Dacia dāˈshə [key], ancient name of the European region corresponding roughly to modern Romania (including Transylvania). It was inhabited before the Christian era by a people who were called Getae by the Greeks and were called Daci by the Romans. They were a people of advanced material culture, with a tribal organization. Augustus claimed them as tributary allies but the Daci paid little heed, and Domitian, after inconclusive campaigns against them, was forced (a.d. 90) to pay them tribute to keep them quiet. Trajan invaded Dacia in a.d. 102 and again in 105. He established a large number of colonies, and Dacia became a Roman province. The Goths invaded (250–70) the region, and Aurelian was obliged to concede Dacia. It was the Roman colonists in Dacia who formed the Latin-speaking nucleus that established the Romance tongue Romanian, which is still spoken in that region.

See P. MacKendrick, The Dacian Stones Speak (1975).

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