CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE, iv. 140.
Than a mere Alexander, and, unstained
With household blood and wine, serenely wore
His sovereign virtues—still we Trajan’s name adore.
CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE, iv. 111.
[Illustration: HISTORICAL MAP]
FROM THE GETAE (ABOUT 335 B.C.) TO THE CLOSE OF THE ROMAN DOMINATION IN DACIA TRAJANA (ABOUT A.D. 274).
The Getae; their supposed origin and history—The Dacians; their origin and migrations—Their incursions into the Roman provinces—Their King, ’Decebalus’—His contests with Cornelius Fuscus and Tertius Julianus—Legends regarding him—Domitian pays him tribute—Trajan—His first expedition against the Dacians—His supposed route—The engineering works of the Romans—Defeat and submission of Decebalus—Trajan’s triumphal return to Rome—The bas-reliefs on Trajan’s Column—Description of the first expedition therefrom—Decebalus breaks the treaty—Trajan’s second expedition—Capture and suicide of Longinus—Defeats of the Dacians—Arrival of the Romans before Sarmizegethusa and its destruction by the Dacians—Suicide of Decebalus and his chiefs—Dacia a Roman province—Approximate boundaries—Carra’s opinion of the colonists—Hadrian destroys Trajan’s bridge—Duration and decline of the Roman power in Dacia—The Goths and Vandals defeat the Emperor Decius—They are beaten by Marcus Aurelius Claudius (called Gothicus)—Permanent withdrawal from Dacia by Aurelian—Conflicting opinions of historians regarding the evacuation—Gibbon’s views probably correct—Character of the colonists who remained in Dacia.
Although the earliest authentic records of Roumania or, more correctly speaking, of Dacia, the Roman province which embraced Roumania, Transylvania, and some adjoining territories of to-day, do not reach further back than about the century immediately preceding the Christian era, a good deal of information is to be gathered from the writings of Herodotus, Dion Cassius, and other early historians regarding the Getae, the race from whom the Dacians sprang. The Getae were in all probability a branch of the Thracians, who were amongst the earliest immigrants from the East; and for some time before they appeared in Dacia, which was situated on the northern side of the Danube (or Ister, as it was called by the Romans), they had settled between the south bank of that river and the Balkans (Mount Haemus of the Romans). About the fourth century B.C., however, the Getae had crossed the river, either driven north by an inimical neighbouring tribe, the Triballi, or in consequence of the growth of the nation itself. When they were first encountered by the Greeks, they occupied the eastern part of Dacia, reaching probably to one portion of the Black Sea;