Map of Roman Dacia

Map of Roman Dacia


Roman Dacia in the digital era

The province of Roman Dacia is one of the last territories conquered by the Roman Empire and one of the earliest, which was left already in the late 3rd century AD. Still, in less than 170 years, Romans changed the natural environment, built at least 10 urban centers, 100 legionary or auxiliary forts and around 300 other military buildings, more than 4000 inscriptions and thouands of other figurative monuments, small finds and other archaeological material. This huge materiality of Roman presence will mark deeply the history of this area of Europe even after the collapse of the Empire. The Roman heritage marked not only the history of the people from the Balkans – especially the neo-latin speaking Romanians – but also the cultural, economic and political events in early Medieval and also, during the Renaissance period. The Roman heritage was always known in ethongraphic traiditions, foklore, and since the 15th century built and used in the political and cultural narratives and identities in the 19th and 20th century.

The academic study of Roman Dacia produced thousands of articles and books in the last 150 years. Only on Roman religion there are around 1400 titles “produced” in the last two centuries.

However, in the last few years, digital humanities changed also the study of Roman Dacia. There are numerous studies already available online in academia.edu or Sci-Hub. The EDH Epigraphic Database from Heidelberg has now more than 3500 inscriptions of the province, the Clauss-Slaby has 4222 inscriptions online. A complex and interactive population database is available for Dacia on the Romans1by1 project.

More than 2200 figurative monuments were photographed by Ortolf Harl from Roman Dacia and inclued in his amazing lupa.at project. Without the CSIR volumes of Romania – which are still not done – the work of Harl is indispensable. Few objects from Dacia are digitized also in the LIMC and Arachne projects. A part of the Roman bronz statuettes are available online too. Numerous books and articles on Roman Dacia are digitized by the National Institute of Heritage on their CIMEC.ro page too. 3468 arhaeological sites from Roman period are included in the National Archeological Repertory. 12.000 archaeological objects are introduced in the National Heritage, however many of them are without photographic documentation and only a part of them are from the Roman era. The archaeological sites of the Roman Limes are under documentation by the National Limes Comission. A very useful holistic digital map of the Roman Empire you can find also on the vici.org page. Numerous other cartographic representations of the Roman World – the ORBIS, Pelasgios or the Barington map – represents also Dacia.

The coin hoards of the province were systematically published by C. Găzdac. Cities, mines and other economic unites were also included in the various databases of the Oxford Economic Project. The RGZM has also numerous databases on terra sigillata, or Roman provincial archaeology, each with few mentions on Dacia too.

Finally, as part of my project focusing on Roman religious communication in the Danubian provinces, I finished the Digital Atlas of Roman sanctuaries from Dacia.


Ardevan 2010 - Ardevan, Radu, La divisione amministrativa della Dacia Romana nella storiografia. In: Zerbini, Livio (ed.), Roma e le province del Danubio. Atti del I Convegno Internazionale. Rubbettino, 2010, 279 – 289

Ardevan – Zerbini 2013 - Ardevan, Radu – Zerbini, Livio, I romani nelle province danubiane. In: Forma Urbis. Anno XVIII. nr. 11., November 2013, 6.

Bărbulescu 2005 - Bărbulescu, Mihai (ed.), Atlas – dicţionar al Daciei romane. Tribuna, 2005

Bărbulescu – Nemeti 2008 - Bărbulescu, Mihai – Nemeti, Sorin, Territorium Arcobadarense. In: Ephemeris Napocensis XVII – XVIII, 2008, 107 – 118.

Carbonara 2012 - Carbonara, Antonio, La Roma di Benito Mussolini: Via dei Fori Imperiali e la carte geografiche. In: Corriere di Puglia. 2012, July, 20

Cronica 2013- Cronica cercetărilor arheologice. Campania 2012. Ministerul Culturii – Muzeul Olteniei, Craiova, 2013

Dana – Nemeti 2012 - Dana, Dan – Nemeti, Sorin, Ptolémée et la toponymie de la Dacie. In: Classica et Christiana VII, 2012, 431 – 437

De Sena 2011-De Sena, Eric, Porolissum and the late – Roman and immediate post – Roman economy of Dacia (225 – 375): the evidence of pottery. In: Menchelli, Simoneta – Santoro, Sara, LRCW 3 : late Roman coarse wares, cooking wares and amphorae in the Mediterranean : comparison between Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Oxford, 2011, 963 – 972.

Döhner 2011- Döhner, Gregor et ali, Neue Forschungen in Kastell von Porolissum. In: Kölner und Bonner Archaeologica. 2011, 93 – 103.

Fodorean 2013-Fodorean, Florin, The topography and the landscape of Roman Dacia. BAR International Series 2501, 2013

Găzdac 2006 - Găzdac, Cristian, Recenzie. In: Studia Universitatis Babeş – Bolyai, Historia 51., I., 2006, 142 – 148.

Găzdac 2012 - Găzdac, Cristian, The Roman Auxiliary Fort at Buciumi (Roman Dacia, Romania). Coins in archaeological context. BAR International Series, 2381, Oxford, 2012

Gudea 1997 - Gudea, Nicolae, Die Dakische Limes. Materialen zu seiner Geschichte. Jahrbuch der Römich – Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz. 44, 1997

Gudea – Lobüscher 2006- Gudea, Nicolae – Lobüscher, Thomas, Dacia. Eine römische Provinz zwischen Karpaten und Schwarzem Meer. Philipp von Zabern Verlag, 2006.

Grumeza 2013 - Grumeza, Lavinia, Animal inhumation within settlements during the Sarmatian period on the Western plain. In: ArheoVest, nr. I.: In memoriam Liviu Măruia – interdisciplinaritate în arheologie şi istorie, Timişoara, 7 decembrie, 2013, 413 – 435.

Johne 2008 - Klaus – Hartmann, Udo – Gerhardt, Thomas, Die Zeit der Soldatenkaiser. Berlin, 2008

Kulcsár – Istvánovits 2009 - Kulcsár Valéria – Istvánovits Eszter, Roman Age Barbarian Pottery Workshops in the Great Hungarian Plain. In: Drehscheibentöpferei im Barbaricum Technologietransfer und Professionalisierung eines Handwerks am Rande des Römischen Imperiums.: Akten der Internationalen Tagung in Bonn vom 11. bis 14. Juni 2009. Bonn, 355 – 369.

Macrea 1969- Macrea, Mihail, Viaţa cotidiană în Dacia romană. Editura Academiei, Bucureşti, 1969

Marcu – Cupcea 2011- Marcu, Felix – Cupcea, George, The topography of Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa and the first centuriation in Dacia. In: Archaeologisches Korrespondenzblatt, Jahrgang 41, 2011, Heft 4, 543 –560.

Marcu – Cupcea 2013 - Marcu, Felix – Cupcea, George,Topografia limesului de Nord – Vest al Daciei în zona castrului de la Bologa. In: ArheoVest, nr. I.: In memoriam Liviu Măruia – interdisciplinaritate în arheologie şi istorie, Timişoara, 7 decembrie, 2013, 569 – 589.

Marcu – Rădeanu 2013 - Marcu, Felix – Cupcea, George – Rădeanu, Virginia, Topografia arheologică a oraşului Napoca. Presentation ont he conference organized by the History Museum of Turda, 18 October, 2013.

Marinescu 2010 - Marinescu, Lucia, Arte romana in Dacia. In: Ori antichi della Romania prima e dopo Traiano : (mostra Roma, 17 dicembre 2010-3 aprile 2011) mostra e catalogo a cura di Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu, Lucrezia Ungaro. Milano, 2010.

Mladenovici 2012 - Mladenovici, Dragana, Urbanism and Settlement in the Roman Province of Moesia Superior. BAR International Series 2367, 2012.

Mitrofan 1993-Mitrofan, Ioan, Les villae rusticae dans la Dacie romaine. In: La politique édilitaire dans les provinces de l’Empire Romain III. Cluj Napoca, 1993, 169 – 173

Nemeth 2005 - Nemeth, Eduard (ed.), Limes Dacicus Occidentalis. Die Befestigungen in Westen Dakiens vor und nach der römischen Eroberung. Cluj – Napoca, Editura Mega, 2005

Nemeth 2011- Nemeth, Eduard – Fodorean, Florin – Matei, Dan – Blaga, Dragos , Der südwestlische Limes des römischen Dakien. Strukturen und Landschaft. Editura Mega, 2011

Oltean 2004 - Oltean, Ioana, Rural settlement in Roman Dacia: some considerations. In: Hanson, W. – Haynes, Ian (eds.), Roman Dacia. The making of a provincial society. JRA Supplementum, Portsmouth, 2004, 143 – 165.

Opreanu 2011 - Opreanu, Coriolan – Horaţiu, The Barbarian and Roman Dacia. War, trade and cultural interaction. In: De Sena, Eric (ed.), The Roman Empire and beyond. Archaeological and historical research on the Romans and Native cultures in Central Europe. BAR International Series 2236, 2011, 125 – 136,

Opreanu – Lăzărescu – Ştefan 2013a - Opreanu, Coriolan – Lăzărescu, Vlad - Ştefan, Dan, Noi cercetări la Porolissum. In: Analele Banatului. Arheologie şi Istorie. XXI. 2013, 83 – 107

Opreanu – Lăzărescu – Ştefan 2013b - Opreanu, Coriolan – Lăzărescu, Vlad - Ştefan, Dan, Recent geophysical surveys of Porolissum. In: ArheVest, nr. I.: In memoriam Liviu Măruia – interdisciplinaritate în arheologie şi istorie, Timişoara, 7 decembrie, 2013, 509 – 524.

Pánczél et ali 2011 - Pánczél Szilamér et ali, Dacia keleti határának régészeti kutatása. In: Visy Zsolt (ed.), A Danube Limes program régészeti kutatásai 2008 és 2011 között. Pécs, 2011, 173 – 181.

Pánczél et ali 2012 - Pánczél Szilamér et ali, Updating our knowledge about the Roman fort from Brâncoveneşti, Mureş County. In: Marisia XXXII, 2012, 105 – 117.

Piso 1993 - Piso, Ioan, Fasti Provinciae Daciae. I. Die senatorischen Amtsträger. Ed. Habelt, Bonn 1993

Popa 2003 - Popa, Dumitru, Villae, vici, pagi. Aşezările rurale din Dacia romană intracarpatică. 2003

Smith 2012 - Smith, Denis – Mack, Mussolini. Storia, 2012

Talbert 2010 - Talbert, Richard, The Roman Worldview – beyond recovery? In: Raaflaub, Kurt – Talbert, Richard, Geography and Etnography: Perception of the World in pre – modern societies. Blackwell, 2010, 252 – 273

Talbert 2012 - Talbert, Richard, Urbs Roma to Urbis Romanus: Roman mapping on the grand scale. In: Talbert, Richard (ed.), Ancient Perspectives: maps and their places in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Chicago University Press, 2012, 163 – 193

Teodor 2013 - Teodor, Eugen, Uriaşul invizibil: Limes Transalutanus. O reevaluare la sud de râul Argeş. Cetatea de Scaun, 2013

Visy 2009 - Visy Zsolt, Mapping the SW Limes of Dacia. In: Hanson, William (ed.), The Army and Frontiers of Rome. Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 2009, 115 – 127.

Visy 2010 - Visy Zsolt, The connections between Pannonia and Dacia in a historical context. In: Angelescu, Mircea et ali (eds.) Antiquitas Istro – Pontica. Mega, Cluj, 2010, 83- 93.

Weiss 2011 - Weiss, Dani, Influence and observation: towards a more Concrete understanding of the Roman – Dacian Limes. In: De Sena 2011, 138 – 150.

Zmudzinski 2007 - Zmudzinski Mateusz, Gospodarka w rzymskiej prowincji Dacji Superior. Wroclaw, 2007


Wars with Rome

The Dacians were part of an alliance that attacked Roman troops in 112, 109 and 75 BC. Around 60-50 BC, King Burebista unified and expanded the kingdom making it a regional power. He even defeated the Greek cities on the north coast of the Black Sea and expanded his kingdom beyond the Tisza River, north to modern day Slovakia and south of the Danube River. It’s likely that King Burebista offered assistance to Pompey in 49 BC and in 44 BC Caesar was planning an expedition against the Dacian Kingdom. However, Caesar was murdered that very same year and soon after that Burebista was also assassinated. After his death, Dacia split into four parts, but that didn’t stop their harassment of Rome. They even launched an invasion of Rome’s territory in 11 or 10 BC but Augustus’s generals pushed them back from the left bank of the Danube and left troops in the province of Moesia. After the legions left in Moesia were departed in 69 AD, Dacians captured a number of fortresses. Despite that, they were defeated and pushed back by Vespasian’s general Gaius Licinius Mucianus.

Dacians unified again under Decebalus and raided Moesia where they killed the provincial governor Oppius Sabinus in 85 AD. Emperor Domitian restored order the following year and tried to invade Dacia but invasion was a catastrophe for the Romans. Their commander Cornelius Fuscus was killed with a large part of his army. In 88 Rome won a battle in Tapae near the Iron Gate Pass but troubles broke out with some tribes to the west, so Domitian called for peace with the Dacian. In 101 AD Trajan invaded Dacia and in 102 the Dacian capital Sarmizegethusa was captured and a Roman garrison was left there. In 105 the war was renewed and ended in 106 with the fall of Dacia under Roman rule. Following this horrendous defeat, Decebalus committed suicide. Trajan captured enormous loot and the Dacian mines were immediately exploited. A Roman province Dacia Traiana was established with a consular legate consisting of two legions. In the time of Hadrian, the province was divided into Dacia Superior in Transylvania under praetorian legate (supported by a single legion at Apulm) and Dacia Inferior in Walachia, governed by a procurator. The territory was divided again in 159 by Antoninus Pius into three provinces: Dacia Porolissensis, Dacia Apulensis and Dacia Malvensis. In 168 AD Marcus Aurelius grouped them into a single military area. Germanic and Celtic kingdoms, particularly the Goths made a slow progression toward Dacia, and soon started making assaults on the province. Rome took these attacks hard, and in 271, the Emperor Aurelian abandoned the province. During the reign of Diocletian a number of fortifications were built in order to defend the border. In 336 AD, Constantine the Great had reconquered the province, but after his death, Rome abandoned Dacia again.


Dacia: The Roman Wars, Volume 1

This book, which has been both written and beautifully illustrated by Ancient Warfare magazine's Radu Oltean, details the history of Rome's wars in Dacia. Besides spectacular illustrations, it also includes a number of maps and photographs of relevant archaeological site and finds.


  • Written by Radu Oltean
  • ISBN: 978-973-0-14786-5
  • full-color softback
  • 152 pages
  • Published by Art Historia & Karwansaray Publishers

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Besides the unusually rich illustrations (over 190 colored images: illustrations, artifacts, maps, monuments), this book offers a fresh view on the Dacian-Roman wars, trying to eliminate as much as possible from the ideological nationalist ballast that came to burden the Romanian view of history. Oltean gathered and adapted most archaeological findings and historical studies, old and new, for a wider public of history lovers. Avoiding too much speculation, he ties together the disparate sources to create a new, richly illustrated history of the Roman conquest of Dacia, suggesting possible scenarios of what happened on the rare instances when historical or archaeological sources were more generous. Some readers may be surprised to discover that events or their interpretation are not at all as learned in school or seen in dramatized movies, in old books and magazines or even in certain museums. What is shown in this book is Radu Oltean's attempt to come closer to a historical truth we all try to search for.


Map showing Roman expansion from the early Republic to the Crisis of the Third Century

I'm wondering if anyone could explain the stories behind the areas of temporary Roman control. I know that the grey shaded area in Germany/Netherlands ended with the battle of Teutoburg Forest, but that's about it

25 BC (Arabia): The campaign of Gaius Aelius Gallus, a disastrous campaign that occupied the area briefly.

AD 142-185 (Britain): The area occupied during the time of the Antonine Wall.

AD 172-180 (Danube): The area conquered by Marcus Aurelius in the First and Second Marcomannic Wars, and later abandoned by Commodus.

AD 202-203 (Libya): Campaign against the Garamantes under Quintus Ancius Faustus.

(edit: Reddit didn't like some of the wikilinks)

The Romans in Arabia happened under Augustus, and were sent forth to basically just control the spices and wealth of Arabia Felix/Yemen. IIRC, they were waylaid by patriotic Arabs, a lot of troops died in the desert, but Augustus really wanted that wealth so they took Mecca, Medina, Marib, and Yemen, but withdrew quickly due to losses. The trade kept on happening none the less, so no real loss save around. thousands of legionaries.


Dacia

The Roman province of Dacia was in the Balkans. It included Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia in the modern Romania, and Muntenia and southern Moldova. It did not include the nearby regions of Moesia.

It was a big district in Central Europe of the Roman Empire. The northern part of the border was made up of the Carpathians the southern part of the border of Dacia was made up of the Danube River, and the western part of the border of Dacia was made up of the Tisza River. Along the borders many Roman strongpoints built. The Dacia district protected the Empire from foreign tribes of the north east side.

The place where Dacia once was is now made up of Romania and Moldova, along with some parts of Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine. The capital of Dacia was Sarmizegetusa. The name of Romania came probably from the idea of the ​​former "Romans country".

Dacia was added to the Roman Empire in its earliest days by the Emperor Trajan. Despite its wealth, it was the first province from which Rome withdrew.


History

Wallachia's history as a country is very short, only completely independent for roughly 70 years by 1400. However, the western half had been part of the Roman Empire many years before, and then was heavily influenced by the Byzantines. During the age of Migrations before Rome fell the area was occupied by the Goths and Sarmatians, who conducted much trade with the Romans. Later the area was part of the First Bulgarian Empire and then fell under Pecheneg rule until 1091 when the Cumans defeated them. After this a period of disorganization and minor voivodiates dominated by the Kingdom of Hungary followed until 1241 and the Mongolian invasion, during which a direct mongol rule is probable but not known to be true. Then in 1272 a record shows that Litovio, a powerful local ruler in Wallachia refused to pay tribute to the king, after this Hungarian hold over Wallachia falters, until 1330 when Basarab I defeated Charles I of Hungary.

1400-1450

The principality led by Prince Mircea I grew in economic power substantially, acquiring a large share of the Black Sea trade. The principality of Moldavia was vassalized after a short war with the Poles, and was in 1421 incorporated into Wallachia, creating the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. After the death of Mircea I his son Micheal succeeded him on the throne, consolidating power among the now united principalities, and continuing the massive economic development started by his father. The navy was also built-up to 30 ships by 1427 and The army began to use firearms for the first time after years of development. This period saw a massive growth in trade as no Ottoman attacks came. The economy grew substantially and hundreds of Wallachian trade-ships sailed the Black and Mediterranean Seas. 

1451-1500

The conquest of Bulgaria from the Ottoman empire during the 1450's contributed significantly to the growing power of Romania. The population was then devastated by a major influenza outbreak which killed roughly 200,000 people mainly in the war-torn Bulgaria, a new vassal state. Unity, infrastructure, trade and production all improved in the following 30 years. Following this Romania helped to found first the Eastern Mediterranean Trade Co. and then the Eastern Trade Co. The navy was also expanded dramatically and a professional army of 21,000, the Romanian Legion, was raised in Romania and in Bulgaria. Matchlock weapons became more common, as the Romanian Legions began to use them for combat.


Varying Borders

The number and borders of the provinces under Roman rule changed nearly constantly as conditions altered in the various locations. During the latter period of the Roman Empire known as the Dominate, the provinces were each broken into smaller units. The following are the provinces at the time of Actium (31 BCE) with the dates (from Pennell) they were established (not the same as the date of acquisition) and their general location.

  • Sicilia (Sicily, 227 BCE)
  • Sardinia and Corsica (227 BCE)
  • Hispania Citerior (eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, 205 BCE)
  • Hispania Ulterior (southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, 205 BCE)
  • Illyricum (Croatia, 167 BCE)
  • Macedonia (mainland Greece, 146 BCE)
  • Africa (modern Tunisia and western Libya, 146 BCE)
  • Asia (modern Turkey, 133 BCE)
  • Achaia (southern and central Greece, 146 BCE)
  • Gallia Narbonensis (southern France, 118 BCE)
  • Gallia Citerior (80 BCE)
  • Cilicia (63 BCE)
  • Syria (64 BCE)
  • Bithynia and Pontus (northwestern Turkey, 63 BCE)
  • Cyprus (55 BCE)
  • Cyrenaica and Crete (63 BCE)
  • Africa Nova (eastern Numidia, 46 BCE)
  • Mauritania (46 BCE)

Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia: Materiality and Religious Experience

By Csaba Szabó (Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 49). Oxford: Archaeopress 2018. Pp. viii + 242. £40.00. ISBN 978-1-78969-081-1 (paper).

Szabó&rsquos study was carried out within the framework of the research project Lived Ancient Religion: Questioning &ldquoCults&rdquo and &ldquoPolis Religion&rdquo that was hosted by the Max Weber Center at Erfurt University between 2012 and 2017. This project proposes a radical redefinition of well-established concepts and topics in the field of ancient religion. In short, the Lived Ancient Religion (LAR) approach conceives of religion as a group of flexible practices and interactions rather than as a fixed doctrine or a monolithic system of norms and values (see J. Albrecht et al., &ldquoReligion in the Making: The Lived Ancient Religion Approach,&rdquo Religion 48.4, 2018, 568&ndash93). It seeks to abandon the study of individual cults, divinities, or religions in favor of a general archaeology of the sacred. It comprises a series of subprojects that deal with a heterogenous body of evidence pertaining to particular regions of the Roman empire but uniting different religious traditions.

The book under review presents the results of one of these subprojects. Its principal goal is to demonstrate the usefulness and potential of the LAR paradigm on the example of a little known and somewhat specific corner of the Roman empire: the province of Dacia. Obviously, these types of studies cannot be fully appreciated unless the reader has at least a basic understanding of their theoretical guidelines but, in a short review, it is possible only to consider their methodological and practical implications.

The introductory chapter (1&ndash10) elaborates the theoretical positions of the author (i.e., the LAR approach) and briefly surveys the history of research on religion in Roman Dacia and the source material for this study. The author has attempted to provide a concise summary of the main points of the new approach, but a few pages (3&ndash5) cannot do justice to a project that has adopted a whole suite of new concepts and &ldquoaims to create new narratives of religious change in the Roman empire&rdquo (Albrecht et al. 2018, 570). An alternative way of showcasing the LAR perspective would have been to concentrate on the main points of departure from earlier studies of ancient Dacian religion (e.g., the subject of religious syncretism in Roman Dacia).

The new approach is tested on about 30 case studies from sites scattered unevenly across the province. Approximately two-thirds are from Apulum while the rest come from a variety of contexts: military, mining, and rural. This selection seems to include cases from all major sectors of Dacian society although, as the author admits, it was guided chiefly by the availability of data of adequate quality. Nevertheless, a large proportion of the case studies discuss sculpture, reliefs, or inscriptions&mdashreligious instantiations in the new conceptual framework&mdashwhose contexts are unknown or uncertain. Sarmizegetusa is not included, on the pretext that it is well known in the Western literature. That may be the case, but Sarmizegetusa&rsquos sacred topography is preserved far better than that of any other Dacian town, and the first Dacian colony would have provided a number of illustrative cases from the civilian urban context, represented only by the civilian town of Apulum.

Chapter 2 (11&ndash127) is almost entirely devoted to the sacral topography of Apulum. A large volume of data pertinent to the religious life in the Dacian capital, otherwise scattered in publications that are not easily accessible, has been usefully collected in one place. This material is organized into a large number of subsections, each illuminating a different segment of religious life in Apulum: the sacralization of space in the legionary fort, the cults of Jupiter and Nemesis, the healing sanctuary or the Asklepeion, the small group religions, and the social profile of the principal categories of religious agents. Not all data considered are of equal quality, and, concomitantly, the individual analyses lack a uniform structure. They vary from detailed readings of votive inscriptions to informal analyses of excavation reports or scatters of epigraphic monuments. The cases are too diverse to warrant an overarching summary. A few observations deserve a separate mention. The author has proposed an interesting hypothetical reconstruction of the extramural area of the civilian town of Apulum, drawing on a parallel from Sarmizegetusa. It calls attention to the ubiquity of sanctuary precincts, located on the main thoroughfares leading to and from the town but beyond the pomerium. Another stimulating topic concerns the possible interactions&mdashcollaboration or competition&mdashbetween different religious groups and divinities in urban contexts. These can be partly grasped from the distribution of sacred spaces, invocations on votive monuments, or the co-occurrence of cultic statues of different deities in shrines and temples.

Chapter 3 (128&ndash40) focuses on two sanctuaries set in a military context: the Dolichena near the auxiliary forts of Porolissum and Praetorium. Both sites have been subjected to systematic excavations, but apparently the data recorded at the two sites are incongruent. Whereas in the case of Porolissum the basic source is the plan of the temple, the cult of Dolichenus in Praetorium is mostly discussed in light of the iconography of the sculptural monuments discovered in the Dolichenum. However, in both case studies, the principal conclusions about the founding of the cult or the composition of the religious groups are inferred from the iconographic and epigraphic evidence. In a study concerned with the materiality of religion, one would expect to see a comparison between the layout of the two buildings or the character of the associated finds. The fact that traces of Mithraism are rare or nonexistent in both settlements is also worth close attention.

Chapter 4 (141&ndash74) brings together a number of case studies from the countryside of Roman Dacia, with long subchapters on the thermal resorts of Ad Mediam and Germisara. The brief account of the topography of Ampelum, one of the few mining municipia in the Balkan and Danube provinces, is most welcomed. Sadly, most of these sites have been destroyed by modern construction, and the only source for the religious practices are the epigraphic texts. The author has done an excellent job in elucidating the socioeconomic profile of the dedicators, their social network, and personal fears and motivations. The strong link between the provincial government and local elite, and the natural riches of Dacia&mdashthermal springs, minerals, and pastures&mdashis rightly stressed.

The book also contains a table of epigraphically attested priests and religious specialists from Apulum, including bibliographic, chronological, and locational information (table 2, 60&ndash62) and an annexed chapter (ch. 6, 180&ndash89) listing the archaeologically and epigraphically attested sanctuaries in Roman Dacia.

The concluding chapter 5 (174&ndash79) is a brief summary of the book. There is a hint of critical engagement with the LAR perspective in the claim that &ldquothe case-studies analyzed in this book have shown certain limits to a theoretical approach,&rdquo (175) but this is reduced to the remark that individual religious communication and experience are inaccessible unless reflected in the written record.

At the very least, Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia is a great source book for the religions of Roman Dacia. Unfortunately, some of the plans and maps&mdashunlike the excellent photographs&mdashhave done a poor service to this monograph. Legends and scales are often missing and modern toponyms or streets mentioned in the main text are not shown on the maps. Because of this technical omission, it will be very difficult for the uninitiated reader to follow the author through the complicated topography of Apulum.

Perhaps the underlying message of this book would have been conveyed more effectively by focusing the analysis on a few well-documented case studies rather than by studying a large, but unrepresentative, sample. Nevertheless, Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia opens a fresh insight into the materiality of religious practices in Roman Dacia and, on a more general level, highlights the value of sacral monuments as sources for the social and economic history of the Roman provinces.


Watch the video: Romanians - Ethnic map evolution between 200. and present