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The Dacian War

Contributed by David Verne

In March, Trajan asks the Senate to declare war on Dacia, and gratified that he deferred to him, they unanimously supported the war. As soon as Trajan arrived to personally direct the war, the Romans crossed the Danube on two pontoon bridges and entered Dacia with little resistance. The Dacian king, Decebalus, was eager to test his expanded army and hoped that he could defeat the Romans and hold them off permanently. Trajan was much different than Domitian, who's war ended in disaster, and the legions were able to resist Dacian assaults on their marching forts. Skirmishes were fought throughout the year, and the legions managed to recapture the battle standard of the 5th legion, which had been massacred during the previous war. Both sides met at the pass of Tapae, the site of two battles in the last war. The battle was a hard fought affair with the Romans winning, but so many men were lost that Trajan pulled back into Roman territory across the Danube to reorganize during winter. [1] [2]

My Take by David Verne
This war was officially waged to restore Roman honor after the humiliating defeat during Domitian's reign, but it had much more to do with Dacia's large mineral mines. The state treasury was still shaky after Domitian's reign and an influx of funds was badly needed.

See Also


  1. Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press. 
  2. Duncan, Mike (January 10, 2010). 79- The Dacian Wars.

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