List of Dacian names

List of Dacian names



Around 1150 Dacian anthroponyms and 900 toponyms have been preserved in ancient sources.[1][2] As far as the onomastic of Dacians and Thracians is concerned, opinions are divided. According to Crossland (1982), the evidence of names from the Dacian, Mysian and Thracian area seems to indicate divergence of a 'Thraco-Dacian' language into northern and southern groups of dialects, but not so different as to rank Thracian and Dacian as separate languages, There were also the development of special tendencies in word formation and of certain secondary phonetic features in each group.[3] Mateescu (1923), Rosetti (1978) sustain that Thracian onomastic include elements that are common to Geto-Dacians and Bessians (a Thracian tribe).[4] A part of researchers support that onomastically, Dacians are not different from the other Thracians in Roman Dacia’s inscriptions.[5] But recently, D. Dana basing himself on new onomastic material recorded in Egyptian ostraka suggested criteria which would make possible to distinguish between closely related Thracian and Dacian-Moesian names and singled out certain specific elements for the latter.[6]

In Georgiev’s opinion (1960; 1977) Dacian placenames and personal names are "completely different" from their Thracian counterparts.[7]

Several Dacian names have also been identified with ostracons of Dacian cavalry recruited after the Roman conquest and stationed in East Egypt,[8] i.e. Dadas and Dadazi[9], Zoutoula,[10] Dotos and Dotouzi,[11] Dieri and Diernais,[10] Diengis,[10] Dida(s),[10] Blaikisa,[12] Blegissa,[12] Diourdanos,[12] Thiadicem,[12] Avizina,[12] Dourpokis,[12] Kaigiza,[13] Dardiolai,[14] Denzibalos (see also Dacian king name Deki-balos),[14] Denzi-balus (attested in Britain),[14] Pouridour,[15] Thiaper and Tiatitis,[16] Dekinais,[14] *Rolouzis,[16] (See Ostraca from Krokodilo and Didymoi)

No Dacian name Possible etymology Attestation Notes
1 Bikili(s) Decebal's friend (Dio Cassius) [17]
2 Brasus Inscription at Apulum[18] that reads: Mucatra, son of Brasus, had a son and heir Mucapor Mucatralis[19] According to Mommsen (1887) the name formed by the compounds with –poris i.e. Mucaporis appear as Thracian and as Dacian in numerous cases[20]
3 Burebista "Possessor of so much" cf Sanskrit bhuri "plenty, so much" and cf Ancient Iranian victa "possessor"[21],[22] King of Dacians (Strabo[23], Jordanes and Decree of Dionysopolis) See also: Buri, Buridavense, Buridava, Buricodava
4 Comosicus Priest and king of Dacians (Jordanes[24]
5 Decaeneus Probably PIE *dek ‘to meet, to honor’ Latin doceo, Greek δέκομαι dékomai[25] or "The one who knows" (dak, dek cf Sanskrit dasa) or "The Dacian" [22] High priest and king of Dacians (Strabo[26], Dio Cassius, Jordanes)
6 Cotiso Cotiso 'loved' [27] king of Dacians [27] Tomaschek compared this name with the name Cotela of a Getian prince

and with the name Cotys, name of several princes of Thracian Odrysians and Sapaeans. Also, he compared with the name Kotys of the Thracian goddess worshipped by the Edonians, a tribe that lived around Pangaion Mountain. He sees here again, the letter "o" as an obscured indistinct, pronunciation of “a”. Therefore, he compared Cotiso with the Bactrian Kata "loved" [27]

7 Dapyg king of Dacians [27]
8 Decaeneus "The one who knows" (dak, dek cf Sanskrit dasa) or "The Dacian" [22] High priest and king of Dacians (Strabo[26], Dio Cassius, Jordanes)
9 Decebalus Dacian word balas /balos is from PIE *bel 'strong, power' cf. Sanskrit bala "force" [28] and Dece from PIE *dek ‘to take, to honor’[25]

Also, it had been suggested Decebalus "The force of the Dacians" [22]

King of Dacians (Dio Cassius) Originally named Diurpaneus, after his victory against Romans he was called Decebalus ("The brave one")[29]

Many interpretations are possible for the PIE root *dek that is found also with the name Decaeneus[30]

10 Diegis Diegis / Degis from *dhegh ‘ to burn’ [31] Dacian [27]
11 Dicomes king of Dacians [27]
12 Diurpaneus "admired from distance" cf. Sanskrit durepanya[30][22] Name of the king of Dacians (Dio Cassius) He was renamed to Decebalus after victory over Romans. It is a "Royal" Dacian name found also with Thracians from south of the Danube i.e. Dorpanas (IGB, II, 771) and Dyrpanais (Olbia).[32]
13 Dromichaeta Name of the king of Getae[27] It appears this is a Hellenised form [27]
14 Mucapor Inscription at Apulum[18] that reads: Mucatra, son of Brasus, had a son and heir Mucapor Mucatralis[19] These names are Thracians and Dacians (as Mucapor is attested as Dacian and as Thracian name).[20] The names containing Muca are found in Thracian but also in the proper Geto-Dacian names[33]
15 Mucatra Inscription at Apulum[18] that reads: Mucatra, son of Brasus, had a son and heir Mucapor Mucatralis[19] These names are probably Thracian, not Dacian, as Mucapor is attested as an ethnic Thracian name (see refs above).[citation needed]
16 Natoporus cf. Sanskrit nata 'bent', de nam 'bend' and cf. Nath 'lean, rely' , 'seek for help'[34] Dacian name of a prince from a Dacian royal family of the tribe of the Costoboci on a Roman inscription (II No. 1801) [34][35] See also Dacian Natu-spardo (attested with Ammianus)[34]

NOTE: some scholars consider this a Thracian name.[citation needed]

17 Orola, Oroles From ar-, or- ‘eagle, big bird’ [31] Name of a Dacian prince (Justin) [36]
18 Petoporus Name of a Dacian prince [36] Variant Petipor
19 Pieporus The first element Pie is analogue by initial and vocalism with the name Pie-figoi of a Dacian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy.[36]

The second element Porus is often met with Dacian and also with Bithynian (a Thracian tribe) names. It can be explain by the root *par ‘replenish’ nourish or *pa-la ‘king’[36]

Name of a king of the Costoboci (inscription C.1 Rom. VI, No. 1801).[36][35] NOTE: some scholars consider this a Thracian name.[citation needed]
20 Rescuturme The Dacian name Rescuturme can be related to the Aryan word rai "splendor, wealth" and raevant, revant "brilliant", if "-sk" is part of a derivation[37]. Name of a Dacian woman. Inscription (CIL III 1195)[19], [37] cf. names Resculum (a hamlet from Dacia) and Rascuporis / Rascupolis (name with Sapaean and Bithynian Thracian tribes)[37]
21 Scorylo From root *sker ' to leap, spin' [38] Name of a Dacian general[37] Also, the name Scoris Also names: Scoris (Scorinis) It is a "Royal" Dacian name found also with Thracians from south of the Danube.[32]
22 Tarbus "hard, strong, powerful" cf. Bactrian thaurva (de tarva)[21] possibly a prince of the Free Dacians[21][39]
23 Thiamarkos Dacian king (inscription "Basileys Thiamarkos epoiei")[40]
24 Tsinna (Zinnas, Sinna)
  • Zinnas in IOSPE I2 136, Olbia, late 1st-early 2nd century
  • Tsinna son of Bassus in ISM V 27, Capidava (Scythia Minor), 2nd century
  • Titus Aurelius Sinna from Ratiaria (Moesia Superior) in CIL III 14507, Viminacium (Moesia Superior), year 195
  • Sinna in a military diploma for year 246 (no other details provided, but it was published by Peter Weiss in "Ausgewahlte neue Militardiplome" in Chiron 32 (2002), p. 513-7)
25 Tsiru Tsiru son of Bassus in ISM V 27, Capidava (Scythia Minor), 2nd century[41]
26 Vezina 'Active, vigorous, energetic ' PIE *ueg [42] Dacian name[21]
27 Zalmoxis Dacian god[21]
28 Zebeleizis Other name of the Dacian god Zalmoxis [21]
29 Zia "mare" cf. Thracian Ziaka, Sanskrit hayaka "horse" (See Ziacatralis Thracian name, that is "who feeds the horses")[21] Dacian name of a princess[21] Variant Ziais
30 Zyraxes "Powerful prince" cf. Bactrian Zura, Zavare "power" and cf. Khsaya "prince" ")[43] Prince of the Getae [43] A similar name's form is found in the city name Zurobara where bara / vara="city" and zuro="fortified"[43]

See also Zurobara

31 Dardanos ‘Darda-‘ appears as both Daco-Mysian and Thracian.[44])
32 Bastiza Name frequently found at Mons Claudianus i.e. two persons have this name on a list of Dacian names but also this name is the patronyme of the soldier named Diernaios.[45] The name ‘’bast’’ is found in Thrace (cf. Decev) but never as Bastiza.[45])
33 Komakiza Koma-kiza / Koma-kissa is a name attested at Didymoi.[9] The endings term correspond to the Dacian king name Komosicus.[9]
34 Damanais Damanais attested at Mons Claudianus as the father of the Dacian soldier Dida from Krokodilo.[14]
35 Daizus Thraco-Getian name Daizus Comozoi, interfectus a Castabocis.[46] Daizus Comozoi is a "Royal" Dacian name found also with Thracians from south of the Danube.[32]
36 Drilgisa With the inscription CIL VI 1801 as Natopor's brother at Rome.[9] Note also the followings names: Drigissa in Superior Moesia and Dia-giza, slave at Rome, CIL XV 2445.[9]
37 Tiati With the inscription CIL VI 1801 at Rome.[9]
38 Dablosa He is attested at Mons Claudianus(O. Claud. II 402 and 403).[9]
39 Rigozus Anthroponim.[47]
40 Komozoi Father of Daizus.[46] Daizus Comozoi is a "Royal" Dacian name found also with Thracians from south of the Danube.[32]


No Dacian name Etymology Modern city/Location Attestation Notes
1 Acidava (Acidaua) Enoşeşti, Olt County, Romania Tabula Peutingeriana[48]
2 Amutria (Amutrion, Amutrium, Admutrium[49], Ad Mutrium, Ad Mutriam, Ancient Greek: Ἀμούτριον[50]) Hypothetically located at one of the following sites in Oltenia (Southwestern Romania): Ptolemy's Geographia, Tabula Peutingeriana[53]
3 Apula (Apulon) Piatra Craivii, 20 km North of Alba-Iulia, Romania Tabula Peutingeriana[48] Apulum in Latin, see also Apuli
4 Bersobis (Berzobim) "White, shine" including birch-tree from root *bhereg > ber(e)z [54]

Alternatively, it could be compared with Berzama, place name from Thrace between Amhialos and Kabyle and Bactrian Bareza ‘height’ [17]

Modern Berzovia village in Caras-Severin county, on the bank of river Bârzava, Romania The sole surviving sentence from Trajan's campaign journal in the Latin grammar work of Priscian, Institutiones grammaticae [55]
5 Napoca (Napuca) The followings are the most important hypotheses regarding Napoca's etymology:
  • Dacian name having the same root "nap" (cf. ancient Armenian root "nap") with that of the Dacia's river Naparis attested by Herodotus. It has an augmentative suffix uk/ok i.e. over, great [34]
  • Name derived from that of the Dacianized Scythian tribe known as Napae [56]
  • Name probably akin to the indigenous (Thracian) element in Romanian language, the word năpârcă 'viper' cf. Albanian nepërkë , nepërtkë [57]
  • Name derived from the Ancient Greek term napos (νάπος) "timbered valley"
  • Name derived from the Indo-European *snā-p- (Pokorny 971-2) "to flow, to swim, damp".[58]

Independent of these hypotheses, scholars agree that the name of the settlement predates the Roman conquest (AD 106).[58]

Cluj-Napoca, Romania[59] Tabula Peutingeriana[48] [59]


No Dacian name Etymology Modern name/Location Attestation Notes
1 Donaris (Τάναις) The name Dānuvius is presumably a loan from Celtic (Gaulish), or possibly Iranic. It is one of a number of river names derived from a Indo-European word *dānu, apparently a term for "river", but possibly also of a primeval cosmic river, and of a river goddess (see Danu (Asura)), perhaps from a root *dā "to flow/wift, rapid, violent, undisciplined."

Other river names with the same etymology include Don, Donets, Dnieper and Dniestr. Dniepr and Dniestr, from Danapris and Danastius, are from Scythian Iranic *Dānu apara "posterior river" and *Dānu nazdya- "anterior river", respectively.[60]

Danube (upper)[61]
2 Istros The Ancient Greek Istros was a borrowing from Thracian/Dacian meaning "strong, swift", akin to Sanskrit is.iras "swift".[61] Danube (lower)[61]
3 Naparis a) According to Russu 'Flow' / 'moisture' It has probably the same root with Napoca (Nowadays Cluj-Napoca) [62]

b) According to Parvan, after Tomaschek the meaning is similar with Lith. Napras in which there is a high probability of the root nebh-“to spring”. [63] c) According to Bogrea, 'spring' compared with Old Persian napas ‘spring’ [63]

Ialomita Herodotus (IV 48) [62], [64]

See also


  1. ^ Nandris 1976, p. 730.
  2. ^ Petrescu-Dîmbovița 1978, p. 130.
  3. ^ Crossland 1982, p. 839.
  4. ^ Rosetti 1978, p. 208.
  5. ^ Oltean 2009, p. 95.
  6. ^ Pogorelets & et. al. 2007, p. 258.
  7. ^ Georgiev 1977, p. 298.
  8. ^ Dana 2003, p. 166.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Dana 2003, p. 174.
  10. ^ a b c d Dana 2003, p. 185.
  11. ^ Dana 2003, p. 177.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Dana 2003, p. 183.
  13. ^ Dana 2003, p. 174 and p=183.
  14. ^ a b c d e Dana 2003, p. 175.
  15. ^ Dana 2003, p. 176.
  16. ^ a b Dana 2003, p. 179.
  17. ^ a b Tomaschek 1883, p. 402.
  18. ^ a b c Piso 2001, p. 425.
  19. ^ a b c d Kugener & Herrman 1977, p. 516.
  20. ^ a b Mommsen 1887, p. 225.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h Tomaschek 1883, p. 409.
  22. ^ a b c d e Van Den Gheyn 1885, p. 177.
  23. ^ Strabo 20 AD, VII 3,12.
  24. ^ Tomaschek 1883, p. 403.
  25. ^ a b Russu 1967, p. 101.
  26. ^ a b Strabo 20 AD, VII 3,5.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h Tomaschek 1883, p. 404.
  28. ^ Russu 1969, p. 163 and 109.
  29. ^ "De Imperatoribus Romanis" (Assorted Imperial Battle Descriptions). An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Retrieved 2007-11-08. "Battle of Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetuza), A.D. 105. During Trajan"s reign one of the most important Roman successes was the victory over the Dacians. The first important confrontation between the Romans and the Dacians took place in the year 87 and was initiated by Domitian. The praetorian prefect Cornelius led five or six legions across the Danube on a bridge of ships and advanced towards Banat (in Romania). The Romans were surprised by a Dacian attack at Tapae (near the village of Bucova, in Romania). Legion V Alaude was crushed and Cornelius Fuscus was killed. The victorious general was originally known as Diurpaneus (see Manea, p.109), but after this victory he was called Decebalus (the brave one)." 
  30. ^ a b Tomaschek 1883, p. 405.
  31. ^ a b Russu 1967, p. 133.
  32. ^ a b c d Petolescu 1985, p. 646.
  33. ^ Dumistracel 1988, p. 395.
  34. ^ a b c d Tomaschek 1883, p. 406.
  35. ^ a b Dana 2006, p. 117.
  36. ^ a b c d e Tomaschek 1883, p. 407.
  37. ^ a b c d Tomaschek 1883, p. 408.
  38. ^ Russu 1967, p. 136.
  39. ^ Batty, Roger (2007): Rome and the Nomads: the Pontic-Danubian realm in antiquity, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198149360, ISBN 978-0198149361, page 366
  40. ^ Berciu 1981, p. 139-140.
  41. ^ Dana 2001-2003, p. 88.
  42. ^ Russu 1969, p. 145, 154 and 160.
  43. ^ a b c Tomaschek 1883, p. 410.
  44. ^ Hamp 1966, p. 108.
  45. ^ a b Dana 2003, p. 173.
  46. ^ a b Protase 2001, p. 299.
  47. ^ Russu 1967, p. 156.
  48. ^ a b c Tabula Peutingeriana, Segmentum VIII.
  49. ^ a b Pippidi 1976, p. 17.
  50. ^ Nobbe 1845, p. 10.
  51. ^ Diaconovich 1898, p. 758.
  52. ^ a b Schütte 1917, p. 96.
  53. ^ Tabula Peutingeriana, Segmentum VII.
  54. ^ Parvan 1926, p. 245.
  55. ^ Priscian 520, VI 13.
  56. ^ Pârvan (1982) p.165 and p.82
  57. ^ Paliga (2006) 142
  58. ^ a b Lukács 2005, p. 14.
  59. ^ a b Bunbury 1879, p. 516.
  60. ^ Julius Pokorny (1959): dā- "fluid, to flow", dānu- f. "river"; Mallory, J.P. and D.Q. Adams. The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London: Fitzroy and Dearborn, 1997: 486.
  61. ^ a b c Katičić & Križman 1976, p. 144.
  62. ^ a b Russu 1969, p. 130 and 154.
  63. ^ a b Brugmann et al. 2009, p. 324.
  64. ^ Herodotus(author) Rawlinson (translator), p. 163.




  • Kugener, Marc Antoine; Herrmann, Léon (1977). Latomus. 36 Issues 1-2. 
  • Brugmann, Karl; Streitberg, Wilhelm; Schmidt, Wolfgang P.; Eggers, Eckhard (Walter de Gruyter). 2009. 36 Issues 1-2. ISBN 978-3110208993. 
  • Joseph, Van Den Gheyn (1885). Les populations Danubiennes'. Belgium: "Revue des questions scientifiques, Volumes 17-18" by "Société scientifique de Bruxelles". 
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  • Nandris, John; Friesinger, Herwig; Kerchler, Helga; Pittioni, Richard; Mitscha-Märheim, Herbert (1976). The Dacian Iron Age A Comment in a European Context in Festschrift für Richard Pittioni zum siebzigsten Geburtstag. Wien : Deuticke ; Horn : Berger. ISBN 9783700544203. 
  • Nobbe, Karl Friedrich August (1845) (in Ancient Greek and Latin). Claudii Ptolemaei geographia. 3. Leipzig: Lipsiae, Sumptibus et typis Caroli Tauchnitii. 
  • Oltean, I.A. (2009). "Dacian ethnic identity and the Roman army". The army and frontiers of Rome:

papers offered to David J. Breeze on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday and his retirement from Historic Scotland edited by William S. Hanson. Journal of Roman Archaeology. ISBN 978-1887829748. 

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