Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dacian Ferocity and the Transmigration of the soul

Retreat and suicide of Dacians (Scene CXL); Da...Retreat and suicide of the Dacians
"To the strength and fierceness of barbarians they [The Dacians] added a contempt for life, which was derived from a warm persuasion of the immortality and transmigration of the soul." - Edward, Gibbons, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

When I got my five minutes worth of Gibbons today, I noticed his description of the Dacians in Trajan's time. Although it's true that the Dacians of the early 2nd century believed in an immortal soul, they were one of the last Roman provinces to accept Christianity, not doing so until the 5th century CE. Instead, the Dacians believed in a complex religious hierarchy with its priests divided into orders of “god-worshipers”, “smoke-walkers” and “founders”. Their supreme deity was known at different times as Zalmoxis,Gebeleïzis and Darzalas.

More at Roman Times
Enhanced by Zemanta