The Dacians inhabited an area roughly corresponding to ancient Thrace (modern Yugoslavia) and like their predecessors had a reputation for ferocity and warlike behaviour that brought them into conflict with the might of the Roman Empire. Dacian raids across the River Danube became more than a nuisance during the 2nd century AD and resulted in huge resources being targeted against a relatively minor people.
In the late 4th century BC the wild steppe people collectively referred to as Sarmatians began raiding their more settled and prosperous neighbours, and they continued to do so for over 600 years until they were wiped out by the Huns. While there were many tribes, I will concentrate here on those which were allied with the Dacians and fought both for and against Imperial Rome.
Several comments survive concerning the character of the Sarmatians which, while subjective, provide something of the flavour of their armies. Apart from the quote at the head of this piece, we are told of one Sarmatian in Roman employ that ‘although a Sarmatian by birth, he is prudent and careful’. The Sarmatian way of war was very straightforward — literally!
Our Dacians and Sarmatians were sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry.
Click here for historical information on building Dacian and Sarmatian Armies by Adrian Garbett.
Visit our Enemies of Rome page to find others who fought against the Roman Empire.