Europe 88 AD: Domitian’s Dacian War
In 86 AD the Dacians invaded the Roman province of Moesia. In response, Emperor Domitian initiated a campaign to conquer Dacia, but after three years of mixed results was forced to withdraw in 89 AD when a revolt broke out in Germania.
85? AD Revolt of the Nasamones▲
In around 85 AD the North African desert tribe of the Nasamones rebelled against Roman taxation in Cyrenaica, killing the tax collectors and defeating governor Gnaeus Suellius Flaccus. However, after plundering Flaccus’ camp, they gorged themselves on his wine and provisions, leaving themselves vulnerable to a counterattack. Flaccus massacred them all, prompting an elated Emperor Domitian to make the exaggerated claim to the Senate that he had “forbidden the Nasamones to exist.”
86–89 AD Domitian’s Dacian War▲
In 86 AD King Duras of Dacia—encouraged by his nephew Decebalus—invaded the Roman province of Moesia, killing its governor Oppius Sabinus. The Romans responded by sending Cornelius Fuscus to invade Dacia in 86 or 87, only for his force to be annihilated by Decebalus—who became king at about this time—at the Western Carpathian mountain pass of Tapae. A second invasion under Tettius Julianus defeated Decebalus at Tapae in 88, but by now news of Saturninus’ Rhine revolt had reached Emperor Domitian, who ordered an end to the war. In 89 the Romans agreed to an humilitating peace treaty, in which the Dacians agreed to recognize Roman authority in return for an annual subsidy and a loan of engineers.
86 AD Upper and Lower Moesia▲
In response to the Dacian attack on Moesia in 86 AD, the Roman emperor Domitian traveled to the province to oversee the war with Dacia. Domitian reorganized Moesia into two imperial provinces, divided by the river Cebrus: Moesia Superior (Upper Moesia) in the west and Moesia Inferior (Lower Moesia) in the east. Sirmium and the area between the Drava and Sava rivers was also transferred from Pannonia to Upper Moesia.
87–106 AD Reign of Decebalus▲
In c.87 AD Decebalus became king of Dacia, succeeding his uncle Duras, and successfully brought a conclusion to the Roman emperor Domitian’s invasion of his country. Following this, Decebalus consolidated his power, extending Dacia’s authority as far as the Dniester. However, he was ultimately defeated by the Roman emperor Trajan, committing suicide when his capital of Sarmizegetusa fell in 106.
87? AD Chatti–Cherusci War▲
In c.87 AD, in Germania, the Chatti attacked the Roman client kingdom of the Cherusci, driving out their king Chariomerus. The latter managed to stage a return with the help of his followers, but was deserted and exiled a final time when he attempted to resume his allegiance to Rome. Turning to Emperor Domitian for military aid, Chariomerus received only financial support, ending any hope of restoring the Cherusci kingdom.