Thracians

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Illustration of 5th–4th century BC Thracian peltast. Trak peltasta.jpg
Illustration of 5th–4th century BC Thracian peltast.

The Thracians ( /ˈθrʃənz/ ; Ancient Greek : ΘρᾷκεςThrāikes; Latin : Thraci) were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. [1] They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family. The study of Thracians and Thracian culture is known as Thracology.

Proto-Indo-Europeans Ancient ethnic group

The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the prehistoric people of Eurasia who spoke Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the ancestor of the Indo-European languages according to linguistic reconstruction.

Eastern Europe eastern part of the European continent

Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent. There is no consensus on the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations. There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related United Nations paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct".

Southeast Europe Geographic region in Europe

Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe (SEE) is a geographical region of Europe, consisting primarily of the coterminous Balkan Peninsula. There are overlapping and conflicting definitions as to where exactly Southeastern Europe begins or ends or how it relates to other regions of the continent. Sovereign states that are most frequently included in the region are, in alphabetical order: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Contents

Etymology

The first historical record of the Thracians is found in the Iliad , where they are described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Ancient Greeks. [2] The ethnonym Thracian comes from Ancient Greek Θρᾷξ (plural Θρᾷκες; Thrāix, Thrāikes) or Θρᾴκιος/Ionic: Θρηίκιος (Thrāikios/Thrēikios), and the toponym Thrace comes from Θρᾴκη/Ion.: Θρῄκη (Thrāikē/Thrēikē). [3] These forms are all exonyms as applied by the Greeks. [4]

<i>Iliad</i> epic poem attributed to Homer

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

Troy Homeric ancient city in northwest Asia Minor

Troy was a city in the far northwest of the region known in late Classical antiquity as Asia Minor, now known as Anatolia in modern Turkey, just south of the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida. The present-day location is known as Hisarlik. It was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle, in particular in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey suggests that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion); this is also supported by the Hittite name for what is thought to be the same city, Wilusa.

Trojan War Mythological war

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad. The core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.

Mythological foundation

In Greek mythology, Thrax (by his name simply the quintessential Thracian) was regarded as one of the reputed sons of the god Ares. [5] In the Alcestis , 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). [6]

Greek mythology body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks

Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.

In Greek mythology, Thrax was regarded as one of the reputed sons of Ares. In the Alcestis, Euripides mentions that one of the names of Ares himself was Thrax since he was regarded as the patron of Thrace.

Ares Ancient Greek god of war

Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister, the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.

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. Leo Klejn identifies proto-Thracians with the multi-cordoned 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 and Indo-Europeans from the time of Proto-Indo-European expansion in the Early Bronze Age [7] when the latter, around 1500 BC, mixed with indigenous peoples. [8] During the Iron Age (about 1000 BC) Dacians and Thracians began developing from proto-Thracians. [9]

Material culture Physical aspect of culture in the objects and architecture that surround people

Material culture is the physical aspect of social reality which is grounded in the objects and architecture that surround people. It includes the usage, consumption, creation, and trade of objects as well as the behaviors, norms, and rituals that the objects create or take part in. Some scholars also include other intangible phenomena that include sound, smell and events, while some even consider language and media as part of it. The term is most commonly used in archaeological and anthropological studies, to define material or artifacts as they are understood in relation to specific cultural and historic contexts, communities, and belief systems. Material cultural can be described as any object that humans use to survive, define social relationships, represent facets of identity, or benefit man's state of mind, social, or economic standing.

Leo Klejn Russian archaeologist

Lev Samuilovich Kleyn, better known in English as Leo Klejn, is a Russian archaeologist, anthropologist and philologist.

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, the Babyno culture and the Mnogovalikovaya kul'tura (MVK), are archaeological names for a Middle Bronze Age culture of Eastern Europe. From approximately the 22nd to 18th centuries BCE, it occupied an area stretching from the Don to Moldavia, including Dnieper Ukraine, Right-bank Ukraine, and part of the modern Ternopil oblast, and was bordered by the Volga to the east.

Identity and distribution

Dacia during the reign of Burebista Dacia 82 BC.png
Dacia during the reign of Burebista

Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a lasting political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the fifth century BC. A strong Dacian state appeared in the first century BC, during the reign of King Burebista. Including the Illyrians, the mountainous regions were home to various peoples regarded as warlike and ferocious Thracian tribes, while the plains peoples were apparently regarded as more peaceable.[ citation needed ]

Illyrians group of tribes in ancient times

The Illyrians were a group of Indo-European tribes in antiquity, who inhabited part of the western Balkans. The territory the Illyrians inhabited came to be known as Illyria to Greek and Roman authors, who identified a territory that corresponds to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, part of Serbia and most of central and northern Albania, between the Adriatic Sea in the west, the Drava river in the north, the Morava river in the east and the mouth of the Aoos river in the south. The first account of Illyrian peoples comes from the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, an ancient Greek text of the middle of the 4th century BC that describes coastal passages in the Mediterranean.

Thracians inhabited parts of the ancient provinces of Thrace, Moesia, Macedonia, Dacia, Scythia Minor, Sarmatia, Bithynia, Mysia, Pannonia, and other regions of the Balkans and Anatolia. This area extended over most of the Balkans region, and the Getae north of the Danube as far as beyond the Bug and including Panonia in the west. [10] There were about 200 Thracian tribes. [11]

Thrace kingdom of Thracians

Thrace is a geographical and historical area in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey.

Moesia historical region of the Balkans

Moesia 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 parts of the modern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria and Romanian Dobrudja.

Macedonia (Roman province) Roman province

The Roman province of Macedonia was officially established in 146 BC, after the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last self-styled King of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia in 148 BC, and after the four client republics established by Rome in the region were dissolved. The province incorporated ancient Macedonia, with the addition of Epirus, Thessaly, and parts of Illyria, Paeonia and Thrace. This created a much larger administrative area, to which the name of 'Macedonia' was still applied. The Dardanians, to the north of the Paeonians, were not included, because they had supported the Romans in their conquest of Macedonia.

History

Archaic period

The first Greek colonies in Thrace were founded in the eighth century BC. [12]

Thrace south of the Danube (except for the land of the Bessi) was ruled for nearly half a century by the Persians under Darius the Great, who conducted an expedition into the region from 513 to 512 BC. The Persians called Thrace " Skudra ". [13]

Classical period

Achaemenid Thrace

Xerxes I tomb Skudrian soldier circa 470 BCE cleaned up.jpg
Skudrian (Thracian) soldier of the Achaemenid army, circa 480 BCE. Xerxes I tomb relief.
Odrysian.svg
The Odrysian kingdom in its maximum extent under Sitalces (431-424 BC). [14]

In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians conquered Thrace and made it part of their satrapy Skudra. Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece. [15] According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians also had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 BC. [15] Subjugation of Macedonia was part of Persian military operations initiated by 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 to the north of the Danube River. [16] Darius' army subjugated several Thracian peoples at the same time, and virtually all other regions that touch the European part of the Black Sea, including parts of present-day Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and Russia, before it returned to Asia Minor. [16] [17] Darius left in Europe one of his commanders, named Megabazus, whose task was to accomplish conquests in the Balkans. [16] The Persian troops subjugated gold-rich Thrace, the coastal Greek cities, and also defeated and conquered the powerful Paeonians. [16] [18] [19] Finally, Megabazus sent envoys to Amyntas, King of Macedon demanding acceptance of Persian domination, which the Macedonian accepted. At this time, many if not most Thracians fell under Persian rule. [16]

By the fifth century BC, the Thracian presence was pervasive enough that Herodotus called them the second-most numerous people in the part of the world known by him (after the Indians), and potentially the most powerful, if not for their lack of unity. [20] 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, such as the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace and the Dacian kingdom of Burebista. The peltast , a type of soldier of this period, probably originated in Thrace.

During this period, a subculture of celibate ascetics called the "ctistae" lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers, priests and prophets.

Macedonian Thrace

In that period, contacts between the Thracians and Classical Greece intensified.

Before the expansion of the Kingdom of Macedon, Thrace was divided into three camps (east, central, and west) after the withdrawal of the Persians from Europe. A notable ruler of the East Thracians was Cersobleptes, who attempted to expand his authority over many of the Thracian tribes. He was eventually defeated by the Macedonians.

Thracian civilisation was not urban, and the largest Thracian cities might have been in fact large villages. The Thracians were typically not city-builders [21] [22] and their only polis was Seuthopolis. [23] [24]

Southeastern Europe in the second century BC. AtlBalk.e-150.jpg
Southeastern Europe in the second century BC.

The conquest of the southern part of Thrace by Philip II of Macedon in the fourth century BC made the Odrysian kingdom extinct for several years. After the kingdom had been reestablished, it was a vassal state of Macedon for several decades under generals such as Lysimachus 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 formed as the kingdom of Galatia.

In parts of Moesia (northeast Serbia), Celtic Scordisci and Thracians lived beside each other, evident in the archaeological findings of pits and treasures, spanning from the third century BC to the first century BC. [25]

Roman Thrace

During the Macedonian Wars, conflict between Rome and Thracia was unavoidable. The ruling parties in Macedonia weakened, and Thracian tribal authority resurged. But after the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC, Roman authority over Macedonia seemed inevitable, and the governing of Thracia passed to Rome.

Initially, Thracians and Macedonians revolted against Roman rule. For example, the revolt of Andriscus, in 149 BC, drew the bulk of its support from Thracia. Several 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.

After the Third Macedonian War, Thracia 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 tribe came to the forefront initially under the rule of Rhascuporis. He was known to have granted assistance to both Pompey and Caesar, and later supported the Republican armies against Antonius and Octavian in the final days of the Republic.

The familiar heirs of Rhascuporis were then as deeply tied into 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 stop 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 Procurators, and later Praetorian prefects. The central governing authority of Rome was based in Perinthus, but regions within the province were uniquely 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 of Thracia rested mainly with the legions stationed in Moesia. The rural nature of Thracia's populations, and distance from Roman authority, certainly inspired the presence of 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 legionary fortresses to supplement the defense.

Thracians in Moesia were Romanized while those in Thrace and surrounding areas would come to be known as the Bessi. In the 6th century AD the Bessian (i.e. Thracian) language was reportedly still in use by monks in a Mount Sinai monastery. [26] [27]

Barbarians

Thracians were regarded by other people as warlike, ferocious, and bloodthirsty. [28] [29] They were seen as "barbarians" by ancient Greeks and Romans. Plato in his Republic considers them, along with the Scythians, [30] extravagant and high spirited and his Laws considers them war-like nations grouping them with Celts, Persians, Scythians, Iberians and Carthaginians. [31] Polybius wrote of Cotys's sober and gentle character being unlike that of most Thracians. [32] Tacitus in his Annals writes of them being wild, savage and impatient, disobedient even to their own kings. [33]

Polyaenus and Strabo write how the Thracians broke their pacts of truce with trickery. [34] [35] The Thracians struck their weapons against each other before battle, in the Thracian manner, as Polyaneus testifies. [36] Diegylis was considered one of the most bloodthirsty chieftains by Diodorus Siculus. An Athenian club for lawless youths was named after the Triballi. [37]

According to ancient Roman sources, the Dii [38] were responsible for the worst [39] atrocities of the Peloponnesian War killing every living thing, including children and the dogs in Tanagra and Mycalessos. [38] Thracians would impale Roman heads on their spears and rhomphaias such as in the Kallinikos skirmish at 171 BC. [40] Herodotus writes that "they sell their children and let their maidens commerce with whatever men they please". [41]

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 Ancient Macedonians, Romans, Celts, Huns, Goths, Scythians, Sarmatians and Slavs, accompanied by, hellenization, romanization and later slavicisation. However, the Thracians as a group did not entirely disappear, with the Bessi surviving at least until the late 4th century. Towards the end of the 4th century, Nicetas the Bishop of Remesiana brought the gospel to "those mountain wolves", the Bessi. [42] [ page needed ] 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 mediaeval hagiography written by Simeon Metaphrastes, in Vita Sancti Theodosii Coenobiarchae in which he wrote that 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. [43] The further fate of the Thracians is a matter of dispute. Some authors like Schramm derived the Albanians from the Christian Bessi, or Bessians, an early Thracian people who were pushed westwards into Albania, [44] [ page needed ] while more mainstream historians support Illyrian-Albanian continuity or a possible Thraco-Illyrian creole. [45] [ page needed ] [46] [ page needed ] [47] [ page needed ] [48] [ page needed ] 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 is attested from Thrace to Moesia and Scythia Minor is that of the "Thracian horseman", also known as the "Thracian Heros", at Odessos (Varna) attested by a Thracian name as Heros Karabazmos, a god of the underworld usually depicted on funeral statues as a horseman slaying a beast with a spear. [49] [50] [51] Dacians had a monotheistic religion based on the god Zalmoxis. [52] The supreme Baltic thunder god Perkon was part of the Thracian pantheon, although cults to Orpheus and Zalmoxis likely surpassed him. [53]

Some think that the Greek god Dionysus evolved from the Thracian god Sabazios. [54]

Marriage

The Thracians were polygamous as Menander puts it: "All Thracians, especially us and the Getae are not much abstaining, because no one takes less than ten, eleven, twelve wives, some even more. If one died and had only four-five wives is called ill-fated, unhappy and unmarried." [55] According to Herodotus fornication was not punishable, women did not preserve their virginity until marriage, and unmarried Thracian women could have sex with any man they wished to. [55] There were men perceived as holy Thracians, who lived without women and were called "ktisti". [55] 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. [55]

Warfare

The Thracians were a warrior people, known as both horsemen and lightly armed skirmishers with javelins. [56] Thracian peltasts had a notable influence in Ancient Greece. [57]

The history of Thracian warfare spans from c. 10th century BC up to the 1st century AD in the region defined by Ancient 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 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. Apart from conflicts between Thracians and neighboring nations and tribes, numerous wars were recorded among Thracian tribes too.

Physical appearance

A fresco of a woman in the Ostrusha Mound in central Bulgaria. Thrace-ostrusha.jpg
A fresco of a woman in the Ostrusha Mound in central Bulgaria.

Several Thracian graves or tombstones have the name Rufus inscribed on them, meaning "redhead" – a common name given to people with red hair. [58] Ancient Greek artwork often depicts Thracians as redheads. [59] Rhesus of Thrace, a mythological Thracian King, derived his name because of his red hair and is depicted on Greek pottery as having red hair and beard. [59] 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:

...Men make gods in their own image; those of the Ethiopians are black and snub-nosed, those of the Thracians have blue eyes and red hair. [60]

Bacchylides described Theseus as wearing a hat with red hair, which classicists believe was Thracian in origin. [61] Other ancient writers who described the hair of the Thracians as red include Hecataeus of Miletus, [62] Galen, [63] Clement of Alexandria, [64] and Julius Firmicus Maternus. [65]

Nevertheless, academic studies have concluded that people often had different physical features than those described by primary sources. Ancient authors described as red-haired several groups of people. They claimed that all Slavs had red-hair, and likewise described the Scythians as red haired. According to Dr. Beth Cohen, Thracians had "the same dark hair and the same facial features as the Ancient Greeks." [66] On the other hand, Dr. Aris N. Poulianos states that Thracians, like modern Bulgarians, belong mainly to the Aegean anthropological type. [67]

Notable people

This is a list of historically important personalities being entirely or partly of Thracian ancestry:

Thracology

Archaeology

The branch of science that studies the ancient Thracians and Thrace is called Thracology. The archaeological research of the Thracian culture started in the 20th century and especially after World War II, mainly on the territory of southern Bulgaria. As a result of intensive excavation works in the 1960s and 1970s a number of Thracian tombs and sanctuaries were discovered. More significant among them are: the Tomb of Sveshtari, the Tomb of Kazanlak, Tatul, Seuthopolis, Perperikon, the Tomb of Aleksandrovo, 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 exposed in museums around the world, thus gaining popularity and becoming an emblem of the ancient Thracian culture. Since the year 2000, Bulgarian archaeologist Georgi Kitov has made discoveries in Central Bulgaria which were summarized as "The Valley of the Thracian Kings". The residence of the Odrysian kings was found in Starosel in the Sredna Gora mountains. [69] [70] A 1922 Bulgarian study claimed that there were at least 6,269 necropolises [ clarification needed ] in Bulgaria. [71] [ page needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Bastarnae historical ethnical group

The Bastarnae were an ancient people who between 200 BC and 300 AD inhabited the region between the Carpathian mountains and the river Dnieper, to the north and east of ancient Dacia. The Peucini, denoted a branch of the Bastarnae by Greco-Roman writers, occupied the region north of the Danube delta.

Triballi

The Triballi were an ancient tribe whose dominion was around the plains of modern southern Serbia and western Bulgaria, at the Angrus and Brongus and the Iskar River, roughly centered where Serbia and Bulgaria are joined.

Paeonia (kingdom) historical region

In antiquity, Paeonia or Paionia was the land and kingdom of the Paeonians (Παίονες).

Odrysian kingdom former country

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, spreading to parts of Southeastern Romania, parts of Northern Greece and parts of modern-day European Turkey.

Getae name of several Thracian tribes

The Getae, , or Gets were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Both the singular form Get and plural Getae may be derived from a Greek exonym: the area was the hinterland of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, bringing the Getae into contact with the ancient Greeks from an early date. Several scholars, especially in the Romanian historiography, posit the identity between the Getae and their westward neighbours, the Dacians.

Bessi

The Bessi were an independent Thracian tribe who lived in a territory ranging from Moesia to Mount Rhodope in southern Thrace, but are often mentioned as dwelling about Haemus, the mountain range that separates Moesia from Thrace and from Mount Rhodope to the northern part of Hebrus. Herodotus described them as a sort of priestly-caste among the Satrae, the Bessi being interpreters of the prophetic utterances given by a priestess in an oracular shrine of Dionysus located on a mountain-top.

Thracian treasure

The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe, centred in modern Bulgaria. They were bordered by the Scythians to the north, the Celts and the Illyrians to the west, the Greeks to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.

Thracia Roman province

Thracia or Thrace is the ancient name given to the southeastern Balkan region, the land inhabited by the Thracians.

Thracian warfare

The history of Thracian warfare spans from the 10th century BC up to the 1st century AD in the region defined by Ancient Greek and Latin historians as Thrace. It concerns the armed conflicts of the Thracian tribes and their kingdoms in the Balkans. Apart from conflicts between Thracians and neighboring nations and tribes, numerous wars were recorded among Thracian tribes.

Dacian warfare

The history of Dacian warfare spans from c. 10th century BC up to the 2nd century AD in the region defined by Ancient Greek and Latin historians as Dacia, populated by a collection of Thracian, Ionian, and Dorian tribes. It concerns the armed conflicts of the Dacian tribes and their kingdoms in the Balkans. Apart from conflicts between Dacians and neighboring nations and tribes, numerous wars were recorded among Dacians too.

Thracian clothing refers to types of clothing worn mainly by Thracians, Dacians but also by some Greeks. Its best literal descriptions are given by Herodotus and Xenophon in his Anabasis. Depictions are found in a great number of Greek vases and there are a few Persian representations as well. In contrast to shapes and patterns we have very little evidence on the colours used.

Philippopolis (Thrace)

Philippopolis is one of the ancient names of the city of Plovdiv and is the one by which it was known for the most of its recorded history. The city became one of the largest and most important in region, as shown by its still impressive ancient remains, and was called "the largest and most beautiful of all cities" by Lucian.

Achaemenid Macedonia

Achaemenid Macedonia refers to the period in which the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia was under the sway of the Achaemenid Persians. In 512/511 BC, Megabyzus forced the Macedonian king Amyntas I to make his kingdom a vassal of the Achaemenids. In 492 BC, following the Ionian Revolt, Mardonius firmly re-tightened the Persian grip in the Balkans, making Macedon a fully subordinate kingdom within the Achaemenid domains and part of its administrative system, until the definite withdrawal of the Persians from their European territories following the failure of the Second Persian invasion of Greece.

Gold wreaths from Thrace

The gold wreaths from Thrace are jewellery wreaths found in inner Thrace, which is within present day Bulgaria. The gold wreaths were found in the mounds and tombs of aristocrats at various locations in Thrace that have been dated to a period from the latter half of the fourth century and early part third century BC.

References

  1. Christopher Webber, Angus McBride (2001). The Thracians, 700 BC–AD 46. Osprey Publishing. ISBN   1-84176-329-2.
  2. Boardman, John (1970). The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 836. ISBN   0-521-85073-8.
  3. Navicula Bacchi – Θρηικίη (Accessed: October 13, 2008).
  4. John Boardman, I.E.S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N.G.L. Hammond. The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC. Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 597. "We have no way of knowing what the Thracians called themselves and if indeed they had a common name... Thus the name of Thracians and that of their country were given by the Greeks to a group of Hellenic tribes occupying the territory..."
  5. Lemprière and Wright, p. 358. "Mars was father of Cupid, Anteros, and Harmonia, by the goddess Venus. He had Ascalaphus and Ialmenus by Astyoche; Alcippe by Agraulos; Molus, Pylus, Euenus, and oThestius, by Demonice the daughter of Agenor. Besides these, he was the reputed father of Romulus, Oenomaus, Bythis, Thrax, Diomedes of Thrace, &c."
  6. Euripides, p. 95. "[Line] 58. 'Thrace's golden shield' – One of the names of Ares was Thrax, he being the Patron of Thrace. His golden or gilded shield was kept in his temple at Bistonia there.. Like the other Thracian bucklers, it was of the shape of a half-moon ('Pelta'). His 'festival of Mars Gradivus' was kept annually by the Latins in the month of March, when this sort of shield was displayed."
  7. Hoddinott, p. 27.
  8. Casson, p. 3.
  9. John Boardman, I.E.S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N.G.L. Hammond. The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 1: The Prehistory of the Balkans, the Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries BC. Cambridge University Press, 1982, p. 53. "Yet we cannot identify the Thracians at that remote period, because we do not know for certain whether the Thracian and Illyrian tribes had separated by then. It is safer to speak of Proto-Thracians from whom there developed in the Iron Age..."
  10. The catalogue of Kimbell Art Museum's 1998 exhibition Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians indicates a historical extent of Thracian settlement including most of the Ukraine, all of Hungary and parts of Slovakia. (Kimbell Art – Exhibitions)
  11. Mircea Eliade, Ioan Petru Culianu, Humanitas, Bucuresti, 1993, p.267. ISBN   978-973-681-962-9
  12. Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 1515. "From the 8th century BC the coast Thrace was colonised by Greeks."
  13. Susan Wise Bauer. The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome. W.W. Norton & Company, 2007, p. 517. "Megabazus turned Thrace into a new Persian satrapy, Skudra."
  14. The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, ISBN   0-19-860641-9, page 1514,"The kingdom of the Odrysae, the leading tribe of Thrace extented in present-day Bulgaria, Turkish Thrace (east of the Hebrus) and Greece between the Hebrus and Strymon except for the coastal strip with its Greek cities."
  15. 1 2 "The Thracians, 700 BC - AD 46" . Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 "A Companion to Ancient Macedonia" . Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  17. The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, ISBN   0-19-860641-9, page 1515, "The Thracians were subdued by the Persians by 516"
  18. "Persian influence on Greece (2)" . Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  19. Howe & Reames 2008, p. 239.
  20. Herodotus. Histories, Book V.
  21. John Boardman, I.E.S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N.G.L. Hammond. The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC. Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 612. "Thrace possessed only fortified areas and cities such as Cabassus would have been no more than large villages. In general the population lived in villages and hamlets."
  22. John Boardman, I.E.S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N.G.L. Hammond. The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC. Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 612. "According to Strabo (vii.6.1cf.st.Byz.446.15) the Thracian -bria word meant polis but it is an inaccurate translation."
  23. Mogens Herman Hansen. An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis: An Investigation Conducted by The Copenhagen Polis Centre for the Danish National Research Foundation. Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 888. "It was meant to be a polis but this was no reason to think that it was anything other than a native settlement."
  24. Christopher Webber and Angus McBride. The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms). Osprey Publishing, 2001, p. 1. "They lived almost entirely in villages; the city of Seuthopolis seems to be the only significant town in Thrace not built by the Greeks (although the Thracians did build fortified refuges)."
  25. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-09-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. Simeon Metaphrastes. Vita Sancti Theodosii Coenobiarchae
  27. Antoninus of Piacenza
  28. Christopher Webber and Angus McBride. The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms). Osprey Publishing, 2001, p. 1. "Perhaps the prospect of getting to the spoils explains Thucydides VII, 29: `For the Thracian race, like all the most bloodthirsty barbarians, are always particularly bloodthirsty when everything is going their own way.'
  29. Duncan Head and Ian Heath. Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars 359 BC to 146 BC: Organisation, Tactics, Dress and Weapons. Wargames Research Group, 1982, p. 51.
  30. Plato. The Republic: "Take the quality of passion or spirit;--it would be ridiculous to imagine that this quality, when found in States, is not derived from the individuals who are supposed to possess it, e.g. the Thracians, Scythians, and in general the northern nations;"
  31. Plato. Laws: "Are we to follow the custom of the Scythians, and Persians, and Carthaginians, and Celts, and Iberians, and Thracians, who are all warlike nations, or that of your countrymen, for they, as you say, altogether abstain?"
  32. Polybius. Histories, 27.12.
  33. Tacitus. The Annals: "In the Consulship of Lentulus Getulicus and Caius Calvisius, the triumphal ensigns were decreed to Poppeus Sabinus for having routed some clans of Thracians, who living wildly on the high mountains, acted thence with the more outrage and contumacy. The ground of their late commotion, not to mention the savage genius of the people, was their scorn and impatience, to have recruits raised amongst them, and all their stoutest men enlisted in our armies; accustomed as they were not even to obey their native kings further than their own humour, nor to aid them with forces but under captains of their own choosing, nor to fight against any enemy but their own borderers."
  34. Polyaenus. Strategems. Book 7, The Thracians.
  35. Strabo. History, 9.401 (9.2.4).
  36. Polyaenus. Strategems. Book 7, Clearchus.
  37. Christopher Webber and Angus McBride. The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms). Osprey Publishing, 2001, p. 6.
  38. 1 2 Zofia Archibald. The Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace: Orpheus Unmasked (Oxford Monographs on Classical Archaeology). Clarendon Press, 1998, p. 100.
  39. Christopher Webber and Angus McBride. The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms). Osprey Publishing, 2001, p. 7.
  40. Christopher Webber and Angus McBride. The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms). Osprey Publishing, 2001, p. 34.
  41. Herodotus (trans. G.C. Macaulay). The History of Herodotus (Volume II). "Of the other Thracians the custom is to sell their children to be carried away out of the country; and over their maidens they do not keep watch, but allow them to have commerce with whatever men they please, but over their wives they keep very great watch."
  42. Gottfried Schramm: A New Approach to Albanian History 1994
  43. Linguistics Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  44. 1994 Gottfried Schramm: A New Approach to Albanian History
  45. Indo-European language and culture: an introduction By Benjamin W. Fortson Edition: 5, illustrated Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2004 ISBN   978-1-4051-0316-9
  46. Stipčević, Alexander. Iliri (2nd edition). Zagreb, 1989 (also published in Italian as "Gli Illiri")
  47. NGL Hammond The Relations of Illyrian Albania with the Greeks and the Romans. In Perspectives on Albania, edited by Tom Winnifrith, St. Martin's Press, New York 1992
  48. "Johann Thunmann: On the History and Language of the Albanians and Vlachs"
  49. Lurker, Manfred (1987). Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons. p. 151.
  50. Nicoloff, Assen (1983). Bulgarian Folklore. p. 50.
  51. Isaac, Benjamin H. (1986). The Greek Settlements in Thrace Until the Macedonian Conquest. p. 257.
  52. Eliade, Mircea (1985). De Zalmoxis à Gengis-Khan. p. 35.
  53. Zinkevičius, Zigmas.Where we come from: the origin of the Lithuanian people, Science & Encyclopedia Publishing Institute, ISBN   9785420015728 pp. 58
  54. Patricia Turner and Charles Russell Coulter. Dictionary of Ancient Deities. Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 152.
  55. 1 2 3 4 Еротичното в историята Том 2 (PDF). pp. 8, 13, 14. ISBN   978-954-400-514-6.|first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  56. Conflict in Ancient Greece and Rome: The Definitive Political, Social, and Military Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. 27 June 2016. p. 552. ISBN   978-1-61069-020-1.
  57. Jan G. P. Best (1969). Thracian Peltasts: And Their Influence on Greek Warfare. Wolters-Noordhoff.
  58. The Thracians 700 BC – AD 46, Christopher Webber, Angus McBride, Osprey Publishing, 2001, p. 17
  59. 1 2 Not the classical ideal: Athens and the construction of the other in Greek art, Beth Cohen, 2000, p. 371.
  60. Diels, B16,Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 1903, pp.38–58 (Xenophanes fr. B16, Diels-Kranz, Kirk/Raven no. 171 [= Clem. Alex. Strom. Vii.4]
  61. Ode 18, Dithyramb 4, verse 51, quoted in Bacchylides: a selection By Bacchylides, Herwig Maehler, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 191.
  62. Hecataeus mentions a Thracian tribe called the Xanthoi (Nenci 1954: fragment 191 ) apparently named for their fair (red) hair (Helm 1988: 145), quoted in Indo-European origins: the anthropological evidence Institute for the Study of Man, John v. day, 2001 p. 39.
  63. De Temp. II. 5
  64. Clem. Alex. Strom. Vii.4
  65. Matheseos Libri Octo, II. 1, quoted in Ancient Astrology Theory and Practice, Jean Rhys Bram 2005, pp. 14, 29.
  66. Beth Cohen (ed.) Not the Classical Ideal: Athens and the Construction of the Other in Greek Art. Leiden, 2000.
  67. Poulianos, Aris N., 1961, The Origin of the Greeks, Ph.D. thesis, University of Moscow, supervised by F.G.Debets
  68. Most likely he was of Thraco-Roman origin, believed so by Herodian in his writings,(Herodian, 7:1:1-2) and the references to his "Gothic" ancestry might refer to a Getae origin (the two populations were often confused by later writers, most notably by Jordanes in his Getica ), as suggested by the paragraphs describing how "he was singularly beloved by the Getae, moreover, as if he were one of themselves" and how he spoke "almost pure Thracian".(Historia Augusta, Life of Maximinus, 2:5)
  69. "Bulgarian Archaeologists Make Breakthrough in Ancient Thrace Tomb". Novinite . March 11, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  70. "Bulgarian Archaeologists Uncover Story of Ancient Thracians' War with Philip II of Macedon". Novinite. June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  71. Izvestii︠a︡: Bulletin. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. 1922. p. 104.

Sources