Burebista (82 BC - 44 BC) was the king of the Geto-Dacians and the founder of the Dacian state.

According to Strabon, Burebista was an impressive political and military leader of the Geto-Dacian lands:

"Arriving at the head of his people who was overwhelmed by frequent wars, Burebista got so excitedly through exercises, abstaining from the wine, and obedience to commandments, that in a few years he had built a strong state, and brought most of the Getae of the neighboring populations, even being feared by the Romans."

Being a perfect leader and military strategist, he succeeded in uniting the Geto-Dacian tribes, and with the help of his tarabostes counsel and with the help of the high priest, Deceneu, managed to introduce a series of administrative measures that played an important role in the consolidation and stability of the state , recruited new people for the administration of agriculture, collection of donations, supervision of compulsory public works, thus making possible the realization of the system of fortifications in Dacia, introduced the system of beligines and spiritually strengthened its own cult.

By his offensive actions he managed to remove the danger of the Celts located in the south and west, the Bastarns to the east and the conquest of the Greek cities on the shores of the Euxin Pontus, stretching their kingdom from the Euxin Pont in the east to Danubis in the Pannonian Plain, in the west, and from the Haemus Mountains in the south to the marshes of Pripet in the north, becoming a potential feared opponent of the powerful Roman Republic.



Image of Burebista

Dacia under Burebista

Dacia during Burebista's time

Founding of the Dacian state

In the first half of the 1st century BC the development of the Dacian society, the strengthening of military tribal aristocracy, its transformation into a political class, and externally the invasions of the Celts and the threat of the Roman Republic constituted a favorable environment for the unification of all Dacian tribes in a state-owned entity.

According to the historian Iordanes, Burebista begins his reign around 82 BC, which was calculated on the basis of Sylla's coming to power in Rome. Burebista was the master of a territory in the hinterland of Histria, having its capital in Argedava, and as his mastery stretched on both sides of the Danube it is possible to have moved his capital to the Plain of Muntenia in Argedava from Popeşti on the river Argeş. This move was made for political and strategic reasons, as Argeava Dobrogean could not control the occupied territory as it grew its territory to the west, and from a military point of view, being located on the right bank of the Danube, would have greatly hampered the defense actions. At this point, probably the frequent passes of the river, which Strabon remembers, is boldly passing through the Danube and robbing Thrace - to Macedonia and Illyria, in order to strengthen the control of space from the south of the Danube to the Haemus Mountains. Thus, the northern, eastern and southern boundaries of the kingdom are relatively stable, with Geto-Dacian tribes in the north, with the Mitridates VI kingdom in the east, and the Balkans in the south, and in order to consolidate the western border it launched an offensive against Scordis, established around 278 BC in the vicinity of Mount Scordus. This prestigious victory over a Celtic nation is supposed to have facilitated the union process with the Dacian tribes of the intracarpatic arc threatened by the Celtic tribes of the oxen and the Tauris in the Pannonian Plain.

The unification of the Geto-Dacian tribes ended around the period of 60 BC-59 BC, when Burebista began the campaign against the celts on the Middle Danube in the Panonic Basin. During this period, the center of power moves in the mountains of Orastie and the capital at Costesti.

Burebista's kingdom reached its maximum extent after the eastern campaign of 55 BC against the cities of Pontus Euxin, after which it conquered the army of Greek cities from Olbia to Apollonia Pontica.

Army and military campaigns

Burebista succeeded in unifying the Geto-Dacian tribes, relying on a strong army force that was faithful to him. At the peak, the Burebista's army was estimated at 200,000 people, a number that Basil Pârvan reckons rather modestly than exaggerated, but this number was not unanimously accepted by the community of historians of the 20th century.

Burebista's army consisted of two main categories of forces: the king's army, more or less permanent, and an army of contingents led by the former chiefs of political formations now Burebista's generals. There are no ancient sources for the exact composition of the military composition of the military, but historians and military historians are of the opinion, by analogy with the composition of the enemy armies of the Celts and Romans, that Burebista's army consisted of pedestrian troops, troops, troops for siege machines, specialists in the fortification building, the Danube flotilla and a Black Sea fleet after the conquest of the Pontic Fortresses.

The cavalry was less effective than the Dacian army and recruited from the hillside and hill areas where the horses were growing. The Cavalry had a research role, providing communication links, and harassing the enemy by surprise. Often, the horse was used as a means of transport to the place of battle, where the fighters fled and fought as pedestrian troops. The appreciation of the Danube flotilla and the Black Sea Fleet of historians before 1989, in the absence of ancient sources, are regarded as tendentious and sometimes exaggerated.

Regarding the organizational structure of the army, Ion Horaţiu Crisan formulated the hypothesis that the units were led by the tarabostes, and the subunits by the comates.

The military campaigns undertaken by Burebista did not have the predilection expedition, but they had political reasons and aimed as a fundamental objective the containment of the territories belonging to the Geto-Dacians and the securing of borders. Also, Burebista did not pursue the creation of a large state consisting of a conglomerate of populations, like the Oriental despots, but aimed at the founding of a state with homogeneous structures from an ethnic point of view.

Campaigns Against Celts

The Celtic Threat was the closest to the cradle of the Dacian state, considering that the oxen and the bulls had arrived in the third century BC. to Tisza, expanding more and more over the territories inhabited by ancient Geto-Dacians. Thus, the elimination of the Celtic danger was the first objectively targeted by Burebista, and in this sense it undertook a series of offensive actions against them, around 60 BC.

Strabon's summary information did not allow accurate timing of these campaigns:

"... He was still afraid of the Romans too, because it was fearless and passed through Thrace to Macedonia and Illyria. He thus devastated the Celts who mingled with the Thracians and the Illyrians, and the oxen, who were under the obedience of Critasiros, and the bulls, wiped them off the face of the earth."

But it is supposed that the first action took place to eliminate the predatory incursions of the Scordis, established around 278 BC. in the vicinity of Mount Scordus, in the territories inhabited by the Dacians south of the Danube. This attack against the Scordis started from Argeva from Popeşti and it was realized by surprise considering that the troop movement took place on the left bank of the Istr, and the passage of the river was done somewhere in the current county of Mehedinţi and probably pushed the scordisci to Singidunum, so that they were defeated, but not utterly destroyed, because the latter were allies. But after this severe defeat, the Scordis were no longer recorded in any source of the ancient world during the first century BC.

Burebista Statue Calarasi

The statue of Burebista in the municipal park in Calarasi

After joining with the Geto-Dacian tribes of the intracarpat, with a military force to be appreciated, overcome only by the Roman Republic, Burebista undertook a flashing campaign against the Celtic tribe of the oxen led by Critasiros, as well as against their allies, bulls and defeated them, somewhere in today's Bratislava area, probably at Zemplín. It is assumed that the itinerary followed by Burebista's army was marked by the burial of monetary treasures at Tótfalu, Stupova, Bratislava, Simmering, etc.

The effect of this campaign was the total destruction of tauris and oxen:

"And when they were afraid in the wilderness of the tabernacle, the oxen dwelt there with the bullocks, fighting against the Dacians, until they were destroyed with the whole tribe; their land, which belonged to Illyria, left it deserted to the neighbors to grazing it."

The result was a massive migration of the Celts to Western Europe, the taurikish remains scattered to Noricum, and the oxen to Gaia, and the borders of Dacia expanded to the confluence of the Morava River with the Middle Danube, Burebista's dominance has come to bind with that of Ariovistus.

The campaign against the Greek colonies of Pontus Euxin

Burebista's campaign in 55 BC against the cities of the Euxin Pontus can only be understood on the background of the power vacuum caused by the fall of Mitridates the 6th Eupator and the withdrawal of Pompey from the Orient as well as a consequence of the successful revolt of 62-61 BC . against Caius Antonius Hybrida.

In the years 73 BC-72 BC the Pontic Greek cities, under the protection of Mitridates the 6th Eupator, are conquered by Roman general Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus, eliminating Mitridates from the West-Pontic political scape. A decade later, the fortress revolted against the governor of Macedonia, Caius Antonius Hybrida, because they could no longer stand up to his abuses. Hybrida organized an expedition against the rebels, but was defeated by Greeks, allies with bastards, near Histria.

In this context, the creation of a void of authority, Burebista decides to subdue the fortresses on the shore of the Euxin Pont. Considering that the ancient sources unequivocally refer to the fact that the first conquered city was Olbia from the mouths of the Bug, it is assumed that the first campaign of Burebista started from the extra-Carpathian area of ​​Moldova, in the area of ​​the Siret crowds, Zargidava, Tamasidava and Piroboridava. After the conquest of Olbia, Burebista's troops moved along the shores of Euxin Pontus and conquered Tyrasul. It is possible that the olibiopolitan fleet would have followed Burebista's arm along a parallel itinerary along the coast.

The second stage of the Pontic Fortress campaign started from Dobrogea and ended with the conquest of Histria, Tomis, Mesembria, Dionysopolis, to Apollonia Pontica. Making it the first and largest of the kings of Thrace, as he calls a Greek inscription dedicated to Acornion of Dionysios.

Relations with Rome

The rise of the state to the limitations of Ariovistus's suzerainty was viewed by Rome with fear, for a union of the Dacians with the Swords could create a difficult alliance, so Caesar had been assigned to the provinces of Gaul Cisalpine and Illyria, where he could hold under observation and against the possible offensive actions of sues and Dacians. Burebista and Ariovistus did not join, but the Sudean prince entered Gaul, where his army was crushed in 58 BC. by the army of Caesar. The Burebista, however, turned its attention to the southeast, where the Roman danger was more clearly defined by the occupation of the Pontic Fortresses.

After the death of Crassus in a 53rd century struggle. against the parties, the triumvirate ceased to exist, and Caesar and Pompey began to sharpen their power more and more. The first battle between the two took place on June 7, 48 BC. at Dyrrhachium and ended with Pompey's victory. Considering that the theater of confrontation between the two rivals was the Balkan Peninsula, in the immediate vicinity of the lower Danube, Burebista could not remain indifferent to what was happening. Then, after the conquest of the Greek cities of Pontus Euxin, Burebista had to obtain recognition of his borders from Rome. Thus he was forced to take part of one of the two.

An alliance with Caesar was inconceivable, as he was a promoter of expansionary policy, could not tolerate the existence of a strong structure near the borders of the Roman Republic, but Pompey in the Orient had preferred a policy of organizing a system of allied or clientele. Thus, Burebista decided to support Pompey against Caesar. The conditions of the alliance with Pompey were established between 7 June and 9 August 48 BC. at Heraclea Lyncesis, in Macedonia, between Burebista's messengers led by Acornion and Pompey. The Battle of August 9, 48 BC, conducted at Pharsalus, which led to the final defeat of Pompey, made the alliance between Pompey and Burebista no longer possible.

After Pompey's defeat, the obedience of Dacia and the Partie became a major objective in Cezar's foreign policy, and in this sense concentrated 16 legions and 10,000 horsemen in Illyria, but Caesar's assassination in mid-March 44 .Hr., just four days before his departure over the Adriatic Sea, led to the annulment of this attack.

Burebista was also removed and probably assassinated by a group of plotters about the same time.

The death of Burebista and the breakup of the Dacian state

Burebista was removed and murdered after a rebellion in 44 BC, and the kingdom of Dacia broke in four and then in five parts. The center around the Orastie Mountains, after Burebista's death, remained under Deceneu's rule.

"The Burebista was overthrown by a plot plotted against him by a handful of people, before the Romans sent an expedition against him. His followers broke up, dismantling the country in several regions. Even now, when Caesar Augustus sent an army against them, they were divided into five regions, before they were four. Indeed, these territorial divisions are made by circumstances and appear when, in a way, when in another. "

Read other interesting stories here:

Interesting read? Get also inspired by the HISTORY of: CLAUDIUS

Interesting read? Get also inspired by the HISTORY of: CONSTANTINE THE GREAT

Interesting read? Get also inspired by the HISTORY of: DECEBALUS

Interesting read? Get also inspired by the HISTORY of: DECENEUS

Interesting read? Get also inspired by the HISTORY of: HERODOTUS