Diocese of Dacia

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Diocese of Dacia
Dioecesis Daciarum
Διοίκησις Δακίας
Diocese of the Roman Empire
ca. 337 – 580s
Location of Diocese of Dacia
Dacia and Illyria in 400 AD
Capital Serdica (modern Sofia)
Historical era Late Antiquity
 •  Split from Diocese of Moesia ca. 337
 •  Merged into the newly formed Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum 357
 •  Merged into the Praetorian prefecture of Italy 384
 •  Merged back into Illyricum after Theodosius' death 395
 •  Devastaded by the Avars ca. 580s

The Diocese of Dacia (Latin: Dioecesis Daciae) was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, in the area of modern Serbia, Montenegro and western Bulgaria. It was subordinate to the praetorian prefecture of Illyricum. Its capital was at Serdica (modern Sofia).


Emperor Aurelian (270-275), confronted with the secession of Gallia and Hispania from the empire since 260, with the advance of the Sassanids in Asia, and the devastations that the Carpians and the Goths had done into Moesia and Illyria, abandoned the province of Dacia created by Trajan and withdrew the troops altogether, fixing the Roman frontier at the Danube. A new Dacia Aureliana was organised south of the Danube out of central Moesia, with its capital at Serdica.

The abandonment of Dacia Traiana by the Romans is mentioned by Eutropius in his Breviarium historiae Romanae, book IX :

Map of the northern Balkans in the 6th century, including the Diocese of Dacia and its provinces.

Later, during the administrative reforms of Diocletian and Constantine the Great, the Diocese of Moesia was created, encompassing most of the central Balkans and the Greek peninsula. After a few years, however, the diocese was split in two, forming the Diocese of Macedonia and the Diocese of Dacia, encompassing the provinces of Dacia Mediterranea (the southern, interior portion of Dacia Aureliana), Dacia Ripensis (the northern, Danubian portion of Dacia Aureliana), and Moesia Superior, Dardania and Praevalitana.

The diocese was transferred to the Western Empire in 384 by Theodosius I, probably in partial compensation to the empress Justina for his recognition of the usurpation of Magnus Maximus in the Gallic Empire. However, upon his death in 395, it reverted to the Eastern Empire, forming, together with the Diocese of Macedonia to the south, the praetorian prefecture of Illyricum.

The diocese was overrun by the Eurasian avars in late 6th-century.