Dava (Dacian)

Many davae on the Roman Dacia selection from Tabula Peutingeriana

Dava (Latin alphabet plural davae) is a Geto-Dacian name for a city, town or fortress. Generally, the name indicated a tribal center or an important settlement, usually fortified. Some of the Dacian settlements and the fortresses employed the Murus Dacicus traditional construction technique.

Many city names of the Dacians were composed of an initial lexical element (often the tribe name) affixed to -dava, -daua, -deva, -deba, -daba or -dova (<PIE *dʰeh₁-, "to set, place").[1]

Most of these towns are attested by Ptolemy, and therefore date from the 1st century CE.

Therefore, dava 'town' derived from the reconstructed proto-Indo-European *dhewa 'settlement',[2] cognate with Zazaki dewe, meaning "village".

The "dava" towns can be found as south as Sandanski and Plovdiv. Strabo specified that the Daci are the Getae. The Dacians, Getae and their kings were always considered as Thracians by the ancients (Dio Cassius, Trogus Pompeius, Appian, Strabo, Herodotus and Pliny the Elder), and were both said to speak the same Thracian language.

Davae in Dacia during Burebista

List of davae

Below is a list of Dacian towns which include various forms of dava in their name:

Onomastic range of the Dacian towns with the dava ending, covering Dacia, Moesia, Thrace and Dalmatia
Onomastic range of the Dacian towns with the dava ending, covering Dacia, Moesia, Thrace and Dalmatia

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Olteanu.
  2. Polome 1982, p. 886.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Grumeza 2009, p. 13.
  4. Velkov 1977, p. 92.
    • Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Edited by J. Haury; revised by G. Wirth. 3 vols. Leipzig: Teubner, 1976-64. Greek text.
  5. TSR9, Proc. 123. 26
  6. Grumeza 2009, p. 88.
  7. 1 2 3 Grumeza 2009, p. 12.
  8. 1 2 3 Grumeza 2009, p. 14.
  9. 1 2 Ethnic continuity in the Carpatho-Danubian area by Elemér Illyés,1988,ISBN 0-88033-146-1,page 223
  10. Five Roman emperors: Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, A.D. 69-117 - by Bernard William Henderson - 1969, page 278,"At Thermidava he was warmly greeted by folk quite obviously Dacians"
  11. The Geography by Ptolemy, Edward Luther Stevenson,1991,page 36


External links

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