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Burebista, the greatest king of Dacia, ruled between 70 BC and 44 BC.

He unified the Thracian population from the Hercinica river (today 's Moravia) in the west, to the Bug in the east and from Northern Carpathians to Dionysopolis, choosing his capital (called Argedava or Sargedava) near Costeşti, now in South-Western Romania (the Orăştie hills - see Dacian Fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains).

The real name of Burebista was lost, but his fame was evoked by the Greek writers, known under the name of Byrebistas.

The spiritual center was called Kogaion (or Kagaion, the holy mountain) by Strabo, and is thought to be localized somewhere in the Bucegi mountains. According to Jordanes, in his Getica, the greatest priest and adviser of Burebista was Dicineus (Deceneus), who held "almost royal powers" and taught the Dacians the "belagines laws", ethics and sciences, including physics and astronomy.

On the south of Danube, the proconsul of the province of Macedonia, the general Varro Lucullus, during the second Mithridatic War (74 BC–72 BC) occupied the Greek cities on the west coast of the Black Sea from Apollonia to the Danube Delta. The Greek inhabitants of the conquered cities asked Burebista for help and the Roman army of Gaius Antonius Hybrida was defeated near Histria. The Greek cities of Tomis, Calatis, Dionysopolis and Apollonia then agreed to become part of Burebista 's kingdom.

Burebista continued his incursion in the region, conquering the Celtic Aliobrix (Cartal, southern Bessarabia, now part of Ukraine), Tyras and Odessos.

In 48 BC, Burebista interfered with the internal Roman dispute between Julius Caesar and Pompey, choosing the latter as an ally. Three years later, Caesar defeated his adversary and planned on sending legions to punish Burebista, but on March 15, 44 BC before the decisive battle, Caesar was assassinated in the Senate.

Soon after, in the same year, Burebista also died assassinated in a court plot.

Also see Decebalus.

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