The token is named after Decebal (r. 87 – 106 AD) the last king of Dacia. He is famous for fighting three wars, with varying success, against the Roman Empire under two emperors. After raiding south across the Danube, he defeated a Roman invasion in the reign of Domitian, securing a period of independence during which Decebal consolidated his rule.
When Trajan came to power, his armies invaded Dacia to weaken its threat to the Roman border territories of Moesia. Decebal was defeated in 102 AD. He remained in power as a client king, but continued to assert his independence, leading to a final and overwhelming Roman invasion north of the Danube in 105 AD. Trajan reduced the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa in 106 AD to ruins, absorbing some of Dacia into the Empire. Decebal committed suicide to avoid capture, after allegedly hiding massive amounts of riches underground and killing all men who knew the locations.