Category Archives: english

A War Diary Soars Over Rome

A War Diary Soars Over Rome

The story of Emperor Trajan’s victory over a mighty barbarian empire isn’t just one for the books. It’s also told in 155 scenes carved in a spiral frieze on a monumental column.

trajan_column

Source

In back-to-back wars fought between A.D. 101 and 106, the emperor Trajan mustered tens of thousands of Roman troops, crossed the Danube River on two of the longest bridges the ancient world had ever seen, defeated a mighty barbarian empire on its mountainous home turf twice, then systematically wiped it from the face of Europe.

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How did Count Dracula looked like?

How did Count Dracula looked like?

Romanian version here.

How did Nicolaus Modrussiensis presented the 27 years old Prince?

He wasn’t particularly tall but very vigorous and healthy, with a cruel and ferocious aspect, a big aquiline nose and inflated nostrils. The skin of the face was smooth and reddish, long eyelashes framed widely open green eyes made threatening by bushy black eyebrows, the face and the chin were shaved apart from the moustache. Prominent temples increased the volume of his head. A bullish neck rose from his broad shoulders on which fell his long black curly hair.

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The first inhabitants of Dacia

The first inhabitants of Dacia

Fragment from “Prehistoric Dacia” written by Nicolae Densușianu

Dacia presents an extreme antiquity in everything.
When studying the prehistoric times of the countries from the Carpathians and the Lower Danube, an ancient disappeared world, the cradle of the ante-Hellenic civilization, presents itself before our eyes. Behind the populations known in Greco-Roman antiquity under the name of Getae and Dacians, stretches back a long series of several thousand years, a buried history of some great events, whose importance had reached far beyond the horizon of this country, the history of a nation, genial, powerful and glorious, who, long before the Trojan times, had founded the first vast world empire, had founded the first cultural unity in Europe and had at the same time established a basis for the moral and material progress in western Asia and in north Africa.
Dacia, this country miraculously endowed by nature with all the goodness of the climate and soil, the work of remote geological times, had formed the first place perfect for the settling and development of the moral and industrial life of the migratory nations. Dacia, during the history of these dark ages, appears as the first geographical metropolis destined, by its particular position, by the abundance of its population and by the diversity of its riches, to extend during the prehistoric epoch, its ethnic and cultural influence, on one hand towards south, in the Balkan peninsula and beyond the Aegean Sea, and on the other hand towards west, on the great and long communication waterway of the Danube.
The civilizing action exercised by the prehistoric ante-Dacian population from the Carpathians and the Lower Danube, over the ante-Hellenic world, was much greater than we can imagine today, on the basis of fragments of monuments and of historical and folkloric traditions which we have from this extremely remote epoch.
In this regard we are now only at the dawn of prehistoric science [1].

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23 Dacian wars and riots between 106-271 AD

23 Dacian wars and riots between 106-271 AD

statuie-dac-arctriumf110 minutes read!

Romanian version here.

In this article we will present a list of wars and riots that are documented mostly from Roman sources, wars and riots that took place in the Roman Dacia province, during the 165 years occupation by the Roman army and administration. There are also mentioned the attacks of the free Dacians alongside their allies. This is an open list which will be updated as soon as new historical evidences will come up.

  • 117 – the year of emperor Trajan’s death brings the first riot of the Dacians in the province, synchronized with free Dacians, that attacked in alliance with the Iazyges and Roxolani. The province’s governor, Gaius Iulius Quandratus Bassus (70 – 117) was killed during these fights, causing Hadrian(117-138), the new emperor, to burn the wooden superstructure of the Drobeta’s bridge over the Danube, so the Dacians couldn’t pass in Moesia.
  • 138, 140, 143 – The emperor Antoninus Pius(138-161) enforced the Roman legions in Dacia, just like his predecessor Hadrian, in order to stop the riots that took place during those years.
  • 156-157 – The free Dacians attacked the northern border of the province, but Marcus Statius Priscus(132-162), Legatus of Dacia Superior, managed to defeat them. New measures to enforce the border were taken by building a new Limes along the line of Someș and Criș rivers.
  • 157-158 – A new riot took place in Dacia Porolissensis, in which the free Dacians, Carpi and Costoboci also joined. Again, Antoninus Pius brought in new auxiliary troops to defeat this riot. After the victory, the emperor received the title of Dacicus Maximus.
  • 166 – The riots against the Romans restarted during this year. The Dacians attacked the garrisons and castra in the province, putting in danger even the capital Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. The Romans brought in new troops: the 5th legion, “Macedonica” and detachments from the 10th legion, “Fretensis”, 11th legion, “Claudia” and 1st legion, “Italica”.
  • 167 – Costoboci and Carpi in alliance with Quazi, Iazyges and Roxolani launched a simultaneous attack against Trajan Dacia, Raetia, Norricum and Pannonia. This “Barbarian Federation” will then devastate the Black Sea coast all the way to Macedonia, Moesia and Thracia. Then, Carpi, Costoboci and Roxolani successfully got to Thessaloniki and Athens where they destroyed Roman and Greek settlements, helped by inhabitant populations. For reestablishing the order, Marcus Aurelius(161-180), set up an unique military commandment for Dacia and Moesia, which was commanded by Marcus Claudius Fronto.
  • 170 – Marcus Claudius Fronto was killed on the battlefield, against the “barbarian federates”.
  • 170-171 – The new commander Iulius Piso Berenicionus managed to defeat the rioters, but the situation was still uncertain for the both parties.
  • 174The emperor Marcus Aurelius(161-180) personally intervened in Dacia and hardly succeeded to defeat the locals with the elite troops. The commanders of the 5th legion, “Macedonica” and 12th legion, “Gemina” became the true rulers of the province, replacing the civilian ones. After this war, the family of the Costoboci king Pieroporus was taken hostage. The evidence about this was found on a tomb inscription in Rome.
  • 180-184 – Because of the fact that the new emperor, Commodus Antoninus(180-192) didn’t kept his financial commitments towards the free Dacians, they permanently attacked the Roman provinces. The ones that ended these wars were the Roman generals Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger.
  • 213-214 – New riots took place in the province because of the Constitutio Antoniniana, signed in 211 by Caracalla(211-217). In 214, Costoboci and Carpi in alliance with Bastarnae, Vandals and Roxolani entered in some Roman provinces. This war lasts until 217, when Caracalla is assassinated.
  • 217-218 – The new emperor Marcus Opellius Macrinus(217-218) didn’t managed to defeat the free Dacians so he started to treat with them. The free Dacians had to leave Dacia, but instead, the Romans had to pay tribute and to free the hostages taken by Caracalla.
  • 236-237 – The emperor Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus(235-238), also known as Maximinus Thrax (“The Thracian”) took some measures in order to stop the attacks of the free Dacians allied with Sarmatae Iazyges. He defeated them and received the titles of Dacicus Maximus and Sarmaticus Maximus.
  • 248 – Carpi entered the nowadays Romanian Plain and started to launch attacks towards Transylvania. Another army in alliance with the Goths entered nowadays Dobrogea and then Moesia. This war ended after the Dacians received promises of financial subsidies.
  • 242 – Carpi in alliance with the Goths entered again in the Roman Empire all the way to Moesia and Thracia.
  • 245-247 – Invasion of Carpi and Goths that is not stopped by the Romans. In 247, Philip the Arab (244-249) personally intervened with the imperial armies but still didn’t managed to defeat them. He retreats South of the Danube.
  • 248 – The Goths led by the kings Argaithus and Gunthericus in alliance with Carpi and Taifals entered Dobrogea where they will be defeated by the future emperor, general Caius Messius Quintus Decius(249-251). The city of Histria was also destroyed.
  • 249 – An alliance of Carpi and Goths with Vandals, Bastarnae and Taifals will simultaneously attack Dacia and Moesia. A small part of this army entered Roman Dacia and conquered the capital Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa and after that they attacked the legions from Pannonia. Another part of this army passed the Danube and invaded Moesia Superior and Macedonia. The emperor Decius and his son were killed during this second’s army retreat towards the Danube.
  • 253 – Another attack of Carpi and Goths in Moesia caused by the fact that the annual grants negotiated with the new emperor  Trebonianus Gallus(251-253) were stopped.
  • 257-258 – The Goths and Carpi attacked the south of the Danube on land and sea, and Goths got to Bosphorus and the coast of Asia Minor.
  • 263-267 – The Carpo-Gothic alliance attacked again the south of the Danube both on land and the sea, invading Moesia Inferior and Moesia Superior.

Roman_province_of_Dacia_(106_-_271_AD).svg

Sources:

Cornel Bîrsan – Istorie furată – Cronică românească de istorie veche, editura Karuna, Bistrița, 2013 / Stolen history – Romanian chronicle of old history, Karuna publishing house, Bistrița, 2013 Dio Cassius – Roman History

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To whom does Transylvania belong?

To whom does Transylvania belong?

10 minutes read!

An interesting conflict which involved Romanians from actual Petriș village and the Saxons(Germans) from actual Satu Nou (New Village) took place in 1366. The conflict is about the ownership of a forest. The most important thing to note is that king Ludovic I (1342 – 1382) himself went to Bistrița and asked judge Ubeldus Tumels to resolve this litigiation. The document that contains the decision of the court was published in 1884, in “Familia” magazine, by the academician Atanasie Marian Marienescu, document that was extracted from the “Documente privitoare la Istoria Românilor(Documents regarding the history of Romanians) book, published by Romanian Academy, vol. I, 2nd part, pag. 112-118. Here is the content of this document (this is an approximate translation, because the document was written into a 19th century Romanian language, slightly different from the one spoken today, with words that are not used anymore):

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The first hominids – part II

The first hominids – part II

10 minutes read!

In the previous article we showed a chronological list of the first hominids fossils discovered on Terra. Today we continue this theme with 3 discoveries published in 2013, that are about the place where fire was used for the first time and other fossils, belonging to some ancestors of today’s humans.

In may 2013 issue, Discover Magazine published information about the Wonderwerk cave from South Africa. Here, archaeologist Paul Goldberg‘s team, accidentally discovered some 1 million year old sediments, that had trails of burning.

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The first hominids – part I

The first hominids – part I

10 minutes read!

An important part when studying history is also the study of paleoanthropology. People nowadays have an increased curiosity about the old inhabitants of Earth. The underground is the one which will give us an almost complete picture of the distant past. Scientists created some categories of the ancestors of humans, based primarily on relationships between them. There were a lot of debates which concerned the names or categories, but they basically look like the ones in the following picture:

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History, an amalgam of philosophies and opinions

History, an amalgam of philosophies and opinions

5 minutes read!

We see that history is written through personal opinions, with a lot of subjectivism. This approach is profoundly wrong. History is a science, not an exact science, but it is a science. It should be seen objectively, through the facts and events described in historical documents belonging to ancient historians and of course through archaeological discoveries. After that, multidisciplinary studies must be done, in order to have an exact picture.

One method of approach in researching history is well described in the following paragraph (see Foreword, by Gabriel Gheorghe, Getica magazine nr. 1-2, 1992, p. 6-7):

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