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Bust of Decebal, Drobeta Turnu SeverinCod 1431

The bust of Decebal was executed in the memory of the brave dacian, who chose suiside than to turn himslef in to the roman conquerers.

King Decebal had many wars with the Romans, who will recognize his special miliitary and political qualities.

From the first year of his reign, in 87, he faced a difficult situation. Rome organized their first campain in the center of Dacia. The emperor Domitian, wanting to punish Decebal, he sends an army lead by the prefect of thr Praetorian guard, Cornelius Fuscus, to cross the Danube. Decebal leads the Roman troops in a trap in a defile. The Roman leader falls in battle and Decebal takes to the Orastie Mountains his war spoils: prisoniers, trofee and the 5th legion flag.

A year after this victory, in 88, a roman army lead by Tettius Iulianus attacks again entering Dacia through Banat. Decebal waits for them in the Tapae defile. The confruntation ends with a Roman victory. Although defeated by the Roman, Decebal concludes a fruitful peace agreement with Domitian in 89.

In exchange for some fees and engineers, Decebal proclaims himself client king of Rome and continue to strenghten its power and state during the 12 years of peace.

The Dacian and Roman confruntations restarted during emperor Traian’s reign. In the beginning of 101, the Roman army, lead by the emperor himself, after almost three years of preparations, attacked Dacia with 13 14 legions and other usxiliary units (a total of 150000 soldiers). The Tapae battle takes place in the summer of 101 and Decebal tries to stop the roman advancement. The battle ends with the Roman victory.

In the winter of 101 and spring of 102, Decebal is defeated in Dobrogea at Adamclisi. In the fall of 102, Decebal is forced to make peace, crushing for Dacia.

On Traian’s orders, Apolodor of Damascus, the most famous engineer of the rime, raises, between Drobeta and Pontes, between 103 and 105 a durable bridge over the Danube, which the Roman legions cross the summer of 105, beginning the 2nd Dacian war. Decebal, together with some leaders, manages to leave the fortress trying to keep the resistence against the romans inside the country. He is followed by the roman cavalry and after an act of treachery, in order not to be cptured alive by enemy hands, he kills himslef.

A great part of the Dacian state territory (Transilvania, Banatul and Oltenia) was turned into a roman province in the summer of 106. Muntenia and South Moldova were incorporated into Moesia Inferior province. After the Dacian defeat, Traian organized a grand and expensive festivity in Rome, that lasted 123 days. Tens of thousands of Dacians were enslaved in Rome and other tens of thousands fled Dacia to escape slavery.

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