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Dacians on the Southern Bank of the Danube

Author(s): A. Alföldi
Source: The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 29, Part 1 (1939), pp. 28-31
Published by: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/296418 .
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DACIANS ON THE SOUTHERN BANK OF THE DANUBE

By A. ALFOLDI

(Plates ii, iii)

A new military diploma, acquired by the Hungarian National


Museum (pls. ii, iii, i), furnishes us with fresh evidence of Dacian
settlements south of the Danube. We publish this new document
with the kind permission of Professor Paulovics, Keeper of Roman
Antiquities in that museum. Only the front leaf of the diploma
hias been discovered; the statement of the dealer, that it was
found in the Danube near Nicopol in Bulgaria, is trustworthy.
The tablet is slightly damaged on the right top of the front side,
but this does not obscure the reading; it measures 94 by i i 8
millimetres and is i *5millimetres thick. It weighs I I 3 *I 5 grammes.

The text runs on the front side as follows:


Imp. Caesar, divi Vespasiani f., Domitianus IAugustus
Germanicus, pontifex max[imus], Itribunic. potestat. ViII., imp.
xvii., co[s. xIIII], I censor perpetuus, p.p. I
equitibus et peditibus, qui militant in a[lis] ( tribus et
cohortibus decem et septem, [quae] I appellantur ii. Pannoni-
orum, III. Augusta I Thracum, veterana Gallica, i. Flavia
civilum Romanorum, i. milliaria, i. Lucensium, I i. Ascaloni-
tanorum, i. Sebastena, I. Ituraelorum, i. Numidarum, II.
Italica civium Rolmanorum, ii. Thracum civium Romanolrum,
ii. classica, iII. Augusta Thracum, iii. I Thracum Syriaca, IIII.
Bracaraugustanorum, IIII. Syriaca, IIII. Callaecorum Lucen-
silum, Augusta Pannoniorum, Musulamiorum, I et sunt in
Syria sub P. Valerio Patruino, qui quilna et vicena stipendia
aut plura meruerant, I quorum nomina subscripta sunt, ipsis
libelris posterisque eorum civitatem dedit et colnubium cum
uxoribus quas tunc habuissent, I cum est civitas iis data, aut,
si qui caelibes eslsent, cum iis, quas postea duxissent dumta(xat
singuli singulas. A.d. vi. idus Novembr. M. Otacilio Catulo,
Sex. Julio Sparso cos.
cohort. Musulamiorum, cui praest M. Caecilius Sep-
tember, I pediti I Gorio, Stibi f., Dacus.
Descriptum et recognitum ex tabula ae nea quae fixa
est Romae in Capitolio in I latere sinistro tabulari publici.

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DACIANS ON THE SOUTHERN BANK OF THE DANUBE 29

On the inner side we read the first half of the same text:
Imp. Caesar, divi Vespasiani f., Domitia nus Augustus Germani-
cus, pontifex I maximus, tribunic. potestat. viii., imp. I xvii,
Cos. xiiiI., censor perpetuus, p.p. I
equitibus et peditibus, qui militant in alis I tribus et
cohortibus decem et septem, quae I appellanturii. Pannoniorum,
iII. Augusta I Thracum, veterana Gallica, i. Flavia civilum
Romanorum,i. milliaria,i. Lucensium, II. Ascalonitanorum,
i. Sebastena,I. Itulraeorum, I. Numidarum,II. Italica civilum
Romanorum,II. Thracum civium I Romanorum, II. classica,
III. Augusta Thracum, III. Thracum Syriaca, IIII. Bracarl
augustanorum,IIII. Syriaca, IIII. Callaecorum Lucensium,
Augusta Panno I
The general contents of this document are not novel. We
already knew the same imperial decree issued in A.D. 88 from
another diploma (CIL xvi, 35). I. Welkow, R. Cagnat, and
H. Nesselhauf, who dealt with this latter document, have already
pointed out the new data which it contains: the names of the
consules suffecti and the ' ordre de bataille' of the Syrian army
in that epoch. There is a slight difference between the two exempla
of this decree: the formerly known copy is dated 7th November,
the new one 8th. The difference is certainly due to an error of
the copyist; as the Nicopol tablet is written very hurriedly, with
irregularletters, and as the more accuratescript of the other diploma
inspires more confidence, the date of the latter is probably correct.
It is a welcome coincidence that both examples of that decree
are concerned with a soldier of the cohors Musulamiorum. The
other belonged pediti Bitho, Sevthi f., Besso, who left his diploma
in his native Thracian soil. So it may be that both veterans
came back from Syria together to the Danube lands or the Balkans,
whence levies for the African troop of the Musulamii were drawn
at the time of their enlistment (under Nero).
The Dacian Gorio, Stibifilius, was not a native of Transylvania,
the originalhome of his tribe : this country was not yet conquered,
and in those early days free barbarians could not yet be enlisted
in the Auxilia, as centuries later. It is plain that Gorio came
from the environs of Nicopol, where his certificate was found.
Another Dacian who lived south of the Danube on Moesian soil
was already known from the diploma (CIL xvi, I3) found by the
river Ciabrus (the modern Tzibritza in Bulgaria). In this country
must have been the home of Tutio, Buti f., Dacus, who was
discharged, A.D. 7I, from the fleet of Misenum. The optio of the
fleet of Ravenna, Q. Decimius Dacus (CIL xi, 28), whose wife
bears the Thracian name, Mocazio, also seems to have been one
of these Dacians of Moesia.

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30 A. ALFOLDI

These southern Dacians are also mentioned by Cassius


Dio 7: oi 5? (AaKoi) Tfr caq"oTEpc TOr IcYTpOrp
51, 22, V?0oVTri,aAA'
oi pEV TL TcE QUTOJ KQ T-pO' TI TpIPaA;iKfi olKoUVTE& 'E TE TOV TT1&
Mucxiac vopov TIAQUcY Iir Muaoi, Aov irapa6 TOI& Tvu
r ?rXopiOI,
ovop 3ovTal, oi &? ??KElVc' AQKOi K?K;rvT, ?1T? Ei F?Tai TIVS E?iTE Kai
Op6KES TOXJ AaKiKOV- YEVOVJ TOV TflV Po50,V TrOTE EVOIKlc(aVTO& OVTES.
How this people reached the southern bank of that great river,
we learn from Strabo 7, 303: ETI yaXp ?p' ij8@v AI'2Aos
KaToro?ETCOKI(EV
?K T-fl TrEpcaci TOU "lo-Tpov TrEVTE pUpi'aoaS aYC1a`TCoV 1Tcpa T@CV FE-Trv,
opOy;kCOTTOU TO& OpGp(iv E'eVOVJ, EL&TT)V Opq'KilV K-Kl VUV OiKoUCIxvaTO6eI
Moicol Ka6AokPEVO1,"-TOtKat1TCoVTrpOTEpOVO1JTcoKaAoUpvcov, Ev
v T8 'Acyfa
Mucx v PEToVopa(UeE'VT, C) ?
OTiEp 0KE?1oTEpOV EOTI T ; icxTopia Kad Trl
acTro0a(cEI TOV TrOIrTOV, TCOV EV TC OpfKl Muxcrv KaAOUvv rp6TEpOV.
That the Getae of Strabo really are Dacians is the unanimous
opinion of historians. It is an obvious fact that the Greeks
classified foreign peoples after their ethnographical types and
liked to name them after the main representative of the group;
so in this case too.
Aelius Catus might have transplanted the 5o,ooo Dacians to
Moesia in the first years A.D., as R. Syme suggested.1 The purpose
of this measure can be understood from a well-known passage of
Florus (epit. ii, 28), which recounts the measures taken by Augustus
to punish the Dacians for their raids: ' visum est Caesari Augusto
gentem aditu difficillimam summovere. misso igitur Lentulo
ultra ulteriorem perpulit ripam ; citra praesidia constituta. sic
tum Dacia non victa, sed summota atque dilata est.' A. v. Premer-
stein has already suggested that summovere and differre Dacos
might have included the evacuation of the bordering zone north
of the river through such compulsory migrations of its inhabitants
to the south. By the same policy a hundred thousand barbarians
were conducted under Nero from the Roumanian plains to what
is now northern Bulgaria,2 no doubt a large number of Dacians
among them.
The distinguished and much regretted Roumanian scholar,
Vasile Parvan, supposed that a native Dacian population existed also
in the Dobrudja.3 But the Thracian topographical and personal
names he quotes 4 did not belong to that people, but to the other
_'YRS xxiv, I934, I26 f., I29. Cf. also I9I2, 24 ff.; ' Cetatea Ulmetum ' (Analele
A. v. Premerstein, j7ahreshefte d. Osterr. Acad. rom., mem. sect. istorice xxxiv, I9I2,
Arch. Inst. i, Beibl. I56 f., and in the same 79, 90); Inceputurile vietii romane la gurile
review xxix, I934, 70 f. C. Patsch, Beitrage Dundrii I923, io6 ff. Cf. also ' I primordi
zur V7lkerkunde von Siidosteuropa V/i della civiltI romana alle foci del Danubio'
(Sitzungsber., Akad. d. Wiss. in Wien, phil.- (Ausonia x, I92I, I87 ff.).
hist. KI., Bd. 2I4, Abh. I), I932, I1I3;
E. Groag, PIR2 no. I57; F. Miltner, Klio 4 Personal names such as Dasas, Dases,
XXX, I937, 200 ff. Dasianus, Dasius, Dasmus, Daza, Dazas,
2 ILS 986. The modern literature is Dazanus, Dazios, Daziscos, etc., are very
noticed in CAH xi, I934, 85, n. 4. common among Illyrians. Cf. H. Krahe,
3 V. Parvan, ' Cetatea Tropaeum,' Bule- Lexikon altillyrischer Personennamen (Indo-
tinul comisiunii monumentelor istorice iv, germ. Bibl., Bd. 9, Abt. iii), 1929, 34 ff.

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DACIANS ON THE SOUTHERN BANK OF THE DANUBE 31

branch of the Northern Thracians, the Getae, whose kingdoms


between the Balkan range and the Danube had been established
from a remote period. We can follow their history fairly well
from the moment Dareios conquered them to their subjugation by
M. Crassus in 29 B.C. and in the following year.5 Then the rich
lands in the south of the Danube delta also were colonised with new
settlers. They were Thracians from the south Bessi and Laae
(Laiaioi).6 Yet also some Dacians must have been introduced
sooner or later to the Dobrudja by Roman governors, as to Lower
Moesia. This is proved by their mention on the inscription CIL
ii, I44372 from the neighbourhood of Tropaeum Traiani, now in
the National Museum, Bucharest. The preservation of the stone,
however, is bad and the reconstruction given by Domaszewski
hazardous; the photograph (pl. iii, 2) obtained by the kindness
of Prof. P. Nicorescu does not allow much improvement in the
reading. In any case, the demarcation of the territory of those
Daci against a small romanised settlement shows that they should
only represent a smaller group of consistenteson Roman soil.
The names Tutio, Butif., and Gorio, Stibif., offer us a very
valuable supplement to the meagre series of Dacian nomenclature:
in Dacia itself Thracian names are rare on inscriptions, owing to
the extermination of that warliketribe by the Roman conquerors.7
5 E. Roesler, Die Geten und ihre Nachbarn i, I898,
Nordgriechenlands 62 ff.; V. Parvan,
(Sitzungsber., Akad. d. Wiss. in Wien, phil.- Getica 1926, 77, 89 :230 ff.; C. Patsch,
hist. K1., xliv, I863, 140 ff); G. Zippel, Die op. cit., 37 ff., 77 ff.; A. v. Domaszewski,
rom. Herrschaft in Illyricen, I877, 32 f.; W. Neue Heidelberger Jahrbiicher i, I90 ff.;
Tomaschek, Die alten Thraker i, I893, 89, A. Alfoldi, CAH xi, 1936, 79 ff.
93 ff.; W. Millenhoff, Deutsche Altertum- 6 S. Casson, JRS XVii, 1927, 97 ff.
skunde iii, I892, 131 ff., 143 f.; A. v. 7 A complete list of the c. 2300 personal
Premerstein, Jahreshefte i, i898, Beibl. I52, names of the inscriptions of Dacia will be
I74 f., I78 ff.; B. Pick, Die ant. Miinzen published shortly by my pupil, A. Kerenyi.

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JRS vol. xxix (1939) PLATE II

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JRS vol. xxix (I93) PLATE III

I. N_OPL BUGRA_NE IEO RN EFO IIAYDPOA(LT i


FON IN TH_IE AUEADNWI HEHNAINNTOA UEM

BUDP_ +l(Sep 8_.TOAU RIN:INCIE TN,CLii 43


REODN BONDR _DE(U)DCO),6 .WD IHLTES
67c. HG,NWI TENTOA MUEM BUCHAET(e .

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