A Dacian script or the work of an illiterate potter?
is a term used in Romanian Protochronism for pseudohistorical
claims of a supposed alphabet of the Dacians
prior to the conquest of Dacia
and its absorption into the Roman Empire
Its existence was first proposed in the late 19th century by Romanian nationalists
, but has been completely rejected by mainstream modern scholarship.
In the opinion of Sorin Olteanu
, a modern expert at the Vasile Pârvan Institute of Archaeology
, Bucharest, "[Dacian script] is pure fabrication [...] purely and simply Dacian writing does not exist", adding that many scholars believe that the use of writing may have been subject to a religious taboo among the Dacians. It is known that the ancient Dacians
used the Greek
and Latin alphabets
, though possibly not as early as in neighbouring Thrace
where the Ezerovo ring
in Greek script has been dated to the 5th century BC. A vase fragment from the La Tène period
(Fig., right), a probable illiterate imitation of Greek letters, indicates visual knowledge of the Greek alphabet during the La Tène period
prior to the Roman invasion. Some Romanian writers writing at the end of the 19th century and later identified as protochronists, particularly the Romanian poet and journalist Cezar Bolliac
, an enthusiast amateur archeologist, claimed to have discovered a Dacian alphabet. They were immediately criticized for archeological and linguistic reasons. Alexandru Odobescu
, criticized some of Bolliac's conclusions. In 1871 Odobescu, along with Henric Trenk
, inventoried the Fundul Peşterii cave, one of the Ialomiţei caves (See the Romanian Wikipedia article
) near Buzău
. Odobescu was the first to be fascinated by its writings, which were later dated to the 3rd or 4th century. In 2002, the controversial Romanian historian, Viorica Enăchiuc, stated that the Codex Rohonczi
is written in a Dacian alphabet.
The equally controversial linguist Aurora Petan (2005) claims that some Sinaia lead plates
could contain unique Dacian scripts. Read more...