Dava (Latinate plural davae) was a Geto-Dacian name for a city, town or fortress. Generally, the name indicated a tribal center or an important settlement, usually fortified. Some of the Dacian settlements and the fortresses employed the Murus Dacicus traditional construction technique.
Most of these towns are attested by Ptolemy, and therefore date from at least the 1st century CE.
Therefore, dava 'town' derived from the reconstructed proto-Indo-European *dhewa 'settlement'. The Zazaki dew, meaning "village" is found only in modern dialects and is not a cognate with the Dacian term. A pre-indo-european origin for the Dacian term is also possible, see comparison with Kartvelian *daba, 'town, village' 
The "dava" towns can be found as south as Sandanski and Plovdiv. Strabo specified that the Daci are the Getae. The Dacians, Getae and their kings were always considered as Thracians by the ancients (Dio Cassius, Trogus Pompeius, Appian, Strabo, Herodotus and Pliny the Elder), and were both said to speak the same Thracian language.
List of davae
Below is a list of Dacian towns which include various forms of dava in their name:
- Acidava (Acidaua), a fortress town close to the Danube. Located in today's Enoşeşti, Olt County, Romania
- Aedava (Aedeva, Aedabe, Aedeba or Aedadeba), placed by Procopius on the Danubian road between Augustae and Variana, in Moesia (the present Northern Bulgaria)
- Aiadava (Aiadaba or Aeadaba, Greek: Αἰάδαβα), was a locality in the Remesiana region, present Bela Palanka, Serbia.
- Argedava (Argedauon, Sargedava, Sargedauon, Zargedava, Zargedauon, Ancient Greek: Αργεδαυον, Σαργεδαυον), mentioned in the Decree of Dionysopolis, potentially the dava discovered at Popeşti, a district in the town of Mihăilești, Giurgiu County, Romania and maybe Burebista's court/capital
- Argidava (Argidaua, Arcidava, Arcidaua, Argedava, Argedauon, Sargedava, Sargedauon, Zargedava, Zargedauon, Ancient Greek: Ἀργίδαυα, Αργεδαυον, Σαργεδαυον), potentially Burebista's court/capital, located in today's Vărădia, Caraş-Severin County, Romania
- Buridava or Burridava, today's Ocnele Mari, Romania
- Capidava or Kapidaua, a fortress town on the southern side of the lower Danube
- Carsidava or Karsidaua
- Cumidava, Comidava or Komidaua, ancient Râşnov, Romania
- Dausdava, Dausadava or Dausdavua, "The shrine of wolves", a fortress town close to the Danube
- Docidava or Dokidaua
- Gildova or Gildoba, located alongside the Vistula river
- Itadeba or Itadava, in north eastern North Macedonia
- Jidava, near Câmpulung Muscel, Romania
- Marcodava or Markodaua
- Nentinava or Netindaua, ancient Slobozia, Romania
- Nentivava, ancient Oltenița, Romania
- Patridava or Patridaua
- Pelendava or Pelendova, ancient Craiova, Romania
- Petrodava or Petrodaua located in Piatra Neamţ
- Piroboridava or Piroboridaua
- Pulpudeva, originally named Eumolpias by the Dacians. Philip II of Macedon conquered the area in 342-341 BC and renamed the city Philippoupolis (Greek: Φιλιππούπολις), of which the later Dacian name for the city, Pulpu-deva, is a reconstructed translation. Today's city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria.
- Quemedava, mentioned by Procopius in Dardania 
- Ramidava or Rhamidaua
- Rusidava or Rusidava
- Sacidava or Sacidaba
- Scaidava or Skedeba
- Setidava or Setidaua, mentioned by Ptolemy as a thriving settlement
- Singidava or Singidaua
- Sucidava, Suvidava or Sukidaua located in Corabia, Olt County, Romania
- Susudava, mentioned by Ptolemy as a thriving settlement
- Tamasidava or Tamasidaua
- Thermidava, placed by Ptolemy on the Lissus-Naissus route. The toponym is most probably a misreading of a settlement which most scholars in contemporary research locate near present-day Banat, Serbia.
- Utidava or Utidaua
- Zargidava or Zargidaua
- Ziridava or Ziridaua
- Zisnedeva, Zisnudeva or Zisnudeba, located in Dacian Moesia
- Polome 1982, p. 886.
- Berzovan 2020.
- Grumeza 2009, p. 13.
- Velkov 1977, p. 92.
- *Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Edited by J. Haury; revised by G. Wirth. 3 vols. Leipzig: Teubner, 1976-64. Greek text.
- TSR9, Proc. 123. 26
- Grumeza 2009, p. 88.
- Grumeza 2009, p. 12.
- Grumeza 2009, p. 14.
- Ethnic continuity in the Carpatho-Danubian area by Elemér Illyés,1988,ISBN 0-88033-146-1,page 223
- Lepper, F. A. (1988). Trajan's Column: A New Edition of the Cichorius Plates. Alan Sutton. p. 138.
Stuart Jones noted the Dacian - sounding place - name ' Thermidava ' on the Lissus Naissus road : but see Miller col . 557 , for the evidence on this. The place was most probably called ' Theranda ' and there is no evidence for any settlement there of pro-Roman Dacians now, nor is it very likely. (..) Most scholars , however , have supposed , as did Cichorius , that we are now north of the Danube , somewhere in the Banat area where the local inhabitants are frightened that they may lose their recently acquired 'liberty'.
- Grumeza, Ion (2009). Dacia: Land of Transylvania, Cornerstone of Ancient Eastern Europe. Hamilton Books. ISBN 978-0-7618-4465-5.
- Velkov, Velizar Iv (1977). The cities in Thrace and Dacia in late antiquity: (studies and materials). Hakkert. ISBN 90-256-0723-3.
- Olteanu, Sorin. "Linguae Thraco-Daco-Moesorum - Toponyms Section". Linguae Thraco-Daco-Moesorum (in Romanian and English). Archived from the original on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Polome, E. C. (1982). "20e". In Boardman, John (ed.). The Cambridge Ancient History. London: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-22496-3.
- Tomaschek, Wilhelm (1883). "Les Restes de la langue dace". Le Muséon. Belgium: "Société des lettres et des sciences" Louvain, Belgium. 2.
- Berzovan, Alexandru (2020). "Considerations regarding the origin of Dacian Term dava / deva / daba. A Historical and Linguistic Journey from the Lower Danube to Anatolia and Transcaucasia". The Thracians and their neighbours in antiquity. Archaeology and history. Studies in honor of Valeriu Sîrbu at his 70th anniversary. Romania: Editura Istros , Brăila.
- Van den Gheyn, Joseph (1885). "Les populations Danubiennes". Revue des questions scientifiques. Brussels: Société scientifique de Bruxelles. 17–18.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dacian and Dacians.|
- Dacian Davae in Enciclopedia Dacica (Romanian)
- Dacian materials and construction techniques in Enciclopedia Dacica (Romanian)
- Sorin Olteanu's Project: Linguae Thraco-Daco-Moesorum - Toponyms Section (Romanian, partially English)
- Lists of Dacian fortresses, towns and citadels
-  (in English, with references to previous bibliography)