The Dacians, a fearsome tribe from Eastern Europe who certainly knew how to give the Romans a lot of trouble! The Dacians were led by Decebalus who was the last king of Dacia. He is famous for fighting three wars, with varying success, against the Roman Empire under two emperors. After raiding south across the Danube, he defeated a Roman invasion in the reign of Domitian, securing a period of independence during which Decebalus consolidated his rule. When Trajan, came to power, his armies invaded Dacia to weaken its threat to the Roman border territories of Moesia. Decebalus was defeated in 102 AD. He remained in power as a client king, but continued to assert his independence, leading to a final and overwhelming Roman invasion North of the Danube in 105 AD. Trajan reduced the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa in 106 AD to ruins, absorbing some of Dacia into the Empire. Decebalus is reported to have committed suicide to avoid capture by slitting his own throat, just as Roman cavalry were about to overpower and capture him. The final scenes of his death are depicted on Trajan's column, Decebalus is a national hero in his native Romania where a 40 metre statue of him is carved into the rock near Orosva a town overlooking the Danube river. Our first Dacians feature the last stand in 106 AD as they battle the Romans surrounded by cavalry and legionnaires.
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