King of Dacia, a shrewd and resourceful commander, led several campaigns against Rome (ad 85–89). Although the Dacians were defeated in 88, Domitian, faced with military rebellion in Germany and offensive moves by the Marcomanni and Quadi on the Danube, concluded a generous peace by which Decebalus was established as a king friendly to Rome (see client kings), was granted the assistance of Roman engineers, and received an annual subsidy. Trajan, suspicious of Decabalus' power and eager for military glory, invaded Dacia (101/2) and after a tough campaign imposed a peace settlement which left Roman garrisons there. In 105 Trajan went to war again, apparently in response to Decebalus' infractions of the treaty. Sarmizegethusa, the capital, was captured, Decebalus killed himself, and the province of Dacia was created (106).
Subjects: Classical Studies.