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Thread: New Pantheon Suggestion - Dacian Gods

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    New Member Cupidhead Akfiz's Avatar
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    New Pantheon Suggestion - Dacian Gods

    I would like to suggest a new pantheon for future updates, the Dacian pantheon.

    The banner can be the Dacian Draco:

    Most people, especially from Europe, probably think of cars when they hear the name Dacia. But the company Dacia is named after the old Dacian Kingdom and Dacians.
    Short History: The Dacians were an indo-european people located in present day Romania. The Romans called them "Daci" while the Greeks called them "Getae". There are mentions of Dacian tribes up to the 7th century BC. They were organized in many tribes with shifting alliances. King Cothelas was a king of the Dacians who ruled an area near the Black Sea, between northern Thrace and the Danube, around 341 BC. King Rubobostes managed to unite a significant amount of Dacian tribes in 168 BC in Transylvania. His successor, King Oroles successfully, opposed the Bastarnae, blocking their invasion into Transylvania. Due to an initial failure, King Oroles punished his soldiers into sleeping at their wives' feet and do the household chores. Subsequently, the now "highly motivated" Dacian army defeated the Bastarnae and King Oroles lifted all sanctions.

    The Dacian kingdom reached its maximum extent under King Burebista in 82 BC. During the Roman Civil War between Caesar and Pompei, King Burebista allied with Pompey. As consequence, Caesar planned a campaign against the Kingdom of Dacia. This war never came to pass because both King Burebista and Julius Caesar were assassinated in the same year, 42 BC.

    After King Burebista's death, Dacia would fragment into 4 then 5 different kingdoms and eventually be reduced to many tribes with shifting alliances again. Until King Decebalus reunited the old Kingdom of Dacia in 87 AD, although with lesser strength and territory than during Burebista's reign. The same year, the Dacians invaded the Roman province of Moesia, this caused the Roman Emperor Domician to wage war on them. The Roman Empire beat the Dacians back over the Danube river, only to suffer a disastrous defeat while pursuing them and agreed to a humiliating treaty where the Roman Empire would pay tribute 8 million sestercies every year. In return, Dacia acceped the status of being a Roman client kingdom.

    After two decades of respite, the Roman Empire under Emperor Tranjan would wage war against Dacia. During these wars, called the Daco-Roman wars, the Dacians often used shock troops armed with two-handed swords called Falx that were so effective at piercing Roman helmets that they were modified with a pair of crossbars over the dome of the helmet to mitigate the damage from this weapon. However, the might of the Roman Empire combined with a competent emperor was too much. King Decebalus took his own life while being pursued rather than being captured and paraded through the streets of Rome.

    "We have conquered even these Dacians, the most warlike of all people that have ever existed, not only because of the strength in their bodies, but, also due to the teachings of Zamolxis who is among their most hailed. He has told them that in their hearts they do not die, but change their location and, due to this, they go to their deaths happier than on any other journey." - Emperor Trajan

    The high priests had an uncommon political influence on Dacia for its time, they were able to make or break the authority of a ruler. In a way Dacia was more of a theocracy than a kingdom. The Dacians considered themselves immortal, for them death was only a passage from the material world to the spiritual world, that of the dead, over which their god Zamolxis ruled. That is why, before wars or droughts, they sent the most daring young Dacians to Zamolxis. The young man was chosen after some competitions.

    The historian Herodotus tells of the land referencing ritual as follows: "some of them, sitting in a row, keep up three spears, and others, grasping the one sent to Zamolxis by hands and feet, and if he does not die, then I blame him on the ground, and if he does not die, then he blames him for a moment, and then, winding him, throws him up over the spears' that he is a wicked man: and when he blaspheth him, they send another one, and all that they require shall say unto the earth while he is alive". The outstanding bravery of Dacians due to their belief in immortality, made some Greeks to develop the hypothesis that the Greek god of war, Ares would have been born in Dacia.

    For more information I recommend this Youtube video:

    The Pantheon: The Dacians venerated a small number of gods but with well-defined responsabilities: Gebeleizis, Bendis, Derzelas, Dionysus, Kotys, Pleistoros and Sabazios. As well as mythological creatures such as the Great White. Following the advent of the Prophet Zamolxis in Dacia, the Dacian religion became monotheistic, this prophet being divinized after death and considered the new supreme god.

    The Dacians called themselves "daoi" meaning "wolves" or "ones the same with wolves". Dacians draw their name from a god or a legendary ancestor who appeared as a wolf. The name of Zamolxis comes from the dacian word for “earth” which is "zamol".

    Pre-Zamolxis Gods:

    1. Gebeleizis -> Dacian God of thunder, lightning and rain, the supreme deity before Zamolxis. Often depicted with a spear, lightning or arch in his hands battling a snake.

    His attribute is the eagle and he represents the clear sky. Everything that disturbs his harmony: storms, clouds, have to be combated. The Dacians used to shoot arrows towards the sky, in the clouds, to help Gebeleizis to drive them away.

    2. Bendis -> Dacian goddess of the moon, forests and charms, love and maternity.

    The goddess Bendis is corresponding to Artemis, in the Greek mythology, or Diana, in the Roman mythology. Herodotus wrote that this goddess is adored by the Dacian women. Her cult survived during the period of Roman occupation, in the form of Roman godess Diana.

    3. Derzelas -> God of health, abundance, underworld and human spirit's vitality. Often represented riding a horse.

    Derzelas is a dual god, he is considered the patron of health and human vitality as well as an infernal divinity, the god of the underworld. The Roman colonists in Dacia considered him similar with Hercules. Games called Darzaleia were held in his honor every five years, possibly attended by Roman Emperor Gordian III in 238 AD. The God was depicted with the Horn of Abundance in his left hand.

    4. Dionysus -> God of the grape harvest, wine, fertility and theatre. Taken from the Greeks.

    5. Kotys -> The mother-goddess.

    Kotys was worshipped in a festival known as the Cotyttia. The Greeks considered Kotys to be an aspect of Persephone.

    6. Pleistoros -> The god of war.

    7. Sabazios -> The horseman and sky-father god of the Dacians.

    In the Roman times he is shown always on horseback, as a nomadic horseman god, wielding his characteristic staff of power. Small votive hands, typically made of copper or bronze, are often associated with the cult of Sabazios. Many of these hands have a small perforation at the base which suggests they may have been attached to wooden poles and carried in processions. After Christianity was adopted, the symbolism of Sabazios continued as representations of Saint George slaying the dragon.

    Post-Zamolxis Gods:

    8. Zamolxis -> God of Life and Death, supreme deity, who gradually took the place of other gods and became the only deity.

    Herodotus was told by the Euhemeristic Pontic Greeks that Zamolxis was a Dacian man, formerly a disciple of Pythagoras, who taught him the “sciences of the skies” at Samos. Zamolxis was manumitted and amassed great wealth, returned to his country and instructed his people, the Dacians, about the immortality of the soul. According to Herodotus, at one point Zamolxis traveled to Egypt and brought the people mystic knowledge about the immortality of the soul, teaching them that they would pass at death to a certain place where they would enjoy all possible blessings for all eternity.

    Zamolxis then had a subterranean chamber constructed (other accounts say that it was a natural cave) to which he withdrew for three years. After his disappearance, he was considered dead and mourned by his people, but after three years he showed himself once more to the Dacians, who were thus convinced about his teachings, an episode that some considered to be a resurrection.

    Plato says in the Charmides dialogue that Zalmoxis was also a great physician who took a holistic approach to healing body and mind, not just the body, as was the Greek practice. During the rule of Burebista between 82 - 40 BC, the traditional year of Zamolxis' birth, 713 BC, was considered the first year in the Dacian calendar.

    9. The Great White Wolf -> According to the legend of the Great White Wolf, Zamolxis turned a priest into a wolf to protect Dacia from invaders.

    The Legend of the Great White Wolf states that in lost times, a high priest of Zamolxis was roaming through Dacia’s forests in order to help the needy. Zalmoxis realizing the potential of his servant, called him to the mountain Kogaionon to be close to him. Far beyond human territory, the beasts of Dacia considered him their leader, wolves appreciating him the most.

    After some time Zalmoxis summoned him and asked him to serve in another way, and with his approval, the deity transformed him into a large and mighty White Wolf, the most respected and feared beast from all of Dacia. His purpose was to gather all the wolves from the forests and protect Dacia when needed. Whenever the Dacians were in danger, the wolves came to their aid when they heard the howl of the Great White Wolf.

    The Dacians used to call themselves “daoi”, a word inherited from the ancient Phrygian language, daos, meaning wolf, as they had a strong connection to these animals. Their battle flag called Draco was formed out of a wolf’s head with its mouth wide open alongside the body of a dragon, symbolizing the spirit of this vivid animal guardian.

    Thus, the basic legend of the Great White Wolf has its origins in the Dacians’ respect for the wolf and from this picture the werewolf idea came to life. However, its purpose was a noble one, as the werewolf was protecting the Dacian people in times of war.
    Last edited by Akfiz; 06-19-2019 at 06:27 AM.

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