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In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia ([ˈdaːkja]; English /ˈdʃiə, -ʃə/) was the land inhabited by the Dacians. The Greeks referred to them as the Getae (east of Dacia) and the Romans called them Daci.

Dacia was bounded in the south approximately by the Danubius river (Danube), in Greek sources the Istros, or at its greatest extent, by the Haemus Mons. Moesia (Dobruja), a region south-east of the Danube, was a core area where the Getae lived and interacted with the Ancient Greeks. In the east it was bounded by the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea) and the river Danastris (Dniester), in Greek sources the Tyras. But several Dacian settlements are recorded between the rivers Dniester and Hypanis (Southern Bug), and the Tisia (Tisza) to the west.

At times Dacia included areas between the Tisa and the Middle Danube. The Carpathian Mountains are located in the middle of Dacia. It thus corresponds to the present-day countries of Romania and Moldova, as well as smaller parts of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.

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Comosicus
King of Dacia
Dacian symbols.png
symbols of the Dacian kingdom
Reign 9 BC(?) -30s AD.
Predecessor Cotiso
Successor Scorilo

Comosicus was a Dacian king and high priest who lived in the 1st century BC.[1][2] The only reference to Comosicus is a passage in the writings of the Roman historian Jordanes.

Source

Jordanes refers to Burebista as king of Dacia, but then goes on to discuss a high priest called Dicineus who taught the Dacians astronomy and whose wisdom was revered. He then says that "after the death of Dicienus, they held Comosicus in almost equal honour, because he was not inferior in knowledge. By reason of his wisdom he was accounted their priest and king, and he judged the people with the greatest uprightness. When he too had departed Coryllus ascended the throne as king of the Goths [Getae] and for forty years ruled his people in Dacia."[3]

Interpretations

"Coryllus" is widely believed to be identical to Scorilo, but there is no other evidence concerning Comosicus. Jordanes' ambiguity about the status of Dicineus in relation to Burebista possibly arises from the fact that after Burebista's assassination in 44 BC his empire dissolved, with the exception of the nucleus around the Orăştie Mountains,[4] while the rest divided into various kingdoms.[5] The concept of a priest-judge may have provided a trans-tribal unity. Louis Marin refers to Dicineus as "a sort of double for the king, a double who also stood in for Burebista's successor Comosicus", since Comosicus embodies a "twin royalty, political and religious".[6]

Since Comosicus's successor Scorilo appears to have come to power sometime between 30 and 40 AD, Comosicus's accession immediately after Burebista would imply an impossibly long reign. Other evidence suggests that a ruler called Cotiso was the dominant power in the late 1st century BC. Ioana A. Oltean argues that Comosicus probably succeeded Cotiso at some point during the campaign of Marcus Vinicius in the Dacian area c.9 BC and ruled until 29 AD.[1] He may have been the first Dacian ruler to combine the positions of priest and king.

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References

  1. ^ a b Oltean, Ioana A. (2007). Dacia: Landscape, Colonization and Romanization. p. 49; 72. At least two of his successors, Comosicus and Scorillo/Corilus/Scoriscus, became high priests and eventually Dacian kings 
  2. ^ Taylor, Timothy (2001). Northeastern European Iron Age pages 210-221 and East Central European Iron Age pages 79-90. Springer Published in conjunction with the Human Relations Area Files. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-306-46258-0. 
  3. ^ The Origin and Deeds of the Goths
  4. ^ Pippidi 1976, p. 116-117.
  5. ^ Strabo, Geography, VII:3.5
  6. ^ Marin, Louis, "Utopian Discourse and Narrative of Origins", On Representation, Stanford University Press, 2001, pp.109; 415.

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