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The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited large parts of
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Eastern
and
Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the ...

Southeastern Europe
in
ancient history Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from ...

ancient history
.. "The Thracians were an Indo-European people who occupied the area between northern Greece, southern Russia, and north-western Turkey. They shared the same language and culture... There may have been as many as a million Thracians, diveded among up to 40 tribes." Thracians resided mainly in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkans
, but were also located in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...

Asia Minor
and other locations in Eastern Europe. The exact origin of Thracians is unknown, but it is believed that proto-Thracians descended from a purported mixture of
Proto-Indo-Europeans The Proto-Indo-Europeans are a hypothetical prehistory, prehistoric population of Eurasia who spoke Proto-Indo-European language, Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the ancestor of the Indo-European languages according to linguistic reconstruction. ...
and
Early European Farmers In archaeogenetics Archaeogenetics is the study of ancient DNA using various molecular genetic methods and DNA resources. This form of genetic analysis can be applied to human, animal, and plant specimens. Ancient DNA can be extracted from various ...
. The proto-Thracian culture developed into the Dacian,
Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest ri ...
, and other Thracian cultures. Thracian culture was described as
tribal The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...

tribal
by the
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...
and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
. They remained largely disunited with the first permanent state being the
Odrysian kingdom The Odrysian Kingdom (; Ancient Greek: ) was a Thracians, Thracian kingdom that existed from the early 5th century BC at least until the mid-3rd century BC. It consisted mainly of present-day Bulgaria and parts of Southeastern Romania (Northern D ...

Odrysian kingdom
in the fifth century BC. They faced subjugation by the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
around the same time. Thracians experienced a short period of peace after the Persians were defeated by the Greeks in the
Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
. The Odrysian kingdom lost independence to
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
in the late 4th century BC, and never regained total independence following
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
's death. The Thracians faced conquest by the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
in the mid second century BC under whom they faced internal strife. They composed major parts of rebellions against the Romans along with the Macedonians until the
Third Macedonian War The Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC) was a war fought between the Roman Republic and King Perseus of Macedon. In 179 BC, King Philip V of Macedon died and was succeeded by his ambitious son Perseus of Macedon, Perseus. He was anti-Roman and s ...
. Thracians were integrated into Roman society and later converted to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
. The last reported use of a Thracian language was by monks in the sixth century AD. Thracians were described as "warlike" and "barbarians" by the Greeks and Romans and were favored as mercenaries. Ancient descriptions of a vicious people are disputed and
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological ...
has been used since the mid-twentieth century in southern
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
to identify more about them. Both Romans and Greeks called them barbarians since they were neither Romans nor Greeks, and to the perceived backwardness of their culture. The perceived primitiveness may be related to their living simple lives in open villages. Some authors noted that even after the introduction of Latin they still kept their "barbarous" ways. While the Thracians were perceived as primitives by their contemporaries, they reportedly "had in fact a fairly advanced culture that was especially noted for its poetry and music." Thracians spoke the
extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by ...
Thracian language The Thracian language () is an extinct and poorly attested language, spoken in ancient times in Southeast Europe by the Thracians. The linguistic affinities of the Thracian language are Classification of Thracian, poorly understood, but it is gen ...
and shared a common culture. The Thracians made cultural interaction with the people surrounding them, Greeks, Persians, Scythians, Celts, but, although they were indeed influenced by each of these cultures, this influence affected only the circles of the aristocratic elite, not Thracian culture as a whole. Among their customs was tattooing, common among both males and maids. They followed a polytheistic religion with the exception of the
monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousn ...
Dacians who worshipped
Zalmoxis Zalmoxis ( grc-gre, Ζάλμοξις) is a divinity of the Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is ...
. The study of the Thracians is known as
Thracology Thracology ( bg, Тракология, Trakologiya; ro, Tracologie) is the scientific study of and antiquities and is a regional and thematic branch of the larger disciplines of and . A practitioner of the discipline is a Thracologist. Thracolo ...
.


Etymology

The first historical record of the Thracians is found in the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'', where they are described as allies of the
Trojans Trojan or Trojans may refer to: * Of or from the ancient city of Troy * Trojan language, the language of the historical Trojans Arts and entertainment Music * ''Les Troyens'' ('The Trojans'), an opera by Berlioz, premiered part 1863, part 1890 ...

Trojans
in the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
against the Ancient Greeks. The
ethnonym An ethnonym (from the el, ἔθνος 'nation' and 'name') is a name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given ...
''Thracian'' comes from Ancient Greek Θρᾷξ (plural Θρᾷκες; , ) or Θρᾴκιος (;
Ionic Ionic or Ionian may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Ionic meter, a poetic metre in ancient Greek and Latin poetry * Ionian mode, a musical mode or a diatonic scale Places and peoples * Ionian, of or from Ionia, an ancient region in western An ...
: Θρηίκιος, ), and the toponym
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
comes from Θρᾴκη (; Ionic: Θρῄκη, ). These forms are all
exonyms An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
as applied by the Greeks.


Mythological foundation

In
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
, '' Thrax'' (by his name simply the quintessential Thracian) was regarded as one of the reputed sons of the god
Ares Ares (; grc, Ἄρης, ''Árēs'' ) is the Greek god The following is a list of gods A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature. This t ...

Ares
. In the ''
Alcestis Alcestis (; Ancient Greek: Ἄλκηστις, ') or Alceste, was a princess in Greek mythology, known for her love of her Admetus, husband. Her life story was told by pseudo-Apollodorus in his ''Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus), Bibliotheca'', and ...
'',
Euripides Euripides (; grc, Εὐριπίδης ''Eurīpídēs'', ; ) was a tragedian Tragedy (from the grc-gre, τραγῳδία, ''tragōidia'', ''tragōidia'') is a form of drama based on human suffering and, mainly, the terrible or sorrowfu ...

Euripides
mentions that one of the names of Ares himself was "Thrax" since he was regarded as the patron of Thrace (his golden or gilded shield was kept in his temple at Bistonia in Thrace).


Origins

The origins of the Thracians remain obscure, in the absence of written historical records. Evidence of proto-Thracians in the prehistoric period depends on artifacts of
material culture Material culture is the aspect of social reality Social reality is distinct from biological reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only Object of the mind, imaginar ...

material culture
. identifies proto-Thracians with the
multi-cordoned ware culture Multi-cordoned Ware culture or Multiroller ceramics culture, translations of the russian: Культура многоваликовой керамики ''Kul'tura mnogovalikovoj keramiki'' (KMK), also known as the Multiple-relief-band ware culture, ...
that was pushed away from Ukraine by the advancing timber grave culture or Srubnaya. It is generally proposed that a proto-Thracian people developed from a mixture of
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
and Indo-Europeans from the time of Proto-Indo-European expansion in the
Early Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, ...
when the latter, around 1500 BC, mixed with indigenous peoples. During the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
(about 1000 BC)
Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the area near the Carpathian Mountains and west of the Black Sea ...
and Thracians began developing from proto-Thracians.
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
and Roman historians agreed that the ancient Thracians, who were of
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
stock and language, were superior fighters; only their constant political fragmentation prevented them from overrunning the lands around the northeastern
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
. Although these historians characterized the Thracians as primitive partly because they lived in simple, open villages, the Thracians in fact had a fairly advanced culture that was especially noted for its poetry and music. Their soldiers were valued as mercenaries, particularly by the Macedonians and Romans.


Identity and distribution

Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a lasting political organization until the was founded in the fifth century BC. A strong Dacian state appeared in the first century BC, during the reign of King Burebista. The mountainous regions were home to various peoples, including the
Illyrians The Illyrians ( grc, Ἰλλυριοί, ''Illyrioi''; la, Illyrii) were a group of Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking peoples, who inhabited the western Balkan Peninsula in ancient times. They constituted one of the three main Paleo ...

Illyrians
, regarded as warlike and ferocious Thracian tribes, while the plains peoples were apparently regarded as more peaceable. Thracians inhabited parts of the ancient provinces of
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
,
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
,
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
,
Beotia Boeotia, sometimes alternatively Latinised Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920 ...
,
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply a ...

Attica
,
Dacia Dacia (, ; ) was the land inhabited by the Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the ar ...

Dacia
,
Scythia Minor Scythia Minor or Lesser Scythia (: , ) was in ancient times the region surrounded by the at the north and west and the at the east, roughly corresponding to today's , with in , and in . By the 7th century BC, several Greek colonies were bui ...
, Sarmatia,
Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, ...
,
Mysia Mysia (UK , US or ; el, Μυσία, lat, Mysia, tr, Misya) was a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhab ...

Mysia
,
Pannonia Pannonia (, ) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as ...

Pannonia
, and other regions of the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkans
and
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
. This area extended over most of the Balkans region, and the
Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest ri ...
north of the
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is the List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through much of Central Europe, Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest into the Black Sea. It ...

Danube
as far as beyond the and including Pannonia in the west. There were about 200 Thracian tribes.


History


Homeric period

The Thracians are mentioned in Homer's ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, Iliás, ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an in , traditionally attributed to . Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' i ...

Iliad
'', meaning that they were already present in the eighth century BC.


Archaic period

The first
Greek coloniesGreek colonization was an organised colonial expansion by the Archaic Greeks into the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by lan ...
along the Thracian coasts (first the
Aegean Aegean may refer to: *Aegean Sea *Aegean Islands *Aegean Region (geographical), Turkey *Aegean Region (statistical), Turkey *Aegean civilizations *Aegean languages, a group of ancient languages and proposed language family *Aegean Sea (theme), a n ...

Aegean
, then the and
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
s) were founded in the eighth century BC. Thracians and Greeks lived side-by-side. Ancient sources record a Thracian presence on the
Aegean islands The Aegean Islands ( el, Νησιά Αιγαίου, Nisiá Aigaíou; tr, Ege Adaları) are the group of islands in the Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located betwe ...
and in ''Hellas'' (the broader "land of the
Hellenes The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group native to Greece, Greek Cypriots, Cyprus, Greeks in Albania, Albania, Greeks in Italy, Italy, Greeks in Turkey#History, Turkey, Greeks in Egypt, Egypt and, to a l ...
"). Thrace south of the Danube (except for the land of the
Bessi The Bessi (; grc, Βῆσσοι, or , ) were an independent Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in a ...
) was ruled for nearly half a century by the
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
s under
Darius the Great Darius I ( peo, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 ; New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym ( ...

Darius the Great
, who conducted an expedition into the region from 513 to 512 BC. The Persians called Thrace "''
Skudra Skudra ( peo, wikt:𐎿𐎤𐎢𐎭𐎼, 𐎿𐎤𐎢𐎭𐎼 ; grc, Σκύδρα ) was a province (satrapy) of the Persians, Persian Achaemenid Empire in Europe between 510s BC and 479 BC. Its name is attested in Persian and Egyptian inscriptio ...
''".


Classical period


Achaemenid Thrace

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the
Persians The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestr ...

Persians
conquered Thrace and made it part of their
satrapy Satraps () were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Medes, Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to ...
Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European
Scythia Scythia (, ; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
and Greece. According to
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to ' invasion of Greece in 480 BC. Subjugation of Macedonia was part of Persian military operations initiated by
Darius the Great Darius I ( peo, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 ; New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym ( ...

Darius the Great
(521–486) in 513: after immense preparations, a huge Achaemenid army invaded the Balkans and tried to defeat the European Scythians roaming north of the Danube River. Darius' army subjugated several Thracian peoples at the same time, and virtually all other regions that touch the European part of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, including parts of present-day
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
, and
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
, before returning to
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...

Asia Minor
. Darius left in Europe one of his commanders,
Megabazus Megabazus (Old Persian Old Persian is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languagesIndo-Iranian may refer to: * Indo-Iranian languages * Indo-Iranians, the ...
, whose task was to accomplish conquests in the Balkans. The Persian troops subjugated gold-rich Thrace, the coastal Greek cities, and the powerful
Paeonians Paeonians were an ancient Indo-European people that dwelt in Paeonia. Paeonia was an old country whose location was to the north of ancient Macedonia, to the south of Dardania, to the west of Thrace and to the east of Illyria, most of their lan ...

Paeonians
. Finally, Megabazus sent envoys to
Amyntas I Amyntas I (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
, King of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...

Macedon
demanding acceptance of Persian domination, which the Macedonian agreed to. By this time, many if not most Thracians were under Persian rule. By the fifth century BC, the Thracian population was large enough that
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
called them the second-most numerous people in the part of the world known by him (after the
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
ns), and potentially the most powerful, if not for their lack of unity. The Thracians in classical times were broken up into a large number of groups and tribes, though a number of powerful Thracian states were organized, the most important being the
Odrysian kingdom The Odrysian Kingdom (; Ancient Greek: ) was a Thracians, Thracian kingdom that existed from the early 5th century BC at least until the mid-3rd century BC. It consisted mainly of present-day Bulgaria and parts of Southeastern Romania (Northern D ...

Odrysian kingdom
of Thrace, and also the short lived
Dacian kingdom Dacia (, ; ) was the land inhabited by the Dacians. The Greeks referred to them as the Getae (east of Dacia) and the Romans called them Daci. Dacia was bounded in the south approximately by the Danubius river (Danube The Danube ( ; ) ...
of
Burebista Burebista ( grc, Βυρεβίστας, Βοιρεβίστας) was a Thracians, Thracian king of the Getae and Dacians, Dacian tribes from 82/61BC to 45/44BC. He was the first king who successfully unified the tribes of the Dacian Kingdom, which ...
. The ''
peltast Agrianian ''peltas''. This ''peltast'' holds three javelins, one in his throwing hand and two in his ''pelte'' (shield) hand as additional ammunition. A ''peltast'' ( grc-gre, πελταστής ) was a type of light infantryman, originating i ...
'', a type of soldier of this period, probably originated in Thrace. During this period, a subculture of
celibate Celibacy (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...
ascetics Asceticism (; from the el, ἄσκησις ''áskesis'', "exercise, training") is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving plea ...
called the " ctistae" lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers, priests and prophets.


Odrysian Kingdom

The Odrysian Kingdom was a state union of over 40 Thracian tribes and 22 kingdoms that existed between the 5th century BC and the 1st century AD. It consisted mainly of present-day
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
, spreading to parts of Southeastern
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
(
Northern Dobruja Northern Dobruja ( ro, Dobrogea de Nord or simply ; bg, Северна Добруджа, ''Severna Dobrudzha'') is the part of Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (, ; bg, Добруджа, Dobrudzha or ''Dobrudža''; ro, Dobrogea, or ; tr, Dobr ...
), parts of Northern
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
and parts of modern-day
European Turkey East Thrace landscape in Edirne Province, Turkey East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( tr, Doğu Trakya or simply ''Trakya''; el, Ανατολική Θράκη, ''Anatoliki Thraki''; bg, Източна Тракия, ''Iztochna Trakiya''), also kn ...
.


Macedonian Thrace

During this period, contacts between the Thracians and
Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dar ...
intensified. After the Persians withdrew from Europe and before the expansion of the Kingdom of Macedon, Thrace was divided into three regions (east, central, and west). A notable ruler of the East Thracians was
CersobleptesCersobleptes ( el, Kερσoβλέπτης, Kersobleptēs, also found in the form Cersebleptes, Kersebleptēs), was son of Cotys I, king of the Odrysians in Thrace Map of Ancient Thrace made by Abraham Ortelius in 1585, stating both the names ...
, who attempted to expand his authority over many of the Thracian tribes. He was eventually defeated by the
Macedonians Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
. The Thracians were typically not city-builders and their only
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (199 ...

polis
was
Seuthopolis Seuthopolis (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycen ...
. The conquest of the southern part of Thrace by
Philip II of Macedon Philip II of Macedon ( grc-gre, Φίλιππος ; 382 – 21 October 336 BC) was the king (basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in cer ...
in the fourth century BC made the Odrysian kingdom extinct for several years. After the kingdom was reestablished, it was a vassal state of Macedon for several decades under generals such as
Lysimachus Lysimachus (; Greek language, Greek: Λυσίμαχος, ''Lysimachos''; c. 360 BC – 281 BC) was a Thessaly, Thessalian officer and Diadochi, successor of Alexander the Great, who in 306 BC, became King of Thrace, Anatolia, Asia Minor and Mace ...

Lysimachus
of the
Diadochi 250px, Bust of Seleucus ''Nicator'' ("Victor"; 358 – 281 BCE), the last of the original Diadochi. The Diadochi (; plural of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the ...

Diadochi
. In 279 BC, Celtic Gauls advanced into Macedonia, southern Greece and Thrace. They were soon forced out of Macedonia and southern Greece, but they remained in Thrace until the end of the third century BC. From Thrace, three Celtic tribes advanced into Anatolia and established the kingdom of
Galatia Galatia (; grc, Γαλατία, ''Galatía'', "Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally ...
. In western parts of
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
, Celts (
Scordisci The Scordisci ( gr, Σκορδίσκοι) were a Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe tim ...
) and Thracians lived alongside each other, as evident from the archaeological findings of pits and treasures, spanning from the third century BC to the first century BC.


Roman Thrace

During the
Macedonian Wars The Macedonian Wars (214–148 BC) were a series of conflicts fought by the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Repr ...
, conflict between Rome and Thrace was unavoidable. The rulers of Macedonia were weak, and Thracian tribal authority resurged. But after the
Battle of Pydna The Battle of Pydna took place in 168 BC between Roman Republic, Rome and Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedon during the Third Macedonian War. The battle saw the further ascendancy of Rome in the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic world and the ...
in 168 BC, Roman authority over Macedonia seemed inevitable, and the governance of Thrace passed to Rome. Initially, Thracians and Macedonians revolted against Roman rule. For example, the revolt of
Andriscus Andriscus ( grc, Ἀνδρίσκος, ''Andrískos''), also often referenced as Pseudo-Philip, was the last king of Macedon ( 149–148 BC). A pretender, who claimed to be the son of Perseus of Macedon, he was a fulling, fuller from Edrem ...
, in 149 BC, drew the bulk of its support from Thrace. Incursions by local tribes into Macedonia continued for many years, though a few tribes, such as the Deneletae and the Bessi, willingly allied with
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
. After the
Third Macedonian War The Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC) was a war fought between the Roman Republic and King Perseus of Macedon. In 179 BC, King Philip V of Macedon died and was succeeded by his ambitious son Perseus of Macedon, Perseus. He was anti-Roman and s ...
, Thrace acknowledged Roman authority. The client state of Thracia comprised several tribes.


Roman rule

The next century and a half saw the slow development of Thracia into a permanent Roman client state. The
Sapaei Sapaeans, Sapaei or Sapaioi (Ancient Greek, "Σαπαίοι") were a Thracian tribe close to the Greek city of Abdera, Thrace, Abdera. One of their kings was named Abrupolis and had allied himself with the Ancient Rome, Romans. They Sapaean kingdo ...
tribe came to the forefront initially under the rule of Rhescuporis I (Sapaean), Rhascuporis. He was known to have granted assistance to both Pompey and Julius Caesar, Caesar, and later supported the Roman Republic, Republican armies against Mark Antony and Augustus, Octavian in the final days of the Republic. The heirs of Rhascuporis became as deeply enmeshed in political scandal and murder as were their Roman masters. A series of royal assassinations altered the ruling landscape for several years in the early Roman imperial period. Various factions took control with the support of the Roman Emperor. The turmoil would eventually end with one final assassination. After Rhoemetalces III of the Thracian Kingdom of Sapes was murdered in AD 46 by his wife, Thracia was incorporated as an official Roman province to be governed by Promagistrate, Procurators, and later Praetorian prefects. The central governing authority of Rome was in Perinthus, but regions within the province were under the command of military subordinates to the governor. The lack of large urban centers made Thracia a difficult place to manage, but eventually the province flourished under Roman rule. However, Romanization was not attempted in the province of Thracia. The ''Balkan Sprachbund'' does not support Hellenization. Roman authority in Thracia rested mainly with the legions stationed in
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
. The rural nature of Thracia's populations, and distance from Roman authority, certainly inspired local troops to support Moesia's legions. Over the next few centuries, the province was periodically and increasingly attacked by migrating Germanic tribes. The reign of Justinian saw the construction of over 100 Roman Legion, legionary fortresses to supplement the defense. Thracians in
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
were Romanization (cultural), Romanized. Those in Thrace and surrounding areas would come to be known as the
Bessi The Bessi (; grc, Βῆσσοι, or , ) were an independent Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in a ...
. In the 6th century AD the Bessian (i.e. Thracian) language was reportedly still in use by monks at a Mount Sinai monastery.


Barbarians

Thracians were regarded by other peoples as warlike, ferocious, bloodthirsty, and barbarian. They were seen as "barbarians" by ancient Ancient Greeks, Greeks and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
. Plato in his ''Republic'' groups them with the Scythians, calling them extravagant and high spirited; and his ''Laws'' portrays them as a warlike nation, grouping them with Celts, Persians, Scythians, Iberians and Carthaginians. Polybius wrote of Cotys's sober and gentle character being unlike that of most Thracians. Tacitus in his ''Annals'' writes of them being wild, savage and impatient, disobedient even to their own kings. The Thracians have been said to have "tattooed their bodies, obtained their wives by purchase, and often sold their children." Victor Duruy further notes that they "considered husbandry unworthy of a warrior, and knew no source of gain but war and theft," and that they practiced human sacrifice, which has been confirmed by archaeological evidence. Polyaenus and Strabo write how the Thracians broke their pacts of truce with trickery. The Thracians struck their weapons against each other before battle, "in the Thracian manner," as Polyaneus testifies.Polyaenus. ''Strategems''. Book 7
Clearchus
Diegylis was considered one of the most bloodthirsty chieftains by Diodorus Siculus. An Athenian club for lawless youths was named after the Triballi. According to ancient Roman sources, the Dii were responsible for the worst atrocities of the Peloponnesian War, killing every living thing, including children and dogs in Tanagra and Mycalessos. Thracians would impale Ancient Rome, Roman heads on their spears and rhomphaias such as in the Kallinikos skirmish at 171 BC.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
writes that "they sell their children and let their maidens commerce with whatever men they please". The accuracy and impartiality of these descriptions have been called into question in modern times, given the seeming embellishments in Herodotus's histories, for one. Strabo treated the Thracians as barbarians, and held that they spoke the same language as the
Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest ri ...
. Archaeologists have attempted to piece together a fuller understanding of Thracian culture through study of their artifacts.


Aftermath and legacy

The ancient languages of these people and their cultural influence were highly reduced due to the repeated invasions of the Balkans by,
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
, Celts, Huns, Goths, Scythians, Sarmatians and Slavs, accompanied by, hellenization, romanization and later slavicization, slavicisation. However, the Thracians as a group did not entirely disappear, with the
Bessi The Bessi (; grc, Βῆσσοι, or , ) were an independent Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in a ...
surviving at least until the late 4th century. Towards the end of the 4th century, Nicetas of Remesiana, Nicetas the Bishop of Remesiana brought the gospel to "those mountain wolves", the Bessi.Gottfried Schramm: A New Approach to Albanian History 1994 Reportedly his mission was successful, and the worship of Dionysus and other Thracian gods was eventually replaced by Christianity. In 570, Antoninus Placentius said that in the valleys of Mount Sinai there was a monastery in which the monks spoke Greek, Latin, Syriac, Egyptian and Bessian. The origin of the monasteries is explained in a medieval hagiography written by Simeon Metaphrastes, in Vita Sancti Theodosii Coenobiarchae in which he wrote that Saint Theodosius, Theodosius the Cenobiarch founded on the shore of the Dead Sea a monastery with four churches, in each being spoken a different language, among which Bessian was found. The place where the monasteries were founded was called "Cutila", which may be a Thracian name. The further fate of the Thracians is a matter of dispute. Gottfried Schramm derived the Albanians from the Christian Bessi, or Bessians, an early Thracian people who were pushed westwards into Albania. However, from a linguistic point of view it emerges that the Thracian-Bessian hypothesis of the origin of Albanian should be rejected, since only very little comparative linguistic material is available (the Thracian is attested only marginally, while the Bessian is completely unknown), but at the same time the individual phonetic history of Albanian language, Albanian and Thracian clearly indicates a very different sound development that cannot be considered as the result of one language. Furthermore, the Christian vocabulary of Albanian is mainly Latin, which speaks against the construct of a "Thracian-Bessian church language". Most probably the remnants of the Thracians were assimilated into the Roman and later in the Byzantine society and became part of the ancestral groups of the modern Southeastern Europeans.


Culture


Language


Religion

One notable cult that existed in
Thrace Thrace (; el, Θράκη, Thráki; bg, Тракия, Trakiya; tr, Trakya) or Thrake is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to th ...
,
Moesia Moesia (; Latin: ''Moesia''; el, Μοισία, Moisía) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia, Kosovo and the northern ...
and
Scythia Minor Scythia Minor or Lesser Scythia (: , ) was in ancient times the region surrounded by the at the north and west and the at the east, roughly corresponding to today's , with in , and in . By the 7th century BC, several Greek colonies were bui ...
was that of the "Thracian horseman", also known as the "Thracian Heros (mythology), Heros", at Varna, Bulgaria, Odessos (near Varna) known by a Thracian language, Thracian name as Heros ''Karabazmos'', a god of the underworld, who was usually depicted on funeral statues as a horseman slaying a beast with a spear. Dacians had a monotheistic religion based on the god Zalmoxis. The supreme Balkan thunder god Perkwunos, Perkon was part of the Thracian pantheon, although cults of Orpheus and
Zalmoxis Zalmoxis ( grc-gre, Ζάλμοξις) is a divinity of the Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is ...
likely overshadowed his. Some think that the Greek god Dionysus evolved from the Thracian god Sabazios.


Marriage

The Thracians were polygamous. Menander puts it: "''All Thracians, especially us and the
Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest ri ...
, are not much abstaining, because no one takes less than ten, eleven, twelve wives, some even more. If one dies and has only four or five wives he is called ill-fated, unhappy and unmarried.''" According to Herodotus virginity among women was not valued, and unmarried Thracian women could have sex with any man they wished to. There were men perceived as holy Thracians, who lived without women and were called "ktisti". In myth Orpheus became attracted to men after the death of Eurydice and is thought of as the establisher of homosexuality among Thracian men. Because he advocated love between men and turning away from loving women he was killed by the Bistones women.


Warfare

The Thracians were a warrior people, known as both horsemen and lightly armed skirmishers with javelins. Thracian
peltast Agrianian ''peltas''. This ''peltast'' holds three javelins, one in his throwing hand and two in his ''pelte'' (shield) hand as additional ammunition. A ''peltast'' ( grc-gre, πελταστής ) was a type of light infantryman, originating i ...
s had a notable influence in Ancient Greece. The history of Thracian warfare spans from c. 10th century BC up to the 1st century AD in the region defined by Ancient Ancient Greeks, Greek and Latin historians as Thrace. It concerns the armed conflicts of the Thracian tribes and their kingdoms in the Balkans and in the Dacian territories. Emperor Traianus, also known as Trajan, conquered Dacia after two wars in the 2nd century AD. The wars ended with the occupation of the fortress of Sarmisegetusa and the death of the king Decebalus. Besides conflicts between Thracians and neighboring nations and tribes, numerous wars were recorded among Thracian tribes too.


Physical appearance

Several Thracian graves or tombstones have the name ''Rufus'' inscribed on them, meaning "redhead" – a common name given to people with red hair which led to associating the name with slaves when the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
enslaved this particular group. Ancient Greek artwork often depicts Thracians as redheads. Rhesus of Thrace, a mythological Thracian king, was so named because of his red hair and is depicted on Greek pottery as having red hair and a red beard. Ancient Greek writers also described the Thracians as red-haired. A fragment by the Greek poet Xenophanes describes the Thracians as blue-eyed and red haired: Bacchylides described Theseus as wearing a hat with red hair, which classicists believe was Thracian in origin. Other ancient writers who described the hair of the Thracians as red include Hecataeus of Miletus, Galen, Clement of Alexandria, and Julius Firmicus Maternus. Nevertheless, academic studies have concluded that people often had different physical features from those described by primary sources. Ancient authors described as red-haired several groups of people. They claimed that all Early Slavs#Appearance, Slavs had red hair, and likewise described the Scythians#Physical appearance, Scythians as red haired. According to Dr. Beth Cohen, Thracians had "the same dark hair and the same facial features as the Ancient Greeks." On the other hand, Dr. Aris N. Poulianos states that Thracians, like modern Bulgarians, belonged mainly to the Aegean anthropological type.


Notable people

This is a list of historically important personalities being entirely or partly of Thracian ancestry: *Orpheus, mythological figure considered chief among poets and musicians; king of the Thracian tribe of Cicones *Spartacus, Thracian gladiator who led a large slave uprising in Southern Italy in 73–71 BC and defeated several Roman legions in what is known as the Third Servile War *Amadocus I, Amadocus, Thracian King, the Amadok Point was named after him *Teres I, Thracian King who united many tribes of Thrace under the banner of the Odrysian kingdom, Odrysian state *Seuthes I *Seuthes II *Seuthes III *Rhesus of Thrace *Cotys I (Odrysian), Cotys I *Sitalces, King of the Odrysian state; an ally of the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War *
Burebista Burebista ( grc, Βυρεβίστας, Βοιρεβίστας) was a Thracians, Thracian king of the Getae and Dacians, Dacian tribes from 82/61BC to 45/44BC. He was the first king who successfully unified the tribes of the Dacian Kingdom, which ...
, King of
Dacia Dacia (, ; ) was the land inhabited by the Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the ar ...

Dacia
*Decebalus, King of Dacia *Maximinus Thrax, Roman Emperor from 235 to 238. *Aureolus, Roman military commander *Galerius, Roman Emperor from 305 to 311; born to a Thracian father and Dacian mother *Licinius, Roman Emperor from 308 to 324 *Maximinus Daia or Maximinus Daza, Roman Emperor from 308 to 313 *Justin I, Eastern Roman Emperor and founder of the Justinian dynasty *Justinian I, Justinian the Great, Eastern Roman Emperor; either Illyrian or Thracian, born in Dardania (Roman province), Dardania *Belisarius, Eastern Roman general of reputed Illyrian or Thracian origin *Marcian, Eastern Roman Emperor from 450 to 457; either Illyrian or Thracian *Leo I the Thracian, Eastern Roman Emperor from 457 to 474 *Bouzes or Buzes, Eastern Roman general active during the reign of Justinian the Great (r. 527–565) *Coutzes or Cutzes, general of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian I


Thracology


Archaeology

The branch of science that studies the ancient Thracians and Thrace is called
Thracology Thracology ( bg, Тракология, Trakologiya; ro, Tracologie) is the scientific study of and antiquities and is a regional and thematic branch of the larger disciplines of and . A practitioner of the discipline is a Thracologist. Thracolo ...
. Archaeological research on the Thracian culture started in the 20th century, especially after World War II, mainly in southern
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
. As a result of intensive excavations in the 1960s and 1970s a number of Thracian tombs and sanctuaries were discovered. Most significant among them are: the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, Tomb of Sveshtari, the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, Tomb of Kazanlak, Tatul,
Seuthopolis Seuthopolis (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycen ...
, Perperikon the Aleksandrovo kurgan, Tomb of Aleksandrovo in Bulgaria and Sarmizegetusa Regia, Sarmizegetusa in Romania and others. Also a large number of elaborately crafted gold and silver treasure sets from the 5th and 4th century BC were unearthed. In the following decades, those were exhibited in museums around the world, thus calling attention to ancient Thracian culture. Since the year 2000, Bulgarian archaeologist Georgi Kitov has made discoveries in Central Bulgaria, in an area now known as "The Valley of the Thracian Kings". The residence of the Odrysian kingdom, Odrysian kings was found in Starosel in the Sredna Gora mountains. A 1922 Bulgarian study claimed that there were at least 6,269 necropolises in Bulgaria. *Panagyurishte Treasure *Rogozen Treasure *Valchitran Treasure *Borovo Treasure


Genetics

A genetic study published in ''Scientific Reports'' in April 2019 examined the mtDNA of 25 Thracian remains in
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
from the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. They were found to harbor a mixture of ancestry from Western Steppe Herders (WSHs) and Early European Farmers (EEFs).


Gallery

File:ThracianTribes.jpg, Thracian tribes and heroes. File:Map Macedonia 336 BC-en.svg, Map of the territory of Philip II of Macedon. File:Diadochen1.png, Kingdom of Lysimachus and the Diadochi. File:Helmet of Cotofenesti - Front Large by Radu Oltean.jpg, Golden Dacian helmet of Cotofenesti, in Romania. File:Koson 79000126.jpg, Gold coins that have been minted by the Dacians, with the legend ΚΟΣΩΝ. File:Dioecesis Thraciae 400 AD.png, Map of the Diocese of Thrace (Dioecesis Thraciae) c. 400 AD. File:Thracian Horseman Histria Museum.jpg, Thracian Roman era "heros" (Sabazius) stele. File:Bergaios thracian king.jpg, Coin of Bergaios, a local Thracian king in the Pangaion hills, Pangaian District,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
. File:Thracian treasure NHM Bulgaria.JPG, A gold Thracian treasure from Panagyurishte,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
. File:Shushmanets3.jpg, Thracian tomb Shushmanets build in 4th century BC File:Thomb-Sveshtari.jpg, The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari File:Thomb-Sveshtari-2.jpg, The interior of the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, Sveshtari tomb File:Kazanluk 1.jpg, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak File:National Archaeological Museum Sofia - Bronze Head from the Golyama Kosmatka Tumulus near Shipka.jpg, Bronze head of Seuthes III File:The Thracian tomb Goliama Kosmatka, Bulgaria 01.jpg, Tomb of Seuthes III File:SeuthIIIHeroon SM.jpg, Interior of Tomb of Seuthes III


See also

* Akrokomai * Bosporan Kingdom * Cimmerians *
Dacia Dacia (, ; ) was the land inhabited by the Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the ar ...

Dacia
and
Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the area near the Carpathian Mountains and west of the Black Sea ...
* Illyria and
Illyrians The Illyrians ( grc, Ἰλλυριοί, ''Illyrioi''; la, Illyrii) were a group of Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking peoples, who inhabited the western Balkan Peninsula in ancient times. They constituted one of the three main Paleo ...

Illyrians
* List of rulers of Thrace and Dacia * List of Thracian tribes * List of ancient Daco-Thracian peoples and tribes *
Odrysian kingdom The Odrysian Kingdom (; Ancient Greek: ) was a Thracians, Thracian kingdom that existed from the early 5th century BC at least until the mid-3rd century BC. It consisted mainly of present-day Bulgaria and parts of Southeastern Romania (Northern D ...

Odrysian kingdom
* Orphism (religion) * Paeonia (kingdom) * Thracian warfare * Thraco-Cimmerian * Thraco-Dacian * Thraco-Illyrian * Tiras


References


Sources

* * * * * * * *Best, Jan and De Vries, Nanny. ''Thracians and Mycenaeans''. Boston, MA: E.J. Brill Academic Publishers, 1989. . * * * * * * *


Further reading

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External links


Thrace and the Thracians (700 BC to 46 AD) Ancient Thracians. Art, Culture, History, TreasuresInformation on Ancient Thracevideo about the Thracians and Thracian warfare
{Dead link, date=June 2018 , bot=InternetArchiveBot , fix-attempted=no Thracians, Ancient tribes in Bulgaria Ancient tribes in Macedonia Ancient tribes in Romania Ancient tribes in the Balkans Indo-European peoples