Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
  • Time Travel Rome

spittle

Caesar's Planned Dacian Campaign

Recommended Posts

"Newly minted dictator"? Cato!

 

We're talking about 58BC he'd only just become a governor.

 

Your letting your hatred blind you. Either that or, like you namesake and hero, your a bit of a drunk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tsk, tsk Spittle. Ad hominem attacks are never conducive to reasoned debate, even if they are in response to an irrational position.

 

The important question concerning Caesar's projected campaign in Dacia is not "Could he conquer Burebista's kingdom?". Certainly, with the resources of the entire Roman state at his beck and call, he had better be able to.

 

Rather, the important question in terms of settling and Romanizing Dacia would be - "Would the people of Dacia have been more content under Roman rule than their own?"

 

Now that is a much more interesting question to address, especially since Dacia had just emerged from a long peaceful period under Burebista's reign. Caesar's track record in Gaul and Spain (yes, he fought a war in Spain too) show him to be about as conducive to the welfare of the populace as a natural disaster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious about what 'Dacia' really means in this context. From De Bello Gallico, Book 6, Chapter 25:

The breadth of this Hercynian forest, which has been referred to above, is to a quick traveler, a journey of nine days. For it can not be otherwise computed, nor are they acquainted with the measures of roads. It begins at the frontiers of the Helvetii, Nemetes, and Rauraci, and extends in a right line along the river Danube to the territories of the Daci and the Anartes; it bends thence to the left in a different direction from the river, and owing to its extent touches the confines of many nations; nor is there any person belonging to this part of Germany who says that he either has gone to the extremity of that forest, though he had advanced a journey of sixty days, or has heard in what place it begins.

In particular, he indicates that the forest extends in a line along the Danube to the territories of the Daci and Anartes. As far as I know, the territories of the Arnates were north of the Pathissus river close to NE Pannonia and the sharp southern bend in the Danuvius. Would this indicate that Caesar's conception of 'Dacia' was more like NE Pannonia, rather than the Carpathian/Transylvanian mountains which would have been considerably outside the territories of Rome at that point?

 

Edit: Nevermind... I just figured out that the Dacian kingdom at the time extended to that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rather, the important question in terms of settling and Romanizing Dacia would be - "Would the people of Dacia have been more content under Roman rule than their own?"

 

This may have had some impact had Caesar actually attempted the campaign, but it really has little bearing on whether or not he planned it. While it may have been a practical consideration, it would've been un Roman to think that such a concern should impact the grand strategy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rather, the important question in terms of settling and Romanizing Dacia would be - "Would the people of Dacia have been more content under Roman rule than their own?"

Trajan made this question moot by committing genocide in the Balkans over 100 years later. I am sure Caeser in his own imitable way would have done the same. If you exterminate the people you have nothing to fear from them. The area is called Romania 2000 years later not because they were content, but because they were replaced.

Edited by Horatius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"...but, apart from the wine, the aquaducts, the sanitation, the roads, ....What have the Romans ever done for us?"

 

i don't know the details of Roman replacement populations in Romania/Dacia but I do know virtually every area of the planet has had similar massive ethic changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Caesar killed more in Gaul than had ever been killed in any prior conflict.

 

Caesar boasted of killing a million, and enslaving a million. Like most recorded boasts of antiquity, Caesar's is most probably an exaggeration; the fact that it was a boast shows that subduing enemies on an industrial scale camping was a desirable thing; therefore, Caesar most probably exaggerated the death toll as a means of gaining popular support. Yes, I agree with Cato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Trajan made this question moot by committing genocide in the Balkans over 100 years later. I am sure Caeser in his own imitable way would have done the same. If you exterminate the people you have nothing to fear from them. The area is called Romania 2000 years later not because they were content, but because they were replaced.

 

I'm not aware of any such notion that the ancient Daci were exterminated. It's my understanding that the great bulk of the population was Romanized... admittedly some of this was likely done quite forcibly, but genocide and assimilation even if by force or threat of force are entirely different things in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Caesar was prescient. See: Dacia

 

If it was his intention to take Dacia, the last paragraph in the above might be a sufficient reason. Looking at a map of the area, it might have been first on his mind as it would remove a potential ally of the Parthians from his rear.

 

To go through the bother of conquering an area to exterminate its population and turn it into a 'desert' makes no sense. To lose tax payers? To make land unusable (and therefor less valuable at sale) for its future Roman holders? I think not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not aware of any such notion that the ancient Daci were exterminated. It's my understanding that the great bulk of the population was Romanized... admittedly some of this was likely done quite forcibly, but genocide and assimilation even if by force or threat of force are entirely different things in my opinion.

Maybe genocide was a little too harsh PP , but I don't think it was for want of trying lol. Maybe cultural genocide would be more appropriate.

To go through the bother of conquering an area to exterminate its population and turn it into a 'desert' makes no sense. To lose tax payers? To make land unusable (and therefor less valuable at sale) for its future Roman holders? I think not.

Thars gold in them thar hills! "gold and silver were found in great quantities in the Western Carpathians. After Trajan's conquest, he brought back to Rome over 165 tons of gold and 330 tons of silver " http://www.unrv.com/provinces/dacia.php http://www.usd.edu/~clehmann/pir/dacia.htm .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thars gold in them thar hills! "gold and silver were found in great quantities in the Western Carpathians. After Trajan's conquest, he brought back to Rome over 165 tons of gold and 330 tons of silver " http://www.unrv.com/provinces/dacia.php http://www.usd.edu/~clehmann/pir/dacia.htm .

 

Good enough reason for C. to visit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, for Ceasar an attack on Dacia would have been more difficult. In the time of Trajan roman border was in contact with Daica along the Danube.

There were three routes for Caesar and all ment goining thru buffer areas before he could attack the dacians. From the dalmatian coast thru Serbia, from Macedonia north thru Serbia (or NE thru Bulgaria) or from Byzantium along the coast north until the greek cities (that were ruled by dacians) on the coast not far from the Low Danube.

Only after this campaigns could he strike at Dacia itself.

My guess it's that his campaign goals were to reduce the power of Dacia and to get some gold. Maybe push the border along the Danube like Octavian and his succesors did. Fighting a long campaign with overextended supply lines thru hostile areas against a fanatic, well equiped enemy it's not fun.

Trajan had an easier job as later Dacia was smaller and he attacked with many columns from strong positions along the Danube forcing the defenders to divide and giving them no place to withdraw.

Despite the numbers of dacians killed in battle and, maybe more, in Trajan triumph. I think that romanized dacians and some romans are the ancestors of romanians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To go through the bother of conquering an area to exterminate its population and turn it into a 'desert' makes no sense. To lose tax payers? To make land unusable (and therefor less valuable at sale) for its future Roman holders? I think not.

 

It seems obvious now, but we live after the great 18th and 19th century economic thinkers have made their pitch. And yet even in modern times there have been conquerors/mass murderers who haven't thought about the business from an economic point of view.

 

I wonder whether, in ancient and medieval times, anyone consciously thought economically. Of course, some ancient rulers did actually do things that encouraged the growth of 'economies' and national prosperity, and therefore increased future tax income and land values, but was it more or less by chance? It's very hard to find anyone in ancient times who says he is following that kind of policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A.D., to my way of thinking, all wars of aggression (including the wars of religion) have had as their ultimate object and cause some economic gain, no matter what the stated reason.

Edited by Gaius Octavius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A.D., to my way of thinking, all wars of aggression (including the wars of religion) have had as their ultimate object and cause some economic gain, no matter what the stated reason.

 

Completely off-topic editorializing. Simplistic nonsense too--as if mankind lived in a peaceful Eden before private property and money (ha!) and as if racism, fear, and ignorance play no role in human motivation (if only).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×