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Dacia and the Roman Empire

The Roman occupation

Having build up an empire capable to rivalise to the Roman one, not only trough military force but also by wealth (with many gold and silver mines), the Dacian king Burebista became a new target for the expanding Roman Empire . Further on, 48BC Burebista made an alliance with Pompey offering him help in his dispute with Julius Caesar for the supremacy in the Roman Empire.

After defeating Pompey, and just before his assassination in 44BC, Julius Caesar had planned his revenge on Burebista by a big military campaign. In the same year, Burebista died in misterious circumstances. The Roman Empire continued the fortifications on the lower southern side of the Danube, leading several wars to the north until Emperor Traian declared war on Dacia . Between 101-106 Roman legions conquered a large part of Dacia and transformed it into a Roman province. The victory over Dacia was celebrated in Rome with the largest gladiator games in Roman history (5500 pairs of gladiators). Today one can see scenes of this war on Traian's column in Rome . According to the custom, the victory was also celebrated by erecting a monument on the victory field. Prooving the importance of this war for the Roman Empire, the monument of Adamclisi is the largest monument of this kind erected in the whole Roman empire.

Forced by several invasions of German tribes, the Roman legions retreated 271 from Dacia but left a massive Latin colonization behind: legionaries, peasants, merchants, artisans, officials. Slowly, the Vulgar Latin was adopted by the Dacians and is the foundation for modern Romanian. Several Roman goods were adopted by the local population, which also kept their traditional beliefs, especially the one of cremation. Today, the statue with the wolf and Romulus and Remus which can be seen in central areas of most of the Romanian cities stands as proof for their Latin descendency.

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