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Agathyrsoi is the name of the first people living in Transylvania, that has been historically recorded. They are described by Herodotus (iv. 104) as of luxurious habits, wearing gold ornaments (the district is still auriferous) and having wives in common. 

"The Agathyrsi are a race of men very luxurious, and very fond of wearing gold on their persons... In other respects their customs approach nearly to those of the Thracians" (Herodotus - Histories, IV.104). 

They tattooed their bodies (picti, Aeneid iv. 136), degrees of rank being indicated by the manner in which this was done, and coloured their hair dark blue. Like the Gallic Druids, they recited their laws in a kind of sing-song to prevent their being forgotten, a practice still in existence in the days of Aristotle (Problemata, xix. 28). Valerius Flaccus (Argonautica, vi. 135) calls them Thyrsagetae, probably in reference to their celebration of orgiastic rites in honour of some divinity akin to the Thracian Dionysus. According to German researcher Eichwald, Thyrsagetae are the ‘Getae of the Tyras River’(Dniester River).
The name Agathyrsus means "Much raging". However, the thyrsus was the staff shown, after 530 BC, as a stalk of giant fennel (narthex) segmented like bamboo, sometimes with ivy leaves inserted in the hollow end. Maenads (Bacchae) were depicted and described using them as weapons. It is believed that the vineyards and the wine preparation were developed by the Agathyrsi.

The Agathyrsi brought into Dacia the cults of the sun-god Apollo, of the fire goddess Tabiti/Vesta and of the war god Ares/Mars.

 Herodotus also mentioned Spargapeithes, a king who most probably lived during the middle of the 5th century B.C. The Agathyrsi (Agatirsi) supplied neighbouring regions with metal works (mirrors, quiver and more). Aristoteles last mentioned these people in the 4th century B.C. with praise for their strict laws. During the 3rd century B.C. in addition to the Agathyrsi, the name of Dacian "Kotiner" surfaced. Tacitus, a Roman historian (A.D. 100) reported on their iron ore mining.

The original dwellers of the province of Vojvodina, which forms Serbia's most northern border, are believed to be the Agathyrsi and Illyrians, later the Dacians, Thracians and Celts.
Herodotus mentions Schilis, the son of Ariapithes and Ophys, "woman from the Danube" who lived together with the Agathyrsi. (Histories, IV.79).

It is believed that the Agathyrsi were of Iranian origin  and became a dominant class ruling the northern Thracians from the Mures valley. Archeological evidence (Vasile Pârvan - Getica, Al.Vulpte - Memoria antiquitatis, II, 1970), confirmed Herodot, proving the existence of associations of Iranian and Thracian forms in the culture of the inhabitants of the central Transylvania. 
The main fortress of Agathyrsi, dating from the iron age and covering an area of nearly 30 ha, was discovered on the hills on the right banks of the Mures river, at Teleac, located at 4 km from Alba Iulia.

While was in Skythia, Herakles, according to Herodotos, awoke one morning to find that his chariot-horses had disappeared; he came to the cave of Echidna, a viper-maiden (a woman from the buttocks up and a serpent below), who told him that she had the horses but would not give them back unless he spent the night with her. Herakles stayed long enough to have three sons by the viper-maiden, who finally returned his horses and asked him what she should do with their children. Herakles gave her a bow (he always carried two) and a belt with a small gold cup attached, and showed her how he strung the bow and put on the belt; he then told her to send away any of the boys who could not duplicate what he had done. When the children grew up she named the eldest Agathyrsos, the next Gelonos, and the youngest Skythes, and tested them as Herakles had instructed. The first two failed the tasks, but Skythes succeeded and became the eponymous ancestor of the Skythians, who ever afterwards wore belts with little cups attached, in honor of their ancestor Herakles. 
This legend confirms the common origin of the Agathyrsi and Skythes, archeologically proven to be Iranian. 

The name of the last Dacian king, Decebal seems to be of Assyrian origin: Baal = lord, Dece = Dacia, thus Decebal = "Lord of Dacia". Another Assyrian word used by Dacians, and preserved into Romanian language is ban, meaning governor, ruler. It appears into the name of an Alan king called Sangibanus and into the name of the Assirian king Assur-ban-ipal known also as Ashur-Ban-Apli (reigned 668 to 627 BC). Assur means country, ban means son, and apli means creates, the meaning of the name being "the country creates a son". The title "ban" probably meant prince in Dacia.  

In the 15th century BC the Hurrian area ranging from the Iranian mountains to Syria was united into a state called Mitanni. In the middle of the 14th century, the resurgent Hittite Empire under Suppiluliumas I defeated Mitanni and reduced its king, Mattiwaza, to vassalage, while Assyria seized the opportunity to reassert its independence.

The crescent was frequently represented on the Dacian shields depicted on the Trajan's column.
The Roman nobility wore crescent-shaped ornaments on their shoes (Plutarch, Moralia, 282a). 
It was also the symbol of the Assirian god Sin also called Nanna or Nannar.

All the above suggest that Decebal (Decebalus), the Dacian king who fought with Trajan, was of Agathyrs origin and that the Agathyrsi were of Hurrian origin rather than Iranian. 


A way used to identify the presence of Sarmatians was according to the skulls and to the north-south orientation of their tombs. At the Babashov necropolis, located on the right bank of Amu Darya, not far from the Bishkek valley, all graves are oriented to the north and usually they are individual. The objects accompanying the dead are few - one or two earthenware pots, and little meat (almost exclusively mutton). About 50% of the skulls are artificially deformed. 
In Romania were found two two Sarmatian cemeteries containing artificially deformed skulls. One was at the site of Tirgsor, which contained a total of twenty skeletons, dated between 300 and 500 AD and identified as Sarmatians. The site presents also the unusual case where 50% of the population have been artificially deformed. This percent raises the question of a gender related practice. The second Sarmatian cemetery, found in Dobrogea (Dobruja), is a necropilis containing 811 tombs, many of them having the skull artificially deformed. This confirms the presence of Sarmatians in the southeastern Romania. It is believed that the Sarmatians settled in Dobrogea served into the Roman army, after 340 AD, contributing to the barbarization of the Roman army.
South of Dobrogea, the excavations of the Old Bulgarian necropolis No 1 near Devnja, Bulgaria found a grave (No 91), strikingly similar to these from the Amu Darya basin. 

Between 1992 and 1995, collaborative American-Russian excavations at Pokrovka unearthed over 150 burials in five cemeteries. The skeletal material from the Sauromatians and Sarmatians was aged and sexed by two physical anthropologists. The artifacts were placed in three status categories: 
• Hearth person: large quantities of valuable beads and spiral earrings 
• Priest or priestess: carved-stone and clay sacrificial altars, fossilized sea shells, carved-bone spoons, colored mineral ores (shades of red, yellow, black and white), complete bronze mirrors, and objects embellished with animal style representations 
• Warrior: arrowheads, quivers, swords, daggers, and amulets denoting prowess
The diagnostic artifacts from female burials reveal three female statuses: 
(1) Hearth women, 75% of the female population, were noted for their wealth of artifacts. Many females wore earrings; the only type found at Pokrovka was three-spiraled bronze, covered with gold foil. (The Dacians also had hearth women wearing golden spiraled bracelets)
(2) Priestesses, 7% of the total female population.
(3) Warriors, 15% of the total female population. The burial of one young female warrior contained 40 bronze arrowheads in a quiver and an iron dagger. Two amulets provided prowess: a large boar's tusk drilled for suspension (which,based upon modern anthropology, may have been worn around her waist on a special cord), and a single bronze arrowhead in a leather bag around her neck. She also had two sea shells and a natural stone in the shape of a sea shell. 

The Greek name Sarmatos (Sarmatian) meant horseman, from "sar" = horse into Sarmatian. The Sarmatian word "sar" was preserved into Romanian compound words:
- armăsar (R) = admissarius (Latin) = stallion. The Romanian word is composed of "armă" (weapon) and "sar" (lost word meaning stallion). The word designates the horse used in combat, capable to carry heavy armed horseman. The Latin correspondent is not a compound word, suggesting it was adopted from Dacian.
- samsar (R) = person who carried the collected tribute (old Romanian sama = tribute, tax) by horse (sar) caravan. The term took later the meaning of middle man, negotiator.
- saragea (R) = mounted (sar) Turkish chieftain (agea/aga).

The draco/dracones Standard was originally developed by the cavalry peoples of the steppes, such as the Sarmatians and the Alans, but also by the Parthians and the Sassanid Persians. It may have been used primarily to determine the wind-direction for the horse archers.
Some Sassanid dracos were represented on the 5th century A.D. on a Coptic wall painting from Kharga Oasis, Egypt. 
The one draco standard is represented, on the Trajan's Column, nearby a typical "fish-scale" Sarmatian Lamella armor and close to a Dacian helmet, closely resembling a Dacian cap, known usually as Phrygian cap.
Later representations of the draco standard used by horseman wearing Sarmatian Lamella armor are found on the Arch of Galerius (311AD), on a Roman funeral stele from Chester and on the Bayeux Tapestry, commemorating the Battle of Hastings (October 14, 1066), where the draco standard is used  in the scene depicting Harold's death by an arrow.
The helmet of the horseman from the Chester stele has the same nose protection like the helmets used by the Saxons in the battle of Hastings.
The above evidence indicates the Sarmatian Cavalry was latter used by the Romans in England, where the Saxons adopted their armor and standard.

Tacitus (c. AD 50), Pliny (AD 69-75) and the 2nd century Geography of Ptolemy (book 5, 9.21) are mentioning the Serboi to designate a tribe dwelling in Sarmatia, probably on the Lower Volga River. This tribe came and settled to the south of the Danube, where it established a kingdom that, after the Slavic migration, became known as Serbia.

By the middle of the 2nd century B.C. the Sarmatians became known in Europe as the Iazyges and Roxolani, and those remaining to the cast, the Alans. It is believed that Sarmatian success against the Scythians was due to the creation of a force of super-heavy cavalry, both man and horse being completely armoured in some of the formations.  The Sarmatian Roxolani became firm allies of the Dacians, supplying them with the only heavy cavalry force in the Dacian army.
In the 2nd century AD appears the first references to a low-tech variant of Sarmatian scale armour from horse-hooves or horn. This is mentioned for the first time by the travel writer Pausanias , who states that such materials were employed because of the Sarmatians lack of access to Iron. Pausanias goes on to describe a Sarmatian cuirass made of horse hooves, then preserved at the temple of Aesculapius in Athens:
"They collect hooves and clean them out and split them down to make them like snake-scales you will not go far wrong if you think of this hoof-work like the notches of a pine-cone. They bore holes in these scales and sew them with horse and cattle hair to make breast plates no less good looking then Greek ones, and no weaker: they stand up to striking and shooting from close range."
Similar scale armour of horn is mentioned by Ammianus worn by Sarmatians who were raiding Pannonia and Moesia in AD 358: These people, better fitted for brigandage then for open warfare, have very long spears ( hastae ) and cuirasses made from smooth, polished pieces of horn, fastened like scales to linen shirts. Virtually no trace of amour made from scales of horn , hoof or hardened leather has so far been hound in Sarmatian burials.
The Sarmatians were the main allies of the Dacians. The name of the main Dacian fortress, Sarmizegetusa, means the fortress of the Sarmatians (Sarmize) and Getae (Getusa), suggesting that it was built by Sarmatians and Dacians (Getae). Another similar name is Sargetia: "The treasures of Decebalus were also discovered, though hidden beneath the river Sargetia, which ran past his palace"(Cassius Dio, Roman History, Epitome of Book LXVIII, 14). This is suggesting that the Dacian treasure, buried in the bed of  Sargetia river, belonged both to Sarmatians and Getae. Sargetia river is called now Apa Orasului, meaning "the water of the city", being the closest water to the Dacian capital, Sarmizegetusa. Most probably, many Sarmatians belonged to Dacian ruling class.


Also known as Getae, the Dacians were an amalgamation of Thracian tribes who created a formidable state on the eastern confines of the Greco-Roman world. Their neighbours to the north-west were the Germanic tribes, to the north-east the Scythians, to the west the Celts, in Pannonia and to the south-west of the Danube the Illyrians, and to the south the Greeks. The Dacians were a Thracian people, but Dacia was occupied also by Daco-Germans, and in the north-cast by Celto-Dacians.

The Greek geographer Claudios Ptolemaios mentions twelve Dacian tribes. Of them, the most known is the tribe called Apuli/Apulii, who lived into the center of Transylvania and had their capital at Apoulon (today Piatra Craivii). Their name comes from Apollo, their main god.
Apoulon, the capital of the powerful Dacian tribe called Apuli, is placed in the central part of Transylvania, on the middle course of the Mures River. It is known the name of a king of Apuli, called Rubobostes.
 After defeating the Dacians, the Romans built few km away from Apoulon, the castrum of the Legion XIII, Gemina. Around it grew a new city, called Apullum by Romans. Under Septimius Severus it became "municipium Septimius Apulense". Later, it became the capital of Dacia Apullensis and of Dacia Felix, under the name of Chrysopolis (the Golden City). There was discovered a rush light having a cross on it, together with seven rays. These symbols indicate that it belonged to a sun worshipper, probably a worshipper of Mithra. In ancient times, 7 was strongly relater to the Sun, that's why, up to now, Sunday is the seventh day of the week.
In the 9th century A.D. the name of the city name was Balgrad, the "White City", which was later changed into Alba Iulia (White Julia).
At 1st of November 1599, Mihai Viteazul (= the brave) entered the city and established there the capital of the three Wallach principates, united for the first time then, for a brief period.
At 1711 the imperial court of Vienna decides to build a new fortress, following the plans of Giovanni Morando Visconti, who inspired himself from the fortresses built by Vauban. The fortress, shaped as a 7 branched star, was built between 1715 and 1738. Surprisingly, its shape reminds once again the ancient sun worship which was practiced there by the Apuli.

The Dacians inhabited the present territory of Romania and the lands south of the Danube. They were agricultural and those living in the mountains were shepherds. They also worked their rich mines of silver, iron, and gold. According to Strabo, the original name of the Dacians was Daoi. In fact the Daoi was the name of the Dacian warriors, members of the wolves' brotherhood. 

The name of Dacians and Getae was of Scythic origin (Vasile Pârvan, Getica, p.286). Dhau means to press, to strangle, to squeeze. It is the root  for various words meaning wolf: Phrygian daoi, Illyrian dhaunos, Iranian-Saka dahae. This may refer to the anecdotal belief of pastoral shepherds that the wolf when it came after the sheep would seize them by the throat so that they strangled and could make no sound as it dragged them away from the rest of the flock.
A tradition preserved by Hesychius informs us that Daos was the Phrygian word for "wolf". Still according to Strabo, certain nomadic Scythians to the east of the Caspian Sea were also called Daoi. This name was probably brought into Transylvania and Vojvodina by the Scytho-Iranian Agathyrs. 
Dacian villages and cities had their names ending with "dava", "deva", "daba", "deba" or "debai". The southern limit of the Dacian territory is marked, on the map, by a dotted line.
A part of the Daoi settled into the Rhodope Mountains. Let us note that Spartacus, the famous ancient gladiator who freed himself only to assemble a huge army of hundred thousands former slaves, who scared even "the eternal city" itself, had been a Thracian, from the Rhodophe Mountains of Bulgaria. The Daursi lived into the Dalmatian mountains. Dausdava, or the "City of the wolves" is on the map of the Roman geographer Ptolemaios at the south of the Danube river.
Herodotus, wrote about Thracians: "...after the Indians, the Thracian people constituted the largest ethnicity among all the rest of the world's races. Should they benefit from one ruling only and be spiritually united, they might succeed to become, in my opinion, absolutely undefeatable and to surpass, by far, the greatness of all the other Earth's proud races. The Thracians bear many names, each one according to their living regions, yet all of them show, through almost everything, highly similar customs".
Because of their philosophy and beliefs, Herodot described the Dacians as "the bravest and the most righteous of all the Thracians".
Based on the above information, we can understand how was possible to find the basic philosophy and beliefs of the Dacian priests spreaded, throughout the Europe.


The Gets ( Getae), closely related to the Dacians and said to be one and the same people, were inhabiting the banks of the lower Danube region and nearby plains and are first appearing in the 6th century BC. They were known as expert mounted archers and devotees of the deity Zalmoxis. Emperor Augustus' scribe, Strabon notes that "they speak the same language as the Dacians".
Starting with Jordanes, who borrowed the Getic history for the Goths, because of the similarity of the names, Getae were considered to be the same with the migrating tribes called Goths. In the Middle Age, the Dacians and the Danes were considered one and the same people. A historian wrote in the eleventh century about "Dacia which is called today Denmark" and about its inhabitants, the "Goths" who had "many kings generously gifted with the knowledge of the admirable philosophies, as Zeuta and Dichineus as well as Zalmoxis and many others". But Dichineus is Dicineus as referred by Iordanes, a great Dacian priest and king of the kings. We can also observe that the name Dutch of the inhabitants of Holland has the same pronunciation as the Romanian word "Daci" designating the Dacians.

Because in the Greek alphabet "V" is written "B", the Vesi were also called Bessi. The Bessi were an independent Thracian tribe who lived in a territory ranging from Moesia to Mount Rhodope in southern Thrace, but are often mentioned as dwelling about Haemus, the mountain range that separates Moesia from Thrace. Herodotus described them as a sort of priestly-caste among the Satrae, the Bessi being interpreters of the prophetic utterances given by a priestess in an oracular shrine of Dionysus located on a mountain-top, which is thought to be Perperikon.
In Strabo, however, the Bessi are described as the fiercest of the independent Thracian tribes, dwelling on and around the Haemus range, and possessing the greater part of the area around that mountain chain.
Cassiodorus virtually invented the name Visigoth (from the Vesi Goths) in the late fifth century.
The king and the leading strata of the Goths who settled in Aquitaine called themselves Vesi, that is, the "good ones."
In the Notitia Dignitatum the Vesi (later known as the Visigoths) are equated with the Thervingi in a reference to the years 388–391. There is a good deal of scholarly debate on the identification of the Vesi with the Thervingi and the Greuthungi with the Ostrogothi.
That the Thervingi were the Vesi/Visigothi and the Greuthungi the Ostrogothi is also supported by Jordanes. He identified the Visigothic kings from Alaric I to Alaric II as the heirs of the fourth-century Thervingian king Athanaric and the Ostrogothic kings from Theodoric the Great to Theodahad as the heirs of the Greuthungian king Ermanaric.
Zosimus is referring to a group of "Scythians" north of the Danube who were called "Greuthungi" by the barbarians north of the Ister (Danube). Wolfram concludes that this people was the Tervingi who had remained behind after the Hunnic conquest. 
Towards the end of the 4th century ad, Nicetas the Bishop of Dacia brought the gospel to "those mountain wolves", the Bessi. Reportedly his mission was successful, and the worship of Dionysus and other Thracian gods was eventually replaced by Christianity. However many elements of their  religious beliefs, as the cult of the virgins and that of Apollo survived in the Christian era, as can be seen in Basilica di San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, and in the "Gothic" church Sant'Apollinare of Classe, near Ravenna.
In the 11th century Strategikon text, Cecaumenos the Byzantine historian described the Vlachs south of the Danube (Aromanians) as being descendants of the Daci and of the Bessi.

Grimm and Müllenhoff were the two great masters of Teutonic philology. Jacob Grimm stoutly maintained that Getae and Daci (Dacians) were identical with Goths and Danes. He had used the word "germanisch" only rarely, and employed more often the word "deutsch". In English the terms "German" (deutsch) and "Dutch" (niederländisch) have acquired in everyday speech a special signification, so that for the whole field the name "Teutonic" has been used.

Ulfilas or Ulfila (Gothic Wulfila, "Little Wolf"), is believed to have descended from 3rd-century Cappadocians, who, captured by the Goths, were displaced and settled north of the Danube River, in Dacia. At the age of 30 he was supposedly sent on an embassy to the Roman emperor and was consecrated (341) bishop of the Gothic Christians by Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of Constantinople. He evangelized the Goths, reputedly created the Gothic alphabet (based on Greek, but containing some Latin and runic elements), and wrote the earliest translation of the Bible into a Germanic language.


The chronicler of the Norman dukes, Dudo (ca. 1015), tells that Rollo (Rollon), who founded the Norman dynasty in the 900s AD, was the son of an uncertain king in "Dacia" - which seems to be out of place. This is the presentation of Dacia in Dudo's big work:
"Spread over the plentiful space from the Danube to the neighborhood of the Scythian Black Sea, do there inhabit fierce and barbarous nations, which are said to have burst forth in manifold variety like a swarm of bees from a honeycomb or a sword from a sheath, as is the barbarian custom, from the island of Scania, surrounded in different directions by the ocean. For indeed there is there a tract for the very many people of Alania, and the extremely well-supplied region of Dacia, and the very extensive passage of Greece. Dacia is the middle-most of these. Protected by very high alps in the manner of a crown and after the fashion of a city. With Mars' forewarning, raging warlike peoples inhabit those tortuous bends of extensive size, namely the Getae, also known as Goths" - [From chapter 2, second paragraph in Gesta Normannorum by the chronicler Dudo of St.Quentin's]

The Dacians leaders and priests, called Pileati (from pileus = cap) or Tarabostes (from tiara = cap), were easily distinguished by their so-called Phrygian cap. The reason of this particular shape of the cap is that Dacians twisted their hair, binding it up in a knot on the top of the head. Their caps and helmets were shaped to accommodate this hair knot beneath. This knot was an Persian custom passed to Dacians through the Scythians / Sarmatians. An Achaemenian relief from Dascylium (Anatolia), showing a female and male Zoroastrian priests, clearly depicts on their  heads some soft caps making wrinkles, meaning that the shapes of the caps was given by the hair knots bellow.
Historical depictions of Dacians with their caps and without them, with their hair combed in a knot are found on the Trajan column and an the Tropaeum Traiani relief, from Adamclisi, Romania.
The Romanian word for the hair knot is "moț" (read "mots"). It comes from proto-Dravidian : *muț meaning knot (of hair); to tie hair in knots, related also to Tamil muți, meaning to tie, fasten, make into a knot, put on, adorn.
Today, the land containing the ancient Dacian gold mines is called "Tara Moților"(= the country of the "moți"), and the inhabitants are called "moți" (pl. "moții") . The county to which belongs Tara Moților is called Bihor, very similar to Bihar region from India. 
"Moții" are blond people with blue eyes, living in villages located at hights above 1400 m, being the highest villages from Romania. The capital city of  "Tara Moților" is Topani (Topesdorf in German). Because of their capital, "Moții" (the "moți") are also known as "topi" ('Die Zopfen' in German).

The only other ancient people known to have hair knots on the top of their heads were the Suevii/Suebi. This is what Tacitus tells about them: "I must now proceed to speak of the Suevians, who are not, like the Cattans and Tencterians, comprehended in a single people; but divided into several nations all bearing distinct names, though in general they are entitled Suevians, and occupy the larger share of Germany. This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves. In other nations, whether from alliance of blood with the Suevians, or, as is usual, from imitation, this practice is also found, yet rarely, and never exceeds the years of youth. The Suevians, even when their hair is white through age, continue to raise it backwards in a manner stern and staring; and often tie it upon the top of their head only. That of their Princes, is more accurately disposed, and so far they study to appear agreeable and comely; but without any culpable intention. For by it, they mean not to make love or to incite it: they thus dress when proceeding to war, and deck their heads so as to add to their height and terror in the eyes of the enemy."
In ancient times, the Vikings were called Suevii/Suebi/Suiones/Sueones/Sweonas. 
During the middle age, there were Vikings called Dacke, a name that survived until today. 


According to Iordanes, Dicineus, a great Dacian priest, ruled also over kings, "selecting amongst them the noblest and wisest men, instructing them in theology ... making priests of them and naming them Pileati" (Iord. Get.XI, 71). Kings and priests came from the ranks of Pileati. Other sources also describe them as the Dacian elite.
Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, had personally learned, straight from one of Zalmoxis' apprentices, an incantation of those "able to make human beings immortals". "Zalmoxis disappeared from the nucleus of Thracian social life and descended to his underground shelter. He lived there for about three or four years. The Thracians thought he had vanished and wanted him back dearly, lamenting his loss as if he were really dead. At the end of his 4th year, Zalmoxis appeared once more to their eyes, thus managing to make his teachings believable through some kind of "personal example". Regarding Zamolxis' background itself and his underground hiding shelter, I personally don't fully reject everything that is said, but don't believe too much in it either. It seems to me, though, that he might have actually lived many years before Phytagoras' time. So let Zamolxis be well, whatever he represents, either a human being or some Demon of the Getae people" (Herodotus, "Histories", volume IV, pages 94-95)

Jordanes speaks about the astronomical knowledge received by the Getae from Zalmoxis: "By explaining theoretical knowledge he urged them to contemplate the progress of the twelve constellations (of the zodiac) and the courses of the planets passing through them, and the whole of astronomy. He told them how the disc of the moon waxes or wanes, and showed them how much the fiery globe of the sun exceeds in size our earthly planet. He explained with which names or designations in the arching heavens the three hundred forty-six stars hurtle from their rising to their setting." (Jordanes, THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS, XI, 69)

Diodorus Siculus connects the teaching of the druids with the Pythagorean doctrine because both postulate the immortality of souls. Hippolitus, who wrote around the late second, early third century AD, even reports that the teaching of Pythagoras was introduced to the Celts by a slave of Pythagoras, the Thracian Zalmoxis. However, as Herodot mentioned, Zalmoxis lived, probably, many years before Phytagoras. Pythagoras himself was initiated according to a Thracian ritual!

Herodot tells us about "Zalmoxis, who is called also Gebeleizis by some among them". Gebeleizis stands from the root i.e.*g'heib meaning light (W. Tomaschek, Die alten Thraker, II, p.61). For Walde-Pokorny and Decev, Gebeleizis stands from the root i.e.*guer meaning to shine (A. Wade - J. Pokorny, Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der Indo-Germanischen Sprachen, Berlin, I-III, 1927-32, p. 643). Both interpretations are suggesting that Zalmoxis was surnamed "the enlighted" or "the shining", which happened because he was the priest of the only god of the Dacians: the sun god. Because the same reasons, the Dacian lords were called "tarabostes", "tara" meaning tiara while "bostes" was standing from the root i.e.*bhô-s, meaning shining (A. Wade - J. Pokorny, Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der Indo-Germanischen Sprachen, Berlin, II, p. 122). So the Dacian lords were surnamed the shining ones wearing tiaras. This confirms that the Dacian lords were also priests, because, as Jordanes tells us (THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS, XI, 72), while they performed the rituals, the Dacian priests wore tiaras, being called "pilleati" (from pilleus = fur cap) because of that.


Hestia, the goddess of hearth seems to precede the Greek civilization. Homer describes Hestia as the first born, most honored and chief of the goddesses: "Nor yet does the pure maiden Hestia love Aphrodite's works. She was the first-born child of wily Cronos and youngest too, by will of Zeus who holds the aegis, -- a queenly maid whom both Poseidon and Apollo sought to wed. But she was wholly unwilling, nay, stubbornly refused; and touching the head of father Zeus who holds the aegis, she, that fair goddess, sware a great oath which has in truth been fulfilled, that she would be a maiden all her days. So Zeus the Father gave her an high honor instead of marriage, and she has her place in the midst of the house and has the richest portion. In all the temples of the gods she has a share of honor, and among all mortal men she is chief of the goddesses." (Hymns, V. To Aphrodite, ll. 7-32)

Herodotus gives the following information on the Scythian pantheon: "They worship only the following gods, namely, Hestia, whom they reverence beyond all the rest, Zeus, and Earth whom they consider to be the wife of Zeus; and after these Apollo, Celestial Aphrodite, Heracles, and Ares." At Pokrovka, Russia, was found the skeleton of a  middle aged female in horseback riding position, in Kurgan 03. The accoutrements that identified these females as belonging to the special Sauromatian social status of "priestesses of the hearth." (Tabiti – Hestia)

The Dacian Goddess Esta/Eshta (Roman Vesta, or Greek Hestia), whom Plato calls the “soul of the body of the universe," is likely to come from the Hattic Sun Goddess, Estan/Eshtan that evolved into Hittite Istanu, a male Sun God. In Hattic Eshtan/Estan means also Sun and Sunday. Hattic was a language spoken by the Hattians in Asia Minor between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC, before the arrival of Nesian (i.e., "Hittite") speakers.

The Dacian hearth women were led by priestesses of Esta/Vesta/Hestia that wore golden spiraled bracelets, with stylized snakes. These bracelets were unearthed since 1996.

Hestia was an immensely important deity in Thrace, and according to Diodorus Siculus, "there were many Hestias, and one, common to all, who was the goddess of the state hearth." A Thracian tomb, from the first half of the 3rd century B.C., is situated 2,5 km south-west of Sveshtari. It has  ten identical figures in high relief of the hearth-goddess Hestia, patroness of the hearth, each standing with raised arms in a caryatid-like pose. The tomb also has a mural with the image of a horseman, being bestowed with a golden wreath by Hestia (Vesta), accompanied by her priestesses (Vestals).
Seven centuries later, the mural painting from Sveshtari is echoed by the Dacian painters on a mural painting from Basilica di San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, where the Vestal virgins are holding crowns and are represented with auras, like the saints, which is totally outstanding and unique. Other Dacian features of the "Gothic" church Sant'Apollinare of Classe, near Ravenna, are the depiction of the three Magi wearing Dacian caps and the depiction of Saint Apollinare accompanied by twelve sheep representing the twelve apostles. Thus, Saint Apollinare replaces Jesus in this depiction, which is again unique. Saint Apollinare was the protector saint of the city of Ravenna. His name (Apollinare) means in Latin "sacred to Apollo", an obvious reference to the worship of Apollo practiced by the Dacians,

"The male-virgin of the Orientals, is, I know, considered the same by Plato as his Ejia, or Vesta, whom he calls the soul of the body of the universe. This Hestia, by the way, is in my view a Sanskrit lady, whose name I take to have been EST, or she that is, or exists, having the same meaning as the great of the Jewish Deity. Est is shown in the Celtic Druids to be a Sanskrit word, and I do not doubt of this her derivation. The A terminal is added by the Greek idiom to denote a female, as they hated an indeclinable proper name, such as HEST or EST would have been." (Extract from a letter from Mackenzie Berverly, Esq.)

The above theory is sustained by Diodorus Siculus, who wrote that Estia (Estia) was a goddess of Getae and that Zalmoxis is said to have claimed that Hestia gave to the Getae their laws (Book 1, 94, 2). Thus, the real name of the Getic Goddess might have been "Esti", meaning "it is"or "you are" in Romanian language. This name is paralleled by the Romanian word for saint: "Sânt", meaning "I am".

"... of all the judges, they shall lay them up at the altar of Hestia. And after doing this thrice, during which proceedings they shall pay full attention to evidence and witnesses, each of the judges shall cast a sacred vote, promising by Hestia to give just and true judgment to the best of his power; and thus they shall bring to its end this form of trial." (Plato, Laws: section 856a)

Vesta, the Roman correspondent of Greek Hestia was also symbolizing the law. The Vestal Virgins from Rome were also in charge of wills and testaments.
In Dacia, the priestesses of Hestia had attributions of judges when men were gone to war. Apparently, this custom was used also by Greeks, in the early times: "Now the great leader in heaven, Zeus, driving a winged chariot, goes first, arranging all things and caring for all things. He is followed by an army of gods and spirits, arrayed in eleven squadrons; Hestia alone remains in the house of the gods." (Plato, Phaedrus, section 246e)
Five Dacian priestesses, wearing head-kerchiefs, are represented on the Trajan's Column, burning with torches three roman prisoners. Into the picture is represented also their temple.

Nestinari is an old Thracian ritual, remained from the cult of Hestia, is still celebrated exactly one month after the Roman Palilia. The coming of summer is traditionally celebrated on St. Konstantin and St. Elena Day on May 21, and in some of the remoter villages in the Stranzha hills fire dancing, dancing on heated coals, is still practised. The nestinari horo, circle dance around the fire, is played barefoot by men and women . Not does the fire burns the evil in the nestinari who are dancing on the embers, but also burns all illnesses and purges them. Dancing on glowing embers brings fertility and health. 

The ancient Palladium was a sacred torch, lighted by the fire of the temple of Hestia. The story of the Palladium's fall from heaven, signifies that the Palladium bears the sacred fire brought by the thunders of Zeus. It was founded by the Greek warriors Odysseus and Diomedes, who carried it off from the temple of Athena in Troy, thus making the Greek capture of Troy possible.  It was particularly identified with the statue brought to Italy by the hero Aeneas after Troy's destruction and preserved in the shrine of the goddess Vesta at Rome. However, according to Vergil, the Palladium that the Greeks had stolen was a fake. 

This temple of Vesta from Rome was undoubtedly burned when the Gauls sacked the city in 390 BC, and again in 241 when Caecilius Metellus rescued the Palladium at the cost of his sight, which was miraculously restored. The burning of the temple had a lesser negative signification than the ceasing of the sacred fire. The fire had to be kept alive at all cost. That's why Caecilius saved the sacred fire by the sacred torch, the Palladium.

Prytaneum (Greek PRYTANEION), was a town hall of a Greek city-state, normally housing the chief magistrate and the common altar or hearth of the community. Ambassadors, distinguished foreigners, and citizens who had done signal service were entertained there. The prytaneum was dedicated to Hestia, goddess of the hearth, and within the building a perpetual fire burned. According to some contemporary sources, when colonizers established a new Greek colony, they brought with them a brand from the prytaneum at Athens, from which the fire in the new colony's prytaneum was kindled. 

The ritual of transporting the sacred fire from a place to another has survived up today, into the rituals of the Olimpic games: the fire is brought by a torch (Palladium) to the place where will be held the games. There is lit the fire, which has to burn continuously during the games. At the end of the games, the Palladium was lighted again and the fire was brought to another place.

The Prytaneum from Olympia, contained a hearth on which burned a "perpetual fire" and it also had a banquet room in which the Olympic victors were feasted.

Latin language had four names which were connected to the usage of fire: 

Since the Dacians were mainly shepherds, and Palilia and Palibus were festivals of shepherds, it makes sense to believe that Romans imported these customs, as well al the traditions regarding the sacred fire, Palladium, from the Dacians!

Before the end of the 4th century BC, it was common to swear by Hestia:
"Blepsidemus:[395] Are you telling the truth?
Chremylus: I am.
Blepsidemus: Swear it by Hestia." (Aristophanes, Plutus, 395)
By 350 BC, Hestia is presented as the goddess of the Greek senate: " On our return, then, after we had rendered to the senate a brief report of our mission and had delivered the letter from Philip, Demosthenes praised us to his colleagues in the senate, and he swore by Hestia, goddess of the senate, that he congratulated the city on having sent such men on the embassy, men who in honesty and eloquence were worthy of the state." (Aeschines, On the Embassy, 2, 45)
"The hearth of the Prytaneum, the headquarters of the standing committee of the senate, was regarded as the common hearth of the state; a statue of Hestia was in this hall, and in the senate-house was an altar of that goddess." (Aeschines, On the Embassy, 2, 45, n1)
The Roman version of Hestia, the goddess Vesta , began by only being worshipped in the homes of Roman families as a household deity. However, Vesta soon evolved into a state goddess. The people of Rome built the Temple of Vesta in the Forum Romanum. The temple was built in the third century B.C. It is said that Numa Pompilius set up the service of Vesta.
By the 1st century BC, Hestia (Vesta) is presented as the goddess of the Roman senate: "[6] Critias, fearing that Theramenes might overthrow the oligarchy, threw about him a band of soldiers with drawn swords. [7] They were going to arrest him, but, forestalling them, Theramenes leaped up to the altar of Hestia of the Council Chamber, crying out, "I flee for refuge to the gods, not with the thought that I shall be saved, but to make sure that my slayers will involve themselves in an act of impiety against the gods." (Diodorus Siculus, Library, book 14, chapter 4)
When Dionysus came to the Olymp, Hestia left her seat to him.
Like Dacians, Romans and Greeks, the Iranians concluded contracts before fires so that they might be made in the presence of Mithra. Like Mitra, Mithra saw all things. The Avestan Yast (hymn) dedicated to him describes him as having a thousand ears, ten thousand eyes, and as never sleeping. The names Mitra, Mithra and Mithras all derive from the Indo-European root "Mihr," which translates both as "friend" and as "contract."
The friendship or contract offered by Mihr, or Mitra as he became known, was an exchange between unequal partners with Mitra as a just lord. Like any feudal relationship, this "friendship" imposed certain obligations on both sides. Mitra oversaw the affairs of his worshippers. He established justice for them. In return, his worshippers had to be upright in their dealings with others. Mitra was thus "lord of the contract" (a title frequently applied to him).


Ares, the god of war is of Scythian origin. Herodotus wrote in his Histories, Book 4, 62 :"Upon this pile of which I speak each people has an ancient iron sword set up, and this is the sacred symbol of Ares. To this sword they bring yearly offerings of cattle and of horses; and they have the following sacrifice in addition, beyond what they make to the other gods, that is to say, of all the enemies whom they take captive in war they sacrifice one man in every hundred, not in the same manner as they sacrifice cattle, but in a different manner: for they first pour wine over their heads, and after that they cut the throats of the men, so that the blood runs into a bowl; and then they carry this up to the top of the pile of brushwood and pour the blood over the sword."
The Scythian Agathyrsi introduced the worship of Ares into Dacia. From there it spread around.

Mars, the god of war, known to be at high esteem among the Romans, was adopted from the Dacians. The historian Jordanes wrote: "so highly were the Getae praised that Mars, whom the fables of poets call the god of war, was reputed to have been born among them. Hence Virgil says: "Father Gradivus rules the Getic fields." 
The famous Black Sea exiled Roman poet, Publius Ovidius Naso (43 B.C.-17 A.D.) speaks in his writings about his next door Getae neighbor who was worshipping Ares (Greek equivalent to the Roman Mars). . Iordanes wrote that "the Getae people have always adored Mars through an extremely savage cult, killing war prisoners as sacrifices dedicated to His glory...". Some of the wolf warriors, worshipers of Mars, moved from the Balkan peninsula, crossing the Adriatic Sea, to the Italian Peninsula. Some "wolf warriors" tribes were present among the pre-Romanic inhabitants of the Italian peninsula. They derived their behaviours and beliefs from the Dacians. The legend of the she-wolf who raised Romulus and Remus, said to be the sons of Mars, together with the affirmation of Vegetius, who wrote "the God Mars has been born from within Thracian Land" shows the Thracian origins of the Roman warriors' beliefs and religion. 
The Historia Augusta mentions that wolf-snake draco became the Roman imperial flag: the mother of Severus (193-211 AD) dreamt of a purple snake before his birth, something very alike what we later hear of the Imperial standard. (Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Severus 4.1)
The Roman draco developed into a real dragon, without ears but with scales and a crest. The only fully preserved draco was found in the Limes fortress of Niederbieber in Germany, which dates to the 3rd century. This copper alloy object was discovered near the SW edge of the vicus (civilian settlement) outside the fort. It can best be described as a scaled monster's head, measuring 30x12x12 cm, and with some probability is the head of a cohort's draco. 
Two holes of similar size are pierced through both the throat and the skull behind the crest. No doubt a staff or the shaft of a spear would pass through here. Two axial slits, 2 cm long, pierce the botom of the lower jaw, probably to attach a lost mechanism that would have produced the hissing effect. 
The late 4th c. author Vegetius also mentions the draco as a common standard: "What are the dragonbearers and standardbearers, which hold spears in their left hand, to do in battle, whose heads and breasts are naked?" (Vegetius, Epitoma rei militaris 1.20)
Vegetius also mentions that each cohort has a draco/dragon: "Dragons, one each for the individual cohorts, are carried into battle by dragonbearers" (Vegetius, Epitoma rei militaris 2.13)


In 67 B.C., the first congregation of Mithras-worshipping soldiers existed in Rome under the command of General Pompey. 
In 69AD, Legio III Gallica, with the rest of the Danubian army, aligned first with Otho, then with Vespasian. They were instrumental in the final defeat of Vitellius in the second Battle of Bedriacum . This legion during its service in Syria had developed the custom of saluting the rising sun, and when dawn broke at Bedriacum they turned east to do so. The forces of Vitellius thought that they were saluting reinforcements from the east and lost the will to fight. 
From 67 to 70 A.D., the legio XV Apollinaris, or Fifteenth Apollonian Legion, took part in suppressing the uprising of the Jews in Palestine. After sacking and burning the Second Temple in Jerusalem and capturing the infamous Ark of the Covenant, this legion accompanied Emperor Titus to Alexandria, where they were joined by new recruits from Cappadocia (Turkey) to replace casualties suffered in their victorious campaigns. After their transportation to the Danube with the veteran legionnaires, they offered sacrifices to Mithras in a semicircular grotto that they consecrated to him on the banks of the river. Soon, this first temple was no longer adequate and a second one was built adjoining a temple of Jupiter. As a municipality developed alongside the camp and the conversions to Mithraism continued to multiply, a third and much larger Mithraeum was erected towards the beginning of the second century. This temple was later enlarged by Diocletian, Emperor from 284-305 A.D. Diocletian rededicated this sanctuary to Mithras, giving him the title "The Protector of the Empire". 
In the year 307 A. D., Diocletian, Galerius, and Licinius had a solemn meeting at Carnuntum on the Danube, and there consecrated together a sanctuary "to the Unconquered Sun-god Mithra, the favourer of their empire."
When Commodus (Emperor from 180-192 A.D.) was initiated into the Mithraic religion, there began an era of strong support of Mithraism that included emperors such as Aurelian, Diocletian, and Julian the Apostate, who called Mithras "the guide of the souls". All of these emperors took the Mithraic titles of 'Pius', 'Felix', and 'Invictus' (devout, blessed, and invincible). Emperor Nero adopted the radiating crown as the symbol of his sovereignty to exemplify the splendour of the rays of the sun, and to show that he was an incarnation of Mithras.

From the end of the Syrian rulers, the next group of emperors, all the way to Constantine, were soldiers and not one of them was Roman, in fact, not a single one was even Italian. Most came from humble origins in the Balkans (by the way, the Balkan region was a strong-hold of Mithraic sun-worship). One of these emperors, Aurelian, who reigned from 270 to 275 A. D., was from the Balkans. His father was a farmer while his mother, like the Syrian emperors’ mothers, was a priestess of the Sun (Historians’ History, vol. 6, p. 421). According to the Historia Augusta (Aurel. 4,2; 5,5), his mother was priestess of the Sun-god in the temple of the village where he was born. 
Lucius Domitius Aurelianus was born on the 9th of September 214 or 215 in either Dacia ripensis or in Sirmium (modern Sremska Mitrovica, in Pannonia), i.e. in the region of today's northern Serbia, southern Romania, and western
Bulgaria (Birthdate: Chronograph 354, see CIL I2, pp. 255; 272; birthyear 214: Malalas (Bonn), 301; birthyear 215: Synopsis Sathas p. 39, line 16; born in Dacia ripensis: Eutr. 9,13,1; born in Sirmium or Dacia ripensis: SHA, Aurel. 3,1; origins of Moesia: SHA, Aurel. 3,2; born between Dacia and Macedonia: Epit. de Caes. 35,1.) He was of humble origins, his father being a colonus (tenant) of a senator named Aurelius. Aurelian had a military career; as dux equitum (commander of the cavalry), he joined the conspiracy against the emperor Gallienus in A.D. 268 and supported the new ruler Claudius II Gothicus, under whose reign he continued his career, becoming supreme commander of the whole cavalry of the Roman army. Aurelian was proclaimed emperor by the troops. By reuniting the empire, which had virtually disintegrated under the pressure of invasions and internal revolts, he earned his self-adopted title restitutor orbis ("restorer of the world").
In 271 Aurelian defeated the Goths on the Danube and withdrew Roman occupants from Dacia to an area south of the Danube. Tenths of thousands of colonists were relocated from Dacia to Rome on this occasion, bringing with them their customs and beliefs.
In 274, Aurelian created a new cult of the "Sol Invictus" (Invincible Sun). Worshipped in a splendid temple, served by pontiffs who were raised to the level of the ancient pontiffs of Rome and celebrated every fourth year by magnificent games (just like the Greek Olimpic games!), Sol Invictus was definitely promoted to the highest rank in the divine hierarchy and became the official protector of the Sovereigns and of the Empire. Aurelian established a new college of high priests, under the name Pontifices Dei Solis.
The coins of Aurelian also attest his devotion to the solar deity. On one of them the Sun is seen offering to the emperor a globe as a symbol of the empire of the world, with a captive lying at their feet; some of the inscriptions on the coins proclaim the Sun-god to be the Preserver or Restorer of the World or even Lord of the Roman Empire. 


The Roman Emperor Galerius was born near Serdica, Thrace [now Sofia, Bulgaria], of humble parentage and had a distinguished military career. On March 1, 293, he was nominated as Caesar by the emperor Diocletian, who governed the Eastern part of the empire. Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletanius, was born in Dalmatia Salona in 243 AD and given the Greek name of Diokles ("glory of Zeus").
After fighting hostile tribes along the Danube River for several years, Galerius assumed command of defensive operations against the Sasanids, in 297. After being defeated, he then won a decisive victory that increased his influence on Diocletian. 
When Diocletian abdicated on May 1, 305, Galerius became Augustus (senior emperor) of the East, ruling the Balkans and Anatolia. 
The Arch of Galerius is celebrating the victory over the Sassanid Persians. There are represented warriors with the draco standard and wearing Sarmatian Lamella armors. That strongly suggests that Galerius' army was composed of Dacians.

The Christian apologist Lactantius (240 - 320 AD), speaks about Galerius: "his mother was born beyond the Danube, and it was an inroad of the Carpi that obliged her to cross over and take refuge in New Dacia". This New Dacia was the part of the Balcan Peninsula from the south of the Danube.
Lactantius describes Galerius as an ardent worshiper of Mars: “he cried out, with a stern look and terrible voice, "How long am I to be Caesar?" Then he began to act extravagantly, insomuch that, as if he had been a second Romulus, he wished to pass for and to be called the offspring of Mars; and that he might appear the issue of a divinity, he was willing that his mother Romula should be dishonored with the name of adulteress.”
Galerius was proud of his Dacian origin and despised the Romans. Lactantius wrote about it: "Long ago, indeed, and at the very time of his obtaining sovereign power, he had avowed himself the enemy of the Roman name; and he proposed that the empire should be called, not the Roman, but the Dacian empire."[ So Lactantius, in De mortibus persecutorum, XXVII.8. (Ed. CERF, Paris, 1954)]

Sir James G. Frazer, tells in "The golden bough", Chapter XII "The Worship of Nature", that in the year 307 A. D., Diocletian, Galerius, and Licinius had a solemn meeting at Carnuntum on the Danube, and there consecrated together a sanctuary "to the Unconquered Sun-god Mithra, the favourer of the empire." This indicates that Galerius was himself a worshipper of the Sun-god. (Sir James G. Frazer, The golden bough, Chapter XII The Worship of Nature, 1925)
Galerius put Rome under siege, in an attempt to conquer it, but his dream was accomplished several years later by Constantine the Great.


Constantine was born Flavius Valerius Constantius in 274 A.D. in the Roman province of Moesia (later Serbia) and was the son of the commander Constantius Chlorus (later Constantius I) and Helena.
In his book entitled De Magistratibus Ioannes Lydus reports that Constantine the Great wrote, in his native (oikeia) tongue, some Discourses which he left to posterity. As shown bellow, it was the Thracian language.

Following the example of his father and earlier 3rd-century emperors, Constantine in his early life was a solar henotheist, believing that the Roman sun god, Sol, was the visible manifestation of an invisible "Highest God" (summus deus), who was the principle behind the universe. This god was thought to be the companion of the Roman emperors. 
Constantine's father left his mother c. 292 to marry Flavia Maximiana Theodora, daughter or step-daughter of Western Roman Emperor Maximian. Theodora would give birth to six half-siblings of Constantine, including Julius Constantius.
Constantine served at the court of Diocletian in Nicomedia as a kind of hostage after the appointment of his father, a general, as one of the two caesares in 293. In 305, the Augustus, Maximian, abdicated, and Constantius succeeded to the position. 
Constantine joined his father in making war on the Scots and Picts in Northern Britain. When his father died in 306, Constantine was proclaimed Emperor by his soldiers at York. His elite warriors, the cavalry, were Dacian/Sarmatian horsemen like the horseman from the Chester stele.
Constantine's Head, marble sculpture found in York, displayed now in the Yorkshire Museum, is the earliest portrait of him, carved shortly after he was proclaimed Emperor.
A mosaic roundel with Constantine’s head and his Chi-Rho sign was found in Hinton St Mary, Dorset, England. On stylistic grounds it has been dated to the 4th century and is attributed to the workshop of the Durnovarian school of mosaic art. The panel is 17ft by 15ft. A central circle surrounds a portrait bust of a man in a white pallium standing before a Chi Rho symbol and two pomegranates. This mosaic suggests that Constantine adopted the chi-rho insignia while he was in Britain.
Constantine's adherence to this faith is evident from his claim of having had a vision of the sun god in 310 while in a grove of Apollo in Gaul. From AD 310, Apollo-Sol dominated Constantine’s coinage. 
Constantine  invaded Italy in 312 and after a lightning campaign defeated his brother-in-law Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge near Rome, where Constantine's army was fiercely outnumbered . Eusebius, his official biographer, wrote about the vision that Constantine had the day before the battle:
"At broad daylight he claimed to witness a magnificent and radiant figure of a cross above the sun. Above the sign was the inscription In hoc signo vinces "by this sign conquer". The next morning he had his army paint their shields and carry this "sign" that he had seen early into battle."
The labarum symbol was in use long before Constantine choose it as his army's insignia, and X (Chi) probably stood for Great Fire or Sun, and P (Rho) probably stood for Pater or Patah (Father). The word labarum yields everlasting Father Sun. Constantine replaced the eagle from the Roman standard by the labarum with the motto "en touty nika" which was later interpreted into "In hoc signo vinces".
The Labarum had a been Chaldean symbol of the sun, and an emblem of Etruria ages before Constantine and the Christian era. Thus, Constantine set to work placing the solar symbol on the shields of everyone in his army, most of which were of the Mithra/Sol Invictus sentiment. The discipline brought to the military by Aurelian was still very much alive and very much Mithraic. The next day Constantine swept the enemy into the Tiber River, and entered victoriously into Rome! Constantine's vision refers to a cross on the sky, as it was a symbol for the sun or "Sol Invictus" (Invincible Sun) of the Romans. As a result of his victory from 312, fought under the sign of the sun, the cross, in 321 emperor Constantine issued an edict which outlawed work on the "venerable day of the sun," Sunday: "On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed". 
Within three years Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman empire. From that, the Roman Catholic Church, and its many Protestant daughter churches, got the commonly-accepted Sunday observance of today. 
The triumphal arch of Constantine, built in 315 by the senate of Rome, after his "conversion," contains reliefs of Jupiter, Mars and Hercules, and Constantine apparently associated his victory at the Milvian Bridge with the power of the sun, but no Christian symbol can be found on the structure and there is no reference to Christ; however, there are images and homage paid to Mithras, another sun god whose birthday is December 25th (Emperor's State of Grace).
The Constantinian coinage was marked "Sol Invicto Comiti," or "Committed to Sol Invictus" (Apollo/Helios, Mithra, etc.). He, like many before him and after him, saw Christianity as yet another form of solar allegory.
Eusebius, a father of the Church who was an advisor to emperor Constantine, wrote: "The Logos (Christ) has transferred by the New Alliance the celebration of the Sabbath to the rising of the light. He has given us a type of the true rest in the saving day of the Lord, the first day of light".
Constantine waited until just before his death to be baptized because he believed that baptism washes away sins.
The largest obelisk at Rome was originally transported from Heliopolis to Alexandria by Constantine, and conveyed to Rome by his son Constantius, who placed it in the Circus Maximus (Amm. Marc. XVII.4). Its present position is before the north portico of the Lateran church, where it was placed in 1588. Its whole height is about 149 feet, and without the base about 105 feet. Pliny (23-79 AD) considered that the Egyptian obelisks were dedicated to the Sun ("Solis numini sacratos") and represent an image of the sun.
"[Constantine] diminished none of the privileges of the sacred virgins, he filled the priestly offices with nobles, he did not refuse the cost of the Roman ceremonies, and following the rejoicing Senate through all the streets of the eternal city, he contentedly beheld the shrines with unmoved countenance, he read the names of the gods inscribed on the pediments, he enquired about the origin of the temples, and expressed admiration for their builders. Although he himself followed another religion, he maintained its own for the empire, for everyone has his own customs, everyone his own rites." (Medieval sourcebook: "The Memorial of Symmachus, prefect of the City")
On the top side of the Arch of Constantine, from Rome, can be seen big sculptures representing Dacians, as in the nearby picture, indicating that Dacians had important ranks and a high esteem in the hierarchy of the empire. A painted statue (left) representing a Dacian is found in Boboli. It was brought there from Rome, where it decorated Villa Medici, by the Grand Dukes. The statue represents a Dacian greeting the visitors at the beginning of the alley leading to the top of the hill. In all the sculptures depicting Dacians, they were always portrayed in a very dignified manner and in a proud standing, suggesting that they remained well regarded even after Dacia was defeated by Trajan.

On a coin from 337 AD, Constantine was also represented as the sun-god Helios, proving that he still was a sun worshipper at that time.
In the new city built by him, Constantinople, the Emperor Constantine had a large forum, which was round or oval is shape, built in the centre of the city; in the centre of this forum was his own statue, placed on top of a column of reddish stone. This column is today known as Cemberlitas, meaning "Burnt Column". The statue on the top of the column represented Constantine as Apollo saluting the sun, as seen in an image from the Tabula Peutingeriana.



Long before Aurelian created the new cult of the "Sol Invictus" at Rome, Apollo was called Bonus Deus Puer, or Bonus puer phosphorus, in many inscriptions consecrated to him, found in Dacia, mainly in the Apullum city, the capital of Dacia Apulensis province, called so in the honor of the Dacian sun god, Apollo. Apollo’s sceptre assumes at times the form of a cross (cf. coin of Gallienus reproduced in Victor Duruy’s Hist. des Romains, Paris, 1885, Vol. VIII, p. 42, ERE). 

Pliny wrote in 77 AD: "Apollinem serpentemque eius sagittis configi, citharoedum, qui Dicaeus appellatus est" (Pliny, The Natural History, Liber XXXIV, XIX, 59), meaning: Apollo who arrowed the serpent, he who plays the guitar, who is called Dicaeus (the Dacian). Up to now, people in Maramureș still play the so called "cetera", the descendant of Latin "cithara".
Pindar (c.518-c.438) said that Apollo, after the building of  Troy, returned to his country on the Ister (Danube) river (Olymp VIII, 47). So both Pliny and Pindar confirm that Apollo was coming from Dacia.

Apollo shared the sanctuary at Delphi with Dionysus. Every fall Apollo departed for his winter quarters in the land of the Hyperboreans, returning in the spring. During his absence the Pythia did not deliver oracles, and Dionysus ruled over Delphi.
Strabo locates the Hyperboreans above the Black Sea (Euxine), the Danube river (Ister) and the Adriatic sea: “Now all the peoples towards the north were by the ancient Greek historians given the general name Scythians or Celtoscythians; but the writers of still earlier times, making distinctions between them, called those who lived above the Euxine and the Ister and the Adriatic Hyperboreans, Sauromatians, and Arimaspians.” (Strabo, Geography, Book XI, Chapter VI.2)
Pliny the Elder locates the Hyperboreans in the area of the Carpathian Mountains (Ripaean Mountains): “the Hyperboreans, who are said by a majority of authorities to be in Europe. After that point the first place known is Lytharmis, a promontory of Celtica, and the river Carambucis, where the range of the Ripaean Mountains terminates” (Pliny, Natural History, 6.34)
Both the above locations are indicating that the Hyperboreans lived somewhere on the Dacian territory.

Not only Apollo, but also Eileithyia, the pre-Hellenic goddess of childbirth, came from the Hyperboreans. She assisted Leto when she gave birth to her son Apollo:
[1.18.5] Hard by is built a temple of Eileithyia, who they say came from the Hyperboreans to Delos and helped Leto in her labour; and from Delos the name spread to other peoples. The Delians sacrifice to Eileithyia and sing a hymn of Olen.
[1.31.2] At Prasiae is a temple of Apollo. Hither they say are sent the first-fruits of the Hyperboreans, and the Hyperboreans are said to hand them over to the Arimaspi, the Arimaspi to the Issedones, from these the Scythians bring them to Sinope, thence they are carried by Greeks to Prasiae, and the Athenians take them to Delos. The first-fruits are hidden in wheat straw, and they are known of none. (Pausanias Description of Greece, Book I: Attica)

Some words are suggesting that the Gets/Getae were worshiping Apollo. The word apologetic (same in Romanian) stands from the Getic way of worshipping Apollo: they used to song into his glory. The Gets, through Aurelian, and later the Goths, who borrowed all Getic traditions and history, spread this way of worshipping throughout entire Europe. That's why the word apologist is the same in Romanian and German: apologet (Apollo worshipping  Get), while does not have a close correspondent in Latin or Greek. Apollo is the only God who has the same name both in Greek and Roman pantheon, and that's because they adopted him from the same source, from the Daco-Gets.

Herodotus, wrote about a Dacian custom in Histories [4.94]: "when it lightens and thunders, aim their arrows at the sky, uttering threats against the (thunder) god; and they do not believe that there is any god but their own (sun god)." This tells us that Dacians had only one god, who was the sun god and they sent arrows into the clouds in order to clear the sky and make their god, the sun, to appear and shine. The oldest occurrence of this custom is attested at Yurakare, Semang and Sakai: they aimed their arrows at the sky, uttering threats against the thunder god. (Mircea Eliade, Notes on the symbolism of the arrow, pp. 465, 466). Similarly, the sun god Mithra was represented throwing arrows against the clouds (F. Saxl, Mithras, Berlin, 1931, p. 76; G. Windengren, Die Religionen Irans, p. 44).

In a Dacian relief, Apollo/Mithra is represented standing with his knee on his sacrificial animal, the bull. Into the corners are represented his symbols:  a head representing the sun, a head having a crescent above,  representing the moon, a wolf, symbolizing the death,  jumping at Apollo/Mithra, and a snake, Python, symbolizing the false prophecies, the delusion. The latter two symbols were joined into the Dacian wolf-dragon banner, while the moon and the sun were carved on the Valach funerary crosses, as solar rather than Christian symbols, during the entire middle age. The relief shows Apollo/Mithra, wearing a Dacian bent forward cap, together with the lower symbols, the wolf and the snake, under an arch made of stone blocks, symbolizing the entrance into a cave, the place where his rituals took place, while the upper symbols, the sun and the moon are on the sky out of the cave. Like in the Corycian cave from Delphi, the priests of the sun god, always performed the rituals in caves. The same did Zalmoxis: "he was making for himself meanwhile a chamber under the ground; and when his chamber was finished, he disappeared from among the Thracians and went down into the underground chamber, where he continued to live for three years". (Herodotus, book IV, 96) Strabon gives more information about this in Geographia (VII, 3, 5): "After he secluded himself  into a kind of cave, inaccessible to the others, he spent a while there, meeting seldom with those outside, excepting the king and his counselors"... "This custom lasted up to our days; according to the tradition, always was found such a man who helped the king's counselor, and among the Getae, this man was called god." This explains why, the sun god's priest Zalmoxis was also considered a god. Probably the priest was considered as merging with the sun god, just like, latter, in Christianity, Jesus merged with God. The prayers were addressed to Zalmoxis just like in Christianity the prayers are addressed to Jesus. 

In a similar bas-relief of white marble found in Italy, at Bologna, are represented, bellow the bull, the wolf, the serpent and scorpion, the two torch-bearers, and above the one to the left the raven. Near each torch-bearer is a pine-tree (?). There were discovered two pairs of statues of these torch-bearers are accompanied by inscriptions, from which we learn that the one who held up his torch was called Cautes, and that the one who held down his torch was called Cautopates.
Both names are very old and are coming from the Etruscan mythology, where the name of the sun god was Cautha. He is generally depicted as rising from the sea. 
 Long ago the learned French antiquary Montfaucon interpreted the three figures of these reliefs as the rising sun (Cautes), the mid-day sun (Mithra), and the setting sun (Cautopates). This would explain why in many reliefs the figure of Cautes, who holds up his torch, is accompanied by a cock, the herald of the dawn. In two Mithraic monuments the torch-bearer who holds up his torch in one hand supports a cock on the other. Hence we infer that this youth, named Cautes, was regarded as an emblem of the rising sun, and we may suppose that in the daily liturgy Cautes was invoked at sunrise, the bull-slaying god Mithra, at noon, and Cautopates at sunset. Therefore, the sacrifice of the bull was performed at the noon. Should be mentioned also that the torch bearers have their legs crossed, the cross being a sign associated to the sun, fact proven also by Constantine's cross.
On the upper border are the busts of the seven planets in the following order from the left: The Sun, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Hermes, Mars, and Luna. But the sun was rising from Cauthes (right) and was going to Cautopathes (left), so that the order of the planets is reversed when seen from left to right, following exactly the order of the weekdays: Luna-Monday (Moon’s day), Mars-Tuesday, Hermes-Wednesday, Jupiter-Thursday (Thor’s day), Venus-Friday (Frey’s day), Saturn-Saturday, Sun-Sunday. The seven planets are also corresponding to the degrees of initiation into the mysteries. A text of St. Jerome, confirmed by a series of inscriptions, informs us that there were seven degrees of initiation and that the mystic (sacratus) successively assumed the names of Raven (corax), Occult (cryphius), Soldier Lion (leo), Persian (Perses), Runner of the Sun (heliodromus), and Father (pater). The Dacian tribe called Apuli, also associated number seven to their Sun-God.
The seven planets represented on the Bologna relief raises the question: did Dacians have astronomical knowledge or it came to Roman empire from other populations like the Phoenicians, for instance. The answer is given by Jordanes, who speaks about the astronomical knowledge received by the Getae from Zalmoxis, long time before Romans had any idea about it.

The similarity of the Dacian bas-relief with the one from Bologna, which is more complex might suggest that Dacians borrowed the cult of Mithra from Rome. However, a unique fragmentary relief, discovered at Konjica, in Bosnia, which was part of Dacia, suggests the opposite. It represents six persons and a lion flanked by two columns having spirals carved in opposite directions. These columns suggests that the ritulal took place indoors. The columns are also replacing Cauthes and Cautopates from the other Mithraic reliefs. The right-turned turned spiral corresponds to the rise of the sun (Cauthes) while the left-turned spiral corresponds to the sunset (Cautopates). In the center are two persons sitting at a table on which are loaves. Both have their right arms raised, as for a blessing, attitude in which Mithra and the Sun are regularly represented on the other monuments. The one holding the horn personifies the Moon, just like the horned head from the Dacian relief, while the other personifies the Sun. Before the two persons sitting at the table, is placed a tripod bearing four tiny loaves of bread, each marked with a cross, the sign of the sun. This is suggesting that the bread, symbolizing the food, are a gift offered and blessed by the Sun and the Moon.
The two deities are flanked by a soldier, holding a sword in his right hand, and by a priest having a Dacian cap and holding a big drinking-horn. The drinking horns are typical Scythian, this influence being transmitted to Dacians by the Agathyrsi.
Dacian priests always had fur caps during their rituals, being called "pilleati" (from pilleus = fur cap) because of that. Meanwhile, the Romanian name for the priest's cap is "mitra". Most probably, Dacians used the same word. This explains the origin of the name Mithra. Most probably, Mithra was not the name of the Sun god, but the name of his priest, identified by his cap called "mitra".
The relief shows also two masked persons symbolizing the Raven and the Lion, probably the initiates of the first two degrees.
Some shrines, where Dacians worshiped Apollo, did not have any roof, in order to allow gazing at the sun. Surprisingly, sun worship was revived after 1980, not far from Konjica, where was discovered the above mentioned Mithraic relief. Since then, sun gazing was practiced by many pilgrims, at the holly site from Medjugorje.

The sacrifices, performed to worship Apollo, were at the origin of the epithet "Lykaios" (the wolf) attributed to Apollo, because the wolf was the symbol of death. Apollo was also called the Lykagenet, meaning born from a she-wolf, because was born from Leto transformed into a she-wolf.
The Dacians performed sacrifices on the so called "sun of andesite"of Sarmisegetusa, the main Dacian fortress. It has a diameter of 7 meters and is composed of 10 identical blocks of andesite assembled into a "pie" shape. It is the most massive monument of the Dacian architecture. The blood of the bulls was flowing through the interstices between the 10 blocks into a limestone basin positioned bellow and from there it was drained to a channel. The 10 interstices between the blocks, forming the diameters  of the circle or the "rays" of the sun, were precisely oriented towards the points of the rising sun during the solstices.

Tolkien, the author of the "Lord of the rings" placed the action around 4000 BC and "moulded his story accordingly, knowing that this was indeed the founding era of the Ring Lords who governed Euro-Asia (from Transylvania to Tibet) in long distant times."
The Dacian lords, were called Tarabostes, from "tara" meaning tiara while "bostes" was standing from the root i.e.*bhô-s, meaning shining. They were worshipping the sun and were depicted wearing rings in their left hands, exactly like the Faravahar carved on rock at Persepolis, like the Babilonian sun-god Shamash and similar to the Roman god Sol, who had a sphere in his left hand.  
In 1925 and 1930 a Parsi scholar, J.M. Unvala, wrote articles which identified the Faravahar as the symbol of the fravashi or "guardian spirit" of Zoroastrian teaching. Fravarti or fravashi, derives from an alternative meaning of "protect," implying the divine protection of the guardian spirit, the fravashi.
As the Winged Sun-disc of Horus it hovered over the Pharaoh of Egypt; it hovered over the Hittite King, and in Assyrian art it is depicted over the Assyrian King, often with weapons in its hands, helping the Assyrian monarch wage war. So when it enters Persian art, it is already a symbol of divine guardianship of the king. 
The Dacian Tarabostes had similar prerogatives to the Persian fravashi, being the protectors of the king. The tablet shows two Tarabostes accompanying their king while a foreign delegation is received. The king has in his right hand a ring having a skew cross inside (St. Andreas' cross). Between the king and the delegates is written "VETO", indicating that the Dacian king declined the proposal. As a consequence, the Dacians were attacked, as shown into the next tablet.
The plates are written using a mixture of Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. The second tablet shows the tarabostes outside their fortress, accompanying their king, Diecio, who is represented mounted on a horse, while a foreign army was approaching.  Into the lower right corner is written Daci, while behind the foreign army is written Bisino. The plates are probably from the fourth century AD.
The five Tarabostes, having the five rings of Apollo, are the counselors and guardians of the king Diecio and are closely related to the five Hyperborean Perpheres (carriers) described as the servants of Apollo, carriers of wheat straw rings from one community to another. They are mentioned by Herodotus: "at first, they say, the Hyperboreans sent two maidens bearing the sacred offerings, whose names, say the Delians, were Hyperoche and Laodike, and with them for their protection the Hyperboreans sent five men of their nation to attend them, those namely who are now called "Perpheres" and have great honours paid to them in Delos." (Herodotus, Histories, Book IV, 33 ) 

These five rings were in fact "sacred offerings bound up in wheat straw", mentioned by Herodotus: "sacred offerings bound up in wheat straw are carried from the land of the Hyperboreans and come to the Scythians, and then from the Scythians the neighbouring nations"  (Herodotus, Histories, Book IV, 33 ). Most probably, the rings were made from gold and were bounded in straw.
The five sacred rings of Apollo are known today as the Olympic rings and their signification is given by Pausanias:

[5.7.6] As for the Olympic games, the most learned antiquaries of Elis say that Cronus was the first king of heaven, and that in his honor a temple was built in Olympia by the men of that age, who were named the Golden Race. When Zeus was born, Rhea entrusted the guardianship of her son to the Dactyls of Ida, who are the same as those called Curetes. They came from Cretan Ida--Heracles, Paeonaeus, Epimedes, Iasius and Idas. 
[5.7.7] Heracles, being the eldest, matched his brothers, as a game, in a running-race, and crowned the winner with a branch of wild olive, of which they had such a copious supply that they slept on heaps of its leaves while still green. It is said to have been introduced into Greece by Heracles from the land of the Hyperboreans, men living beyond the home of the North Wind. [5.7.8] Olen the Lycian, in his hymn to Achaeia, was the first to say that from these Hyperboreans Achaeia came to Delos. When Melanopus of Cyme composed an ode to Opis and Hecaerge declaring that these, even before Achaeia, came to Delos from the Hyperboreans. 
 [5.7.9] And Aristeas of Proconnesus--for he too made mention of the Hyperboreans--may perhaps have learnt even more about them from the Issedones, to whom he says in his poem that he came. Heracles of Ida, therefore, has the reputation of being the first to have held, on the occasion I mentioned, the games, and to have called them Olympic. So he established the custom of holding them every fifth year, because he and his brothers were five in number. (Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.7
In the Official 1980 Olympics Guide, it stated that “The interlocking circles found on the altar at Delphi are considered by experts to be at least 3,000 years old.”


Rome's Antic History (vol. IV) of Th. Mommsen shows that Julius Caesar was prepared to attack the "Danubian wolves", being obsessed by the idea of the destruction of the non-Roman religious centers, which represented major obstacles for the Roman colonization.
During the summertime of the year 87 A.D., one of Rome's most decadent, perverted ancient Emperors, namely Domitianus, sent his armed troops into an attempt to conquer the gold and silver mines from the western Transylvania mountains. The Romans crossed the Danube River, trespassing the Dacian territory on an improvised vessel-made bridge. The Dacian warriors managed to ambush them within the extremely narrow mountain pass of Tapae (a zone also longtime nicknamed "Transylvania's Iron Gates") and to draw an awesome victory over the invaders. As a result, the famous V-th Roman Legion "Aludae" was totally destroyed and its military insignias captured, with its commander- in-chief, veteran General Cornelius Fuscus, being killed on the battlefield. The commander of the Dacians was Diurpaneus, according to the Roman historian Tacitus, a "tarabostes" (namely an aristocrat, according to local denomination) and to whom the king Duras Durbaneus, would grant his throne soon after Tapae's victory. Following deeds, to be carried out during the entire rest of his turbulent life, entitled Thraco-Dacian population to granting him the legendary nickname of Decebal, meaning Lord (Bal) of Dacia (Dece)

Dio Cassius writes in Epitome of Book 67 about Domitian's war: "At this time the Romans became involved in a very serious war with the Dacians, whose king was then Decebalus. This man was shrewd in his understanding of warfare and shrewd also in the waging of war; he judged well when to attack and chose the right moment to retreat; he was an expert in ambuscades and a master in pitched battles; and he knew not only how to follow up a victory well, but also how to manage well a defeat. Hence he showed himself a worthy antagonist of the Romans for a long time. I call the people Dacians, the names used by the natives themselves as well as by the Romans, though I am not ignorant that some Greek writers refer to them as Getae.". Once, Decebalus "cut down the trees that were on the site and put armour on the trunks, in order that the Romans might take them for soldiers and so be frightened and withdraw; and this actually happened." 
"Decebalus, the king of the Dacians, was making overtures to Domitian, promising him peace; but Domitian sent Fuscus against him with a large force. On learning of this Decebalus sent to him an embassy anew with the insulting proposal to make peace with the emperor, on condition that every Roman should elect to pay two obols to Decebalus each year; otherwise, he declared, he would make war and inflict great ills upon the Romans." Finally, Domitianus "had given large sums of money to Decebalus on the spot as well as artisans of every trade pertaining to both peace and war, and had promised to keep on giving large sums in the future."

The Dacians were always going to battle under the Dracones, their Wolf-Dragon banner (having a Wolf head ending through a Dragon tail), characteristic for the Thracian armies as well.

"While Rome busies herself with intrigues and disputes, she falls, smitten by the Dacians and by the Ethiopians, the former striking terror because of their fleet, the latter no less because of their arrows." (Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Odes, Lib. III, 6.). That’s why before their second Dacian war, the Romans had to build a stone bridge over the Danube: the boat bridges were attacked by the Dacian fleet. The bridge was built between 103-105 AD by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus. It had a length of 1,135 m. 

In 106 A.D., a large part of the country between Carpathian mountains (Transilvanian Alps) and Danube river, together with a part of Transylvania, were conquered by the Romans. The scenes representing the conquest of Dacia are represented on the Trajan’s Column from Rome. To celebrate the conquest of Dacia, Trajan ordered the longest festivities ever took place in Rome. The celebrations, which lasted for 123 days, while in a year there were only 66 days of festivities, starting from emperor Augustus. It was perhaps the most magnificent spectacle of ancient Rome.
With the the huge amounts of gold taken from Dacia, Trajan built impressive buildings, like Basilica Ulpia and the Trajan's Column.
"The Basilica Ulpia may not have been a building of any profound architectural originality. But there are few monuments of antiquity that enjoyed a greater and more enduring prestige, or that did more to shape the subsequent course of architectural history." - Ward-Perkins, Roman Imperial Architecture
Numismatic evidence indicates that a quadriga (four-horse chariot) surmounted the central porch and a biga (two-horse chariot) the lateral ones, all presumably of gilt bronze.
The roof of the basilica was covered with tiles of gilded bronze, which especially impressed the traveler Pausanius, who thought it "worth seeing not only for its general beauty but especially for its roof made of bronze" (Description of Greece, V.12.6).
The Vatican archives contain the manuscript of Emperor Trajan's personal doctor, Criton, who was describing, Geta-Dacians, as well. Seemingly he was the one who, after hearing the language commonly spoken by Dacian war-prisoners, is said to have exclaimed: "Why, are these (Dacians) Romans?" And, from then eversince, we were given the nickname of "Romans", today's Romani.
About the year 274 the Roman garrisons withdrew across the river, and took with them all the Daco-Roman colonists who cared to follow them. South of the Danube, in parts of what are now Serbia and Bulgaria, a new home preserved under the name of "Aurelian's Dacia," or Dacia Aureliani, the memory of the old.





The Samnites were the ancient warlike tribes inhabiting the mountainous from the center of southern Italy. These tribes, who spoke Oscan and were probably an offshoot of the Sabini, apparently referred to themselves not as Samnite but by the Oscan form of the word, which appears in Latin as Sabine.
The story recounted by Plutarch that Romulus, the founder of Rome, invited the Sabines to a feast and then carried off (raped) their women, is legendary.
Four cantons formed a Samnite confederation: Hirpini, Caudini, Caraceni, and Pentri.
According to Heraclides Ponticus (Fragm. Hist. Gr. 218), the name of the Samnite tribe of the Lucani came from Lykos, meaning wolf. Their neighbors, the Hirpini, took their name from hirpus, the Samnite word for wolf.
At the foot of Mount Soracte lived the Hirpi Sorani, the "wolves of Sora" (the Volscian city). According to the tradition transmitted by Servius, an oracle had advised the Hirpi Sorani to live "like wolves," that is, by rapine. And in fact they were exempt from taxes and from military service, for their biennial rite-which consisted in walking barefoot over burning coals-was believed to ensure the fertility of the country. This ritual was practiced in Thrace and, most probably, in Dacia. It survived up to now in Bulgaria in the form of nestinari circle dance.

The Volscians were living in central Italy, neighbouring the Oscan-speaking Samnites. Volscian was replaced by Latin in the 3rd century BC as the Volsci became Romanized after their submission to Rome (304 BC). Modern knowledge of the language is mostly derived from a single inscription from Velitrae (modern Velletri), Italy, dating from the early 3rd century BC.

The wolf was the symbol of the fugitive, and many gods who protected exiles and outlaws had wolf deities or attributes. Examples like Zeus Lykoreius,  Apollo Lykeios, Romulus and Remus, sons of the wolf-god Mars and suckled by the she-wolf of the Capitol, had been "fugitives."


According to the legend, described by the Roman historian Titus Livius, Rhea Sylvia, beloved sole daughter of the so called "Denominator" King of Alba Longa and, simultaneously, a vestal virgin within God Mars' Temple, is said to have suddenly become pregnant "out of the blue Moon" with Mars, the wolf-god,  and eventually delivers twin boys. Her powerful uncle Amelia, apparently not "buying" her explanation, orders his servants to throw the bastards into the Tiber River. However, designated executioners would prove to have a heart and decide to better abandon both babies into a floating basket, going down the wild river's stream only to be, subsequently, found by a "She-wolf", meaning a woman from a neighboring wolf-named tribe, probably the Samanite tribe of the Lucani.
A similar legend is found in Central Asia, in several variants, where the marriage between a supernatural wolf and a princess gave birth to a population or to a dynasty. Most probably, the Romans adopted this legend from east.
According to the legend, Romulus established a place of refuge for exiles and outlaws on the Capitol (F.Altheim, Roman Religion, pp. 260, 261). Most probably, all of them were "wolf people" coming from Thrace and Dacia. Servius informs us that this asylum was under the protection of the god Lucoris who was identified with Lykoreus of Delphi, himself a wolf-god.
Every year on February 15 ancient priests killed a dog and two goats and smeared the foreheads of two boys from noble families with the sacrificial blood as part of the Lupercalia celebration. The ceremony survived until A.D. 494, when Pope Gelasius put an end to the tradition. 

Archaeologists have unearthed Lupercale—the sacred cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf nursed the twin founders of Rome and where the city itself was born. 
The long-lost underground chamber was found beneath the remains of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine, a 230-foot-tall (70-meter-tall) hill in the center of the city. The 50-foot-deep (15-meter-deep) cavity "show a richly decorated vault encrusted with mosaics and seashells, too rich to be part of a home. That's why we think it could be the ancient sanctuary, but we can't be sure until we find the entrance to the chamber" said Irene Iacopi, the archaeologist in charge of the area. 

Rhea Sylvia, the mother of Romulus and Remus, being a vestal virgin, lived into the temple of Vesta, located also on the Palatine hill, just as the cave where she give birth to her twins.

The capture of the Sabines originates from the practice of the wolf-people to capture their wives.
After Romans raped their women, the Sabine tribes attacked Rome and in order to survive, the Romans asked their Sabine wives to intervene to prevent the seizing of the city. In accordance with a treaty drawn up between the two peoples, Romulus accepted the Sabine king Titus Tatius as his co ruler. Titus Tatius' early death left Romulus sole king again, and after a long rule he mysteriously disappeared in a storm.
The capture of the Sabines remained in the custom of simulated capture in the Roman marriage ceremony. This custom is present today in the Romanian marriage ceremony, where the groom has to pay for having back the kidnapped bride.


Lupercalia was an ancient Roman festival, conducted annually on February 15 under the superintendence of a corporation of priests called Luperci, from lupus (Latin: "wolf").
Each Lupercalia began with the sacrifice, by the Luperci, of goats and a dog, after which two of the Luperci were led to the altar, their foreheads were touched with a bloody knife, and the blood wiped off with wool dipped in milk; then the ritual required that the two young men laugh. The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the victims and ran in two bands around the Palatine hill, striking with the thongs at any woman who came near them. A blow from the thong was supposed to render a woman fertile.The celebrations of Lupercalia featured wild group dances and orgiastic rites to insure the year's fertility.
In AD 494 the Christian church under Pope Gelasius I appropriated the form of the rite as the Feast of the Purification.




According to Porphirios (Vita Pyth. 16-17), Phytagoras was initiated in Crete in the mysteries of Zeus, being purified by the initiates of Dactylus the Morget, using a meteorite. Then Pythagoras spent the night wrapped into a black sheep skin. This custom is similar to the account of Herodian (232 - 304) from his "Life of Pythagora, relatively to Zalmoxis birth": "Pythagoras had another teenager from Thrace, called Zalmoxis, because, at birth, he was wrapped into a bear skin. The Thracian name for skin is "zalmos"" This confirms that, by being wrapped into a black sheep skin, Pythagoras was initiated into a Thracian ritual. This ritual was considered as a spiritual rebirth. Zalmoxis' (re)birth as a bear, meant that he become a hermit, as bear is a well known solitary animal. Pythagoras was initiated according to a Morget (black Getic) ritual, by the initiates of Dactylus the Morget.
The ritual wrapping into a wolf skin had a similar signification: the person was reborn transformed into a wolf. He lost his previous human behavior and became a blood thirsty warrior. Probably, this practice was brought to Dacia by the Scythians.
Neuri is the name of an ancient tribe placed by Herodotus (iv. 1o5) to the north-east of Scythia. He says of it: "It seems that the Neuri are sorcerers, if one is to believe the Scythians and the Greeks established in Scythia; for each Neurian changes himself, once in the year, into the form of a wolf, and he continues in that form for several days, after which he resumes his former shape." Pomponius Mela (lib. ii. c. 1) says: "There is a fixed time for each Neurian, at which they change, if they like, into wolves, and back again into their former condition."
A similar signification of spiritual transformation was in the custom of the Dacian priests to wear fur caps during their rituals, being called "pilleati" (from pilleus = fur cap) because of that.

The custom of wrapping in skins was preserved until the 20th century among Aromanian shepherds. My grandfather contacted typhus while being a voluntary into the French Army, in the Albanian side of Macedonia, during World War I. He was cured by Aromanian shepherds: they sacrificed two sheep and wrapped his naked body into their fresh skins. He was unconscious the next 48 hours, but after that his fever dropped and he was saved. At the close of World War I the disease caused several million deaths in Russia, Poland, and Romania.


Some of the oldest evidence on existence of tattooing were left by Herodotus (500 BC) in his "Historia" where he described Thracians: "Stitching was their sign for an aristocrat and who has had no tattoos done - descend from ordinary people." 100 years later Plutarhus wrote "Thracians mark their wives with stitching..." 

Dio Christotomus also wrote that "free women in Thracia were covered with signs and scars although they derived from a noble family." Roman poet Valerius Flacus (100 B.C.) wrote in his epic poem "Argonautica" that kidnapped Thracian girl was a participant at barbaric custom called "coloured and stigmatized arms." That should be connected with Thracian tradition to do tattoos, scars and burns. 

Artemidos mentioned that Thracians were marking children from noble aristocratic families, but Goths were marking their slaves with tattoos. There is a note about one of the Thracian tribes the Agatirians. "All of the noble had a lot of tattooing on their faces and limbs."
Roman geographer Pomponius Mela (100 B.C.) remarked "the Agathyrs, particularly the noble ones, colour their faces and limbs with colour which can not be washed away." We should almost be certain that those were tattoos. The Agathyrs coloured their hair and the tattoo in blue. 

Plinios (100 A.D.) wrote in his "Historia naturalis" that Dacian men were tattooed. The same was mentioned about the neighbouring tribe of the Sarmatians, who were of Iranian origin, being closely related to the Agathyrs.

They did not do only the usual colouring of the body because Plinios reported that those marks and scars can be inherited from father to son for few generations and still remain the same - the sign of Dacian origin. It is a bit exaggerated but at the same time shows that those permanent signs were tattoos. We should believe it because later Hesychios wrote about tattooed men in those areas where among others lived also Dacians. All mentioned peoples were settled at the east of the Balkan peninsula. At the west there were Japodians and Ilirians. Strabo (100 B.C.) wrote about them in his book "Geographica." "Japodians mark themselves with stitching just like other Ilirians and Thracians." So the tattooing was widely spread among ancient Balkan peoples and tribes. 

Scythians, according to Herodotus, were a red haired people who practiced tatooing and buried their kings in elaborate tummuli.
Cicero called the marks "punctum notis Thraeciis", meaning pricked with Thracian marks.
Tertullian, in the 3rd century, implied that tattooing was the custom of the Britons, Picts and Scots, and called the marks "Stigmata Britonum." 


As the distinguished historian Mircea Eliade points out in his essay "Dacians and wolves", the early European warriors - using carefully orchestrated rituals involving wolf-pelts and psychoactive mushrooms - were able to undergo a total psychological transformation into wolves. The Dacians' belief in immortality is the result of the experiences derived from the use of psychoactive mushrooms. During these altered states of consciousness they were able to meet their dead ancestors and to have premonitory visions. The most commonly used mushroom, for ritual purposes, was Amanita Muscaria. It was leading to a feeling of pleasant invigoration, and the individual would be prone to breaking into song, dance and laughter. This was accompanied by a marked increase in physical strength. 

Dio Cassius wrote in Roman History, epitome of book LXVIII, 8: "When Trajan in his campaign against the Dacians had drawn near Tapae, where the barbarians were encamped, a large mushroom was brought to him on which was written in Latin characters a message to the effect that the Buri and other allies advised Trajan to turn back and keep the peace. Nevertheless he engaged the foe, and saw many wounded on his own side and killed many of the enemy. And when the bandages gave out, he is said not to have spared even his own clothing, but to have cut it up into strips."
The Dacians warned the Romans that they have plenty of mushrooms to became fearless warriors and the outcome of the battle was a confirmation for that. The use of these mushrooms explains the remark of  Trajan: "the Dacians go to their deaths, happier than in any other journey".


Lup/lupul = wolf/the wolf in Romanian; lup/lupu = to die/dead in Etruscan. Similarly, haita = wolf pack in Romanian; Aita = the god of the underworld the equivalent of Greek Hades, for the Etruscans. Etruscan funerary paintings shows Aita wearing on his head the head and fur of a wolf! It is similar to the Egyptian jackal headed Upuaut/Wepwawet or Greek Ophois. Upuaut had a double role, being the god of war (just like the wolf headed Dacian banners!) and of the funerary worship, opening the way both for the troops and for the spirits of the dead. 
Luptã (Romanian) = lucta (Latin) = fight. Note that the Romanian word stands from lup (wolf), the symbol from the banners of the Dacian warriors. It is not the case of the Latin word, which seems to be imported from Dacian, the Romans maintaining themselves the cult of the she-wolf, mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome!
In the Balkan folk medicine and apotropaeic magic, the destructive aspect of the wolf's mouth is symbolically turned around and used against demonic forces and diseases.
The magic act of pulling children through the wolf's mouth in the context of birth ritual and infant care shows that the symbolism of the wolf's mouth is connected with the female reproductive organs.
The wolf appears at the most important transitory moments in the human life cycle (birth - marriage - death).


The ability to change into a wolf by the power of certain rituals is connected with lycanthropy properly speaking-an extremely widespread phenomenon, but more especially documented in the Balkano-Carpathian region-or with a ritual imitation of the behavior and outward appearance of the wolf.
Mount Lycaeus was the scene of a yearly gathering at which the priests were said to prepare a sacrificial feast that included meat mixed with human parts. According to legend, whoever tasted it became a wolf and could not turn back into a man unless he abstained from human flesh for nine years.
Pliny relates from Evanthes, that on the festival of Jupiter Lycaeus, one of the family of Antaeus was selected by lot and conducted to the brink of the Arcadian lake. He then hung his clothes on a tree and plunged into the water, whereupon he was transformed into a wolf. Nine years after, if he had not tasted human flesh, he was at liberty to swim back and resume his former shape, which had in the meantime become aged, as though he had worn it for nine years.
Agriopas relates, that Demaenetus, having assisted at an Arcadian human sacrifice to Jupiter Lycaeus, ate of the flesh and was at once transformed into a wolf, in which shape he prowled about for ten years, after which he recovered his human form and took part in the Olympic games.

The essential part of the military initiation consisted in ritually transforming the young warrior into some species of predatory wild animal. It was not solely a matter of courage, physical strength, or endurance, but "of a magico-religious experience that radically changed the young warriors mode of being. He had to transmute his humanity by an access of aggressive and terrifying fury that made him like a raging carnivore.
The young warrior accomplished his transformation into a wolf by the ritual donning of a wolf-skin, an operation preceded or followed by a radical change in behavior. As long as he was wrapped in the animal's skin, he no longer felt bound by the laws and customs of men.

The wolf-man survived up to now under the image of Saint Cristopher / Hristofor who is represented having a dog/wolf face. Such representations are found in Orthodox Church in icons and an wall-paintings. An icon of Saint Hristofor shows him with a staff that ends with a wolf- head, similarly to the draco/dragon of the Dacian banner. A wall painting from "Sfanta-Maria" monastery from Techirghiol, Romania, shows St. Hristofor having a cross in his hand. That indicates a Christian metamorphosis of a formerly pagan wolf-god.
Saint Cristopher/Hristofor is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on the 8th ofmay.
In the Romanian popular tradition, in January is celebrated the winter St. Peter, also known as the Lame St.Peter, the patron of the wolves, that protects people from wolves. In the Catholic Church, St. Cristopher is protecting the travelers from being attacked and robbed or murdered. That's an interesting similitude with the Lame St.Peter, since the outlaws were called "wolves" since the ancient times.


The old Dacian Wolf-Dragon banner, having a wolf head ending through a dragon tail had two significations: it showed that the bearer is initiate into the wolves' brotherhood, therefore a brave warrior, and was meant to protect the bearer against the evil forces.
The dragon motif was also common to the Bathory family from Transylvania, whose crest showed a dragon encircling a wolf teeth and biting its tail, this being a symbol of immortality.
The Order of the Dragon was a branch of the "wolfs' brotherhood" constituted by Slavic rulers and warlords and  Sigismund of Luxemburg, the king of Hungary and emperor of the romano-germanic empire. All the members were sworn to uphold the Christian faith by fighting off the advancing Turks of the Ottoman Empire.
The famous Vlad "The Impaler" was born in the town of Sighisoara in the early fourteen hundreds. He was the second son of the Prince of Wallachia, Vlad "Dracul" (the Dragon) who was a member of The Order of the Dragon (a position from which he derived his surname). Vlad "Dracul" ruled between 1436 and 1446 AD, when warfare was almost continuous in Wallachia and the surrounding areas and the local nobles (boyars) were fighting for power. He wore the dragon medallion, showing a dragon swallowing its own tail, crucified on a double cross, which is the Slavic cross. Vlad received the three cloaks of the order: green for the dragon's scales, red for the blood of martyrs, and black for the mystery of Christ's passion, all of which he wore proudly.
Two of Vlad "Dracul"'s sons, Vlad and his brother Radu, were kept as hostages in Galipoli where Sultan Mehmed II, conqueror of Constantinople, was trying to indoctrinate them into Islam, making allies of them. He hoped to use their claim to the Wallachian throne to his advantage. Radu converted quickly, and was released from prison. Vlad, however, was far more stubborn. It has been suggested that Vlad's sadistic tendencies started as a result of his imprisonment by the Sultan.
Vlad "Dracul" fought aside of Iancu of Hunedoara, but in 1445 AD he was forced to make peace with the Ottoman Empire, because many local nobles were aside the Turks, who were ready to invade the country. As result, Vlad "Dracul" and his oldest son Mihnea were killed by Dan, who was supported military by Iancu of Hunedoara (John Hunyadi or János Hunyadi), the Vlach Governor of Hungary, the same person who introduced him to Sigismund of Luxemburg, who accepted him into the Order of the Dragon. At the time of his death, his son Vlad was 17 years old and was still the Sultan's hostage. 

After his father's death, Vlad was released and is believed that he made a pilgrimage to the Order of the Dragon chapel in the imperial fortress at Nuremberg, where he joined the twenty-three other members of the inner circle, pledging to protect Christendom from the forces of the Muslims.
On July 22, 1456, Iancu of Hunedoara attacked the Ottoman troops having the Belgrade under siege. He won a famous victory, which saved Hungary from Ottoman conquest for 70 years. A few days later Iancu of Hunedoara died of an epidemic that had broken out among the troops. Less than two weeks after his sudden death, Vlad seized the Wallachian throne.

Vlad ruled for six years, spreading the terror among his enemies and was called Vlad "The Impaler" or Dracula (the son of the Dragon). In April 1462 he won a famous victory against Mahomed II, who led "the mightiest army after the conquest of Constantinople", according to the chronicle of Laonic Chalcocondil.



 The ritual initiations in the Wolves' brotherhood were passed from Dacia to the Germanic tribes through the Celts' Druids and through the Goths.
An unamalgamated group of Baltic tribes occupied the area from the Warnow to the Rugen, round the Oder mouths and up the Peene. These were given the collective name of the Liutuzians (today's Lithuanians) meaning "terrible" or Wilzians (from which comes today's capital name Vilnius) meaning "wolf" people.
Valhalla or Valhöll, in Norse mythology, was the "hall of the Valks", the wolf warriors, who live there blissfully under the leadership of the god Odin. Their feminine counterparts were the Valkyries also spelled Walkyries, Old Norse Valkyrja, the female wolf warriors, in Norse mythology. They picked up the heroes to fill Valhalla. A man choosen to die was said to see a Valkyrie just before the fatal blow. Valkyria is probably a compound name Valk + kyra meaning Valk lady (from Greek kyra, meaning lady).
The Valkyries also worked as Odin's servants. They served food and drink to the warriors in Valhalla.
Valhalla is depicted as a splendid palace, roofed with shields, and hving 540 doors, each big enough to let 800 armed men through, side by side. There the warriors feasted on the flesh of a boar slaughtered daily and made whole again each evening. They fight one another every day in order to be prepared to join Odin in the final battle against the forces of destruction at the time of Ragnarök.
Valaskjalf (meaning Shelf of the Valasks) was Odin's other hall where his great throne, Hlidskjalf, stood. 
The Vedic heaven, the "world of the fathers", called Valak-Hilyah, was inhabited by the 60.000 deities of light, called Valakhilyas and presented in the Mahabharata and in the Puranas. It resembles the Germanic Valhalla, both names coming from the root Valak/Valk that might be of Scythian origin. Valakhilyas, the Lilliputian sages were said to be drinkers of Sun-rays (maricipah). They were worshipping the sun god.


Most probable, Adolf Hither was initiated into the Germanic branch of wolves' brotherhood. The following facts are sustaining this assertion.
In an article in his party newspaper written in 1922, Hitler used an unusual metaphor to describe how the crowds began to react to him: they began to realize, he said, 'that now a wolf has been born, destined to burst in upon the herd of seducers and deceivers of the people.' He had his sister Paula change her name to Frau Wolf. The special agent he chose to supervise purchases for his Linz Library and Museum was a Dr Wolfhardt (literally, "hard wolf"). He approved of naming the Volkswagen factory "Wolfsburg". When he telephone Winifred Wagner, he would say "Conductor Wolf"calling!'. The secretary he kept longer than any other (more than 20 years) was Johanna Wolf. She recalled that while Hitler addressed all other secretaries formally as "Frau" or "Fraulein", he invariably called her "Wolfin" (She-Wolf). Hitler named his headquarters in France "Wolfsschluct" (Wolf's Gulch), in the Ukraine his headquarters were "Werwolf (Werewolf)", and in East Prussia "Wolfsschanze" (Wolf's Lair) - as he explained to a servant, "I am the Wolf and this is my den." He called the SS "my pack of wolves". In his book, "Hitler Speaks", published in 1939, Hermann Rauschning writes: "My informant described to me in full detail a remarkable scene - I should not have credited the story if it had not come from such a source. Hitler stood swaying in his room, looking wildly about him. "He! He! He's been here!" He gasped. His lips were blue. Sweat streamed down his face. Suddenly he began to reel off figures, and odd words and broken phrases, entirely devoid of sense. It sounded horrible. He used strangely composed and entirely un-German word formations. Then he stood quite still, only his lips moving ... gradually he grew calm. After that he lay asleep for many hours."




The old Slavic god with characteristics equal to those shown by the wolves' shepherd is the god of death Veles/Volos. The Kiev Chronicle ("Povest vremennykh let"), a 12th to 13th century account of events and life in the Kievan state--enumerates seven Russian pagan divinities: Perun, Volos, Khors, Dazhbog, Stribog, Simargl, and Mokosh.
In Old Russian texts, Volos has the epithet “cattle god”, and non-Varangian (non Viking or non foreign) Russians had to swear by him. The cult of the Slavonic divinity Volos (or Veles) was, as Christianity spread, transferred to Saint Vlas. Adopting the functions of Volos, Vlas became patron of cattle and as such he appears in icons, normally surrounded by the flocks and herds under his protection. However Vlas is another name for Vlach. This suggests that Volos and his successor, St. Vlas, were divinities associated to the Vlach shepherds. 
Vólos is also the name of a Greek city that was the site of ancient Iolcos, inhabited since the beginning of the Bronze Age (c. 2500 BC) and capital of Mycenaean Thessaly while Veles is a name of a city in FYR of Macedonia. Both these cities derive their name from the Vlach communities which are present even today (the Aromanians).

The Romanian population from Romania, Moldova and, as smaller groups, from the Balkan Peninsula, south and west of the Danube River, were named by their Slav neighbours as Volokh. From this name were derived the terms Vlach or Walach together with the name of the country called Valachia or Wallachia, named in Romanian "Tara Romaneasca" and bordered on the north and northeast by the Carpathian mountains, on the west, south, and east by the Danube river, and on the northeast by the Siret river.

The first mention of  Volokhs (Volochs), the name given to the Romanian people by their Slav neighbors, appears in the 9th century. In the Russian Chronicle of Nestor (end of the 10th century or the beginning of the 11th) is written: "when the Volochi attacked the Slavs of the Danube and settled among them and oppressed them, the Slavs departed and settled on the Vistula, under the name of Leshi". From the Slavs, the name Voloch passed to the Byzantines, Greeks as "Vlachos", Turks as "Ulaghi", Hungarians as "Olah" and Germans as "Walachen". The celtic tribes, which took their beliefs and philosophy from the Dacians, used to call themselves as Volker (latin Volcae). Between the 8th and the 12th century they were named as Walh, Walasg, Walah by the germans and as Walch between the 12th and the 16th century. The corresponding adjectives wal(a)hisc, wel(hi)sch, waelhisch or welsch, are meaning foreigner, speaker of a foreign language. Some of these Celtic tribes kept similar names up to nowadays as the French speakers of Belgium, Walloons and the Welsh of Britain.

Gunther, bishop of Bamberg, describing the passage of the crusaders through the Balkans in 1064, has this to say about the Wallachs: "We suffered from the fury of the Romans (Wallachs) who were cruel and inhuman even more than is the nature of beasts." (GOLUBOVICH, Biblioteca, II, 72, 195, 266 sq., III, 65)  

"The Valachs lived not only in the territory of present day Moravia, but also resided throughout the vast regions of the Carpathian mountains. At the closest distance to us, this included the territory of Upper Slovakia, south Tesin and south Poland. History also instructs us that the Valachs, the mountain shepherds, were involved in a special kind of herdsmanship entirely unique in Central Europe and that they originally came from Balcany in what is now Romania." (Stopami Minulosti: Kapitol z Dejin Moravy a Slezka /Traces of the Past: Chapters From the History of Moravia and Silesia/, by Zdenek Konecny and Frantisek Mainus /Brno, Blok. 1979)

The people from Maramures, a forest covered land with mountains and valleys in the north, north west of Romania, were nicknamed of the "wolf people" in the Middle Age. They have a fierce individuality and they had been an independent State under Decebalus in the first century AD and fought against invasion after invasion to preserve their customs and folklore. They even successfully resisted the communist collectivization of farms. Few other parts of Europe have preserved so distinctively a rural culture.


In western Romania, and old Vlach name for wolf was "vâlc" and it was related to Czech "vlkov", having the same meaning. 
Valcau is name of a river and of several villages from Salaj county.  Valcau (today Valeni) village is attested since 1213, when was named " villa Vulchoi". In 1291-94, it is found under the Hungarian name of Wolkou Magyarvalkó. These changes of name are indicating the similarity of the root words: Valc/Vulch/Wolk.
The name of Blachernae, a suburb of Constantinople, which, according to a tenth-century chronicle, was derived from that of a Scythian Duke Blachernos, killed at Constantinople, might, according to Popa-Lisseanu, be connected with the term Blach/Vlach (Blacernoi, descendant or son of Wallach).
Probably, the Vlachs were also called Valkans. From “Valkan”, which is spelled “Balkan” in Cyrillic alphabet, comes the name of the entire area known today as the Balkan Peninsula. Possibly, these Valkans were also called Valk-kyrs ("kir" meaning Sir, in Greek). Let us note that the German word for church, "kirchen" stems from the Greek "kir", the meaning being "the house of the lord". Some of the Valk-kyrs and their women, the Valk-kyries ("kira" meaning Lady, in Greek), moved to the north of Europe, together with the Gothic tribes, where they established the Valk-halla, Old Norse Valhöll, known from the Norse mythology as the hall of the slain warriors.

In 1837 a large number of pieces of very massive gold plate were found at Pietroasa (Petrossa) in Romania; much of this find was unfortunately broken up and melted, but a considerable portion was saved, and is now in the museum at Bucharest. These magnificent objects are all of solid gold, and consist of large dishes, vases, ewers, baskets of open work, and personal ornaments. The most exquisite piece is a patera, 10 in. in diameter, having in the centre is a seated statuette of a woman, holding a cup, while all round, in high relief, are standing figures of various male and female deities.
The only inscription was found on a ring. Most of it's letters are Etruscan. The translation, made by the German scholar Wilhelm Grimm, was presented to the Science Academy of Berlin in 1856. The inscription was translated as: VULCHANOS O FICET, meaning "Vulchanos made it".

The Dacians used Vulcan as the generic name for blacksmith. Since Dacia had the richest gold and silver mines from Europe, it had also a large number of blacksmiths. Vulcan remained as a place name for mountains and cities, up to today. 

The chronicler Dudo of St.Quentin's wrote in Gesta Normannorum about the Dacians, naming them also as Vulcans: "For these Dacians, once ejected from their own lands by means of the reported rite, have savagely landed with duke Anstign where Francia extensively spreads out its tracts. He has attacked a powerful lordship in Gaul; he has unlawfully appropriated the Frankish realm for himself. He has profaned the priesthood; he has tread in the sacristy. With words and deeds he has challenged the king of the Franks who, with his followers, has dolefully remained inside the cities. He rages around the walls of the garrisons as does a wolf around the pens of sheep. He accounts the Franks, withdrawn in fear within their garrisons, of slight value. He pursues them all, as a lion does stags. Whomever he meets, discovered distant from the garrisons, he butchers. It becomes a carnage, as the disconsolate are slaughtered by the spear. The clergy is tormented, punished by a cruel death.
The monastery of Dionysius, Christ's champion, has been reduced to ashes by vanquishing Vulcan." [See Gesta Normannorum, Chapter 2, paragraphs 5 and 6]. The Vulcans were named also Valcans or Valkirs. They are the Valkirs who founded the mythical Valhalla of the Vikings. Their homeland was in the Valkan (Balkan) Peninsula.


Describing the state of the Byzantine Empire in the 12th and 13th century, the Cambridge historian Previte Orton is writing: "The Greek unity of the Empire disappeared. Not to mention (..)the Latin-speaking mountaineers from whom Justinian has descended took shape as a separate people, the Vlachs, who ranged from the Adriatic to the mountains of Transylvania beyond the Danube(..)The Vlachs, or Wallachians, a name akin to Welsh, applied to Latins by Germans and Slavs. Their modern name is Rumanians. (in "Outlines of Medieval History" -Cambridge: at the University Press 1924 p.290)
Justinian I was born near Lake Ohrid, Macedonia, and became Emperor of the Byzantine Empire at A.D. 527.

Rumelia (Turkish Rumeli) was the name of the former Ottoman possessions in the Balkans. The name means "land of the Romans". 
Ioannis Romanidis (John the Romanian) tells that by "Greece", the Western European intellectuals meant the ancient territory of Hellas alone, and not the entire area referred to as  "Rumeli" by Greek Orthodox Christians (IvµnnhV Rvman€dhV, Rvman€a, Rvmiosunh, Roumelh. Thessaloniki: Purnara, 1975, p.209). Hence the identification of the "Romans" as "Greeks" was bound to create an important disjuncture between the intellectuals’ version of "Greece" (the so-called Hellenic ideal) and the popular "Romeic" religious and political identity.

In the 15th and 16th centuries Rumelia functioned as a reservoir of the devsirme (levy of Christian boys), who held the highest posts in the Ottoman army and government. The mid-16th century saw the triumph of the devsirme over the Turkish nobility, which lost almost all its power and position in the capital and returned to its old centres of power in southeastern Europe and Anatolia. 
 In 1885 Bulgaria annexed Eastern Rumelia, by the Treaty of Bucharest (1913) and western Rumelia was divided into the Edirne, Salonika, and Monastir ils (provinces). Monastir was ceded to Serbia and Salonika to Greece; only Edirne remained under Ottoman rule.


In 342 BC the daughter of the king of the Getae became the wife of Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander of Macedon who, at the age of 7, was rejected from the Olympic Games on grounds that he wouldn't have been a Greek. His parents had brought him Aristotle, the great philosopher, as personal trainer (Aristotle being born from a Greek father and Macedonian mother) in order to teach him the Hellenic language.
The wolf head with dragon tail, the Dacian banner, was also encountered at the Macedonians.
In Macedonian, a Slavic language spoken now in the FYR of Macedonia, the adjective form for Vlach's is "Vlački", a male Vlach is a "Vlav" and a female Vlach is a "Vlanka".

The Macedo-Vlachs or Aromani/Armâni, who settled in Yugoslavia and on the mountains of Thessaly have generally been identified with the indigenous, pre-Slav populations of Dacian and Thracian origin, many of whom migrated into the less-accessible mountainous areas of Greece and the northern Balkan region because of the Germanic and Avar-Slav invasions and immigration of the 5th-7th centuries. 

According to the 12th-century Byzantine historian Anna Comnena, they founded the independent state of Great Walachia, which covered the southern and central Pindus Mountain ranges and part of Macedonia. Another Byzantine historian, Kekaumenos mentions a revolt of Vlachs of Thessaly in 1066, and their ruler Verivoi. 

Around 1173, Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela, traveling through Thessaly, is mentioning the "nimble as deer" mountaineer Vlachs, and defines the land of the Vlachs as beginning at Lamia. He describes them as living in the mountains like the chamoisses and coming down from them to attack the Greeks. Referring to the Vlachs of Macedonia he said: "no Emperor can conquer them". He visited Constantinople, during the reign of Manuel Comnenus (1143-1180 AD), and writes of the Emperor's special sympathy for the Vlachs because of his origins from that people (Noul Album Macedo-Roman, vol. II, 339). Niketas Honiatis describes a "Great Wallachia" comprising Thesaly, as opposed to other two "Wallachias" quoted by Frantzes: "Little Wallachia" in Acarnania and Aetolia, and an "Upper Wallachia" in Epirus. The existence of these free entities is confirmed by the Western chronicles Geoffroy de Villehardouin, Henri de Valenciennes, Robert de Clary, and by those who wrote about the rebellion of a stem of the Vlachs of the Hemus (Chalhidiki) Peninsula,1196 A.D. .The chronicler of the Ottoman Sultans, Chalcondilas, is mentioning later the Vlachs in filiations with the North Danubian Wallachians.

Choniates wrote, between 1202 and 1214, that the Thessalian mountain region was called "Great Wallachia".
 After the establishment of the Latin Empire at Constantinople in 1204, Great Walachia was absorbed by the Greek Despotate of Epirus; later it was annexed by the Serbs, and in 1393 it fell to the Turks.) Another Vlach settlement, called Little Walachia, was located in Aetolia and Acarnania (department in west central Greece, with an area of 5,447 sq km).

Moscopole was the second most important city from the Balkans, after Constantinople, and had about 60000 inhabitants in 1760, while Athens had only 10000 inhabitants from whom only 3000 were Greeks! Around Moscopole were other big Aromanian cities like Gramostea, Nicea, Linca, in an area populated exclusively by Aromanians, at altitudes above 1100 m.
Moscopole had 12000 houses from stone plated with marble, 40 churches, an Academy (Hellênikon Frôntistêrion, established in 1744), a big typography, hundreds of workshops and shops and many schools.
In 1769 it was plundered by Turks and Albanians and in 1788, the Albanian troops led by Ali Pasha devastated and burnt it. Many of the Aromanians emigrated in Vienna, Budapest and in Transylvania.

Robert Curzon wrote in 1833, while his lordship was being escorted through the Zigos Pass by a company of mountaineer klephts on leaving the Aromanian city called Mezzovo (Metzovo):
"I was struck by the original manner in which our mountain friends progressed through the country; sometimes they kept with us, but more usually some of them went on one side of the road and some on the other, like men beating for the game, only that they made no noise...They were curious wild animals, as slim as active as cats: their waists were not much more than a foot and a half in circumference, and they appeared to be able to jump over everything". The byzantinists Susan Mountgarret and Desmond Seward wrote: "We had been fortunate to see our Vlach shepherd outside Prizren, although they roam all over the Balkans. They are as common and elusive as wolves. The only other one we saw was tending his sheep up by the source of the river Crni Drim -the "Black Devil"- on the Albanian border, in the back of beyond. He wore a tall shapeless cap of black felt and a long brown homespun cloak. It is hard to imagine a more archaic figure, no doubt a sight well known to Byzantines" (Greek Monitor of Human and Minority Rights vol I. No 3 December 1995). As can be seen in the photo, the shepherd's cane ends with a wolf-dragon shape, similarly to the Dacian banner. This Dacian symbol certifies the Dacian origin of the Aromanian/Vlach shepherds.
The photo was taken, at the beginning of the 20th century, in the Pindus Mountains by Manatia brothers photographers.

Nicholas Trifon wrote one of the most exhaustive researches on the Aromanians, "Les aroumains, un people qui s'en va", Ed. Acratie, Paris, 2005, 470 pg. On the front cover of the book there’s a photo of an Aromanian wolf-snake, with a six petal solar rosette on each side. The wood carved banner is very elaborate and sheds a new light on how might have looked the wolf-dragon Dacian banner, since the only other depictions are the those carved on the Trajan’s Column from Rome.
This Aromanian artifact, called “cariga” (the hook) was used by the shepherds to catch the sheep from the hind legs. This one of the best proofs, that survived up to the 20th century, showing the Dacian origins of the Aromanians and indicating that they were the only population that kept the Dacian banner unchanged for two thousand years!





Morgetia, meaning black (Moro) Getia, was an ethnical center inhabited by the Morgets (black Gets or Getae), an prehelenic community which remained unchanged until the arrival of Romans. 
Robert Leighton, a specialist in Italian prehistory at Edinburgh: "it does not seem possible to distinguish with any accuracy or confidence between Ausonians, Morgetians or Sikels on a purely archaeological basis". Later, in Latin sources are mentioned the Nigri Latini - Black Latins! They are the ‘Maurovlachs’ or Black Latins, who lived west of Macedonia, in the ranges from Mount Sar to Mount Pindus. The Morlachs (Mavrovlachi) described as Nigri Latini are mentioned as inhabiting the coast of southern Dalmatia and the mountains of Montenegro, Herzegovina and southern Albania (c.1150).

Morgantina (eastern Sicily) was already inhabited in the prehistory. The oldest ruins which have been found up to now are on the hill of the Cittadella and are dated back to the 13th c. BC. According to the historical data, during this period the central part of Sicily was occupied by the Morgets, a people coming from the mainland. Morgantina is located off Route 288 near Aidone, in the province of Enna, Morgantina may have been settled by a certain King Morges who arrived with colonists from central Italy around 1300 BC. The early Morgetian culture was therefore somewhat distinct from the native Siculian civilisation. Excavations on the slopes of the Cittadella settlement at Morgantina have revealed nearly seventy tombs dating from the late eighth to the mid-fifth century B.C. Often reused for multiple inhumation and cremation burials, these tombs provide significant documentation of the critical period when immigrant Greeks interacted with the substantial indigenous community, introducing foreign objects and practices that modified the local Iron Age funerary rite.


In 1979 the famous Jat historian B.S.Dehiya published a paper entitled "The Mauryas: Their Identity", Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, Vol. 17 (1979), p.112-133. In this now classic treatise, B.S.Dehiya proved several points, including the following: 

  • The Mauryas, Muras, or rather Mors, were Jats, and hence Scythian or East Iranic in origin. 
  • The clan name of these people was Mor (pronounced as English more) and, coincidentally, Mor also meant a peacock in Indian languages. But the name is not Indian at all, it is from Central Asia, and means "head" (p.113).
  • The primordial Jat religion was that of the original Iranic race, namely monotheist Sun-worship, which they and their Maga priests carried wherever they migrated (p.119, 128). 
  • The Jat immigrants are close kin of the ancient Gutians of Sumeria (p.131), and the Goths or Gots (p.125), known in Latin as Getae. 

Also there is not any proof that the Mors were the same with the Morgets, this hypotesis can't be ruled out either. When the Ottomans conquered the Balkan peninsula, they found the descendants of the Mors or Morgets (literally meaning black Gets), whom they named Kara-Ulaghi or black Vlachs. Turks used a similar name for  Armenians, while Armenia was called Karabakh which is a compound of the Turkish word for black (kara) and a Persian word for garden (bakh).


Some of the Vlachs were named "Kara-Ulaghi" by Turks and "Kara-Ulak" by Serbs and Bulgarians meaning "Black Vlachs". Their land was named "Kara-Iflâh" by the Turks (kara=black, Iflâh=land, in Turkish).
In today's Romanian, "kara-ula" means guard. Probably, the black Vlachs were used as guards.
There are accounts about the "Black King" or "Negru Voda", in Romanian. He is a legendary figure, identified by the historians with "Black Radu". The principality of Wallachia was established in 1290, by Radu Negru (Black Radu) or Rudolf the Black. Câmpulung, on the southern watershed of the Transylvanian Alps (Prahova River Valley) was Wallachia's first capital. Curtea de Arges was the second. By 1310, when Basarab the Great came to the throne of Wallachia as the second prince of the line, a state in being had definitely been established.

Many Aromanians originating from Greek side of Macedonia have their names beginning with "Kara". In Greek, "kara" means "head",  just like "mor" in central Asian languages. It is possible that the names of the persons beginning with "kara" to originate rather from "head" than from "black". Looks like the original meaning of the word "kara" was "head", just like in to the case of the word "mor". Because the populations using these names for themselves had darker skins, the meaning of both words was changed to "black".
A part of Cincari are nomadic herdsmen known by various names: Karavunci, Karaguni, Karakacani, Kucivlasi.


Vlachs known as Morlachs, or Mavrovlachi, Greek "Mavrovlachos", meaning "black Vlach" (mavro=black, in Greek), inhabited areas in the mountains of Montenegro, meaning "Black Mountain" in Italian, Hercegovina, and northern Albania as well as on the southern coast of Dalmatia, where they founded Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik). In the 14th century some Morlachs moved northward into Croatia. 

Here is what the Yugoslav Encyclopedia (Enciklopedija Leksikografskog Zavoda, Zagreb, 1968, book 4) tells about them: “Morlaki, (Murlaki; from Ital. Morlacco, being shortening of Greek form Mauroblahos - mauros - black, Blahos - Vlah; Maurovlasi or Morovlasi, in latin sources called Nigri Latini - Black Latins), name used for shepherds of Roman origin or romanized, that kept themselves in Balkan peninsula mountains after Slavic colonization in 6th century, keeping some linguistic and somatic characteristics. Morlaki (Morovlasi) are called those Romanian shepherds that, running from Turks towards west, settled in mountains from Skadar lake [on border of Montenegro and Albania] to Velebit [in northern Croatian coast]. So, a group of them came to island Krk 1450-80 (villages Dubasnica and Poljica) where some words and roots of Romanian language, interwove with Slavic words (as in the prayer "Our father"), were kept until beginning of 19th century. Some groups of those Romanians came to Trieste [on Italian-Slovenian border], and very long held themselves in some villages in Istria. The Italian form Morlacco is used already in 15th century, and in 16th century that is the name for (any) local people living in mountains from Kotor [in Montenegro] to Kvarner [around city of Rijeka]. Lots of Morlaks was in Velebit mountains, so that region was by Venetians called Morlachia. The Velebit mountain was called Montagne della Morlacca, and sea way under the mountain, closed by the islands, was Morlakian channel (Canale della Morlacca).”

Prof. John G. Nandris from the University College of London, writes in Ethnoarchaeology and Latinity in the mountains of southern Velebit (in Transhumant pastoralism in Southern Europe -1999): "The Morlachs were a Mediaeval population, whose name has now vanished but is historically attested from Dalmatia. They were Latin speakers, and we can probably equate them with the Aromani (Vlachs, Cincari) of the Balkan peninsula south of Danube (..) It was confirmed during the 1985 fieldwork that although the shepherds of Velebit are Croat speakers, they still employ a system of Latin numerals to enumerate sheep. These are identical to the Romanian or Aromanian numerals. This legacy indicates that the population from whom the present shepherds learned the techniques of pastoralism were certainly Latin speakers."

According to Buschan "Die Volker Europas'', c. 1910, the Maurovlachen (Maurovlachians) were black Vlachians; they were nomadic shepherds, like the Aromunen and Turkish shepherds; their name was mentioned in the 10th century in the Byzantine empire; in the 11th century in Bulgaria and in later times in the western part of the Balkan peninsula.

Krajina region was an area first settled by a pastoral, nomadic people known as Vlachs, or Morlachs because they had darker skin than their Slavic neighbours. From the 16th century, the Austrians invited them to settle the Vojna Krajina (military frontier) where they were free of serfdom in return for defending the border (roughly that of present Bosnia) against the Turks. By this time most of them were Orthodox.
In 1630 Ferdinand II issued the "Statuta Valachorum"; (Law of the Vlachs), which defined the status of the Vlachs.

Allers Illustrerede Konversations-Leksikon' (Copenhagen 1906-10) says that the Morlaks are some of the best sailors in the Austrian navy. 

The Croatian census of 1991 revealed 22 persons who declared themselves as "Morlachs"…