The Carpi or Carpiani were an ancient people that resided, between not later than ca. AD 140 and until at least ca. AD 380, in the former Principality of Moldavia (modern eastern Romania). It is possible that the Carpi did not enter this region until (and maybe as a consequence of) the Dacian Wars (101-106), as they are probably not mentioned in the classical sources until the period following the Roman annexation of Dacia.
About a century after their earliest mention by Ptolemy, the Carpi emerged in ca. 240 as among Rome's most persistent enemies. In the period 240-270 AD, the Carpi were an important component of a loose coalition of transdanubian barbarian tribes that included also 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.
In the period 270-318, the Roman "military emperors" acted to remove the Carpi threat to the empire's borders. Crushing defeats were inflicted on the Carpi in 273, 297 and 298-9 and by 318. After each, massive numbers of Carpi were forcibly transferred by the Roman military to the Roman province of Pannonia (modern western Hungary), as part of the emperors' policy of repopulating the devastated Danubian provinces with surrendered barbarian tribes. It is possible that the Carpi were largely removed from the Carpathian region by ca. 318. If any Carpi remained, they may have occupied, together with "free" Dacian elements, parts of the Roman province of Dacia, following its evacuation by the Romans in 272-5.
In the 4th century, the people of Dacia 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 were possibly part of a coalition of Huns and Scirii who were defeated by the emperor Theodosius I (379-95). Their fate after that, despite extensive speculation, is impossible to determine on the currently available evidence.
 Name etymology
The Romans called this people the Carpi. But the earliest mention of them, under the name Καρπιανοί (Carpiani in Latin) is in the Geographia of the celebrated Greek geographer Ptolemy, composed between AD 135 and 143. Carpiani and Karpodakai (which Zeuss renders Carpathian Dacians) are several forms of this name [Carpi],. The name Carpi or Carpiani may derive from the same root as the name of the Carpathian mountain range that they occupied, also first mentioned by Ptolemy under the name Καρπάτης - Karpátes. The root may be the putative Proto-Indo-European word *ker/sker, meaning "peak" or "cliff" (cf. Albanian karpë "rock", Romanian (ş)carpă "precipice", and Latin scarpa). Scholars who support this derivation are divided between those who believe the Carpi gave their name to the mountain range (e.g. Carpi’s Mountains), and those who claim the reverse. In the latter case, Carpiani could mean simply "people of the Carpathians". But the similarity between the two names may be coincidence, and they may derive from different roots. For example, it has been suggested that the name may derive from the Slavic root-word krepu meaning "strong" or "brave".. Also, it had been suggested that Carpathian Mountains may derive from the Sanskrit root “kar” 'cut' that would give the meaning of ‘rugged mountains’.
Some scholars consider that the following peoples recorded in ancient sources are the same as the Karpiani in Ptolemy: the Kallipidai mentioned in the Histories of Herodotus (composed around 430 BC) as residing in the region of the river Borysthenes (Dnieper);,, the Karpídai around the mouth of the river Tyras (Dniester) recorded in a fragment of Pseudo-Scymnus (composed ca. 90 BC);,, the Harpii, located near the Danube delta, mentioned by Ptolemy himself., If so, their locations could imply that the Carpi had very gradually migrated westwards in the period 400 BC - AD 140, a view championed by Kahrstedt. These names' common element carp- appears frequently in Dacian and Thracian place- and personal names,. But there is no consensus that these groups are actually one and the same as the Carpi. Bichir suggests that they were Thraco-Dacian tribes distantly related to the Carpi.
During the period when they are attested by classical sources (ca. AD 140-300), the Carpi are believed by many scholars, on the basis of Ptolemy, to have occupied a region between the river Hierasus (Siret) and the river Porata (Prut) (i.e. the eastern part of the former principality of Moldavia). This was just outside "Dacia proper", as defined by Ptolemy, whose eastern border was the Hierasus. Ptolemy does not include the Carpi in his list of tribes resident in Dacia proper, even though this region, according to his own definition, comprised the whole Carpathian range. East of this river lay Sarmatia Europaea, a vast region stretching as far as the Crimea, predominantly, but by no means exclusively, populated by Sarmatian tribes.
According to Ptolemy, the Carpi's neighbours were: to the North, the Costoboci; to the South, in the Wallachian plain, the Roxolani Sarmatians; and to the East of the Prut, the Bastarnae (a Celto-Germanic or possibly Sarmatian group) and other Sarmatian tribes. To the East, in the Carpathian mountains between the Siret and the border of the Roman province, probably existed the "free" Dacians i.e. those Dacians residing outside Roman Dacia. In reality, however, it is unlikely that these groups had clearly-defined territories. Most (the Sarmatians and Bastarnae at least) were semi-nomadic and the ancient geographical sources are too imprecise to be sure of their exact locations, especially as they were probably divided into widely-dispersed sub-groups. It is attested that the Carpi shared Moldavia with such groups.
 Material culture
There is no dispute among scholars that some Decebalic-era Dacian settlements in Moldavia (mostly West of the Siret, with a few on the East bank, including Piroboridava, identified with Poiana-Tecuci), were abandoned by 106, most likely, according to Bichir, as a result of the Roman conquest of Dacia. From this time, Bichir identifies two distinct cultures in Moldavia, existing side-by-side. A sedentary culture, labelled "Daco-Carpic" by Bichir, which started around 106 and disappeared around 318;a[›] and a smaller culture displaying the characteristics usually associated with nomadic peoples from the Eurasian steppes, labelled "Sarmatian" by Bichir.
By 1976, 117 sedentary settlements had been identified, the great majority (89) located West of the Siret (so inside Dacia borders according with Ptolemy map). The inhabitants lived in both surface-dwellings and sunken-floor huts. The single-roomed surface-dwellings were made of wattle and beaten-earth, usually of rectangular or square form, varying from 9 sq m to 30 sq m in size. Each contained a clay hearth placed at the centre of the dwelling. The more numerous sunken-earth huts are usually of oval or round shape. The sedentary people generally cremated their dead. Of 49 "Carpic" (sedentary) cemeteries discussed by Bichir, 43 were cremation-only. The ashes from the cremation were, in the great majority of cases, buried inside urns, with or without a lid. In a minority of graves, the ashes were interred without a container. Some graves contained grave-goods, but no weapons (except for a single dagger). Mundane goods include: knives, keys, belt-buckles; valuable goods include Sarmation-style mirrors, silver ear-rings, gold pendants and beads. Pottery found in sedentary sites includes the hand-made "porous" type, grey wheel-made ware, red-fired pottery and imported Roman ware. Bichir describes the first two as continuing Dacian La Tène pottery, and points to the presence of the so-called "Dacian cup", a cup of distinctive design, as evidence of a Dacian base to this culture. However, he admits that the pottery also shows Roman and Sarmatian influence.
Nomadic-culture graves are predominantly inhumation-type, found in 38 places in Moldavia by 1976. These are predominantly found on the plains, rarely on the Carpathian foothills (i.e. East of the Siret), either singly or in small groups of 2-13 graves, including men. women and children. The great majority of nomadic-culture graves are flat (non-tumular), in contrast to nomadic barrow-graves found from the Dniester region eastwards. However, some secondary barrow-burials (i.e. using pre-existing barrows) have been found, mostly dating from 200 onwards.
Of especial interest are the 6 cemeteries in Bichir's list containing both cremation and inhumation graves. At the Poieneşti site (the only one fully investigated by 1976), 6 adults and 17 children were buried (compared with 62 cremated). Of these, 2 adults and 7 children were found to have artificially elongated crania. This custom, achieved by tightly binding an infant's skull during its early growth phase, is associated with the steppe nomads of central Eurasia. The inhumation graves all include grave-goods, including mirrors engraved with tamgas - believed to be clan or tribal symbols, also associated with steppe nomads. Bichir identifies the adults as nomads and the children as the progeny of mixed nomad-sedentary marriages.
On the basis of relative numbers of sedentary/nomadic graves, Bichir concludes that the sedentary folk constituted the great majority of the population of Moldavia. Analysis of the relative numbers of graves in the mixed cemeteries documented by Bichir would suggest that the nomadic element may have represented 25-30% of the population.
After 318, according to Bichir, the "Daco-Carpic" culture was in Moldavia replaced by the Sîntana-de-Mureş "variant" of the Chernyakhov culture common to much of the North-Pontic region of SE Europe in the period 200-400.
 Ethno-linguistic affiliation
According to traditional Romanian historiography as well as to several non-Romanian scholars, the Carpi were a people of Dacian tongue and culture. However, there is a significant number of scholars who dispute this ethnic identification.
Apart from a single name in a Byzantine chronicle of doubtful meaning and validity (see paragraph below), the evidence used to support the Dacian ethnicity of the Carpi is archaeological: namely, the discovery of pottery and other artefacts identified as "Dacian-style" by archaeologists such as Bichir at sites in the region of Moldavia seen as occupied by the Carpi in the period AD 100-300 (e.g. at Poieneşti, near Vaslui) as well the burial rites. However, determination of ethnicity by the typology, or by the relative quantity, of finds has been questioned by Niculescu, reflecting scepticism in modern archaeological theory of the validity of equating material cultures with ethnic groups.b[›]
Zosimus, a Byzantine chronicler writing around AD 500, records an invasion of Rome's Danubian provinces in 381 by a barbarian coalition of Huns, Scirii and Karpodakai ("Carpo-Dacians"). The latter term has been taken by many scholars as "proof" of the Carpi's Dacian ethnicity. But this is the only literary evidence linking the Carpi name to that of the Dacians, and Zosimus is regarded by some modern scholars as an unreliable chronicler. One historian accords Zosimus "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...". In any case, the term is also ambiguous. It has also been interpreted as the "Carpi and the Dacians" or "the Carpi mixed with the Dacians". Against this, the eminent classical scholar Kahrstedt argues that, in ancient Greek, the first part of the term could only have a geographical meaning: i.e. Karpodakai means "the Dacians from the land of the Carpi (or the Carpathians)", which, he argues, were occupied by Free Dacian elements after the Carpi were evacuated by the Romans. (Compare Tyragetae, supposedly meaning "the Getae from the Tyras region"). It is possible that the entire Carpi people were transferred to the Roman empire by 318, which is supported by literary and archaeological evidence: Bichir notes that the culture which he calls "Daco-Carpic" terminated in around 318. If so, then Zosimus' Karpodakai could not be referring to the Carpi.
Sarmatia Europaea, although dominated by Sarmatian tribes, was a region of great ethnic diversity: there were elements of Germans (e.g.Taifali, Scirii, Bastarnae); Celts (e.g. Taurisci, Anartes); Thracians (e.g. Biessi and Thraces identified by Ptolemy between the Danube and Dniester); Dacians (e.g. Tyragetae) and even of proto-Slavs (e.g. the Venedi); as well peoples probably formed locally from mixed origins (but mostly with an autochtonous Dacian and Sarmatian base- e.g. the Goths). Various scholars have linked the Carpi to all of these groups.
A significant argument against the Carpi's possible Dacian, Sarmatian or Germanic ethnicity is the existence of a separate imperial victory-title for victories over the Carpi: Carpicus Maximus ("Totally Victorious over the Carpi", first assumed by the emperor Philip the Arab in 247. Such titles always took the name of a broad ethno-linguistic group, not the names of individual tribes: e.g. Sarmaticus (for victories over Roxolani and Iazyges), Germanicus, (for victories over a variety of Germanic peoples). The title Dacicus, first assumed by Trajan after his conquest of Dacia in 106, continued in use at the time of Philip and beyond: Maximinus I (237), Decius (250) and Gallienus (257), Constantine the Great (337) all assumed the title Dacicus Maximus.. The emperor Aurelian carried both Dacicus and Carpicus titles, for victories in 272 and 273, respectively. It is unclear why Philip would have not have assumed the same title in 247, if the Carpi were Dacians.
 Conflict with Rome
Although the Carpi are recorded as resident in the Dacian region from at least the 140's onwards, they are not mentioned in Roman accounts of several campaigns in the Dacian region in the 2nd century. For example, in Rome's vast and protracted conflict with the trans-danubian tribes, known as the Marcomannic Wars (166-80), during which Dacia province suffered at least two major invasions (167, 170), only their neighbours the Costoboci are mentioned specifically. Silence on the role of the Carpi in these conflicts may imply that they were Roman allies in this period.
Around AD 200 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 probably recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus, under the name Gotones, as inhabiting the area East of the Vistula river in central Poland in AD 100. 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 Jordanes as "a race of men very eager to make war, and often hostile to the Romans". A series of major incursions into the empire by the Carpi are recorded, either alone or in alliance with their neighbouring Sarmatian and/or Germanic tribes (inc. Roxolani, Bastarnae, Goths). However, the precise role of the Carpi in the coalition's incursions is not always clear, as the most comprehensive account, that of the 6th-century chronicler Zosimus, is chronologically confused and often denotes the participants under the vague term "Scythians" (meaning inhabitants of the geographical region called Scythia (i.e. roughly modern Ukraine), not ethnic Scythians). Also, the Panegyric of Optatianus mentions the alliance of the Sarmatians with the Carpi and Getae around 322 a.d. and points out the several fields of battle.
The involvement of the Carpi in attacks by the "Free Dacians" into Roman Dacia is also uncertain. Supporters of a Dacian ethnicity for the Carpi have tended to assume that they participated in campaigns where Roman emperors claimed the title Dacicus Maximus, in addition to those resulting in a Carpicus Maximus acclamation. But all incursions in which the Carpi are specifically reported by ancient sources were into Moesia Inferior, not Dacia. Following is a list of recorded incursions unequivocally attributed to the Carpi by the sources:
 Carpi attacks on the Danubian frontier (238-50)
coin issued by the Roman emperor Philip the Arab
to commemorate his victory over the Carpi in AD 247. Obverse
: Head of Philip wearing diadem, with legend: IMP(erator) PHILIPPVS AVG(ustus); Reverse
: Figure of winged goddess Victory bearing palm and laurel-wreath, with legend: VICTORIA CARPICA. Mint: Rome. Date: undated, but must have been issued in period 247-9
Map showing the Carpi role in the barbarian invasion of 250-1 under the Gothic leader Kniva
, 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' accounts are fragmentary and confused
238: The Carpi launched their first recorded major incursion into Roman territory South of the Danube, during the brief joint rule of the adolescent Gordian III and the senators Balbinus and Pupienus Maximus. This was apparently provoked by the refusal of the governor of Moesia Inferior, Tullius Menophilus, to grant the Carpi's demand for an annual subsidy to keep the peace, as was already paid to the Goths and other tribes on the lower Danube. This lends support to the possibility that until this time the Carpi had been long-term allies of the Romans and were aggrieved that they were in effect penalised for their loyalty. However, the governor succeeded in driving out the Carpi in 239.
245-7: During the rule of emperor Philip the Arab (244-9), the Carpi crossed the Danube and laid waste Moesia Inferior. After the theatre governors failed to repel the invasion, the emperor took personal command and launched a major counter-attack. After a prolonged struggle, the Carpi were driven back across the Danube. Pursued by the Romans into their Moldavian homeland, the main body of Carpi took refuge in a major stronghold (probably a hill-fort), where they were surrounded and besieged by Philip's forces. The Carpi outside the siege hastily gathered a force to rescue their comrades. The besieged staged a mass sortie to distract the Romans from the approoach of their relief-force. But the latter was ambushed and routed by Philip's equites Maurorum (Berber light cavalry from N. Africa). The breakout was contained, forcing the Carpi to sue for peace. This was granted to them on apparently lenient terms by Philip, who was eager to conclude the campaign in time for the forthcoming celebrations of the 1,000th anniversary of the City of Rome's foundation (April 248). Philip was acclaimed Carpicus Maximus.
 Sarmato-Gothic invasions of the Roman empire (250-270)
250-1: The Carpi reportedly participated in a massive transdanubian invasion of Moesia and Thrace under the leadership of the Gothic king Kniva. Kniva's invasion had apparently been provoked by the termination of the Goths' annual Roman subsidy by Decius' predecessor, Philip. Judging by their actions, the invaders' war aims were limited to pillage: the capture of as many slaves, horses, treasure and other goods as possible to take back to their homelands across the Danube.
Kniva's host apparently included Goths, Taifali and Vandals, as well as some renegade Roman army veterans. Given Zosimus' description of "Scythians", it almost certainly included Sarmatian elements such as the Roxolani. In addition, an apparently separate host of Goths and Bastarnae also entered Moesia Inferior, led by Kniva's two top lieutenants. Jordanes claims that the barbarians totaled 300,000 men, but Byzantine chroniclers often grossly inflate barbarian numbers, typically by a factor of ten (e.g. Zosimus' claim that 60,000 Alamanni fell at the Battle of Strasbourg in 357, against the 6,000 recorded by the contemporary and more reliable Ammianus Marcellinus). Thus, 30,000 is a more plausible, though still formidable, order of magnitude for Kniva's invasion, divided into two divisions. The Carpi contingent numbered 3,000 men, according to Jordanes. Thus, the Carpi probably constituted roughly 10% of the total invasion host.
After suffering several reverses in Moesia Inferior, Kniva's host moved South into Thrace. Here, Kniva inflicted a severe defeat on the Romans at Beroe, forcing the emperor Decius to withdraw his field army from Thrace and leave the province to be pillaged at will by the barbarians, who also stormed the city of Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulg.) and spent the winter of 250/1 in the province. In 251, as the barbarian host headed home towards the Danube laden with a vast quantity of plunder, they were intercepted by Decius' reconstituted field army at Abrittus in Moesia Inferior. Carpi had then possessed themselves of Dacia and Moesia. After a hard-fought battle in which they routed Kniva's main host, the Roman army tried to cross an marsh in order to engage Kniva's reserve force. But the Romans became immobilised in the mire and reportedly every one of them perished, including the emperor, massacred at long range by Kniva's archers or drowned.
When news of this disaster reached the remaining legions on the Danube, they proclaimed their commander Gallus emperor. The latter concluded a peace with the Goths which permitted them to return home with their booty and guaranteed resumed subsidies. Although Zosimus denounces the terms as shameful, it was probably the only realistic option open to Gallus in the circumstances.
But Gallus' resumption of subsidies did not have the desired effect of sustaining peace on the Danube. Hard on the heels of military catastrophe, the Roman army was crippled by the outbreak of a devastating smallpox pandemic, the so-called Plague of Cyprian (251 - ca. 270). The effects of the Cyprianic pandemic are described by Zosimus as even worse than the earlier Antonine outbreak, which probably killed 15-30% of the empire's inhabitants. The Roman army would have suffered casualties at the high end of the range as a result of its close concentration of personnel and frequent movements between provinces, thus probably losing about a third of its effectives. Taking advantage of Roman military disarray, the transdanubian barbarians launched repeated massive invasions of imperial territory. The exact number, dates and events of these invasions are uncertain due to the confused and fragmentary nature of the sources. It is possible that there were invasions every year and that parts of the Danubian provinces were occupied by marauding war-bands of barbarians year-round during the period 251-70. From Zosimus, the following major events may be discerned:
252-3: The Carpi joined Goths and 2 Sarmatian tribes (the Urugundi and the Borani) in an invasion of Roman territory, ravaging Moesia and Thrace. (Zosimus states that they then crossed into Asia Minor, but as this is inconsistent with the rest of the narrative, it is probably a confusion with the invasion of 256). Roman forces on the lower Danube were apparently unable to prevent them from marauding at will, probably due to their losses at Abrittus and the impact of the plague. Eventually, the barbarians were intercepted on their way home by the general Aemilianus, commander of the army of Pannonia. At first, his men were fearful of engaging the barbarians because of their aura of invincibility after Abrittus, but Aemilianus' leadership steadied them. At an unknown location near the Danube, the Romans launched a surprise attack and scored a crushing victory. They chased the barbarians over the river and deep into their homelands, recovering vast quantities of plunder and liberating thousands of Roman civilians who had been abducted. Possibly among the latter was a C. Valerius Serapio (probably a Greek) who dedicated an (undated) altar found at Apulum (Alba Iulia) in Dacia, as thanksgiving for his rescue from the Carpi (liberatus a Carpis)
Aemilianus was hailed as emperor by his victorious troops and marched on Rome, where Gallus' forces killed their leader rather than fight against the Danubian army. However, only 3 months later, Aemilianus was in his turn assassinated by the same troops, who defected to Valerian I (r. 253-60), the commander of forces on the Rhine, who had marched into Italy to rescue Gallus.
Valerian was proclaimed emperor and promptly elevated his son Gallienus (r. 253-68) as Augustus (co-emperor). This father-and-son team presided over the most chaotic period of Roman history (253-68) before the 5th century. The empire suffered multiple and massive barbarian invasions on the Rhine, Danube and in the East; at least 11 generals launched military coups; the empire was split into three autonomous pieces; and Valerian himself was captured by the Persians and died after several years in their captivity,, the first Roman emperor to suffer such a humiliation.
256-7: The Carpi, with the same allies as in 253, irrupted into Moesia, ravaged Thrace and lay siege to Thessalonica in Macedonia, although unsuccessfully. Valerian and Gallienus were obliged to leave the Balkan theatre to subordinates with inadequate forces, as they were fully occupied, the former in the East fighting the Persians, the latter on the Rhine trying to stem a massive Germanic incursion. The whole of Greece was placed on invasion alert: the Athenians rebuilt their city walls for the first time since they were demolished by the Republican general Sulla in 87 BC and the Peloponnesians re-fortified the Isthmus of Corinth. The barbarians were eventually routed by Gallienus' lieutenant Aureolus, who brought large numbers of prisoners to Rome.
259-60: The "Scythians, including every people of their country" (i.e. including the Carpi) launched a massive invasion over the Danube, taking advantage of the military and political chaos in the empire. It appears that the barbarians divided into 2 hosts. One invaded Greece and, despite its new walls, succeeded in storming and sacking Athens. The other group crossed Illyricum into Italy, and appeared before the walls of Rome, forcing the Roman Senate to arm the civilian population to man the ramparts, as Gallienus was fully occupied on the Rhine fighting Postumus' usurpation. Recognising that there was no possibility of taking the City and sacking it, the Gothic-led host proceeded to ravage the whole of Italy. They were finally driven out by Gallienus' lieutenant Macrianus, who brought the Rhine army into Italy.
Further major "Scythian" invasions took place in 265-6 and possibly the largest of all, 267-8, which was a seaborne invasion which penetrated the Aegean Sea but was terminated by the crushing Roman victory at Naissus (268). But, unlike in previous invasions, the Carpi are not mentioned specifically by Zosimus and the other chroniclers and their role is thus uncertain.
 Defeat and resettlement in the Empire (271-318)
Bust of Roman emperor Aurelian
(ruled 270-5), who began the policy of transferring large numbers of Carpi to Pannonia
and evacuated the Roman province of Dacia
The late 3rd century saw the recovery of the empire under the iron rule of the so-called Illyrian emperors, a tightly-knit group of career soldiers with shared origins in the Danubian provinces (especially Moesia Superior) and regiments, whose successors (and often descendants) dominated the empire for over a century (268-379). These not only broke the transdanubian tribes on the battlefield, but also pursued a policy of large-scale resettlement of defeated tribespeople in the Danubian provinces of the empire. c[›]
273: The emperor Aurelian (r. 270-5) scored a major victory over the Carpi in 273, for which he was granted the title Carpicus Maximus by the Senate. He then resettled a large number of Carpi prisoners around Sopiana (Pécs, Hungary) in the Roman province of Pannonia. Aurelian also decided to abandon the Roman province of Dacia, evacuating most of its population (both urban and rural), and resettling it in Moesia Inferior. The main motivation, in line with the transfer of the Carpi themselves and of other barbarian tribespeople, was probably to re-populate the latter province, which had been ravaged by the plague and wars.
296-318: As soon as it was established by the emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305), the Tetrarchy, a college of four emperors under Diocletian's overall leadership, was faced by a major war with the Carpi, the first for 23 years. The war ended in 297 with a crushing victory for Diocletian and his Caesar (deputy emperor) Galerius, who both took the title Carpicus Maximus. But intensive operations against the Carpi were soon resumed, this time by the two Caesars, acting in concert as well as separately. By 300, Galerius had gained the Carpicus title for the second time, while Constantius Chlorus won it for the first time. Each of these acclamations represents a substantial victory, and probably would have implied the slaying of at least 5,000 Carpi (as traditionally required for the grant of a Triumph in Rome).
For the Carpi, these defeats were accompanied by mass deportations and resettlement inside the empire. According to Ammianus, Diocletian's regime continued to settle Carpi in Pannonia, and, apparently, in Scythia Minor (i.e. the coastal region of modern Romania). Eutropius reports that "enormous numbers" were transferred. According to Victor, the entire remaining Carpi people were transferred into the empire. This cannot be wholly true by the end of Diocletian's rule in 305, as the emperor Constantine I the Great (r. 312-37) claimed the Carpicus Maximus title in 317/8. But Victor was writing in 361 and it is possible that by that time, the Carpi had effectively disappeared from the transdanubian region (most killed or evacuated by the Romans, and any remnants submerged by Gothic invaders). A strong support for this view is the absence of any mention of the transdanubian Carpi in the contemporary history of Ammianus, whose surviving books provide a detailed account of the period 353-78, including the great Gothic migration of 376-8, which culminated in the Roman disaster at the Battle of Adrianople. Aside from Goths, the author mentions Taifali, Heruli and other elements. (Ammianus does mention the Carpi twice, but only those settled inside the empire).
 Moldavia after 318
Many historians (especially Romanian) dispute that the Carpi were eliminated from the Carpathian region and argue that many Carpi remained, a view accepted by Millar and Batty. In 336, Constantine I assumed the title Dacicus Maximus. It has been suggested that this was in reality a victory over the Carpi, but this view is based on the a priori assumption that the Carpi were Dacians and lacks independent supporting evidence. Beyond this date, evidence of Carpi continuity is limited to Zosimus' Karpodakai.
Constantine I built a gigantic series of defensive earthworks on the mountain fringes of the Tisza and Wallachian plains facing the Carpathians (the Devil's Dykes and Brazda lui Novac de Nord respectively). Although there remains much uncertainty about the purpose of these fortifications, they have been interpreted as designed to protect the Romans' tributary Sarmatian tribes in those plains (the Iazyges and Roxolani respectively) against incursions by the peoples of the Carpathians and beyond: Goths, Taifali and Free Dacians, and the remnants of the Carpi, if any.
After the death of Constantine, the Wallachian plain and Moldavia fell under the domination of the Tervingi branch of the Gothic nation, as evidenced by the existence of a substantial Gothic kingdom in the period leading up to the Battle of Adrianople (378). Transylvania, on the other hand, appears to have been dominated in the 4th century by another probably Germanic group, the Taifali. However, the Taifali in turn appear to have been under Gothic suzerainty. It has been suggested that Germanic overlordship of this region is supported by the discovery of a few Chernyakhov sites, and particularly of the grave of a princely-status "migrator" on the site of the former Roman legionary fortress of Potaissa (although the identification of the deceased as a Goth is speculative).
^ a: Romanian archaeological interpretation: A critique of archaeological interpretation in Romania is contained in an online paper by A-G. Niculescu: Nationalism and the Representation of Society in Romanian Archaeology. The main points of that critique may be summarised as follows: The interpretation of archaeological data by many Romanian historians[who?] and archaeologists[who?] has been criticised by some outsiders[who?], and in recent years by some Romanian archaeologists themselves,[who?] as being unduly conditioned by preconceived notions of the ethnological history of Dacia[original research?]. In particular, according to the critics, data has often been selectively and tendentiously used to support the paradigm of "Geto-Daco-Roman" continuity[original research?] during the medieval era, to the exclusion of other possible interpretations. The paradigm portrays the indigenous Geto-Dacians as a culturally homogenous population, who were numerically predominant, during the Roman era, throughout the territory of modern Romania or a bigger region. During the period of Roman occupation of Dacia (106-275), the paradigm claims that the Geto-Dacians uniformly abandoned their original Dacian language in favour of Latin - despite the fact that the Romans only occupied about half of the claimed Geto-Dacian region. After the end of the Roman occupation in 270-5, the Geto-Daco-Romans[original research?] preserved their numerical majority, culture and language despite repeated migration into the region of extraneous peoples (Sarmatic, Germanic, Slavic, Turkic etc) during the succeeding centuries. The indigenous population remained distinct from these "migrators", whose influence on the Daco-Romans is characterised as superficial and transitory, as their culture was supposedly inferior to the more "civilised" Daco-Romans.[not in citation given]
^ b: Material culture and ethnicity: The view that specific ethnic groups can be defined by reference to notional material "cultures" discerned by archaeologists has been generally discredited since the 1960's.
The traditional approach to archaeological interpretation was defined in the 1920's by Gordon Childe as follows: "We find certain types of remains - pots, implements, ornaments, burial sites, house forms - constantly recurring together. Such a complex of regularly associated traits we shall term a "cultural group" or just a "culture". We assume that such a complex is the material expression of what today would be called a "people". This is precisely the methodology adopted by most Romanian archaeologists until recent years.[original research?]
But the eminent modern archaeologist Colin Renfrew notes that "since the 1960's, it has been recognised...that to equate such notional "cultures" with peoples is extremely hazardous... The notion that such features as pottery decoration are automatically a sign of ethnic affiliation has been challenged". "The traditional explanations rest on assumptions that are easily challenged today. First, there is the notion that archaeological "cultures" can somehow represent real entities rather than simply the classificatory terms devised for the convenience of the scholar. Second, is the view that ethnic units or "peoples" can be recognised from the archaeological record by equation with these notional cultures. It is in fact clear that ethnic groups do not always stand out clearly in archaeological remains. Third, it is assumed that when resemblances are noted between the cultural assemblages of one area or another, this can be most readily explained as the result of a migration of people. Of course, migrations did in fact occur, but they are not so easy to document archaeologically as has often been supposed".
The consequences of this change in interpretative theory are manifold and profound. It is now recognised that the geographical boundaries of material "cultures" (as discerned by archaeologists) often do not coincide with the territories of ethnic groups, as determined from other evidence. Concomitantly, it has been demonstrated that several ethnic groups may share a relatively homogenous material culture while maintaining their distinct ethnic identity. In addition, archaeologists today exercise much greater caution in ascribing ethnic significance to the features and artefacts of a material "culture". For example, examination of some early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in SE England suggest that individuals buried with typical "Anglo-Saxon" assemblages of grave-goods were indigenes and not immigrants from the other side of the North Sea. The latter, identified by stable isotope ratios, were found buried in the same cemeteries without grave-goods, undermining the entire edifice of Anglo-Saxon ethnic identification. It continues to be accepted that certain cultural customs and artefacts can have ethnic connotations in particular contexts, but, in contrast to the traditional assumptions made by Romanian archaeologists,[original research?] pottery styles and decorations are today viewed as among the weakest potential indicators of ethnicity, because of their transferability between ethnic groups.
^ c: Roman resettlement policy: It was a long-established Roman imperial policy, dating from the time of Augustus (ruled 30BC - AD 14), to settle 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. But the Illyrian emperors pursued this policy on an unprecendented scale. The emperors' central concern were their own native Danubian provinces, which had been severely depopulated by the smallpox pandemic of 251-70 and by the barbarian incursions during that period. As a result vast tracts of arable land had fallen out of cultivation. This posed a serious threat to army recruitment and supply, since around half the entire army's effectives were recruited, and based, in the Danubian provinces.
Batty's book: Everett L. Wheeler, in an article for the Journal of Military History, heavily criticises Batty's work, Rome and the Nomads: The Pontic-Danubian Realm in Antiquity: "Batty (p. 250), who strangely omits discussion on the Sîntana de Muresh-Cernjachov culture, is skeptical on Romanian scholars’ identification of various ethnicities (Costoboci, Carpi, Bastarnae) with specific material cultures, although his own views lack appreciation of archaic ethnic terms in late authors for various tribes of their own day, and he uncritically accepts material in (e.g.) Pliny’s Natural History, where earlier sources are indiscriminately mixed with contemporary ethnographical descriptions...Batty’s uncritical acceptance of Ovid’s writings from Tomis as accurate ethnography (Rome and the Nomads pp. 320–38) partially finds correction in J. G. F. Hinds: Ovid and the Barbarians beyond the Lower Danube (Tristia II.191–2; Strabo Geog VII.3.17), Dacia 51 (2007): 241–45" 
 See also
- ^ a b Barrington Atlas Plate 22
- ^ Hist. Aug. Gordiani Tres XXVI.3
- ^ Ptolemy III.5.1, 10
- ^ Smith's Carpi
- ^ Maenchen-Helfen Otto J. (1973) 448
- ^ Sir William Smith (1873) , Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography, Volume 2, London, page 917
- ^ a b c d e " Parvan Vasile (1926) 153"
- ^ Bichir (1976) 145
- ^ Köbler *Ker (1)
- ^ Martini, Peter I., Chesworth Ward ((2010) 255
- ^ cf. Bichir (1976) 145
- ^ Müller (1883) 430 (note 5)
- ^ a b "Tomaschek (1883) 403"
- ^ Herodotus IV.17
- ^ Pseudo-Scymnus 842
- ^ Ptolemy III.10
- ^ a b cf. Bichir (1976) 149
- ^ Van Den Gheyn, S. J. (1930) 385
- ^ cf. Bichir (1976) 148-50
- ^ Barrington Atlas Map 22
- ^ Ptolemy III.8.1
- ^ Ptolemy III.8.3
- ^ Ptolemy III.5
- ^ Batty (2008) 250, 378
- ^ Bichir (1976) 141
- ^ Bichir (1976) 144
- ^ a b Bichir (1976) 162-4
- ^ a b Bichir (1976) 4
- ^ Bichir (1976) 7-9
- ^ Bichir (1976) 32 (Table 1)
- ^ Bichir (1976) 24
- ^ Bichir (1976) 51-2
- ^ Bichir (1976) 162-3
- ^ Bichir (1976) 162-4
- ^ Bichir (1976) 150
- ^ Millar (1981) 279
- ^ Heather (2006) 85
- ^ Goffart (2006) 205
- ^ Maenchen-Helfen (1973) 452
- ^ cf Bichir (1976) 146
- ^ a b c d Bichir (1976)
- ^ a b Niculescu Online Paper
- ^ Renfrew (1987) 180-1, 443-5
- ^ Zosimus IV (114)
- ^ Thompson (1982) 446
- ^ Cameron (1969) 247
- ^ cf. Bichir (1976) 145-7
- ^ Maenchen-Helfen Otto J. (1973) 37
- ^ Victor 39.43
- ^ Tacitus Germania 46
- ^ Halsall, Guy (2007), Barbarian migrations and the Roman West, 376-568, Cambridge University Press, p.132
- ^ Matthews, John; Heather, Peter (1991), The Goths in the fourth century, Liverpool University Press p.90
- ^ cf. Bichir (1976) 146
- ^ a b c Sear 2581
- ^ CAH XII 140 (notes 1 and 2)
- ^ Hist Aug. Geta VI.6
- ^ CIL XII.5511
- ^ AE (1905) 179
- ^ CIL II.6345
- ^ CIL II.2200
- ^ Lenski Noel (2006) 338
- ^ a b CIL XIII.8973
- ^ Historia Augusta M. Aurelius 22
- ^ Stathakopoulos (2007) 95
- ^ Tacitus G.43
- ^ Zosimus book I
- ^ Millar (1970) 279
- ^ Jordanes 16
- ^ Gibbon Edward (1792) 254
- ^ a b Zosimus I.20
- ^ a b Hist. Aug. Maximus & Balbinus 16
- ^ Jordanes XVI
- ^ Zosimus I.27, 29, 38
- ^ a b Hist. Aug. Aurelianus 30.4
- ^ Patricius fr. 8
- ^ Hist. Aug. Gordiani Tres XXVI.3
- ^ a b c Jordanes XVI (91)
- ^ Jordanes XVI (89)
- ^ Zosimus III.3
- ^ Ammianus XVI.12.63
- ^ Lactantius, de Mortibus Persecutorum Chapter 4
- ^ a b Zosimus I.15
- ^ Zosimus I.28, 38
- ^ Stathokopoulos (2007) 95
- ^ a b Zosimus I.17-22
- ^ Zosimus I.27-8
- ^ CIL III.1054
- ^ a b c Zosimus I.17
- ^ Zosimus I.
- ^ Zosimus I.22
- ^ Zosimus I.22-3
- ^ Victor XXXIX.43
- ^ Eutropius IX.15
- ^ AE (1973) 526(a)
- ^ a b Eutropius IX.25
- ^ Eusebius VIII.17.3
- ^ AE (1973) 526
- ^ a b Ammianus XXVIII.1.5; XXVII.5.5
- ^ Victor 39.43"
- ^ CIL VIII.8412
- ^ Millar (1970)
- ^ Batty (2008) 377-8
- ^ CIL VI.40776
- ^ Penguin Atlas 87
- ^ a b Ammianus XXXI.3.7
- ^ Ammianus XXXI.9.3
- ^ Niculescu 9
- ^ Niculescu Online paper
- ^ cf. Renfrew (1987) 163
- ^ Renfrew (1987) 160-1
- ^ Renfrew (1987) 445
- ^ Lucy (2005) 103
- ^ Lucy (2005) 92
- ^ Lucy (2005) 106
- ^ Hodder (2001) 198
- ^ Jones (1964)
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- Cambridge Ancient History 1st Ed. Vol. XII (1939): The Imperial Crisis and Recovery
- Cameron, Alan (1969): Theodosius the Great and the Regency of Stilicho in Harvard Studies in Classical Phililogy n. 73
- CIL: Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum ("Corpus of Latin Inscriptions")
- AE: Année Epigraphique ("Epigraphic Year" - periodical)
- Gibbon, Edward (1792): The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire
- Goffart, Walter A. (2006): Barbarian tides: the migration age and the later Roman Empire
- Heather Peter, J. (2007): The fall of the Roman Empire: a new history of Rome and the Barbarians
- Hodder, I. (1994): Archaeological Theory today
- Holder, Paul (2003): Auxiliary Deployment in the Reign of Hadrian
- Peter, J. Heather (2006): The fall of the Roman Empire: a new history of Rome and the Barbarians
- Jones, A.H.M. (1964): Later Roman Empire
- Köbler, Gerhard (2000): Indo-germanisches Wörterbuch (online)
- Lenski Noel Emmanuel (2006): The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, ISBN 978-0-521-81838-4
- Maenchen-Helfen Otto J. (1973) The world of the Huns : studies in their history and culture edited by Max Knight, published by Berkeley, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-01596-7
- Martini, Peter I., Chesworth Ward ((2010): Landscapes and Societies: Selected Cases Springer, ISBN-10: 9048194121, ISBN-13: 978-9048194124
- Millar, Fergus (1970): The Roman Empire and its Neighbours
- Millar, Fergus, (1981): The Roman Empire and its neighbours
- Müller (1883): Edition of Ptolemy's Geographia
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- Sir William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1878)[unreliable source?]
- Philip Smith (1854) in Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography, Volume 1 edited by Sir William Smith
- Stathakopoulos, D. Ch. (2007): Famine and Pestilence in the late Roman and early Byzantine Empire
- Thompson, E.A. (1982): Zosimus 6.10.2 and the Letters of Honorius in Classical Quarterly 33 (ii)
- Tomaschek Gratz University (1883): Les restes de la langue dace in "Le Museon Revue Internationale Volume 2, Louvain"
- Van Den Gheyn, S. J. (1930): Populations Danubiennes, Études D’ethnographie compareee in "Revue des questions scientifiques, Volumes 17-18, 1930" by "Société scientifique de Bruxelles, Union catholique des scientifiques français, ISSN: 0035-2160"