Is Decebalus the only King to whom Rome paid tribute?

Feb 2019
70
Thrace
#1
"Domitian agreed to peace terms with Decebalus. He agreed to pay large sums (eight million sesterces) in annual tribute to the Dacians for maintaining peace. Decebalus sent his brother Diegis to Rome to accept a diadem from the Emperor, officially recognising Decebalus's royal status."

And this went on uncontested all throughout Nerva's reign. It was only during Trajan's reign that Rome finally broke the tribute pact and invaded Dacia. Is this a unique occurrence, or at the very least the closest a king ever got to making the Roman Empire its ho till that point in time?
 
Aug 2014
3,810
Australia
#2
I think you need to define the word "tribute" to get a decent answer. After the Battle of Allia and the sack of Rome, the Gauls were paid a thousand pounds of gold. Rome also paid various rulers a yearly stipend for looking after its interests. What if that annual payment came in the form of military support instead of cash? Does that count as "tribute".
 
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Feb 2019
70
Thrace
#4
Alaric and Attila are after Decebalus, and Rome wasn't the World's leading super power during the Battle of Allia (my bad for not mentioning this criteria).
 
#5
As Dan Howard has noted, such payments often appear to have been more like a transaction between Rome and other parties whereby the other party would look after Rome's interests in a region. I know you said 'till that time', and I can't think of an example between Brennus and Decebalus, but since it's maybe of interest, I'll leave here the following examples from the third century:

Res Gestae Divi Saporis 3-5 (tribute to Shapur I of Persia following the Persian victory at Misikhe, 244): 'On the border of Babylonia at Misikhe, a great ‘frontal’ battle occurred. Gordian Caesar was killed and the Roman force was destroyed. And the Romans made Philip Caesar. Then Philip Caesar came to us for terms, and to ransom their lives, gave us 500,000 denars, and became tributary to us. And for this reason we have renamed Misikhe Peroz-Shapur (Year: 244). And Caesar lied again and did wrong to Armenia. Then we attacked the Roman Empire and annihilated at Barbalissos a Roman force of 60,000 and Syria and the environs of Syria we burned, ruined and pillaged all (Year: 253).'

Zosimus 1.24 (tribute to Cniva's Goths following the Gothic victory at Abrittus, 251): 'To (Decius) succeeded Gallus, who declared his son Volusianus his associate in the empire, and published an open declaration that Decius and his army had perished by his contrivance. The barbarians now became more prosperous than before. For Gallus not only permitted them to return home with the plunder, but promised to pay them annually a sum of money, and allowed them to carry off all the noblest captives, most of whom had been taken at Philippopolis in Thrace.'
 
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Jun 2012
7,067
Malaysia
#6
Not a few ancient empires hv paid tribute to what they consider some savage barbarian power lurking dangerously closely on their frontier. The Assyrians to the Cimmerians & then the Scythians, the Medes to the Scythians, the Chin to the Xiongnu, the Tang to the Uighur & Gokturk, the Muslim Persians to the Turks etc.

They can afford it, and it saves their army from being unnecessarily tied down or expended, while also keeping the peace in their realm. Makes good sense economically, politically & also militarily.
 
Feb 2019
70
Thrace
#7
Not a few ancient empires hv paid tribute to what they consider some savage barbarian power lurking dangerously closely on their frontier. The Assyrians to the Cimmerians & then the Scythians, the Medes to the Scythians, the Chin to the Xiongnu, the Tang to the Uighur & Gokturk, the Muslim Persians to the Turks etc.

They can afford it, and it saves their army from being unnecessarily tied down or expended, while also keeping the peace in their realm. Makes good sense economically, politically & also militarily.
Agreed, but the tribute the Roman Empire paid to King Decebalus wasn't just "pocket change" to keep a petty king in check. It was an enormous sum and the Romans got objectively ripped off by him with this agreement. As historian Julian Bennett put it, his court also became a haven for malcontents and deserters from the Roman empire becoming "the nucleus for anti-Roman sentiment". Seems to me that ever since Rome became the World's super power, no one instilled so much fear in the Empire as much as this guy.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
13,176
Europix
#8
Now, I know that the period is trouble, and we haven't that much sources, but ...

Was a tribute that Rome paid Dacia?

In my memory, Decebalus made a treaty with Rome and became a client/a vasal. In that position it wasn't that unusual to be "financed" by the sovereign.
 
Feb 2019
70
Thrace
#9
Now, I know that the period is trouble, and we haven't that much sources, but ...

Was a tribute that Rome paid Dacia?

In my memory, Decebalus made a treaty with Rome and became a client/a vasal. In that position it wasn't that unusual to be "financed" by the sovereign.
Iirc he only became a client king of sorts after a brutal war with Trajan, but after his battles with Domitian, the latter accomplished little and got the short end of the stick.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
13,176
Europix
#10
Iirc he only became a client king of sorts after a brutal war with Trajan
I'm not sure about that: AFAIK, Decebalus was defeated in the first war and asked for peace. And the peace was not tender: he consented to the presence of Roman troops on North of Danube (on his territory), had to destroy it's own fortifications and some parts of the Dacia were incorporated in Roman provinces.
 

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