Denumire data triburilor geto-dace care nu au fost inglobate in provincia romana Dacia, si care au continuat sa traiasca pe teritoriul lor de bastina (sec. 2-4 e.n.). Atit izvoarele literare cit si descoperirile arheologice arata ca dacii liberi au convietuit in anumite regiuni cu sarmatii si cu unele neamuri germanice, cultura lor materiala fiind continuu influentata de civilizatia romana.
Desi dacii liberi au venit in contact cu aceleasi grupuri de populatii (romani, sarmati, germani), situatia lor difera de la o regiune la alta datorita raporturilor care au existat intre ei si grupurile de populatii mai sus amintite. Astfel, in Moldova, carpii au reusit sa-si mentina independenta fata de romani si, organizati intr-o puternica uniune tribala, au dominat pe sarmatii patrunsi in teritoriul lor si au atacat in repetate rinduri Imperiul roman. In N Moldovei si in zonele adiacente din N si E locuiau costobocii a caror cultura materiala a atins dezvoltarea sa maxima in sec. 2 e.n. Dar, in spatiul geografic amintit, cercetarile arheologice au scos la suprafata vestigii apartinind nu numai costobocilor, ci si sarmatilor, carpilor si ale unor neamuri germanice. In schimb, dacii 1iberi din V, din Crisana (atestati arheologic prin aspectul cultural Sintana-A rad), n-au avut aceleasi conditii ca cei din Moldova. Situati intre romani si iazigi si strimtorati in actiunile lor si de unii si de ceilalti, au trebuit sa recunoasca fie hegemonia romanilor, fie pe cea a sarmatilor. Acestia din urma i-au dominat nu atit prin numarul lor mare, cit mai ales pe plan politic si militar in calitatea lor de triburi clientelare ale Romei.
Descoperirile arheologice facute in Ungaria arata, ca patrunderea iazigilor metanasti Cimpia Ungara (Alfold) nu a impins intreaga populatie dacica spre E, in teritoriul Daciei, asa cum considera, in mod obisnuit unii cercetatori, ci parte din ea a ramas pe loc si a continuat sa convietuiasca cu noii veniti.
In NV tarii, la Mediesu Aurit (jud. Satu Mare) a fost documentata masiv populatia autohtona dacica, impreuna cu unele elemente de tip vandalic (in special in necropola). Situatia din Muntenia isi are si ea particularitatile ei. Incercuita, de Imperiul roman, temporar stapinita si continuu supravegheata, aceasta regiune nu oferea locuitorilor ei aceleasi conditii de dezvoltare pe care le aveau dacii liberi din Moldova, care isi puteau permite sa faca incursiuni in Imperiu si sa reclame subsidii de la romani (Petrus Patricius, fragm. 8).
In Cimpia Romana o parte din asezarile getice si-au incetat existenta in pragul e.n. ( actiunile lui S. Aelius Catus, despre care Strabo,( VII, 3, 10) spune ca a stramutat in S Dunarii 50 000 de geti), altele in timpul campaniei lui T. Plautius Silvanus Aelianus (care a transferat in Imperiu 100 000 de transdanubieni, CIL, XIV, 3608), iar o parte dintre ele au fost distruse cu ocazia razboaielor dintre daci si romani din timpul lui Decebal.
In schimb, populatia geto-dacica, a continuat sa traiasca neintrerupt in zona subcarpatica, prezenta ei fiind demonstrate din plin de descoperirile arheologice facute la Drajna de Sus (jud. Buzau), Tirgsor (jud. Prahova), Cetateni (jud. Arges) etc. Incepind cu mijlocul sec. 2 e.n., geto-dacii retrasi in regiunea subcarpatica se extind catre Dunare, incurajati si de cresterea puterii carpilor din Moldova si, in felul acesta, treptat, micsoreaza, sfera de actiune a sarmatilor. Se ajunge astfel, ca in sec. 3 e.n., intreg teritoriul Munteniei, de la Dunare la Carpati, sa fie repopulat de geto-daci, asa cum demonstreaza descoperirile arheologice de tip Militari-Chilia. Izvoarele scrise antice consemneaza ca in repetate rinduri au avut loc conflicte armate intre romani si diverse grupuri de daci liberi, in urma carora unora dintre imparati li s-a conferit titlul onorific de Carpicus Maximus (Filip Arabul, Aurelian, Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius Chlorus, Galerius, Constantin cel Mare) sau cel de Dacicus Maximus (Maximinus, Decius, Gallien, Aurelian). Descoperirile arheologice arata ca, dupa, retragerea stapinirii romane din Dacia, unii daci liberi patrund pe teritoriul fostei provincii, revitalizind astfel elementul dac si facindu-l sa reziste si sa iasa victorios din confruntarea cu neamurile germanice si alti migratori.
(gr. megaloi Dahai),
Denumire a unui trib sau uniuni tribale dacice din N hotarelor provinciei romane Dacia (Orac. Sibyll., XII, 180).
Dicţionar de istorie veche a României (Paleolitic-sec. X), coord. D. M. Pippidi, Editura Ştiinţificǎ şi enciclopedicǎ, Bucureşti, 1976, p. 221-223;
Enciclopedia Arheologiei si istoriei vechi a Romaniei, vol. II, D-L, coord. Constantin Preda, Editura Enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1996, p. 21-23;
Mihail Macrea, Dacii liberi in epoca romana, in Apulum, VII/1, 1964, p.171-200;
B. Mitrea, in Istoria Romaniei, I, 1960, 637-647;
Sebastian Morintz, in Dacia NS, 5, 1961, 395-414;
Gheorghe Bichir, Cultura carpica, Bucuresti, 1973;
Idem, Dacii liberi din zona extracarpatică a României în secolele II-IV e.n., in MN, 1, 1974, p. 23-34;
Idem, Les Daces libres de l'époque romaine a la lumiere des données archéologiques, Thraco-Dacica, I, 1976, p. 287-308.
(336). This implies the existence of ethnic-Dacians outside the Roman province in sufficient numbers to warrant major military operations into the 4th century
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Map of the Roman empire in 125 AD, 20 years after the Roman conquest of Dacia. The Carpi are shown to the NE of the Roman province
The tribes Daci Magni (Great Dacians), Costoboci and Carpi remained outside the Roman empire in what the Romans called Dacia Libera (Free Dacia).
The Carpi or Carpiani were a Dacian tribe that were located, between not later than ca. 100 and until at least ca. 400 AD, in the central eastern Carpathian Mountains, and in what is today central Moldavia (Romania). The Carpi were one of the Dacian tribes that escaped subjugation by the Roman Empire when it annexed the central part of Dacia in 106 AD.
Although probably on friendly terms with the Romans in the early 1st century, there is little evidence of the Peucini (Bastarne tribe) until ca. 180, when they are recorded as participating in an invasion of Roman territory in alliance with Sarmatian and Dacian-Carpi elements.
The Carpi group is first mentioned in the period following the Roman annexation of Dacia. After 150 years of obscurity, the Carpi emerged in ca. 240 AD as a major and persistent adversary of the Romans.
In the period 240-70, the Carpi were an important component of a grand coalition of Transdanubian barbarian tribes that included Germanic and Sarmatian elements. These were responsible for a series of large and devastating invasions of the Balkan regions of the empire which nearly caused its disintegration, but were ultimately repulsed.
In the last quarter of the 3rd century, substantial numbers of Carpi (100,000) were forcibly transferred by the Roman military to the Roman province of Pannonia (mod. W Hungary) following two major defeats the Carpi suffered at Roman hands (272 and 296). In the same period, the remaining Carpi probably occupied the northern part of the Roman province of Dacia, which was evacuated by the Romans in 270-5.
In the 4th century, the Carpi appear to have fallen under the hegemony, if not direct rule, of the Goths who occupied the Wallachian plain and at least part of Moldavia. After the collapse of the Gothic kingdoms in Dacia under Hunnic pressure in the late 4th century, the Carpi are last mentioned as part of a coalition of Huns and Sciri who were defeated by the emperor Theodosius I (379-95).
The name Carpi may derive from the same root as the name of the mountain range they occupied, which may be the Proto-Indo-European word *ker/sker, meaning "peak" or "cliff" (cf. Albaniankarpë = "rock" and English "scarp"). But this derivation is uncertain and the two names may derive from different words, despite their similarity. Both the Carpi (Karpiani) and the Carpathian (Kárpates) names are first mentioned in classical sources in the Geographia of Greek geographer Ptolemy, composed between 130 and 148 AD.
The Carpi are believed by modern historians to have been a tribe of the Dacian nation (ethno-linguistic group) . The Roman imperial-era sources refer to three groups, the Daci, Costoboci and Carpi, as residing in "Dacia" outside the part of Dacia annexed by the Romans in 106 AD (which was only about half the geographical region called Dacia, roughly corresponding to modern Romania, by the ancients). It is not clear whether Daci was used as a general term including the other two, or to refer to a specific group (or in both ways). The 6th-century historian Zosimos refers to καρποδάκαι, "Karpo-Dakai", which could mean either "the Dacian Carpi" or "the Carpi and the Dacians" or indeed "the Carpi living in Dacia". It cannot therefore be excluded that the Carpi were not Dacian-speakers, but spoke a Germanic or Sarmatian dialect as did many neighbouring tribes, and/or that they entered the region at a late stage, perhaps around the time of the Dacian Wars (102-6). However, taking the evidence as a whole, it seems that a Dacian ethnic identity is more likely, at least originally.a[›] Modern historians conventionally describe all three groups as "Free Dacians" to distinguish them from the Dacians residing in the Roman province of Dacia.
The Free Dacians inhabited the regions to the North and Northeast of the Roman province of Dacia. During the Roman Principate era, the Carpi are believed to have occupied a region between the central eastern Carpathians (the Munţii Giurgeului and Harghita) and the Prut river (i.e. the central part of the principality of Moldavia). The Carpi thus lay on the eastern border of the Transylvanian section of the Roman province. The Carpi's neighbours to the North, in northern Moldavia, were the Costoboci, to the South, in the Wallachian plain, the Roxolani Sarmatians and to the East of the Prut the Bastarnae (a Sarmato-German or possibly Celtic group) and other Sarmatian tribes.
Carpic urn from Poienesti. Ht 34.5 cm. The clay 'soup tureen', part of the Daco-Getic wheelmade repertoire by the 1st century typs, was adapted by the Carps as a burial urn. Sarmatian influence added naturalistic zoomorphic handles. http://www.gebeleizis.org/tracic/10.htm
Archaeologists have ascribed to the Carpi 2nd/3rd-century artefacts found at a site in Poieneşti (near Vaslui, Romania), a site which belongs to the so-called Chernyakhov culture. If this attribution is correct, the finds demonstrate the wide variety of cultural influences on the Free Dacians.b[›] Funerary urns have lids which display pre-Roman Dacian features. Ceramics are largely Roman in style, while other artefacts, such as mirrors and animal-shaped handles, have characteristically Sarmatian designs. The latter demonstrate Carpi interaction with their Sarmatian neighbours.
Conflict with Rome
Dacian warriors attack a Roman fortified position during the Dacian Wars (101-6 AD). Note the Dacians' long hair and beards and lack of body armour. Panel from Trajan's Column, Rome
Map showing the Carpi role in the barbarian incursions of the Roman Danubian provinces which culminated in the defeat and death of emperor Decius (r. 249-51) at the Battle of Abrittus (251). The reconstruction is only tentative, however, as the ancient chroniclers fail to distinguish clearly the Carpi from their Gothic and Sarmatian allies
Bust of Roman emperor Aurelian (ruled 270-5), whose decisions changed the course of Carpi history. The emperor began the policy of transferring large numbers of Carpi to Pannonia and evacuated the Roman province of Dacia, providing the remaining Carpi with space to expand
Before ca. 240 AD, the Carpi are not mentioned separately in Roman accounts of several campaigns against the Free Dacians. For example, in Rome's vast and protracted conflict with the Danubian tribes, known as the Marcomannic Wars (166-80), during which Dacia province suffered at least two major invasions (167, 170) by a Free Dacian and Sarmatian alliance, only the Costoboci are mentioned specifically. Silence on the role of the Carpi in these conflicts could imply that they were Roman allies in this period, or that they were simply subsumed under the Costoboci label by Roman chroniclers.
Around 200 AD started a phase of major population movements in the European barbaricum (the region outside the borders of the empire. The cause of this dislocation is unknown, but an important factor may have been the Antonine plague (165-180), a devastating smallpox pandemic which may have killed 15-30% of the Roman empire's inhabitants. The impact on the barbarian regions would have resulted in many weakened tribes and empty regions that may have induced the stronger tribes to exploit opportunities for expansion. A well-known example of the trend are the Goths. These were recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus, under the name Gothones, as inhabiting the area East of the Vistula river in central Poland in 100 AD. By 250, the Goths had moved South into western Ukraine and were frequently raiding the empire in conjunction with local tribes.
It was in this context of upheaval that, in mid-3rd century, the Carpi emerged as a major barbarian threat to Rome's lower Danubian provinces. They were described by one chronicler as "a race of men all too eager to make war, and often hostile to the Romans". A series of major Carpi incursions into the empire are recorded, mostly in alliance with their neighbouring Sarmatian and/or Germanic tribes (inc. Roxolani, Bastarnae, Goths). During the rule of emperor Philip the Arab (244-9), the Carpi crossed the Danube and laid waste Moesia Inferior. The emperor responded with a major counterattack, which forced the Carpi to retreat over the Danube, but without inflicting a decisive defeat on them. In 250-1, the Carpi were involved in the Gothic and Sarmatian invasions which culminated in the catastrophic Roman defeat at the Battle of Abrittus and the slaying of the emperor Decius (251), although their exact role is difficult to discern as the most coherent account, that of Zosimus, often denotes the participants in this invasion under the vague term "Scythians" (meaning inhabitants of Scythia, not ethnic Scythians). The Carpi apparently launched an invasion of Dacia in 250, but were defeated by Decius. However, other groups of Carpi warriors were probably with the Gothic forces which eventually prevailed over the Romans.
The Roman defeat at Abrittus was the start of the Third Century Crisis, a period of military and economic collapse which came close to destroying the empire. At this critical moment, the Roman army was crippled by the outbreak of a second smallpox pandemic, the plague of Cyprian (251-70). The effects are described by Zosimus as even worse than the earlier plague. Taking advantage of Roman military disarray, a vast number of barbarian peoples overran much of the empire. In 252, on the Danube, a massive coalition of Carpi, Goths, the Urugundi and the Borani (the latter two probably Sarmatian tribes) is recorded as ravaging Thracia as far as the Aegean coast, and only turned back after being bought off by emperor Gallus (r.251-3). Sometime in the period 253-8 under Valerian I (r. 253-60), the same coalition of tribes swept through Illyricum and entered Italy. They reached as far as Rome, forcing the Senate to take emergency measures such as arming the civilian population to man the walls. The barbarians retreated when co-emperor Gallienus broke off his campaigning on the Rhine and moved his army to Italy. During the sole rule of Gallienus (260-8), the "Scythian" coalition (including the Carpi) invaded Thracia and then took Athens by assault. They were eventually driven out by Gallienus' general Marcianus. In 267/8, the coalition, swollen by the adherence of the Bastarnae (Peucini branch) and the Heruli, became even more ambitious and built a fleet in the estuary of the river Tyras (Dniester). Launching it in 268, the barbarians sailed along the Black Sea coast to Tomis (Constanţa) in Moesia Inferior, which they tried to take by assault without success. They then attacked the provincial capital Marcianopolis, also in vain. Sailing on through the Bosporus, the expedition laid siege to Thessalonica in northern Greece. Driven off by Roman forces, the coalition host moved overland into Thracia, where it was destroyed by emperor Claudius II (r. 268-70) in two successive battles, at Nessos and Naissus (269).
The rule of Aurelian (r. 270-5) had a radical impact on the Carpi. The emperor scored a major victory over the Carpi in 272, for which he was granted the title Carpicus ("Victorious over the Carpi") by the Senate. He resettled a large number of Carpi prisoners around Sopiana (Pécs, Hungary) in the Roman province of Pannonia. Shortly afterwards, Aurelian decided to abandon the Roman province of Dacia, evacuating most of its Roman population, both urban and rural, and resettling it in Moesia Inferior.c[›] The main motivation was probably to re-populate the latter province, which had been ravaged by the plague and wars. The Carpi probably filled the vacuum left by the Roman withdrawal, occupying Transylvania, a process allegedly supported by the archaeological record. (The western Wallachian plain evacuated by the Romans was overrun by the Sarmatian Roxolani, who already occupied its eastern part).
This was in line with the long-established Roman practice of settling surrendering barbarian communities (dediticii) in the empire, granting them land in return for an obligation of military service much heavier than the usual conscription quota. The policy had the triple benefit, from the Roman point of view, of weakening the hostile tribe, bringing abandoned land in the frontier provinces back into cultivation and providing a pool of first-rate recruits for the army. But it could also be popular with the barbarian prisoners, who were often delighted by the prospect of a land grant within the empire. In the 4th century, such communities were known as laeti. The resettlement policy was continued by Diocletian (ruled 284-305), who inflicted a crushing defeat on the Carpi, judging by his assumption of the title Carpicus Maximus ("Totally Victorious over the Carpi") in 299.Victor states that Diocletian transferred the entire Carpi tribe to Pannonia. Although this is probably exaggerated and is contradicted by Zosimus (who reports that nearly a century later the emperor Theodosius I (r. 379-95) repulsed an invasion of Huns, Sciri and "Carpo-Dacians"), Eutropius confirms that the resettlement involved very large numbers.
During the 4th century, the Zosimus quote mentioned above is the only specific record of the Carpi. The emperor Constantine I (ruled 312-37) built a gigantic series of defensive earthworks on the mountain edges of the Tisza and Wallachian plains facing the Carpathians (the Devil's Dykes and Brazda lui Novac de Nord respectively). These have been interpreted as designed to protect the Romans' tributary Sarmatian tribes in those plains (the Iazyges and Roxolani respectively) against incursions by the mountain peoples (including, and perhaps especially, the Carpi). Nevertheless, after the death of Constantine, the Wallachian plain fell under the domination of the Tervingi branch of the Gothic nation, as evidenced by 4th century archaeological finds there, which are exclusively of the Chernyakhov culture, which is usually associated with the Goths. But it is unclear whether Gothic rule extended over the areas of likely Carpi inhabitation (Moldavia and Transylvania) or whether the Carpi retained their political independence. The discovery of Chernyakhov sites in those regions, and particularly artefacts in the two former legionary bases of ex-Roman Dacia (at Apulum and Potaissa), including the grave of a princely-status "migrator" (probably a Goth), indicates the possibility of the Carpi being under some form of Gothic hegemony.
The victory-title Dacicus Maximus ("Totally Victorious over the Dacians") by the emperors Maximinus I (238), Decius (250) and Gallienus (257) after defeating barbarian armies which probably included Carpi is also conclusive. The contemporary existence of a separate victory-title, Carpicus Maximus, assumed by Philip the Arab (247) is conclusive also.
Map illustrating one theory of the origin of the Albanian language. The Carpi transferred to Pannonia by the Romans in the late 3rd century supposedly migrated to SW Illyria in the late 5th century, supplanting local dialects with their own Dacian tongue
Zosimus' mention of the Carpo-Dacians in the late 4th century is the latest extant specific record of the Carpi. This has led to considerable speculation about their eventual fate. The most likely scenario is that the Carpi in Dacia mingled with the various other peoples who migrated into the region from the 4th century onwards (Goths, Huns, Gepids and Slavs) and gradually lost their ethnic identity (whatever that was). But this is denied by the proponents of Daco-Roman continuity in Dacia, who claim that the Free Dacians who occupied the Roman province after it was abandoned were Latinised, and maintained their unique culture through the migration period. But this view is based on tendentious interpretation of archaeological data and has been challenged in recent years by a new wave of Romanian archaeologists who dispute that the Daco-Romans and the Free Dacians shared a common culture and language. (Hungarian point of view)
Separate speculation surrounds the fate of the Carpi transferred to Pannonia by Aurelian and Diocletian. Some proponents of the Daco-Thracian origin of the Albanian language suggest that the Pannonian Carpi moved to SW Illyria (mod. Albania) from 450 AD onwards in order to escape the Hunnic and later invasions, bringing their language with them, and supplanting the indigenous (probably Illyrian) dialects. But this theory lacks any documentary evidence, other than the affinities between the Albanian and Romanian languages, which also have been explained by other scenarios. Also, it presupposes that the Pannonian Carpi had not become Latin speakers during the 150 years they sojourned in Pannonia, but had retained their old Dacian tongue. This ignores the powerful Latinising pressure of the (exclusively Latin-speaking) Roman army, to which, as military colonists, every Carpi family would have been obliged to send at least one son for a 25-year term of service. During that time, the soldier might serve far from home and marry a non-Dacian woman, and raise an exclusively Latin-speaking family, often returning on discharge to his home district as a relatively wealthy and high-status individual.
^a: Carpi language: It should be noted that, in the absence of any written evidence, the linguistic affiliation of many barbarian tribes is uncertain. The ancient authors often confused geographical location, or cultural features, with linguistic affiliation e.g. writing in ca. 100 AD, Tacitus states that he is not sure if the Venedi tribe of the upper Vistula should be classified as Germanic or Sarmatian. He decides on Germanic since they are settled people with permanent dwellings, rather than nomads like the Sarmatians. In fact, both categories were probably wrong as the Venedi are believed to have been of Slavic speech. Also, a tribe's linguistic affiliation could change over time if its members mingled with the members of another tribe and adopted their language. This process was especially likely where one tribe achieved social dominance over a much more numerous group, when the latter's language often prevailed e.g. the Antes, who were probably Iranic-speaking Sarmatians originally but by the 6th century are described as Slavic by Jordanes. The Carpi's close neighbours in the eastern Carpathians, the Bastarnae, are described by Tacitus as German-speaking but as having adopted the dress and customs of their Sarmatian neighbours through intermarriage. Zosimus, writing in the 6th century, but referring to the 3rd c., mentions "the Bastarnae, a Scythian people" (i.e. Sarmatian), but it is unclear whether he is using the term "Scythian" ethnically or to describe the geographical region where the Bastarnae lived.
^b: Romanian archaeological interpretation: The interpretation of archaeological data by many Romanian historians and archaeologists has been heavily criticised by outsiders, and increasingly in recent years by some Romanian archaeologists themselves, as being unduly conditioned by preconceived notions of the ethnological history of Dacia. In particular, according to the critics, data has often been selectively and tendentiously used to support the paradigm of Daco-Roman continuity during the medieval era, to the exclusion of other possible interpretations. The paradigm portrays the "autochtonous" Daco-Romans as a culturally and linguistically homogenous population, who preserved their culture essentially unchanged over centuries. The autochtonous population is distinguished from the "migrators", other peoples who entered the region in the medieval period, whose influence on the Daco-Romans is characterised as shallow and transitory, as their culture was supposedly inferior to the more "civilised" Daco-Romans. For a detailed critique of archaeological interpretation in Romania, cf. the online paper by A-G. Niculescu: Nationalism and the Representation of Society in Romanian Archaeology
^c: Evacuation of Dacia: Eutropius' report on the Roman evacuation of the province of Dacia in 273-5 translates as: "[Emperor Aurelian] abandoned the province of Dacia, which Trajan had established, as he could see no way of holding it, given the devastation of all Illyricum and Thracia. He evacuated the Romans from the cities and fields of Dacia and re-settled them in central Moesia, which he renamed Dacia..." This brief but revealing passage contradicts the "Daco-Roman continuity" paradigm in Romanian historiography, which postulates that the majority of the provincial population, by now Latinised, remained behind in Dacia after the Roman withdrawal. The passage shows that the primary motive of the evacuation was to re-populate the Roman provinces South of the Danube (as it was for the separate but contemporary transfer of large number of Carpi to Pannonia).
It should also be noted however that Jordanes, someone who lived north of the Danube states that only the administration of the Romans was withdrawn and that the populace remained. This fully supports the history of Daco-Roman continuation which is also in turn supported by the archeology or lack there of south of the danube showing no large populaton shift. It is most likley that the report of Eutropius was propaganda to keep spirits up among the Empire.
Excavations at Archiud "Hânsuri" followed a last check in settlement at the foot of the slope where the previous campaigns unveiled more housing post-Roman. Inhumation grave outside a crouched position, no inventory, which appeared in the B and probably belonging to new necropolis, excavations have not led to the discovery of any closed complex. Archaeological deposit layer was generally destroyed by agricultural work, only the far south of the settlement, it appears as a continuous deposition of 30-40 cm. Archaeological material collected, including especially gray pottery wheel worked in fine fabric and uneven, the repertoire of forms consisting of pots without bail, bowls, chiupuri. Dating settlement IV century ensures fibulele leg back on below, a comb and a semicircular handle Constantius II coin discovered in previous campaigns, was contemporaneous with the plateau adjoining cemetery.
Archaeological research at Ocnita focused on point "in Ştefălucu", with a long-term archaeological deposit from Early Bronze Age to feudalism. Were investigated: 1. Two homes from early Hallstatt. 2. Seven homes and as many storage pits belonging to the Dacian-Roman era. 3. Six homes belonging to a settlement of the sixth century. 4. Two houses in the eighth and ninth century. 5. A home early feudal XI-XII century.
Sites under the title Dacian-Roman date from the end of Roman rule in Transylvania until the period of migrations. The sites are concentrated in Muntenia, Oltenia, Bihor and central Moldavia, which are all the areas with the least Roman sites.
There are some Dacian-Roman settlements in south Transylvania (Brasov, Harman, Cristian, Feldioara) the indicate a continuing culture after the Romans retreated in 271 AD.
There are a few references to possible Dacian peoples outside the Roman regions. The Costoboci lived in the north-eastern (modern Ukraine and Moldavia) and raided the Roman Empire in the 2nd century AD. The Carpi raided in the territories occupied by the Romans in 245 AD.
It is known that Constantine the Great - who was born in Dacia Aureliana - had assumed the title Dacicus, and initiated the building or restoration of a bridge across Danube into Dacia Traiana. The Roman emperor Galerius, also born in Dacia Aureliana, and whose mother was from Dacia Traiana, had became an enemy of the Roman name and proposed that the Eastern Roman Empire to be called the Dacian Empire (Lactantius - Of The Manner In Which The Persecutors Died chapter XXVII 1).
The name (Carpi) seems to be connected to the place where they lived, meaning "rock" or "mountain" (cf. Albaniankarpë='rock', from PIE *ker/sker). The name of the Carpathian mountains is thus probably either derived from their name, or their name is derived from the name of the mountains. Ptolemy first mentions the Carpates (Karpates) mountain range corresponding to the Western Carpathian mountain range.
The Carpians are thought to be Dacians, despite the fact that the ancient sources do not indicate this clearly. Zosimos did use the name καρποδάκαι, "Carpo-Dacians" and some historians interpret this as "Carpians of Dacian origin", but this most likely meant "Carpians of Dacia", having a geographical rather than ethno-linguistical meaning.
However, the archaeological remains of the Carpian settlements show that their culture was derived from the Dacian La Tène, with Roman and Scythian influences.
While most Dacian tribes (such as the Costoboci) were either defeated by the Roman Empire or overrun by Germanic tribes such as the Vandals, the Carpians (probably a federation of Free Dacian tribes) increased their power in the 2nd century AD, becoming (until the barbarian invasions) the most important adversaries of the Roman empire in South-Eastern Europe. The Carpians were without any doubts of Dacian origin, but with many Sarmatian and Roman influences. From the end of the 2nd century AD, the Carpians began to be caught up between the Roman Empire in the south and west, and the growing power of the Goths to the east. However, after a series of wars, the Goths and the Carpians allied themselves against their common enemy, the Roman Empire.
Sextus Aurelius Victor confirms this, but adds that it was the entire Carpian nation that was moved , although this appears to be contradicted by later attacks of the Byzantine Empire from outside the empire. The 6th-century Byzantine chronicler Zosimus referred to the καρποδάκαι (Latin: Carpo-Dacae or "Carpo-Dacians"), who attacked the Romans in the late 4th century.. Byzantine historian Zosimus mentioned them in the 5th century, using the name of Carpo-Dacians (possibly to distinguish them from the Carpians living in the Roman territory), as being defeated at the Danube by Byzantine Theodosius I in late 4th century. This was the last chronicle in which the Carpians appear.
Their fate (as the fate of all the free Dacians in general) is still a matter of debate to historians. Probably some of these free Dacians retreated into the heavily forested areas of the Carpathians, and together with the Daco-Romanians later formed the Romanian people; some may have been either slavicized (it has been suggested several times that the Hutsuls of southern Ukraine and Bukovina may have been, in part, Slavicized free Dacians), assimilated by some migrating people (like the Goths), or that they eventually migrated southward and that they could be the ancestors of Albanians.
The Costoboci were a Dacian tribe, which lived in the areas known today as Maramureş and south-western Ukraine. Archeologically speaking, they are identified with the Lipita culture. When the Roman emperor Trajan conquered Dacia in 106, the Costoboci remained among the free Dacian tribes (unconquered by the Romans).
An imperial-era funerary inscription found in Rome, dedicated by her grandchildren to "Zia, the Dacian wife of Piepor, king of the Costoboci" shows the"proof" of the Costoboci's Dacian ethnicity. (CIL VI.1801 )
From their positions in the north, the Costoboci often raided the Roman province of Dacia, in conjunction with rebellions of the local Dacians. One of these raids (conducted probably by their "king" Pieporus), during the reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius reached as far as Attica, severely affecting the provinces of Moesia, Scythia Minor and Macedonia.
Having been defeated by the Romans, the Costoboci lost much of their power. So, in the year 172, probably bribed by the Romans, the Hasdingi (part of the Germanic tribe of the Vandals) attacked and conquered most of the Costoboci's land. However, this invasion did not put an end to the Dacians living in this territory, as they continued to coexist to a certain degree with the invaders, as evidenced by the archeological sites. The Costoboci living in the east, in what is now Bukovina, probably ended under the control of the Carpians, another free Dacian tribe.
Lipiţa people was cremating its deceased, like other pagan Dacians and Thracians. The rests were buried in plane or tumular tombs. Only children were inhumed; they couldn’t get through a passage ritual, due of their age, so couldn’t be burnt. These burial customs lasted from the late La Tène and were best preserved in the Upper Tisa basin, this region being an important Dacian perpetuation centre.
Roman influences are visible in the material culture. Germanic people from the Przeworsk culture, but also Celts and Sarmatians, came in contact with the Lipiţa people. It seems that no Early Slavs got to this zone, yet (the first Slavic tribes came in the today’s Moldova and Bukovina as late as the 5th and 6th centuries AD).
In 170-174, Costoboci made a robbery foray far from their territory, in the Balkans, South of Danube. When coming back home they were defeated by the Vandal tribe of the Hasdingi, which were defeated then by the Lacringi (disputed ancestry, maybe German).
In the first decades of the 3rd century, Lipiţa culture of the Costoboci restricts its territory and gives birth to a new archeological culture, of the Carpathian Tumuli. A part of the Costoboci of the Subcarpathians withdraw south in the mountains, a small part migrates in today’s Moldova, at the Carpi, another Dacian tribe. Anyway, some remain in the northern area of the Lipiţa culture, despite of the pressure of the newly arrived East Germanic tribes.
The biggest part of the territory of Lipiţa and Carpathian Tumuli archaeological cultures is inhabited now by the Hutsuls, both in Ukraine and Romania.
Gheorghe Bichir, Dacii liberi din nordul Daciei in Spaţiul nord-est carpatic în mileniul întunecat, Historica, Iaşi, 1997
Mircea Ignat, Spaţiul nord-est carpatic în secolele I - III d. Chr. in Spaţiul nord-est carpatic în mileniul întunecat, Historica, Iaşi, 1997
Victor Spinei, Bucovina în mileniul întunecat in Spaţiul nord-est carpatic în mileniul întunecat, Historica, Iaşi, 1997
Thracian tribes to which belong Getae (they lived along both coasts of Danube, and also in Dobrudja and Moldova), Tyragetae (they lived inside Dniester basin), Carpians (they lived in Central Moldova), Costoboci (they lived in Northern Moldova), Dacians (they lived in Carpathian Mountains zone and on the West of Transilvania) and others.
The Costoboci (Latin variants: Costobocci, Costobocae or Coisstoboci; Ancient Greek: Κοστοβῶκοι or Kostobokai) were an ancient tribe which resided, from not later than AD 130 until at least AD 170, in the areas known today as northern Moldavia and south-western Ukraine. Previously, in the 1st century AD, they had apparently resided much further East, around the mouth of the river Don.
Although Romanian historians have classified the Costoboci as ethnic-Dacians, the evidence of ancient writers suggests that they may have been a Sarmatian tribe.
The Costoboci were either annihilated or subjugated by a branch of the Germanic Vandal people, who invaded their territory in AD 170, and disappeared from extant history.
Traditional Romanian historiography classifies the Costoboci as ethnic-Dacian, with a common language and culture as the Dacians left in the Roman province of Dacia and as the Carpi, their neighbours in Moldavia. But none of these identifications are secure.
The Greek geographer Ptolemy indicates that in ca. AD 140 the Costoboci inhabited northern Moldavia/Bessarabia. But these regions lay outside the ancient region of "Dacia" which, according to Ptolemy, was bounded on the East by the river Hierasus (Siret), which runs along the foot of the eastern Carpathians. The Costoboci were regarded as inhabiting Sarmatia Europaea.
Furthermore, the Costoboci are classified as a Sarmatian tribe by Pliny the Elder, who locates them as residing around the river Tanais (southern river Don) in ca. AD 60, in the Sarmatian heartland of the southern Russia region, far to the East of Moldavia.Ammianus Marcellinus, writing in ca. 390, also lists the gentes Costobocae ("Costobocan tribes") among other Sarmatian groups (Alans, etc.) also in central Sarmatia. This suggests that the Costoboci located in Moldavia by Ptolemy were probably a splinter-tribe that migrated westwards during the period 60-140, while the main group of tribes remained in central Sarmatia.
A Roman imperial-era funerary inscription found in Rome, dedicated by her grandchildren to "Zia, the Dacian wife of Piepor, king of the Costoboci" has been taken as "proof" of the Costoboci's Dacian ethnicity. But it could be seen as indicating the exact opposite, since it would be unnecessary (and unusual) to note the wife's Dacian nationality if the Costoboci were themselves Dacian.
It is uncertain whether the Costoboci shared the same language and culture as their Carpi neighbours. There is no evidence that the Carpi joined the Costoboci's attacks on Roman Dacia in 167-70, or that the Carpi assisted the Costoboci when they were attacked by the Hasding of the Germanic Vandal people.
The Costoboci have been linked by some scholars with the Lipiţa culture of the western Ukraine. Although this culture offers a reasonable match with the Moldavian Costoboci in both geographical location and historical era, the identification must be regarded as speculative. It is very difficult to identify conclusively material remains with particular ethnic groups. The culture may have belonged to just a sub-group of an ethnic group, or to more than one ethnic groups.
Lipiţa culture settlements have been discovered in several sites in the western Ukraine. It was a cremation culture, with inhumation of the deceased's ashes with personal belongings in plain or tumular tombs. The culture disappeared in the 3rd century AD.
With his army stretched to the limit by its struggle on the middle Danube, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (ruled 161-80) was obliged to rely on barbarian allies to deal with the Costoboci threat. In 170, at the emperor's instigation, the Hasdings invaded and crushed the Costoboci, either eliminating them or reducing them to serfdom.
Dio Cassius records that 12,000 Daci from outside the Roman province of Dacia, who had been driven out of their own territory, were admitted by the emperor Commodus (r. 180-92) to the Roman province of Dacia in 180, to prevent them joining the enemies of Rome. It has been speculated that these were Costoboci refugees from the Vandal invasion of their homeland. But they may have been Dacians unconnected to the Costoboci.
The Tyrageti, Tyragetae, or Tyrangitae (Greek: Τυραγγεῖται, τυραγγέται, or Τυρεγέται, Strabo vii.; Ptol. iii. 5. § 25), literally, the Getae of the Tyras, were a sub-tribe of the GetaeThracians, situated on the river Tyras (modern day Dniester in Ukraine). They were regarded as an immigrant tribe of European Sarmatia dwelling E. of the river Tyras, near the Harpii and Tagri, and, according to Ptolemy, the northern neighbours of Lower Moesia. Pliny (v. 12. s. 26) calls them, with more correct orthography, Tyragetae, and represents them as dwelling on a large island in the Tyras.
The Costoboci raided several Roman provinces in AD 170 or 171, ravaging the Balkans as far as Greece, until they were driven out by Roman forces. They disappeared from history when their lands were conquered by VandalHasdings.
Pliny the Elder locates the Costoboci as residing in the region around the river Tanais (river Don) in ca. AD 60, i.e. in southern Russia, the central part of the region known as Sarmatia to the Romans.Ammianus Marcellinus, writing in ca. 400, locates the Costoboci between the Dniester and Danube rivers, probably north-east of former Roman province of Dacia.
In his Geography (written between AD 135 and 143, the Greek geographer Ptolemy indicates that Costoboci inhabited both north-western part of Dacia  (on both sides of the Carpathians) and western Sarmatia, to the east of Vistula  in the region of the upper Tyras (Dniestr) river i.e. northern Moldavia/Bessarabia.. Or, there may have been two tribes of this name In addition, the Ptolemaic map places a tribe of Transmontanoi north of the Carpathians. It is, in reality, no separate tribal name but an adjective, belonging to the tribe of Koistobokoi ‘beyond the mountains’ and designating them as different from their namesakes in Dacia south of the mountains,, 
The Lipiţa culture developed in the Upper Dniester and Prut basins. Settlements of this culture have been discovered in several sites. It was a cremation culture, with burial of the deceased's ashes and personal belongings in plain or tumular tombs. The culture disappeared during the 3rd century AD, considerably after the invasion and elimination, or at least subjugation, of the Costoboci by the Vandals in 171.
The nomadic culture consists of inhumation graves. Several buried individuals have artificially elongated crania, achieved by tightly binding an infant's skull during its early growth phase. This is a custom associated with the steppe nomads of central Eurasia, including the Sarmatians. Such burials also commonly include grave-goods, including mirrors engraved with tamgas, clan or tribal symbols also associated with steppe nomads.
An imperial-era funerary inscription found in Rome was dedicated to Zia, daughter of Tiatus, a Dacian, the wife of Pieporus, the king of the Costoboci. The inscription was set up by Natoporus and Drilgisa, Zia's grandsons , , . All these names are commonly regarded of Dacian or Thracian origin. Dacian king's people are the Ptolemy Geography’s Costoboci from Roman Dacia .
Many scholars classify the Costoboci as Dacian, part of the Dacian tribes not conquered by Romans , , ,, The main evidence adduced to support this view is:
the fact that Ptolemy includes the Costoboci in his list of tribes inhabiting the northernmost part of Dacia proper.
the evidence of an imperial-era funerary inscription found in Rome, dedicated to "Zia, daughter of Tiatus, Dacian wife of Pieporus, Costobocan king" (D[is] M[anibus] Ziai Tiati fil[iae] Dacae uxori Piepori regis Coisstobocensis Natoporus et Drilgisa aviae cariss[imae] b[ene] m[erenti] fecer[unt]). Some scholars consider that Pieporus is a name of Dacian origin, as are those of Pieporus' named grandchildren, Natoporus and Drilgisa. The same scholars regard the name-suffix -poris/porus/por as typically Dacian.,. The name Pieporus is reminiscent of the ‘Dac(i) Petoporiani’ on the Tabula Peutingeriana. Perhaps ‘Petoporani’ is an error and should read ‘Pieporiani’, which would mean that the Costoboci were Dacian.
The Costoboci have been linked by some scholars with the Lipiţa culture.,. On the basis of this culture's characteristics, many Romanian archaeologists[who?] claim that the population of this region was always, and remained, predominantly Geto-Dacian. Batty concurs that the presence of Dacian-style pottery and other artifacts is an indicator of the material level attained by the indigenes, but in no way proves their ethnicity. Batty notes that the Lipiţa domain was shared by the Bastarnae, a Celto-Germanic federation of tribes.[Full citation needed] It was also shared by the probably Celtic Anartes and Taurisci, according to Ptolemy.[original research?] According to modern archaeological theory, Lipiţa could be the culture of any one, or of all, of these groups.[Full citation needed]
The Dacian element of the name “–bokoi” (i.e. Dacian Sabokoi  ) re-appears in Koisto-bokoi , . Costo 'appear, see, show' from *kuek', kuok'  and Bokoi ‘light, noble’ from *bho, *bha where “-k-“ is a suffix .
The archaeological evidence presented by Bichir of two cultures, a nomadic minority and a sedentary majority, co-existing in the period AD 100-300 in Moldavia, raises the question of whether "Costoboci" was the name of the nomadic people or of the sedentary population and of the relationship between the two peoples. According to Bichir, Costoboci was the name of the sedentary majority, which he considers ethnic-Dacian, while the nomadic minority were ethnic-Sarmatian. Bichir claims that the Sarmatian minority accepted the political and cultural supremacy of the sedentary majority. However, this is inconsistent with what Bichir himself admits happened in neighbouring Muntenia,[original research?] where there is no dispute that the name "Roxolani" was Sarmatian and that these politically dominated the indigenous Geto-Dacians. It is also inconsistent with the archaeological evidence presented by Bichir himself: the Sarmatian minority maintained their cultural customs, in the form of inhumation with tamga-mirrors, throughout the period, and did not convert to cremation-rites[original research?]. Against Bichir, Batty argues that Lipiţa, a sedentary culture, is a poor match for the Costoboci, whom he considers a semi-nomadic "mobile" people. Instead, he suggests that Lipiţa could represent the culture of a substrate population, possibly subject to the Costoboci.[Full citation needed]
Ruins at Eleusis. View over the excavation site towards the Saronic Gulf.
The contemporary Greek travel-writer Pausanias reports that a "swarm of Costobocan brigands" had overrun Greece in his time. He reports that at Elateia in Phocis (central Greece), a statue could be seen in honour of a local hero named Mnesibolos, an Olympian champion who led a citizen-militia against the invaders and fell in combat. The barbarians reached near Athens, where they sacked the famous shrine of the Mysteries at Eleusis. Some local resistance was hurriedly organized, but eventually it proved unsuccesful. The procurator Vehilius Gratus Iulianus was sent to Greece with a task force to intercept the Costoboci.
In the same period the Costoboci might have attacked Dacia. A bronze hand dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus by a soldier from a cohort stationed in Dacia was found at Myszków in Western Ukraine. This was sometimes interpreted as a loot from a Costobocan raid.
Soon after AD 170, the Vandal Hasdings offered Cornelius Clemens, the governor of Dacia, their alliance in return for subsidies and land. This Clemens refused, but he advised the Hasdings against the troublesome Costoboci, while offering a temporary safe-haven for their families.
The fate of the Costoboci who survived the Vandal invasion is uncertain. Bichir argues that many remained in their territory as serfs of the Vandals, pointing to the persistence of the Lipiţa culture into the 3rd century. He also speculates[weasel words] that many would have found refuge in the territory of their "fellow-Dacian" neighbours, the Carpi.Dio Cassius records that in AD 180, 12,000 "neighbouring" Daci, who had been driven out of their own territory, were admitted by the emperor Commodus into the Roman province of Dacia, to prevent them joining the enemies of Rome. It has been speculated[weasel words] that these were Costoboci  refugees from the Vandal invasion of their homeland. But this event occurred nearly a decade after the Vandal invasion and may have involved Free Dacian elements unconnected with the Costoboci.
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Începând cu cea de a patra sală de expoziţie, prezentăm principalele piese descoperite în una din cele mai mari aşezări dacice din Moldova - cetatea dacică de la Brad, unde lucrăm de aproape patru decenii.
Printre obiectele rare remarcăm cele câteva ceşti dacice cu una sau două torţi frumos decorate, cănile lucrate la roată, vasele cu două torţi, imitaţiile după formele greceşti, piesele de scut - unele din ele foarte rare, având legătura cu cele descoperite în vestul ţării - la Pişcolţ, amforetele greceşti de tip Cos sau imitaţiile după cupele decorate din insula Delos.
O gamă variată de unelte din fier, os, piatră sau ceramică demonstrează gradul de dezvoltare a societăţii în perioada secolelor IV - II î.H. În continuare, alte materiale din aceeaşi mare aşezare dacică de la Brad, printre ele pinteni şi piese de harnaşament, din care se remarcă cele cu încrustaţii metalice, ceramică pictată, fibule de diferite tipuri, amfore greceşti şi romane, capace, căni, străchini lucrate la roată, imitaţii după craterele greceşti, un număr impresionant de obiecte de probă din fier, bronz, argint; unelte pentru agricultură, printre care frumoasele seceri din os, prevăzute cu o gaură pentru agăţat, ceramică fină din import etc.
Se remarcă, de asemenea cele câteva piese de car, unicate în cultura materială a dacilor.
Fotografiile cu aspecte de şantier vin să întărească şi să uşureze înţelegerea mesajului exponatelor, dar mai ales a sistemului de fortificaţii al acestei mari cetăţi dacice. Prin ele se pot urmări cele câteva elemente deosebite privind construcţiile defensive ale acestei cetăţi, având în vedere că ele constituie un unicat în cultura materială a dacilor. Este vorba de întărirea escarpei şanţului de apărare cu o construcţie din lemn, bârne puse perpendicular pe panta şanţului de apărare, pari înfipţi în pământ în zona intrării pe acropolă, cu vârfurile ascuţite, care nu permiteau călăreţilor să pătrundă în cetate, precum şi acel pod rabatabil, care era ridicat în momentele critice ale unui atac din afară. Tot prin fotografii de şantier sunt uşor de observat şi urmele parilor de la palisada simplă din lemn şi pământ care înconjură acropola.
Remarcăm o varietate mare de forme şi decor din ceramică dacică pictată - cea mai numeroasă ca număr de piese din întreaga lume dacică: câteva forme imitate după cele greceşti şi romane, mai multe vase de import, unele frumos decorate prin barbotinare, de factură elenistică sau romană, o gamă variată de fibule, unelte şi obiecte de podoabă din os, printre care remarcăm fluierele din os, o cutiuţă pentru fard (în ea se mai află, încă, un produs pietrificat), unelte pentru împletit frânghii, vârfuri de săgeţi; unelte şi arme din fier, obiecte de podoabă, vase de sticlă, aduse din Imperiul Roman, fragmente ceramice cu mică în compoziţie, care demonstrează legăturile cu lumea dacică din munţi, unde se confecţiona acest tip de ceramică, interesante fragmente de obiecte de cult, unele din ele, cu protome animaliere - deosebit de frumoase şi interesante.
În continuare sunt expuse materiale aparţinând perioadei următoare, sec. II-III d.H., descoperite în marile necropole de la Văleni - Boteşti, Săbăoani, Izvoare - Bahna, Butnăreşti, Gabăra - Moldoveni, Brad, etc. precum şi din multe alte aşezări din această perioadă cercetate de colectivul muzeului nostru. Merită să amintim aici tezaurele de monede romane, descoperite în zona Romanului, care sunt expuse în mai multe vitrine, un frumos lot de piese de podoabă de harnaşament, de factură romană, descoperit la Săbăoani. Multe din ele sunt placate cu foiţă de argint.
Se mai pot admira: frumoasele amforete ale dacilor liberi, cu două torţi, caracteristică acestei populaţii, vasele borcan decorate cu brâie simple sau alveolate, castroanele cu trei torţi, străchinile sau frumoasele fructiere lucrate la roată. Marea majoritate provin din necropolele amintite, dar mai ales, din cea mai mare necropolă a dacilor liberi din toată aria locuită de ei, cea de la Văleni - Boteşti, unde s-au descoperit peste 630 de morminte. Bogata colecţie pe care o deţine muzeul nostru este cea mai reprezentativă.
"Free Dacians" (Romanian: Daci liberi) is the name given by some modern historians to Dacians who putatively remained outside the Roman empire after the emperor Trajan's Dacian wars of AD 101-6. Contemporary Roman sources refer to "neighbouring Dacians" (Dakai limitrophai) who resided outside Dacia nostra ("Our Dacia") i.e the Roman province of Dacia. Dio Cassius named them Dakoi prosoroi (Latin Daci limitanei) ‘neighbouring Dacians’.
A substantial population of Dacians existed on the fringes of the Roman province, especially in the eastern Carpathian mountains, at least until ca. AD 340. They were responsible for a series of incursions into Roman Dacia in the period 120-272, and into the Roman empire South of the river Danube after Dacia was abandoned by the Romans in 275.
The Free Dacians disappear from extant recorded history after the 4th century.
According to the traditional Romanian national-historical paradigm, the "Free Dacians" included both refugees from the Roman conquest who left the Roman-occupied zone and also a number of Dacian-speaking tribes resident outside that zone, notably the Costoboci and the Carpi in Moldavia/Bessarabia. These peoples supposedly absorbed the refugees and constituted the Free Dacians.
Through proximity with the Roman province of Dacia, the Free Dacians supposedly became Romanised, adopting the Latin language and Roman culture. Despite this acculturation, the Free Dacians were supposedly irredentists, repeatedly invading the Roman province in an attempt to recover the refugees' ancestral land. They were unsuccessful until the Roman province was abandoned by the emperor Aurelian in AD 275. After this, the Free Dacians "liberated" the Roman province, and joined the Romano-Dacians left behind to form a Latin-speaking Daco-Roman ethnos that was the forebear of the modern Romanian nation.
Validity of paradigm
Left panel: Dacian rural families leave their homes, taking their livestock (sheep, cattle and goats) with them, as the garrisons of remaining Dacian forts, including the one in the background surrender to the Romans (shown on previous panel). Right panel: Roman emperor Trajan (r. 98-117) (on podium, centre) congratulates his victorious troops. Detail from Trajan's Column, Rome
There is substantial evidence that large numbers of ethnic-Dacians continued to exist on the fringes of the Roman province:
(1) During Trajan's Dacian Wars, enormous numbers of Dacians were killed or led away into slavery. But it also appears that many indigenous Dacians were expelled from the occupied zone, or emigrated of their own accord. Two panels of Trajan's Column depict lines of Dacian peasants leaving with their families and animals, at the end of each war (102 and 106).
(2) In addition, it appears that the Romans did not permanently occupy the whole of Decebal's kingdom. The latter's borders, many scholars believe, are described in Ptolemy's Geographia: the rivers Siret in the East, Danube in the South, Thibiscum (Timiş) in the West and the northern Carpathian mountains in the North. But the eastern border of the Roman province was by AD 120 set at the Limes Transalutanus ("Trans-Olt Frontier"), a line somewhat to the East of the river Aluta (Olt), thus excluding the Wallachian plain between the limes and the river Siret. In Transylvania, the line of Roman border-forts seems to indicate that the eastern and northern Carpathian Mountains were outside the Roman province, at least partially.
The unoccupied sections of Decebal's kingdom are likely to have been inhabited predominantly by ethnic-Dacians, although according to Ptolemy, the northernmost slice of the kingdom (N. Carpathians/Bukovina) was shared by non-Dacian tribes: the Anartes and the Taurisci (probably Celtic); and the Germanic Bastarnae are also attested in this region). Furthermore, some areas were occupied after 106 by nomadic Sarmatian tribesmen, most likely a minority ruling over the sedentary Geto-Dacian majority e.g. Muntenia (E. Wallachia), which was ruled by the Roxolani Sarmatians and possibly also northern Moldavia, which was under the Costoboci, identified as a Sarmatian tribe by the Roman scientist Pliny the Elder. But there are no reports of Sarmatians controlling the remaining unoccupied region of Decebal's kingdom, that between the Transylvanian border of the Roman province and the Siret, i.e. the eastern Carpathians, and it is therefore in these mountain valleys and foothills that the truly "Free" Dacians (in the sense of politically independent) were most likely concentrated, and presumably where most of the refugees from the Roman conquest escaped to.
(3) Free Dacians are reported to have invaded and ravaged the province in 214 and 218. Several emperors after Trajan, to as late as AD 336, assumed the victory title of Dacicus Maximus ("Totally Victorious over the Dacians"): Antoninus Pius (157),Maximinus I (238),Decius (250)Gallienus (257),Aurelian (272) and Constantine I the Great (336). Since such victory-titles always indicated peoples defeated, not geographical regions, the repeated use of Dacicus Maximus implies the existence of ethnic-Dacians outside the Roman province in sufficient numbers to warrant major military operations into the early 4th century. A grave threat to Roman Dacia through out its history (106-275) is also implied by the permanent deployment of a massive Roman military garrison, of (normally) 2 legions and over 40 auxiliary regiments (totaling ca. 30,000 troops, or ca. 10% of the imperial army's total regular effectives). There is substantial archaeological evidence of major and devastating incursions into Roman Dacia: clusters of coin-hoards and evidence of destruction and abandonment of Roman forts.[Full citation needed] Since these episodes coincide with occasions when emperors assumed the title Dacicus Maximus, it is reasonable to suppose that the Free Dacians were primarily responsible for these raids.
(4) In 180, the emperor Commodus (r. 180-92) is recorded as having admitted for settlement in the Roman province 12,000 "neighbouring" Daci who had been driven out of their own territory by hostile tribes.
Thus, the traditional paradigm's claim of the existence of a substantial Free Dacian population during the Roman era is supported by substantial evidence.
However, the identification of the Costoboci and Carpi as ethnic-Dacian is far from secure. Unlike the Dacians proper, neither group is attested in Moldavia before Ptolemy (i.e. before ca. 140). The Costoboci are classified as a Sarmatian tribe by Pliny the Elder, who locates them as residing around the river Tanais (southern river Don) in ca. AD 60, in the Sarmatian heartland of the southern Russia region, far to the East of Moldavia. The ethno-linguistic affiliation of the Carpi is uncertain. In addition to Dacian, it has been variously suggested that they were a Sarmatian, Germanic or even Proto-Slavic group. The contemporaneous existence, alongside Dacicus Maximus, of the victory-title Carpicus Maximus - claimed by the emperors Philip the Arab (247), Aurelian (273),Diocletian (297) and Constantine I (317/8) - suggests that the Carpi may have been considered ethnically distinct from the Free Dacians by the Romans.
The traditional paradigm is also open to challenge in other respects. There is no evidence that the peoples outside the province were "Romanised" to any greater extent than their non-Dacian neighbours, since the archaeological remains of their putative zone of occupation show no greater Roman influence than do other Chernyakhov culture sites elsewhere in the northern Pontic region; nor that the Free Dacians gave up their native tongue and became Latin-speakers. In AD 271-5, when the Roman emperor Aurelian decided to evacuate the province of Dacia, its Roman residents, both urban and rural, are reported by ancient sources to have been deported en masse to Roman territory South of the Danube (i.e. to the province of Moesia Inferior). These reports have been challenged by some modern scholars who argue that many rural inhabitants of the Roman province, with few links to the Roman administration or army, probably remained behind. However, leaving behind the Romano-Dacian peasantry would have defeated the central purpose of the evacuation, which was to repopulate the Roman provinces South of the Danube, whose inhabitants had been decimated by plague and barbarians invasions, and to bring back into cultivation the enormous amount of abandoned land (terrae desertae) in those provinces. These were also presumably the aims of Aurelian's contemporaneous resettlement in Roman Pannonia of a substantial section of the Carpi people that he defeated in 273.
The latest secure mention of the Free Dacians in the ancient sources is Constantine I's acclamation as Dacicus Maximus in 336. For the year 381, the Byzantine chronicler Zosimus, records an invasion over the Danube by a barbarian coalition of Huns, Scirii and what he terms Karpodakai ("Carpo-Dacians"). There is much controversy about the meaning of this term and whether it refers to the Carpi. However, it certainly refers to the Dacians and, most likely, means the "Dacians of the Carpathians". But it is doubtful whether this term constitutes reliable evidence that the Dacians were still a significant force at this time. Zosimus is widely regarded as a highly untrustworthy chronicler and has been criticised by one scholar as having "an unsurpassable claim to be regarded as the worst of all the extant Greek historians of the Roman Empire...it would be tedious to catalogue all the instances where this historian has falsely transcribed names, not to mention his confusion of events...".
Even if it is accepted that Zosimus' quote proves the continued existence in 381 of "the Dacians" as a distinct ethnic group, it is the last surviving such mention in the ancient sources. The traditional paradigm claims that a Latin-speaking community of Daco-Romans existed throughout the period 400-1200, after which it emerges as the modern Romanian nation in the medieval principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia.