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Argedava - Graphical Reenactment by Radu Oltean.jpg
Illustration, potentially Burebista's capital
Argedava is located in Romania
Shown within Romania
Alternative nameDacian fortress of Popești, Argedauon, Sargedava, Sargedauon, Zargedava, Zargedauon
LocationPopești,​ Giurgiu,​ Romania
Coordinates44°18′46″N 25°57′53″E / 44.3127°N 25.9648°E / 44.3127; 25.9648Coordinates: 44°18′46″N 25°57′53″E / 44.3127°N 25.9648°E / 44.3127; 25.9648

Argedava (Argedauon, Sargedava, Sargedauon, Zargedava, Zargedauon, Ancient Greek: Αργεδαυον, Σαργεδαυον) was an important Dacian town mentioned in the Decree of Dionysopolis (48 BC),[1] and potentially located at Popești, a district in the town of Mihăilești, Giurgiu County, Muntenia, Romania.

Decree of Dionysopolis[edit]

This decree was written by the citizens of Dionysopolis to Akornion, who traveled far away in a diplomatic mission to meet somebody's father in Argedauon.[2]

The inscription also refers to the Dacian king Burebista, and one interpretation is that Akornion was his chief adviser (Ancient Greek: πρῶτοσφίλος, literally "first friend") in Dionysopolis.[3] Other sources indicate that Akornion was sent as an ambassador of Burebista to Pompey, to discuss an alliance against Julius Caesar.[4]

This leads to the assumption that the mentioned Argedava was Burebista's capital of the Dacian kingdom. This source unfortunately doesn't mention the location of Argedava and historians opinions are split in two groups.

One school of thought, led by historians Constantin Daicoviciu and Hadrian Daicoviciu, assumes that the inscription talks about Argidava and place the potential capital of Burebista at Vărădia, Caraş-Severin County, Romania. The forms Argidava and Arcidava found in other ancient sources like Ptolemy's Geographia (c. 150 AD) and Tabula Peutingeriana (2nd century AD), clearly place a Dacian town with those names at this geographical location. The site is also close to Sarmizegetusa, a later Dacian capital.

Others, led by historian Vasile Pârvan and professor Radu Vulpe place Argedava at Popeşti, Giurgiu County, Romania. Arguments include the name connection with the Argeş River, geographical position on a potential road to Dionysopolis which Akornion followed, and most importantly the size of the archaeological discovery at Popeşti that hints to a royal palace. However no other sources seem to name the dava discovered at Popeşti, so no exact assumptions can be made about its Dacian name.

It is possible that the two different davae are homonyms.

The marble inscription is damaged in many areas, including right before the word Argedauon, and it is possible the original word could have been Sargedauon (Ancient Greek: Σαργεδαυον) or Zargedauon. This form could be linked to Zargidaua mentioned by Ptolemy at a different geographical location. Or, they could be homonyms.

The decree, a fragmentary marble inscription, is located in the National Museum in Sofia.

Literary reference[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mihailov 1970.
  2. ^ Crisan 1978, p. 61.
  3. ^ Daicoviciu 1972, p. 127.
  4. ^ Oltean 2007, p. 47.


  • Crișan, Ion Horațiu (1978). Burebista and His Time. Volume 20 of Bibliotheca historica Romaniae: Monographies. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România.

External links[edit]