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DACICVS



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    DACICVS.----It was not without having fairly earned it, as a victorious commander, that Trajan was honoured with this surname, after his first contest with the Dacians. At almost the beginning of his reign, when that warlike people again invaded the Roman provinces, he immediately took the field against them with a powerful force, and compelled Decebalus, who was feared at the time like another Hannibal, to supplicate peace, by his ambassadors, at the hands of the Roman Senate. Thereupon the title of Dacicus was conferred upon Trajan, together with the most signal honours of the triumph. Hence we find him styled on his coins IMP. NERVA TRAIANVS AVG. GER. DACICVS., &c. This distinguished appellation was not given to him, however, till about the annum of the year U.C. 856 (A.D. 103), and the end of the sixth year of his tribunician power, to which date it is sufficiently agreed upon amongst historical antiquaries, that this Dacian victory is to be referred; and the fact is confirmed by the non-appearance of the word Dacicus on the coins of this emperor until the year above-mentioned. It is in the following year, namely A.D. 104, that the title of Optimus Princeps begins to appear on the mintages of Trajan. See DAC. CAP.
    Dacicus gladius.----The curved sword of the Dacians, on Roman coins, is held in the right hand of the personified province. It was called (GREEK LETTERING), falx (a falchion, or short crooked sowrd), such as the Thracians first used.----[It may not be irrelevant to remark, that the descendants of those who inhabited a part of ancient Dacia----namely, Hungary that now is,----have long been famous for their military prowess, and for skill in the use of their favourite weapon, the saber.]
    In his Collectanea Antiqua, vol. ii. Mr. Roach Smith fully describes, and by etchings illustrates, several specimens of Saxon and Frankish short, knife-shaped swords, amongst which is a very remarkable example of one, found in the bed of the Thames, and now in his own possession. On this subject, our observant and discriminating Archaeologist makes the following observations:----
    In ancient representations of the arms of the Germans, swords slightly curved are almost always introduced. It would be easy to cite numerous instances; but the sculptures on Trajans Column, of scenes in the Dacian wars, and the coins of that emperor, afford types which, allowing for a certain conventionality in the artistic treatment, are not very unlike some of these knife-swords.----The Dacians on the column of Trajan are almost always armed with this single-edged weapon, which curves slightly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards, but in one or two instances the weapon is straight like those under consideration. And until we discover ancient swords which are curved, we must, as in the case of the double axe, and barbed javelin, consider the representations referred to, as having been influenced by the fancy of the artist.    p. 46-47.

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