|This is a list of kings of the ancient land of Dacia. The chronology may not be very precise, since many of the Greek and Roman documents on Dacian history have been lost in time.|
Zalmoxis Σάλμοξις (or Salmoxis Σάλμοξις, Zamolxis Σάμολξις, Samolxis Σάμολξις) was a semi-mythical social and religious reformer, regarded as the only true God by the Thracian Dacians (also known in the Greek records as Getae Γέται). According to Herodotus (IV. 95 sq.), the Getae, who believed in the immortality of the soul, looked upon death merely as going to Zalmoxis, as they knew the way to becoming immortals.
Charnabon was a king of the Getae, mentioned in Sophocles' tragedy Triptolemos as ruling the Getae, without a precise geographical location of his kingdom.
Dromichaetes was ruler of the Getae north of Danube (present day Romania) around 300 BC. His capital was named "Helis" and was probably located somewhere in the Romanian Plain (in Wallachia). Ancient chronicles (Diodorus Siculus, Polybius, Plutarch, Pausanias) recorded his victory over Lysimachus, King of Thrace and former general of Alexander the Great. The most remarkable thing about Dromichaetes was his diplomacy. After he captured Lysimachus a symbolic feast was staged in which, Lysimachus was given the best food and ate from silver plates whilst, the Getae ate modest food from wooden plates. Eventually Lysimachus was set free and was offered lavish gifts, a peaceful relationship between he and the Getae being thus established. The peace between the Getae and Lysimachus was strenghtened further by the marriage between Dromichaetes and Lysimachus' daughter.
Burebista, the greatest king of Dacia, ruled between 70 BC and 44 BC. Dacian Kingdom, during the rule of Burebista, 82 BC Enlarge Dacian Kingdom, during the rule of Burebista, 82 BC. He unified the Thracian population from Hercinica (modern day Moravia) in the West, to the Bug in the East and from Northern Carpathians to Dionysopolis, choosing his capital (called Argedava or Sargedava) near Costesti (the Orastie hills - see Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains).
The real name of Burebista was lost, but his fame was remembered by the Greek writers through the name of Byrebistas. The spiritual center of the kingdom was called by Strabon Kagaion, the holy mountain, and is thought to be localized somewhere in the Bucegi mountains. On the south of Danube, the Proconsul of the province of Macedonia, the general Varro Lucullus, during the second Mithridatic War (74–72 BC) occupied the Greek cities on the west coast of the Black Sea from Apollonia to the Danube Delta. The Greek inhabitants of the conquered cities asked Burebista for help and the Roman army of Gaius Antonius Hybrida was defeated near Histria. The Greek cities of Tomis, Calatis, Dionysopolis and Apollonia then agreed to become part of Burebista's kingdom. Burebista continued his incursion in the region, conquering Aliobrix (Cartal, southern Bessarabia, now part of Ukraine), Tyras and Odessas.
In 48 BC, Burebista interfered with the internal Roman dispute between Julius Caesar and Pompey, choosing the latter as an ally. Three years later Caesar defeated his adversary and planned on sending legions to punish Burebista, but on March 15, 44 BC before the decisive battle, Caesar was assassinated in the Senate. Within the same year Burebista had died in unknown circumstances.
Due to the lack of written information regarding the getae - Dacians history, many important names related to their civilization remain either unknown or controversial. The controversy regarding the name of this king came after the discovery of golden coins in scripted with the word KOSON in Greek characters. Such coins have been discovered in great number in Transylvania and has captured the attention of writers from the XVIth century. Thus, there are comments from Erasmus of Rotterdam in 1520 and Stefan Zamosius in 1593.
Coins inscripted KOSON have been discovered in several big treasures hoards in Transylvania. The first thesaurus has been discovered in 1543, having several thousands coins and objects made of gold. It has been told that this thesaurus has been revealed in a bolted chamber under the river Strei, identified as the river Sargetia, also mentioned by Dio Cassius.Further research confirms this and places the thesaurus in one of the Dacians castles in Orastiei mountains, probably in Sarmisegetusa.
Decebalus (ruled 87-106 AD) (Decebal in Romanian) was a Dacian king. After the death of Great King Burebista, Dacia split into four or five small states. The situation continued until Decebalus managed to consolidate the core of Dacia around Sarmizegetusa in todays Hunedoara county. He reorganized the Dacian army and in 85 the Dacians began raiding the heavily fortified Roman province of Moesia, located south of the Danube.
Domitian decided to send his prefect of the Praetorian Guards, Cornelius Fuscus, to punish and conquer the Dacians, but the two Roman legions sent were defeated and their battle standards (eagles) were captured by the Dacians.
Another attack on Dacia, in 88 AD, was successful, but revolts of the Germans on the Rhine required the military force of Moesia and the Romans were forced to pay large sums of money in the form of tribute to the Dacians for maintaining peace in this region. This humiliating situation continued until Trajan acceded as Emperor of the Roman Empire in 98 AD. He immediately engaged in a series of military campaigns that defeated the Dacians and expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest reach.
Decebalus was defeated by the Romans when they invaded Dacia in 102 AD, but he was left as a client king under a Roman protectorate. Three years later Decebalus destroyed the Roman troops in Dacia resulting in a final Roman invasion that conquered Dacia and removed Decebalus from power.
Other Dacian chiefs
Diegis was a Dacian chief, the brother of Decebalus and his representative at the peace negotiations held with Domitian (89 AD).
Vezina was the Dacian high priest during the reign of Decebalus, the most important man in the Kingdom after Decebalus. He took part in the Battle of Tapae in 88 AD.
Seuthes was a general in the army of Dromihete who, pretending to be a traitor, joined the army of Lysimachus and helped the Getae capture the Macedonians.
Zoltes was a chief of the southern Thracians, living in the Haemus mountains area. Leading small groups, he often made incursions into the Pontic cities and their territories. He attacked the city of Hystria, calling off the siege only after having received 7500 drachmas and 5 talents (approx. 30000 drachmas).