Burebista was a Thracian king of the Getae and Dacian tribes from 82/61 BC to 44 BC. He was the first king who magnificently unified the tribes of the Dacian kingdom.
The Dacian kingdom comprises the area located between the Danube, Tisza and Dniester rivers and covering modern day Romania.
As king Burebista followed both reform and conquest. His good friend and second command, Deceneus, was responsible for the expansion of religious and social reform. Making a caste of priests, brought about moderation into the Dacian kingdom, and incorporated the tribes. During this time Burebista built a structure of fortresses throughout the Orastie Mountains and moved the capital from Argedava to Sarmizegetusa. These fortresses were made of a Greek military manner. Their purpose was to protect the obedience of the Dacian peoples internally.
Dacia was an undefeated territory during the reign of Burebista. He led a policy of conquest of new territories. Also, Burebista was known as brave warrior who led troops in several battles. He attacked and vanquished the Celtic tribes of Boii and Taurisci, who lived along the Middle Danube and in what is now Slovakia. Burebista conquers the Black Sea shore, subjugating the Greek fortresses from Olbia to Apollonia, as well as the Danubian Plain all the way to the Balkans. The only Greek polis with which Burebista had good relations was Dionysopolis.
Burebista extended his kingdom from west to east, from the Vltava to the Bug rives and further north into Transcarpathia, known today as modern Ukraine.
When Burebista became king, he made one of the most vital reforms in those times. Dacians were exhausted of wars, and he imposed a reform that regulated the moral and religious life the Geto-Dacian people, rides them through exercise, abstaining from wine and agreement to his commands. Following these reforms, the kingdom soon became influential and subjugated new vast territories. In all these movements Burebista had been guided and assisted by the Great Priest Deceneu, which Burebista granted him the title of viceroy, agreeing to Jordanes.
Burebista was murdered in a conspiracy made by the tribal aristocracy, which felt that an alliance towards a centralized state would diminish their authority. After his death, the empire was dissolved, with the exception of the basis around the Orastie Mountains. The other tribes were separated into several realms. When Augustus Caesar sent an army against the Getae, the previous state of Burebista was separated into four states.
In the time after Burebista’s death and among the rule of Domitian and Tiberius, Dacian activity was reduced. The Dacians were forced into a defensive state where their main activity was keeping Romans out of Dacian territories.
Burebista is considered one of the most powerful people on Dacia’s land, and he will never be forgotten by Romanians. Today, the Dacian Fortresses of Orastie Mountains are part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.