided with three bulwarks – excepting the one that was situated in the precincts, on one of the ground elevations, as well as other three bulwarks from outside the defence work, situated on the way of access, as well as two other inhabitable towers. All these elements of defence are built with Hellenistic walls, with filling of the emplecton type (earth and river stones, placed between two walls of shaped stone). The way they look and other elements as well, lead us to the idea of the contribution of the Greek craftsmen: it is the case of the inhabitable towers (their first levels are built of walls of the same type, while the storeys are made of slightly burned bricks), the case of the monumental stone stairs, near the western inhabitable tower; it is also the case of the on a segment of the precincts wall. Inside the fortress there is also a watch tower, a tank for rain water, huts for soldiers and a rectangular sanctuary with wooden pillars and shaped stones pedestals; other three rectangular sanctuaries, which were built with the same technique, are outside the walls. At the base of the knoll (under the present-day locality) there stretched the big civilian settlement.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QacowJH4fLM&feature=player_detailpage[/youtube]

Dacia


Damita Hiemstra

Sources for the Roman occupation in Dacia abound in historical documents as well as archaeological finds. The best known find is Trajan’s column in Rome, on which the Roman defeat of Dacia is portrayed in seven scenes. Some images also depict Dacian peoples who had fled during the war returning to traditional methods of herding sheep. This legacy of shepherding is documented in several sanctuaries referring to shepherding in the form of stone cylindrical monuments.
Another excellent source about the Roman occupation of this province is the inscription commemorating the founding of the Roman capital, Sarmizegetusa (now Hunedoara, Romania).
Other archaeological evidence comes from excavations of Sarmizegetusa where scholars discovered coinage made under Trajan’s command and a wall dated to the Roman occupation. Inside that wall public buildings, religious and secular, were identified. Outside the wall are suburbs, temples, two necropoleis, and an amphitheater with a capacity of 5000 people built in second-century stone/brick masonry work. The governor’s palace, also discovered through excavations, was made of stone, brick, limestone, and marble. Paint still remained on some areas and the roof was tiled. Other discoveries were a third-century mausoleum and a gladiatorial school, two multi-colored mosaics, and temples to the god Mithras and Syrian gods.
An indication that Dacian people constituted a warring society before Roman occupation came from rock fortresses found in several places including Sarmizegetusa and Apulum. Apulum was a very important center of Roman Dacia, having hundreds of inscriptions (no longer existing) and a multitude of artifacts of Dacian daily life (e.g., baths, temples, streets, aqueducts, evidence of a collegium, coins, and statues of deities).
The major factor of Dacia’s location is its geographical isolation. Located on the Transylvania plateau north of the Danube, it is surrounded by mountains on almost three sides. Nevertheless, because its defenses were weaker than those of any other Roman province, it was a natural invasion route. Therefore extensive defensive measures were necessary in Dacia. In this respect Dacia was more of a liability for the Roman Empire then an asset.
Dacia’s natural resources were gold, iron, and silver, which were mined under Greek and Celtic influence. TheDacians developed superb metalcrafting arts under this influence and made various handcrafted items such as jewelry and other gold items. Dacia also traded with Greece, importing Grecian wine in exchange for Dacian goods. Other natural resources were cattle-raising, agriculture, and forestry, all traditional forms of living. After the Roman conquest of Dacia, a portion of that province’s wealth and resources were sent back to Rome.
Dacia’s native population moved into the region about the seventh or the sixth century BC. Possible ancestry could be from northern subgroups of the Thracians, sometimes confused or combined with the Getae or the most western element of the Scythian people. By the first century BC the Dacians were the leading tribe of region. They were fiercely defensive, and with the right leader could be successfully aggressive. Burebista became Dacia’s king around 60 BC and brought Dacia to the military and political attention of Rome. Rome felt threatened by them but Burebista died, leaving the kingdom to fall apart. Under Roman rule the native population tried to adapt as best they could to Roman ways. Many were forced into slavery, some committed suicide, and the Romans killed many to set an example for the rest of the provinces to fall in line. Trajan killed 10,000 men just in his gladiatorial games.
Burebista conquered surrounding peoples, while threatening the Danubian and Black Sea territories. Rome recognized the threat, and Caesar wanted to march on Dacia; however, both he and Burebista were assassinated in 44 BC. Even though the Dacian kingdom fell apart after Burebista’s death, Rome was still worried about its strong military. Augustus thought he had the Dacians contained but he was mistaken. The Dacians raided parts of Romania and Moesia as the warrior Decebalus took leadership of Dacia some time between 65 and 86 BC. Decebalus tried to restore the unity of the people and rebuild the military but he failed: Trajan began his battles in March 101 and finished in AD 106 declaring Dacia a province of the Roman Empire.
The degree of Romanization in Dacia was extensive. Rome wanted massive Romanization in Dacia for loyalty in case of invasion. Dacia was Romanized but it retained their traditional cattle driving and agricultural practices. Due to the influx of colonists and other Roman citizens populating the newly declared province, however, changes were happening. Many people escaped to “Free Dacia” to the north to hold on to their traditional peasant cultures and to wait until they could reclaim their homeland. Dacia’s original population remained strong enough throughout the occupation to revolt three times after conquest.
Rome’s mechanisms of administration in Dacia began with the people who moved in: colonists, citizens, pilgrims, merchants, mining specialists, and soldiers.
Although Roman occupation lasted only 164 years, many changes occurred. Mines were rapidly exploited. Dacia was run like a police state and divided up into Superior and Inferior Dacia in AD 118-119. Superior Dacia was divided again into another pair of provinces in AD 124. During the German War (ca 168) Dacia was consolidated once again into one military area. Latin was introduced as a unifying agent in order for the province to run smoothly and it remains today the foundation of the Romanian language. A customs station was set up in Sarmizegetusa to deal with the movement of goods and people across the borders.
Benefits for Rome during the occupation of Dacian territory were money, booty, mined materials (gold, sliver, and iron), and land. Manpower was also a benefit for Rome because Dacia provided the largest number of Roman troops after the occupation took place. There was occasional brutality, exploitation, and extortion from the Romans on Dacian peoples but Dacia also received some benefits from the conquest. The Roman peace made possible the transmission of Greek culture, a reduction of slavery (fewer war captives), and the reinvigorating of Greek art. Assimilated Dacians had career opportunities in Roman administration as well. The culture of sophisticated cities, organized laws, and an extended peace allowed the Dacian people to expand their culture.
Dacia passed out of Roman control due to threats of invasions from surrounding armies. Rome decided to pull out in AD 270, making Dacia the first province to be abandoned. As Roman citizens evacuated Dacia, they pushed Moesian citizens out. Dacia was a liability that Rome kept for a longer time because of wealth & strategic location, however, these factors were not enough to outweigh the severe drawbacks.

 

“DECEBALUS” (“BRAVEHEART”) – KING DIURAPNEUS’ NICKNAME

“DECEBALUS” (“BRAVEHEART”) – KING DIURAPNEUS’ NICKNAME

Motto: “Of Gods Themselves should we descend
All, facing Death, still have to bend;
It makes no difference as to die
An old hunchback, or younger guy,
Yet, Lion better says “good bye”
Over a Dog in chains…”
(From: “Decebalus addressing the people”, by poet George Cosbuc)

Throughout the First century A.D., the Carpatho-Danubiano-Pontic geographical space apparently was some kind of an immense fighting zone. Its Thracian local population sees herself continously harassed, plundered, robbed, pushed aside, stricken and hit by all kinds of tribal new-comers, whose migratory waves gradually succeed to settle down somewhere and… to create, nevertheless, their later called “own” History and Culture, by actually stealing them both from us. Greek first-comers, who were to arrive here within three successive stages, from Eastern banks of the Caspican Sea (between 1900-1400 B.C.), had quietly formed a solid, large community near our Black Sea’s friendly shores, only to find themselves, in their turn, later conquered by… Romans, and under whose oppressive yoke they were going to stay some 500 years well over us, Dacian-Thracians. Still, it appears that, through a kind of “miracle”, their native language remained virtually unchanged while only ours’, the future-to-be called Romanian people, was to substantially “modify” not during half a millenium, but just a hundred something years or so, of subsequent occupation by the same expansionist Empire… Should this be a truthful presentation indeed, or maybe it’s more accurate to assume Thracian language as already existing, as being the so-called “Coarse Latin”, which would explain why them, Thracians, didn’t have to bother learning another “new” dialect, while forgetting their own “mother-tongue” (in accordance with the reputed Romanian historian Ovid Densusianu’s theory, opposing other distorting ones)?…
But, let us better go back to explore History itself. Towards the very end of the above mentioned troubled period, precisely during the summertime of the year 87 A.D., one of Rome’s most decadent, perverted ancient Emperors, namely Domitianus, sends his armed troops into an attempt to (finally) occupy the vast Dacian country situated at Danube River Northern’s side. No sooner had the Romans crossed its “forbidden waters”, trespassing on an improvised, vessel-made bridge, than Dacian warriors quickly managed to ambush them within the extremely narrow mountain pass of Tapae (a zone also longtime nicknamed “Transylvania’s Iron Gates”) and… to draw an awesome victory over the invaders. As a result, the famous V-th Roman Legion “ALAUDAE” is totally destroyed, its military insignias captured, with its commander in chief, veteran General Cornelius Fuscus, being killed on the battlefield. Yet, who had been the “architect” of this international echoing Dacian success, its Army’s obviously inspired leader, anyway? His name, soon to be famous World-wide as well, was then written down by only one Roman historian, called Tacitus (but whose works were to inspire, afterwards, his following other War chroniclers, such as Orasius, within V-th century A.D. and, respectively, Jordanus, VI-th century A.D.). His name, the REAL NAME of the victorious “DACIAN WOLF”, was actually DIURAPNEUS, a “TARABOSTES” (namely an aristocrat, according to local denomination) FROM SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF DACIA’S ORIGINS and to whom the Supreme ruler, then KING DURAS DURBANEUS, would soon GRANT HIS own THRONE after Tapae’s victory, through an unprecedented visionary, noble gesture. Following deeds, to be carried out during the entire rest of his turbulent life, entitled Thraco-Dacian population to actually divinize her new King while still alive, up to granting him a DEMIGOD STATUS and the legendary nickname of “DECEBALUS” (that is “BRAVEHEART”, or “THE HEROIC ONE”) for posterity. It is important to underline, here, how Dacians were always going to battle under their “Wolf” ‘s banner (having a Wolf’s head ending through a Dragon’s tail), characteristic for the previous Thracian armies as well; meanwhile, Romans themselves were fighting to the glory of their Empire’s capital, ROME, which is said to have been founded, in its turn, under a “She-Wolf” sign (as being “certified” in the “ROMULUS AND REMUS BROTHERS” ‘LEGEND), by some survivors of the mythical Troja fortress’ downfall, who would have been then guided up to the “Seven Hills” (Tybrus River)’ narrow valley by one of them, AENEAS, actually a… Thracian himself! Thus, Rome itself, an “Eternal Fortress” symbolizing this “new civilization” ‘s very beginnings, misteriously bears a NAME whose origins still require clarification. Neither the exact year of the City’s founding is quite definite until nowadays, nor does its name seem to have originated from Romulus’, as the legend which has been kept alive only through the Roman historian Titus Livius’ writings states to us (specifically quoting, “CONDITA URBES, CONDITORIS NOMINE APPELLATA”, in Latin), but mainly from the capital’s geographical location , which was situated next to the River Tybrus, leading our logistics straight towards ancient Thracian, or maybe Ethruscian words “RAU” (“river”, “running water”) and “RUMON” (“son of Rome”). Whereas confronting these two ancient denominations, the entire “Romulus” legedary tale looks to have rather been “borrowed” by Titus Livius from even older Pelasgian (Thracian) civilization’s myths, and where the Romulus and Remus twin brothers appear to have had their descent. As a result, since both Dacian and Roman people were speaking already an almost common language, and should we put aside, as well, the years’ multitude to pass over, isn’t it an irony of Fate that today’s Romans should be called “Italians” whereas ourselves, Pelasgian-Thracians, respectively named “Roman(ian)s”?…
If we had now to return analysing the valiant “DIURAPNEUS-DECEBALUS” ‘ Destiny, since he WAS “GREAT DACIA” ‘S LAST KING, it would be useful to show precisely the fact that this one succeeds in remaking both his country’s territorial and national unities and strenghtening its military strike forces, all these without neglecting to cautiously conclude several Treaties of political alliance with neighbouring nations, as to ensure, to the freshly-enacted DACIAN CONFEDERATION, its recovered boundaries’ national security. These boundaries were to be, later on, sketched in a written form showing his personal interest by Ptolemaeus himself, as ranging from Carpathian Mountains until the Nister River (the ancient Tyros)’ path and, from there, up to the wide Danube. Other Geta blood-related tribal clusters, scattered throughout Eastern Moldavia up to the other side of Bug River, namely Iazhigs and Roxolans, would very soon join at will this Confederation which dared to oppose, moreover to defy Rome openly. On the internal level, out of King Decebalus’ times dates THE MAGNIFICENT ARCHITECTURAL COMPLEX FROM SARMISEGETUZA, Decebalus’ main fortress (in the Orastie Mountains), that includes, among other touristic attractions nowadays, a Sacred Premise, an andezith Solar disc for time’s measuring, several Holy quadrilateral Sanctuaries, as well as the nearby Metallurgical Work-shops at Gradistea Muscelului.
Whereas Decebalus’ politico-economical construction works were feverishly, buy resolutely carried out, in Rome, Domitianus’ “establishment” was gradually getting very displeased, even sickened with his “grand style” show-offs, perpetual orgies and irresponsible Treasury’s spending, to speak nothing about his opened despotism or the newly-born Christianity’s savage repression campaigns. Thus, on September 18-th, 96 A.D., Domitianus would be assassinated by one of his own Pretorian Guard’s
members, while in the killing’s aftermath an elder Senator, MARCUS COCCEIUS NERVA, was promptly procclaimed as a new Emperor by successful conspirators from the Army’s Staff. Feeling, however, much too old and weakened for a “top job”, Nerva, who didn’t care to procreate through his entire life, was soon going to officially adopt an already “grown up” son and future “leadership associate” at the same time, by choosing one of the Roman Legions’ “raising stars”, one of the Army’s most capable, handsome young Consuls, respectively MARCUS ULPIUS TRAJANUS. Not long afterwards, on October 29-th, 97 A.D., the already “acting-Emperor” Trajan, after completing some victorious campaigns against Germanic tribes, was to get angry with “the opened contempt which Dacians fostered upon Romans” (as says the Roman historian Plinius “the Younger”), deciding therefore to “beef up” his Moesia Inferior troops, build a new Roman military camp near Barbosi-Galatzi, consolidate all the previously conquered Pontic cities’ old fortifications up to Tyros (Nister) River and to dispose, moreover, the completion of Southern Danube shore’s ancient highway until Cazane mountain defile (this last action is to be confirmed by a so-called “Tabula Trajana” inscription). Yet, the major reason which was to ultimately reignite a decisive war against Dacians proves to have been the country’s huge gold and silver reserves, and the possession of a thesaurus which made the Dacian Land look like an ancient “El Dorado”, or “California” to the eyes of financially-troubled leaders of the Roman Empire (for all the Empire’s mercenary soldiers could launch a wide-scale mutiny, should they not have been paid in time- besides their military campaigns’ preys). Following his plans, Trajan would add to the 9 Roman Legions stationed within Middle and Inferior Danube’s area yet another 6, respectively 4 brought from German provinces and other 2 specially created on the occasion of the First Dacian War’s imminent outburst, on March 25-th, 101 A.D. During that day, Emperor Trajan leaves Rome to personally take command upon some 150,000 soldiers in arms, ready to conquer… WHAT? A country of so-called “illiterates”, having “neither a literary language nor a cultural background of their own”, “a land with very small population”- as a few “friendly”, “objective” historians struggle to maintain for quite a while??… Should we have been so “few”, why would then Trajan have needed a multitude of Legions, with hundreds of thousands soldiers, to “kneel” us?!… And should we have been yet so “poor”, why on Earth have they kept on coming to us?!… For a fact, no later than during the summer of year 101 A.D., the Roman Legions, led by Trajan, reach Lederata (today’s Rama) to pursue their march towards Acidava (nowadays, Varadita).
King Decebalus, one of the most gifted Dacian military strategists to have ever existed since his late predecessor, the Great Emperor Burebista, allows the invaders’ breaking through until the Banat Region, whereas concentrating most of his warriors within the same narrow pass of Tapae-Bucova, where, after a very bloody yet undecided open confrontation, Trajan finally claims a modest victory. Still, this victory would open Romans’ way towards advancing up to the Hatsegului Zone, situated at the proximity of Dacian nucleus hidden in the Sureanu Massif. Meanwhile, thanks to diversionist tactics fastly organized by Decebalus, who had also hurried to conclude further alliances with the Burs, Basthorns and Roxolans’ tribes, by crossing unexpectedly the Danube in order to launch a series of surprise attacks upon new Roman settlements, located between the Danube’s curve and Pontus Euxinus (today’s Black Sea), Trajan would be compelled to withdraw a part of his Legions from Dacia, so as to be capable of pushing back both Dacians and their South Dobrudja’s fierce allies. Much later (in 109 A.D.), in order to remind future generations about this stage of his military campaigns, the Roman Emperor would erect, on the two former battleground locations, “the Adamclisi Monument” and the so-called “Tropaeum Trajani”.
Throughout the spring of 102 A.D. year, Trajan resumes his offensive even more powerfully, traverses the whole Muntenia Region reaching Bran’s mountainous defile, where, in spite of Dacians’ desperate yet heroic efforts, Decebalus is being defeated. As a result of the following “Peace Treaty”, the proud King was now to face some important territorial losses, among those the Banat Region, Hatsegului Zone, Oltenia Region and Southern “chunks” from both Muntenia and Moldavia. Back in Rome, the “Eternal City”, a triumphant Emperor Trajan would be granted the honorary title of “DACICUS” ( in Latin, “DACIA’S CONQUEROR”) by the Senate and would take care, afterwards, to consolidate his new “DANUBE WALL” with plenty of additional military forces. It is also assumed that, between the years 103-105 A.D., with the reputed Syrian-born architect Apollodorus from Damascus’ contribution, he would have ordered the construction of a legendary Stone Bridge over the Danube River, near Drobeta- today’s Turnu Severin. Apollodorus from Damascus was truthfully a genius, the greatest architect of his Era; it was still him to whom the project of “Trajan’s Colums” in Rome, depicting through numerous spiralled bas-relief aspects from the Two Dacian Campaigns (101-102 A.D., respectively 105-106 A.D.), would be later assigned. He is said to have even written a book, detailing the Bridge’s construction technique that had been used towards its masterful achievement, book that would have, alas, been lost for posterity… Nevertheless, its content appears familiar to a Roman historian, Dio Cassius, though this one doesn’t bother to do more than mainly describing in detail the Bridge’s aspect. Generally, every bridge’s great architectural complex bears always some hidden symbolistic within, usually a significant testimony of as many courageous, perpetual human efforts directed to do away with obstacles which “Mother Nature” so oftenly lays out on our Life’s paths. A bridge’s main purpose is to facilitate the communication bonds’ safety, between one shore and another… Yet, the so-called “Apollodorus’ masterpiece” looks to have actually been meant to ease our country’s robbing, the Dacian people’s subjugation and subsequently falling down into slavery, to say nothing about facilitating the merge of no less than 14 % from our sacred territories with this opressive, geographically amalgamated Roman Empire… Facts which are still shown, by some of our “historians”, as being absolutely necessary to a noble, “CIVILIZING PROCESS” purpose, intended from the Romans’ side. And if such naked agression, robbing, humiliation, slavery can still be depicted by these like some “civilizing process”, why shouldn’t we name Russian Bolsheviks “civilizers” as well, for they have also “civilized” us intensively through thelasthalf-century, just enough to leave us brain-washed and poorer than ever… A same approach would go for… Adolf Hitler himself and his Nazi fellows, who, after finding out we were “hesitating” to join World War II ‘s already belligerant forces on their side, had quickly “civilized” us through “generously” distributing some of our country’s territories to neighbours: namely, Transylvania to fascist Hungary, their ally, Bessarabia and Bukovina to their still “friends-to-be” Russians, a Southern region called “the Quadrilater” to Bulgarians, compelling thus (what was left of) Romania to become “friendly” to the “civilizers”. Yet, even nowadays, some still grumble at our turning weapons’ act performed against Germans back then, in August 1944!…
Trajan’s Second, and final military campaign versus the heroic King Decebalus was going to start in the summer of year 105, A.D., when (again!) the Roman Emperor in person arrives at Drobeta-Turnu Severin,ready for war. It looks necessary to open, here, a brief parenthesis, so as to mention that, meanwhile, a failed assassination attempt against Trajan himself had happened in Rome. Should the outcome of an ultimately “successful” coup have changed, in any ways, our life-style, our contemporary Destiny?… Would we have looked, somehow, differently?… Would we have spoken another language?… All these questions will remain, forever, unanswered.
Let’s resume our narration by going back to the Roman Armies whom, rather longing for all the Dacian gold and other riches than from some intimate need of acquiring fame, are now marching straight towards Sarmisegetuza while splitting themseves to follow three strategic directions: the first Legions’ group advances along the Cerna River’s valley (across such places where old Thracian legends had told about the Phoenix Bird itself coming to die from Northern Egypt; this mythical creature would hold in its beak an ancient Pelasgian emblem, while in its claws an Egg from the ashes of which, somewhere high on Cerna’s mountainous peaks, the Phoenix Bird was said to be born again). Therefore, the first Army group is able to get across Hatsegului zone and reach to the Dacian fortresses of Costesti, Blidaru and Piatra Rosie, which are totally destroyed. The second Legions’ group climbs, from Jiu River’s valley, up to the Roman military camp at Bumbesti, penetrating then within the Sureanu Massif through a successful breaking near Banita. Finally, the third Legions’ group, led by Trajan himself, marches from Drobeta through Sucidava and Romula, crosses Olt River’s valley up to “Castra Trajana” (nowadays, the Simbotin- Vilcea region), reaches Tilisca and, then, Capilna. All remaining Roman troops, starting their offensive from Moesia Inferior, pass through Bran, Bratocea and Oituz.
A decisive battle for SARMISEGETUZA REGIA would take place, however, only at the beginning of 106 A.D. ‘s summer, with numerous, veteran Roman Legions, having plenty of campaign experience, involved in the assault; among them, “ADRIUTIX” the II-nd and “FLAVIA FELIX” the IV-th, enforced also by a detachment (“vexillatio”, in Latin) from the VI-th Legion “FERRATA”. The desperate Dacian fighters succeed in pushing back a first attack, but Romans manage then to destroy the fortress’ sole pipeline cutting thus Dacia’s capital short of water supply. Soon afterwards the whole fortress is set on fire, whereas Romans break in and destroy almost the entire fortification line, including savagely cutting off each pillar on the Holy Premise’s Sanctuary and killing old Vezina, Decebalus’ Great Priest. Still, the war rages on, for many warriors had succeeded to escape through a secret passage outside Sarmisegetuza, at the last moment. Unfortunately, because of Bacilis’ treason (namely, a former Dacian King’s counselor), the Romans would be able to find DECEBALUS’ THESAURUS, that had been carefully hidden UNDER SARGETIA RIVER’ S BED (as its flowing waters had been deviated while burrying the treasure). This immense hoard would be later estimated, by Jerome Carcopino, to include no less than 165,500 kilos of gold and 331,000 of silver. A last fight with the Dacian King’s Army remains would be held at Porolissum (or Moigrad).
Not being afraid of Death, and even laughing at it had longtime been a most essential Thraco-Dacian character feature, deeply rooted within every warrior’s spirit. That’s why it has been said they were going towards Death happier than on any other journey, by knowing it was the only proper way to acceed their God Zamolxis’ Underworld Kingdom and be among the other heroes enjoying a body and soul’s complete immortality, granted to them by the same Supreme God. Whereas the “Bravehearted” King Decebalus, surrounded now by only a hand of resolute fighters,was retreating through mountain hidden passes and virgin forests on the horse’s gallop, still hoping to reach unoccupied lands from where to assemble a new Army and start the avenging battle, he would be ambushed by the Roman cavalry on pursuit, leaded by a Decurion named Tiberius Claudius Maximus. Since the Zamolxian Cult was not only tolerating, but yet praising and promising other-world rewards to suicide, as final means of relief for the ones worstly striked fate, after a last, fierce struggle Decebalus’ faithfuls take their own lives, one by one. And, as Roman horsemen are also ready to capture him, the ill-fated Dacian King in jeopardy fulfils, in his turn, an untainted Destiny by killing himself. Thus, instead of making DECEBALUS a life-long prisoner in a public cage, the invaders were only able to cut off the “DEAD LION” ‘s head and right hand, in order to show them in Rome. His GREAT DEATH SCENE is one of the most impressive bas-reliefs, to be long remembered, on “Trajan’s Column”.
We have been ultimately crushed, defeated, but… IN NO WAY EXTINGUISHED AS A NATION! We may be proud to have had Decebalus!! What about Emperor Trajan?!… What might we have in common with he latter?! That’s still left to be seen in the future!

DECEBALUS’ RESIDENCE
Motto: “Whoever longs for a Master, Servant is to be called.”

The World’s History seems, at times, strange and still extremely controversial. Around the year 1574, a Spanish monk, named Alphonso CIACCONE, was depicting in premiere APOLLODORUS FROM DAMASCUS’ SCULPTED BAS-RELIEFS ON TRAJAN’S COLUMN IN ROME, that deal with scenes from the above named Emperor’s two military campaigns versus Dacian Land (101-102 A.D., followed by 105-106 A.D.).
It looks, indeed, odd that precisely them, ROMANS, didn’t leave any written testimonies on the Stone Column, a true landmark of Antique culture, just them who used to write plenty about anything and anybody. And it would be the same Spaniard who deserves credit as the first to have ever established that all Column’s bas-reliefs refer themselves to these two dramatic wars, between the Imperial Rome and Romanian people’s forefathers (should we quote from historian Radu Florescu’s works, page 11). Here follows Father Ciaccone’s accurate description of the first scene on Trajan’s Column, whereas this monk had come to be highly accustomed to Italian realities’ major aspects within XVI-th century (with respect to Professor Dr. N. Copoiu’s work- “Decebalus’ Palace”): “Decebalus’ Residence was a magnificent palace, adorned with columns and portraits, probably situated on the Danube’s River Northern shore and which Emperor Trajan would occupy afterwards, while giving orders to be preserved all its Royal furniture.The moment may have represented a peak moment during the temporary “Peace Treaty”, concluded in 102 A.D. between Trajan and Decebalus. Along the Palace’s upper esplanade, a presumed statue of King Decebalus himself could be seen, unless the sculpture might have as well represented one of his great predecessors, being dressed up in the Dacian specific national costumation. The Palace’s main gate was thought to face Danube River: on its fronton were shown three completely naked teen-agers, each holding a lighting torch. The one in the middle had his forefinger and right arm lifted up, carrying the torch with his left hand while displaying two relics in his right one. Those last sculptures might be considered as images of the so called “LARS”, NAMELY DIVINITIES WHO WERE TO INDICATE, WITHIN OLD DACIAN MYTHOLOGY, WHAT PERSON SUPERVISED THE TAKING CARE OF HOUSEHOLD AND WHO WAS “IN CHARGE” OF GUARDING IT. Apparently, nothing inside a residence could be concealed from these minor “domestic Gods”, since they were thought to permanently owning fire and light elements, whereas being extremely faithful to their House’s residents. The last character feature was artistically expressed through the “Lars” risen finger.
This brand new description would contravene, of course, to what we have been taught in communist schools for decades… Most of us always believed ancient Dacian people to equivalate some kind of savage and primitive peasants, supposedly living inside earth-built huts, whereas having, as a fact, numerous large Gold mines around; yet, as they say, who had to wait for an arrival of “civilizing Romans”, led by “our forefather” Trajan himself, in order to “acceed” the Ancient World’s “elite societies”. “Civilizers” being actually Roman mercenary troops who, during even their first year of staying on our conquered territory chunks, were to become “famous” not only for having stolen King Decebalus’ insidered as “promoters of social progress” by a wave of irresponsible historians… Him, Emperor Trajan, was to take posthumous credit for “civilizing” us in a similar way that was, centuries later, applied by the foreign Phanariot rulers (N.B.: the “Phanar” used to be a borough in Middle Age Istambul, well known during the times of Turkish Empire’s expansion since its “residents”, mostly of Greek descent, were competing in raising money to offer the Sultan in “exchange” for the Crown of some Vassal-state; once chosen as Kings, they would push hard to rob the respective country as much as possible while sending huge annual sums of money back to the Sultan, usually until somebody else was named as successor and the disgraced Phanariot had to be “discharged” and… strangled by official Turkish envoys), Hohenzollerns (most notable, among others, King Carol the second), Fascists or the well known Russian thugs… Each of these, in their turn, have forced themselves to “civilize” us better than their predecessors, leaving behind no regrets yet only sorrow, an awful poverty and unconceivable sufferings to the unfortunate, local Romanian population.
Why is it so, that people alike “our historians” don’t seem to grasp that “WHOEVER LONGS FOR A MASTER, SERVANT IS TO BE CALLED”??… Should such so called “History-makers” have become totally oblivious to take a glance at the above beautiful, and also profound interpretation of Trajan’s Column very first scenes? Of course, it might nevertheless be possible that the Spanish monk’s hypothesis proves in the end wrong, but still, in order to do away with any mistaken assumption, one must first try to make sure it becomes known and, afterwards, to effectively provide evidence of it being wrong. The specific image from Trajan’s Column of which I’m talking about is registered under number 231 inside Ciaccone’s album, while appearing as 357-th along the Romanian historian couple Florescu-Miclea’s elaborated Column bas-reliefs analysis. These two gentlemen, to be both considered reputed professionals, “hold tight”in considering the scene shows EMPEROR TRAJAN’S FIRST CAMPAIGN EMBARKMENT, AT THE ANCORA HARBOR, on his way to Dacia and having both his sister, Marcia, and wife Plotina at his side (whereas the same representation might be, with much higher probability in our acception, of NAKED STATUES OF THE THREE “LARS”, DOMESTIC DACIAN GODS OF HOUSEHOLD we were talking about at the beginning of this section).
There were many hypotheses regarding Column scenes’ most appropriate meanings, and many more are surely still to come ahead in the future, but only one thing carries its “rock-solid”, long-lasting significance through Eternity: within the boundaries of a SUPER-RICH country, especially among gold fields and precisely the way Dacia was famed to be back then, it looks very plausible that its top local leaders would have enjoyed both lives and… MANSIONS, or PALACES able to make jealous even the
subsequent, “civilized” Kings or Emperors from later-period Europe!

 

A Very Long Time Ago



Cucuteni pottery
The research done by Romanian archaeologists has led to the discovery of traces of human presence dating back as early as the Lower Paleolithic (approximately two million years BC). A denser human population, known as “the Neanderthal man” can be proved to have lived about 100,000 years ago. A relatively stable population can only be found beginning with the Neolithic (7,500-6,000 years BC). At that time, the population on the territory of nowadays Romania created a remarkable culture, whose main proves are the polychrome pottery of the “Cucuteni” culture, fully comparable to the pottery of other important European cultures of the time discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, and the statuettes of the “Hamangia” culture. Today, the Thinker of Hamangia and its pair are known to the whole world.
At the turn of the second millennium BC (the Bronze age), the Thracian tribes of Indo-European origin settled alongside the population that had already lived in the Carpathian-Balkan region.

In the former half of the first millennium BC, in the Carpathian-Danube-Pontic area – which was the northern part of the large surface inhabited by the Thracian tribes – a northern Thracian group became clearly individualized. It consisted of a mosaic of Getae and Dacian tribes. Strabo or Strabon, a famous geographer and historian in the age of emperor Augustus, informs that “the Dacians have the same language as the Getae”. Basically, it was the same people, the only real difference between the Dacians and the Getae was just the area they inhabited.
In the Antiquity, the Greeks, who first encountered the Getae, used this name for the whole population that lived north of the Danube; while the Romans, who first met the Dacians, extended this name to cover all the other tribes on the present-day territory of Romania.

The Thinkers of Hamangia


The Dacian stronghold of Sarmisegetuza
Burebista (82 -44 BC), assassinated similarly as his greatest foe, Caesar, succeeded to unite the Geto-Dacian tribes for the first time and founded a powerful kingdom that stretched, when the Dacian sovereign offered to support Pompey against Caesar (48 BC).
In the 1st century BC, as the Roman empire was expanding to its maximum extent, the Danube river became, for more than 1,500 km., the border between the Roman Empire and the Dacian world. At the same time, Dacia was at the peak of its power under King Decebal (87-106 AD). After a first confrontation during the reign of Domitianus (87-89), two extremely tough wars were necessary (101-102 and 105-106) to the Roman empire, at the peak of its power, under Emperor Trajan (98-117), to defeat Decebal and turn most of the Dacian kingdom into the Roman province called Dacia.

Trajan’s Column erected in Rome and the Triumphal Monument at Adamclisi (Constanta county) tell the story of this military effort, which was followed by a systematic and massive colonization of the new territories that were integrated into the empire.
Evidently, the Dacians remained, even after the new rule was established, the main ethnic element in the Roman Dacia.
The province was subject to a complex Romanization process and its basic element remained the staged but definitive adoption of the Latin language. The Romanians are today the only descendants of the Eastern Roman stock; therefore, the Romanian language is one of the major heirs of the Latin language, together with French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The natives, either of Roman or of Daco-Roman descent, continued their uninterrupted existence as farmers and shepherds.
This continuity of the formation of the Romanian people occurred continuously after the withdrawal, south of the Danube, under emperor Aurelianus (270-275), of the Roman army and administration. The ancestors of the Romanians remained for several centuries in the political, economic, religious, and cultural sphere of influence of the Roman Empire and, respectively, the Byzantine Empire, after the Roman Empire split in 395 AD. At the time when the Daco-Roman ethno-cultural symbiosis was achieved and finalized, the formation of the Romanian people was complete in the 6th century. As a major part of the formation of the Romanian people, was the adoption of Christianity in a Latin garb, during the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries.
Therefore, in the 6th-7th centuries, when the formation process of the Romanian people was completed, this nation emerged in history as a totally Christian one. This is why, unlike the neighbor nations, which had to established dates of Christianization (for instance, the Bulgarians – 865, the Serbs – 874, the Poles-966, the eastern Slaves – 988, the Hungarians – the year 1000), the Romanians do not need to have a fixed date of Christianization, as they were the first Christian nation in the region.
King Decebal 


Emperor Trajan



Trajan’s Column

TropaeumTraiani

TropaeumTraiani

 

THE OLD TIMES

Sarmizegetusa

On the Romanian territory there were discovered impressively beautiful vestiges of Neolithic cultures. It is here, on this land, where the highly typical civilization of the Geto-Dacians flourished. They were a kin that belonged to the great family of the Thracians. The Geto-Dacians attracted the attention of foreign contemporaries under all kinds of major historical circumstances. For instance, in 335 B.C. they fought against the famous Alexander the Great, and about 290 B.C. they took as prisoner the latter’s successor in Thracia, King Lysimachos). The Helenistic monarchies had positively influenced the Geto-Dacians’ culture and civilization, which proved responsive to the Greek touch.

The expansion of the Roman Empire in the Balkan peninsula alarmed the Geto-Dacians and determined the strengthening of their unity. Approximately in the middle of the first century B.C., the Dacian king Burebista succeeded in building an impressingly powerful state, by unifying most of the Geto-Dacian tribes on the wide space stretching from present-day Slovakia to the Balkans. He also forced all the Pontic cities, from Olbia to Apollonia of Thracia, to submit to his rule. The clash between the forces of Burebista and Caesar was going to take place in 44 B.C., but just before the encounter the Roman Emperor was murdered. After a little while, Burebista shared the same fate.

At the beginning of our era, the Roman Empire was getting closer in its expansion to the Danube and Dacia. However, the Geto-Dacians could do nothing else but to have relations with it, sometime cordial, sometime hostile, in order to assimilate the elements of the Roman civilization and military techniques. They will resist the Romans, both politically and military, for about a century more, until the reign of the Roman emperor Trajan. After six long and dreadful years and two wars, Trajan finally succeeded in 106 A.D. to break the heroic resistance of the Dacians, whose king, Decebal, entered in legend for his bravery of committing suicide to avoid being captured. The resistance and destruction of Decebal’s Dacia lingered in the conscience of the raising generations as a glorious epic. The two memorial monuments, Trajan’s Column (Rome, Italy) and Tropaeum Trajani from occupied Dacia (Adamclisi, Dobrogea, Constanta county), both attest through their celebrated scenes, sculpted in stone, the Dacians’ bravery in defending their rich plains, marvelous hills, and well-sheltering mountains. Besides all sufferings, Dacia’s integration into the Roman Empire had some positive aspects. By the endeavor of the natives of Dacia and Roman colonists and by their practical-mindedness, Dacia reached a high level of material and spiritual culture. Dacia also underwent the important process of Romanization, which left lasting marks, traceable to this day, in the Romanian people’s Latin language, in its name, conscience, and culture. As the Geto-Dacians were the basic ethnic element in the making of the Romanian people, the Romans were the second element of the ethno-genesis of the Romanians.

The crisis that occurred in the Roman Empire, as well as the pressure of the Barbarians toward the very long borders of the Roman Empire, forced Emperor Aurelianus to decide in 271 A.D. the withdrawal of the Roman troops, administration, and a part of the urban population from Dacia. They moved south of the Danube, on today’s territories of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Yet, most of the population, consisting of Roman peasants and Romanized Dacians, did not leave their land, being in a close touch with the South-Danubian Roman world. Coming into contact with the Barbarians, the Daco-Romans adopted forms of organization imposed by the newly born historical conditions. They constituted themselves into what the great Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga named “many popular Romanies” or “the rural Romanies.” In these territories, the imperial authority of Rome was no longer effective, but the Daco-Romans knew how to preserve what they had learned for 165 years. All these politic, economic, and administrative bodies were considered as many Romanies by their inhabitants because they all knew that they were belonging or had belonged to the Roman Empire.

The original translation was reviewed and edited by Radu Sebescu.
All the mistakes, non-clarities, and misinterpretations must be attributed to the reviewer/editor.
Radu Sebescu (sebescu@home.com), Phoenix, Arizona, Tu2001Jn19, 20:44 (GMT-7:00)

 

An Historical Survey

Life on the nowadays territory of Romania began many thousands years ago, millions, one may say. The “Austrolanthopus Olteniensis” skeleton, unearthed at Bugiulesti, Valcea county, was estimated to be 1,800,000 – 2,000,000 years old.
Testimonies to the existence of human communities in the Paleolithic, consisting of rudimentary chipped stone implements, are numerous in the counties of Olt, Arges, Sibiu, Iasi, Maramures, and others. From the most recent part of this period, there exist even some manifestations of art, such as pendeloques of incised stone, bones, and shells.
The rupestrian painting from Cuciulat, located on the banks of Somes River, Salaj county, is approximately 10,000 years old. The tablets of baked clay, discovered at Tartaria, located on the banks of the Mures River, Alba county, were made from local clay and covered with a writing very similar to the Sumerian one, with the same direction of reading, that is counterclockwise (the spiral of life). These tablets are estimated to belong to a more than 8,000 years old civilization; therefore, a much earlier one than the Sumer’s. The inscribed tablets from Orastie, Hunedoara county and Acidava, Arges county, are even older, preceding those from Tartaria.
The traces of some Neolithic cultures, dating back to 7,000 – 2,700 B.C., are numerous. Thus the figurines and vases of baked clay, painted in two or three colors, discovered at Cucuteni, Hamangia, Boian, Salcuta, Popesti, etc. are genuine works of art as well as fully functional objects. During this mentioned period, as attested by the Gumelnita culture, which had developed north and south of the Danube, copper and gold were used to manufacture weapons and objects for adornment.
The beginning of the process of Indo-Europeanization of the native population started presumably around 2,700 B.C. This process coincided with the dawn of civilization of the Bronze Age, as illustrated by the archaeological finds of different cultures, such as the cultures of Horodistea – Erbiceni (Botosani county), Foltesti (Galati county), Zabala (Covasna county), Baia (Constanta county), and Cotofeni (Dolj county). Similarly to other civilizations, the bronze metallurgy and the gold one developed at the same time.
Legends mention, about the year 3000 B.C., the existence of a great empire, ruled by the priestess of the Uranian Sun, Dacia – Dochia, which was located in the area of the Ceahlau mountain. She was simultaneously the supreme judge and military leader. Five hundred years later, Hestia (Vesta), queen and high priestess of the sacred fire, led the same empire based upon the code of fair laws – Belagine. Hestia was later on deified by the Thracians. Around 1,400 B.C., traditions mention the name of Zamolxe (Zamolxis, Zalmoxis), high priest, physician and king, likewise deified, who presumably received the Belagine code of laws, directly from the goddess Hestia. As It appears today, in the Zamolxean schools, which lasted for hundreds of years, philosophy, logics, mathematics, and medicine were taught, while the spells and names of medicinal herbs have been handed down to us, through folklore. During the 12th – 8th centuries B.C., the Basarabi culture, thriving almost throughout the Carpatho – Danubian – Pontic territory, testifies the beginning of the Iron Age. By the invention of the iron technology, the metallurgy of bronze and gold became less important.
During the 7th – 6th centuries B.C., there appeared the first Greek harbors at the Pontus Euxinus (the Black Sea of today): Histria (today just an archeological site) and Tomis (city of Constanta). Also were founded those of Miletus (unclearly located) and Callatis (city of Mangalia), both of them of Doric origin.
Over the 5th and 4th cent. B.C., date back the first coins stamped on Dacian territory, as well as all kinds of elements of Greek culture.
In 514 B.C., the Geto-Dacians, led by Ion (Ene) Basarab repelled the armies of the Persian king Darius. Mentioning this battle, Herodotus wrote that among the Thracians, the Geto – Dacians were the bravest and the most righteous. The Father of History also wrote that those people considered themselves immortal. To continually utter their immortality, the Geto-Thracians used to send a messenger to their God, Zamolxis, by throwing periodically in spears one of their bravest man, who always had to be a volunteer. In another battle with the Persians, in 292 B.C., the Dacian king Dromichetes, took Lisimachos prisoner, but diplomatically married himself to the daughter of the man who succeeded to the throne of Alexander the Great.
Burebista is considered the founder of the first centralized Dacian state, in 50 B.C., which extended, from west to east, from Pannonia to the Black Sea, and from the north of the Carpathians to the south of the Danube. He is considered to have moved the capital city of Dacia to Sarmisegetuza, a vast archaeological context of about 200 sq. km, located in the Orastie Mountains. The complex of Sarmisegetuza was marvelously designed, revealing a multitude of fortresses and strongholds built in such a way that they would progressively defend strategically the capital city itself. The whole area resembles a Helenistic complex of buildings, but solved in an ingenious, original way.
The reign of the Dacian king Decebal (87-106) met that of the Roman emperor Trajan (98-117) in the two wars of 101-102 and 105-106. After the second Dacian-Roman war, the Roman legions ultimately conquered the southern part of the Dacian state, taking over its huge treasure of gold (165,000 kg) and silver (331,000 kg), drawn out from the waters of the Sargetia, as well as its cattle, cereals, and soldiers. The festivity of conquest lasted for 123 days and the citizens of Rome were tax-free for one whole year. The triumphal arch of Rome, built by Trajan’s architects, as well as the Trajan column, built in 107-108, immortalized this entire odyssey. Marvelous jewels, coins, other artifacts, full of history and art, were thus forever lost.
Roman rule in Dacia meant a powerful economic and cultural development; there emerged cities, monumental edifices, of both military and civil nature, roads, and new mining exploitations. Latin writing was promoted and became dominant. The political-administrative organization, based on the Roman system, with municipalities, headed by prefects, was enforced upon the territories that were included into the empire. Therefore, Roman influence was deeply felt by the entire Dacian population. This entire historical period is viewed as the genesis of the Romanian people, simultaneously constituting, by tradition, the beginning of christianization directly done by Apostle Andrew. Weakened by the barbarian invasions, the Roman armies withdrew from the Dacian territory, during the rule of the emperor Aurelianus, in 271-272.
However, the links were never cut off. Romanian folklore recorded the names of the two “Ler”: emperor Galer Maximus (293 – 311), who issued the first edict of religious tolerance and won a great victory over the Persians, with an army of Dacians, as recorded on the capitals of the triumphal arch of Salonica. The second “Ler” was his nephew, whose name was likewise Galer (308 – 313). Galer, Valer, and Galeriu are Romanian surnames and given names. Subsequently, emperor Constantine the Great and his mother Helena transferred the capital of the Roman empire to Constantinople, built the largest bridge from ancient architecture, across the Danube at Celei (Romanati county), fortified with garrisons a number of settlements that were lying north of Danube, and glorified the eight Dacian commanding officers of the army on the triumphal arch from Rome. They were recorded by history especially for the conversion to Christianity as state religion and the patronization of the Synod of Nicaea, from 325, which also had repercussions on the Dacian territories.
The uninterrupted inhabitance, by the local population, over the 4th – 9th century A.C., after all the passages of the Goths, Huns, Slavs, and Avars, is testified to by the archaeological finds, treasured in all the museums of Romania and especially by the extraordinary unity of the Romanian language, evidently of Latin origin.
Beginning with the 9th century, the chronicles mentioned the army commanders Menumorut, Gelu, and Glad in Transylvania and Banat and subsequently, in 1230, the name of voivode Litovoi, in the Hateg county, who opposed the longstanding effort of the Hungarian kingdom, to expand over the ancient Dacian territories.

The original translation was reviewed and edited by Radu Sebescu.
All the mistakes, non-clarities, and misinterpretations must be attributed to the reviewer/editor.
Radu Sebescu (sebescu@home.com), Phoenix, Arizona, Tu2001Jn19, 20:44 (GMT-7:00)

ZAMOLXIS, THE GOD OF THE GETAE

(Herodotus,THE PERSIAN WARSBook 4, MELPOMENE, 93-96)Zamolxis (Saitnoxis) was the Supreme God of the Getae (or Dacians), a Thracian people inhabiting a territory including today’s Romania, but also extending farther cast and northeast. Our only important information concerning this rather enigmatic deity is the text of Herodotus quoted below. The scholars have interpreted Zamolxis as a Sky-god, a god of the dead, a Mystery-god, etc.

[4.93]. 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.

[4. 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 Zamolxis of Gebelezis, 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 Zamolxis, 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 Zamolxis 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.

[4. 95]. For myself, I have been told by the Greeks who dwell beside the Hellespont and Pontus that this Zamolxis 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 Zamolxis 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 Zamolxis had told them. Such is the Greek story about him.

[4.96] I for my part neither put entire faith in this story of Zamolxis and his underground chamber, nor do I altogether discredit it: but I believe Zamolxis to have lived long before the time of Pythagoras. Whether there was ever really a man of the name, or whether Zamolxis 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.

Mysteries of the cave of Mount Rodna

Located in southwest Rodna on the left side Tausoarelor Spring Valley, at an altitude of about 1000 m, Cave Tausoarelor fascinating tourist who manages not only to obtain approval for his visit, but even the cavers, people who have seen many such underground roads cross the mountains. A variety of galleries and underground rivers that appear four more times and lost in the rock, come to beautify the place, giving it a mysterious air.

Discovered in 1955 by Leon Bart teacher in Parva, cave now suscinta speleologists interest not just from scientists but also of the fresh field of occult and paranormal events. That’s because in the area, along the time events occurred which could not be explained by human logic. The first unusual discovery was made in 1967 by Marin Takei, a retired teacher caving enthusiast.

He noted in what will be called Bear Hall three niches cavern about 15 cm in diameter, arranged as a triangle with the base up and having a distance of about a meter and a half between peaks. If the first two niches had a depth of about 30-35 cm, ending suddenly, the third, top, seemed much longer.

“My father took the story as that used baton and put him on the niche, but she gave no end. He was convinced that beyond the wall that one can find something. ”

However, Mr Takei said nothing about finding niches that three more, he closed with stones and limestone cave.

“She was afraid to see others and not to dig there to destroy the cave. Because he was convinced that the other side is reached by a gallery, which looked a few years. ”

Eventually he found a small gallery underground passage. Mr Takei seeing the cave is not known. He would not even tell them his children.

“We just said that the caves in the mountains hide the true civilization. He seemed fascinated by what he had seen right there. At one point could no longer resist and wrote a book he published it again by 1978. Just as stories were written as fiction. He said that he wants to know what the communists there, it would destroy everything. He left behind a manuscript that we need to publish us over many years, when the Romans were able to understand some things. ”

But the manuscript was destroyed in a fire that destroyed the house a few weeks after Mr Takei died without anyone to be learned the secret cave.

Primitive sanctuary or happenings?

What amazed him was the discovery of the first caving bear skeletons of two species: Ursus arctos and Ursus spealeus. The two species appear to have lived together in those galleries, which contravenes all knowledge about these two species.

In addition, the bones were placed in a strange, circular, north north west and south of Ursus arctos was occupied north and the north east and south spealeus Ursus. How is unlikely that the bears to be killed accidentally in those positions, they were supposed to put someone in a particular purpose. Archaeologists say it may be a primitive man worshiped the cult of the bear.

But this hypothesis seems shaky even before the existence of two species placed alternately. Almost immediately after her discovery of the cave was closed circuit public; I could visit it only with permission of the custodian or others willing to guide tourists visiting the place. Some say that in this way tried to hide certain galleries and theaters that had not seen or made known to the public, visitors had to be away from certain places in the cave, in terms of guidance.

Taus balls

Another bizarre discovery is “Taus balls,” which nobody can say exactly how they formed. Beads are found embedded in limestone wall and floor of the cave party who borrowed his name, Bowls Hall.

Some of those who visited the scene said that sometimes, if you listen closely, you can hear the murmurs that seem to come from inside the ball. L.T., caver, said:

“When I first heard murmurs were with two other colleagues. I thought they were talking, and they thought that I speak. Then I thought that’s beyond the wall that someone can hear the echo. But, sticking my ear to more balls, we found that the murmurs are different, not belonging to the same person. Like every ball that would be a transistor and would send different radio stations. I never could figure out anything specific in those murmurs, but surely they were human, that is heard and men and women and even children’s voices. But not always hear the noises. In 21 visits I’ve made there over the years, sometimes several times a year, I heard only five or six times. ”

Some, the more reluctant to Mr. LT, says murmurs, are in fact noise caused by underground rivers that give the impression of there and dialogues. But because the case falls would hear noises constantly, not only from time to time.

“I am tempted forces beyond human comprehension”

Mr GS Timisoara witnessed an event that even now he can not explain. In an August evening of 1987, he slipped actually Bowls Hall. Hear murmurs from there and was convinced that only the night can be heard. It was prepared with a mini-cassette recorder to record any noise Sharp.

“I was wrapped in a blanket and waited in the dark. And at some point we have heard. I turned on the tape. ”

Murmurs multiplied and grew in intensity, covering the whole hall. Bold was in panic and … fainted. When he awoke it was morning and was in front of the cave.

“But the awkwardness that comes from there but I was not in my cave in the Ialomita, Bucegi. When I saw the monk who had a cell in the cave mouth, he was astonished. Do not understand what’s wrong with me wrapped in blankets and lying in front of the cave. I tried to tell him and began to laugh. But I laughed as I would not have believed it, but for him it seemed normal. Then she told me Father Theophilus – so we call upon God to forgive him – about the voices in caves and the fact that I, in my arrogance I tempted forces beyond human comprehension. ”

The tape has not given, even if he returned next day to Taus. Maybe it took a tourist cave glad I gave a gift. Or maybe it was lost on the road between Bucegi Rodna. Mr. G.S. is convinced that those balls are actually a teleportation device.

“Otherwise I can not explain how I came in a flash from a distance so great. Time will give me justice.

However, even then he tried the experiment several times, never heard any murmurs from the audience and did not wake up to who knows where. Many are caves that cavers – and not only them – try them out of the tourist circuit. They say that to protect those priceless treasures. And I agree that many tourists do not have respect for those fantastic natural treasures hidden in the cave depths. However, sometimes exceeding a certain limit protection and goes to hide some findings that should be known by everyone. Because not once, there underground, there is past history and future of our spiritual roots.

About Chandra

Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-ray

Observatory has been NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in the fleet of “Great Observatories.”

Who we are
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes. Because X-rays are absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, Chandra must orbit above it, up to an altitude of 139,000 km (86,500 mi) in space. The Smithsonian’s Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA, hosts the Chandra X-ray Center which operates the satellite, processes the data, and distributes it to scientists around the world for analysis. The Center maintains an extensive public web site about the science results and an education program.
What we do
Chandra carries four very sensitive mirrors nested inside each other. The energetic X-rays strike the insides of the hollow shells and are focussed onto electronic detectors at the end of the 9.2- m (30-ft.) optical bench. Depending on which detector is used, very detailed images or spectra of the cosmic source can be made and analyzed.
What we are excited about

Chandra has imaged the spectacular, glowing remains of exploded stars, and taken spectra showing the dispersal of elements. Chandra has observed the region around the supermassive black hole in the center of our Milky Way, and found black holes across the Universe. Chandra has traced the separation of dark matter from normal matter in the collision of galaxies in a cluster and is contributing to both dark matter and dark energy studies. As its mission continues, Chandra will continue to discover startling new science about our high-energy Universe.

A Tour of SN 1979C (High Definition)

 

  • SN 1979C, a supernova in the galaxy M100, may be the youngest black hole in the so-called local Universe.
  • Astronomers have seen many gamma-ray bursts, which are likely the births of young black holes, but these are much more distant.
  • If SN 1979C does indeed contain a black hole, it will give astronomers a chance to learn more about which stars make black holes and which create neutron stars.
  • SN 1979C was first reported by an amateur astronomer, and some 25 years later space-based telescopes picked up the case.

This composite image shows a supernova within the galaxy M100 that may contain the youngest known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood. In this image, Chandra’s X-rays are colored gold, while optical data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope are shown in yellow-white and blue, and infrared data from Spitzer are red. The location of the supernova, known as SN 1979C, is labeled (roll your mouse over the image above to view the labeled image).

SN 1979C was first reported to be seen by an amateur astronomer in 1979. The galaxy M100 is located in the Virgo Cluster about 50 million light years from Earth. This approximately 30-year age, plus its relatively close distance, makes SN 1979C the nearest example where the birth of a black hole has been observed, if the interpretation by the scientists is correct.

Data from Chandra, as well as NASA’s Swift, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory revealed a bright source of X-rays that has remained steady for the 12 years from 1995 to 2007 over which it has been observed. This behavior and the X-ray spectrum, or distribution of X-rays with energy, support the idea that the object in SN 1979C is a black hole being fed either by material falling back into the black hole after the supernova, or from a binary companion.

The scientists think that SN 1979C formed when a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun collapsed. It was a particular type of supernova where the exploded star had ejected some, but not all of its outer, hydrogen-rich envelope before the explosion, so it is unlikely to have been associated with a gamma-ray burst (GRB). Supernovas have sometimes been associated with GRBs, but only where the exploded star had completely lost its hydrogen envelope. Since most black holes should form when the core of a star collapses and a gamma-ray burst is not produced, this may be the first time that the common way of making a black hole has been observed.

The very young age of about 30 years for the black hole is the observed value, that is the age of the remnant as it appears in the image. Astronomers quote ages in this way because of the observational nature of their field, where their knowledge of the Universe is based almost entirely on the electromagnetic radiation received by telescopes.

Fast Facts for SN 1979C:
Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/D.Patnaude et al, Optical: ESO/VLT, Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech
Scale Image is 5 by 4 arcmin, (72,000 x 58,000 light years)
Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants , Black Holes
Coordinates (J2000) RA 12h 22m 54.9s | Dec +15° 49′ 21”
Constellation Coma Berenices
Observation Date Feb 18, 2006 & Apr 20, 2008
Observation Time 15 hours 16 min
Obs. ID 6727, 9121
Color Code X-ray (Gold); Optical (Yellow-white, Blue), Infrared (Red)
Instrument ACIS
References Patnaude, D, et al. 2010, New Astronomy (in press); arXiv:0912.1571
Distance Estimate About 50 million light years
Release Date November 15, 2010