June 2 - June 29, 2013
By the beginning of the first century AD, the Roman Empire reached its zenith. The conquest of Dacia was the last great expansion of Rome. Since the first half of the 1st century BC, under the great king Burebista, the Dacians start to get involved in Roman politics. Domitian’s failure to annex Dacia and subsequent Roman military defeats at the hands of the Dacians made the Danube frontier a target of essential importance for the Empire. It took Trajan, one of Rome’s greatest military minds, two wars (102 AD and 106AD) to subjugate the mighty Dacians, or as Herodotus described them, “the bravest and fairest of all the Thracians”. The Dacians were the only (and last) entity left in Europe to pose a real threat to Rome… culturally, economically, politically and military.
The synthesis between Dacia and Rome, from the conquest in 102/106 until the Aurelian retreat in 271/275, sustained the Roman Empire for another two centuries. Dacians are the people most immortalized in Roman imperial statuary. The Transylvanian gold has kept Roman economy out of bankruptcy at the same time as the Dacian auxiliaries have manned the Imperial armies to the point of having a emperor of Dacian origin, Maximinus Thrax.
Our workshop aims at bringing this synthesis to life. It is an archaeological program that is meant to be both experimental and experiential. We bring together archaeologists and craftsmen in order to recreate actual objects found in excavations and Late Iron Age and Imperial Roman techniques and technologies. At the same time, all our participants will experience life as a Daco-Roman, working the ovens and the forges, building Late Iron Age workshops and houses, training in the various weapons and tactical martial fighting techniques of the day. Students and participants will make the intellectual and phenomenological journey from the academic, to the experiment and to the experiential, in the fields of pyrotechnologies, domestic crafts, weapons and tactics, and finally prehistoric building techniques and architecture.