Dacian script


Dacian script

A so-called Dacian script and alphabet were the system of writing used by the people of Dacia, or present-day Romania, before being replaced by Latin due to being conquered by the Romans during the reign of the Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Even if there is no serious reason to sustain that a true Dacian alphabet did exist, many members of the protochronism movement sustain such ideas, with very few arguments.

From the current discoveries, there is a certainty that the Dacians did use, however, the Greek and Latin alphabets in their inscriptions. The usage of the Greek alphabet can be linked with the cultural diffusion which took place from the pontic Greek poliss such as Tomis, Histria and Callatis to the geto-dacian lands, trough trade and often complex diplomatic relationships.

Dacian texts written in the Greek and Roman alphabets

The notion that the ancient people of Dacia used a writing system is a certitude at the moment among historians. However, as hypothesised by Romanian historian Hadrian Daicoviciu, the Dacians knew how to use at least the Greek and the Roman alphabets, as shown by the inscriptions found at Sarmizegetusa: "Decebalus per Scorilo", the personal name "Zyper", the Greek letters from the stone bricks which once composed the wall of the fortress (at Capalna, Piatra Craivii, Costesti, Blidaru), and many more inscriptions found elsewhere (at Polovragi – ancient Arcina, at Argedava, etc). Numerous short insscriptions in Dacian language have also been also discovered in Moldavia at Barbosi, Poiana, Dumbrava and Batca Doamnei by Silviu Sanie in different sites. It may be possible that at some moments, the Dacians did borrowed and used in isolated places tamga signs from the neighbouring Sarmatians.

So-called Dacian texts written in unknown scripts

There are a number of as-yet undeciphered scripts found at different places in Romania that are attributed by popular culture mostly to the Dacians, despite the fact that most of them, such as those from Bozioru, actually date from the eary Middle Ages. However, no serious research has been yet made on them.

The controversial Romanian historian Viorica Enachiuc maintains that Codex Rohonczi is written in a Dacian alphabet. The equally controversial linguist Aurora Petan claims the authenticity of the Sinaia lead plates, which in their turn, could contain unique Dacian scripts.

References


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