Romanian history in brief – Dacia


Many Romanians are rightfully proud of their country’s very long and eventful history. Here are the key historical topics all visitors should know about.


Dacia was the name of an ancient kingdom that covered most of what is now Romania. Its rich resources attracted the Ancient Greeks, who colonized the shores of the Black Sea. The ruins of their stunning cities are still to be found in Histria, Tomis (today Constanța) and Callatis (Mangalia). Hundreds of years later, the mighty Roman Empire decided to annex Dacia.

Trajan’s Column (pictured above), which can still be seen in Rome, is considered the best account of the wars that ended with the conquest of Dacia. Romanians de ne themselves as the descendants of these two popula- tions and speak a Latin language. Sarmizegetusa Regia, the ancient Dacian capital, today in Hunedoara County, also deserves some attention.

Recently, there have been a number of exciting archeo- logical digs that have revealed more about ancient and pre- historic Romania, as well as unearthing many valuable arti-
facts. Evidence of a very early Neolithic farming settlement was just discovered. At around 8,000 years old, this settle- ment is one of the oldest in Europe. Sarmizegetusa Regia is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The ancient Dacian capital hosts the Dacian Circular Sanctuary, one of the most important remains of its kind.

Want to read more about Romania’s history, including Greater Romania, Communism and Revolution? Check out our City Compass Romania: Bucharest & beyond guide, the 2017 edition. 

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