For our monthly “Think Well” section of the newsletter, I am inviting You on an imaginary journey throughout the ancient history of Romania.

Our yearly traveling to Romania, brings our family closer together, but this September we also re-connected to ancient places running deep into the Romanian roots as a nation, the truly amazing civilization of the Dacian, our ancestors. The Dacians (/ˈdeɪʃənz/; Latin: Daci, Ancient Greek: Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were an Indo-European people, part of or related to the Thracians. The first historical record about the Thracians is found in the Iliad (1260–1180 BC), where they are described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Greeks.

We went on a trip to the Orastie Mountains, in order to visit the Sarmisegetuza Regia Fortress, Dacia’s military, religious, and political center. Sarmisegetusa means “The citadel built on a mountain peak” and it was a military, religious and political center of the people. Situated at a height of 1200 meters, carefully hidden from curious eyes, it was simply a perfect observation point. The fortress is a polygon of four sides and it was built of massive stone blocks.

An amazing thing about the Dacians is that, more than 2000 years ago, they already had paved roads and sewage systems. In its heyday, it was the residence of Dacian kings, prelates, and the aristocracy, as well as home to skilled craftsmen, traders and builders. It was a metropolis in every sense of the word, a strategic center and the biggest crafts center of Dacia, with incredibly high living standards proving the Dacians were far superior to ancient barbaric tribes and almost equal to the Greeks.

In the picture above, you can see the Large Circular Sanctuary which was used as a calendar (proof that that the Dacian people knew the secrets of astronomy) and having a very strong resemblance to the stone monument at the Stonehenge.  It has been said that the place was pure magic, and that subtle energies were surrounding it.  This sanctuary has also been compared to the famous Mayan calendar. The rocks of andesite were brought from very far, more than 100 km away and it still remains a mystery the way in which it was built. What is certain is that this was no random location. Burebista, the king of Dacians from 82/61 BC to 45/44 BC, urged his people to live close and in harmony with nature and the legends tell us that  Dacians were organizing rituals in the sacred area during solstices, equinoxes, and eclipses, when it is said the skies above Sarmizegetusa open up, allowing us to communicate with our ancestors. Whether you believe in legends or not visiting Sarmizegetusa Regia is an incredible experience as it offers more than you can imagine: breathtaking landscape, caves, gorges, waterfalls and a rich culture which is yet to be properly documented and appreciated.

The Sarmisegetusa Regia Fortress is part of the cultural heritage of UNESCO, along with 6 other strongholds dating the same period of time. All that you have to do now is head to the Orastie Mountains and discover the amazing civilization of the Dacians.

This trip back in time, was a celebration of diversity but also reminded me how much we, as humans, have in common. The roots of most of the languages spoken these days, can be placed in only a couple of groups by their origin. As many other languages, the roots of the Romanian language is the Indo-European language. This is what illustrator Minna Sundberg has captured in an elegant info-graphic of a linguistic tree which reveals some fascinating links between different tongues.

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”Maya Angelou

Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well – with love from all of us at Cub Rhythm