The Thracians lived near Shipka 2000 years B.C. and left very obvious prove of their existence with numerous tombs, which are possible to visit nowadays. The last one, called Kosmatka was discovered in the year 2004 with a very important finding, a golden mask of a Thracian King Teres I (the first ruler of the Odrysian kingdom), which currently is located in the museum in Sofia.

Thracians were groups of tribes with Indo-European origin which were inhabiting the area of Eastern and Southern Europe. They spoke a Thracian language which forms a part of the minority branch of the Indo-European language family. The first traces of their existence is noticeable in Iliad (Homer), where they are named as allies of the Trojans in the war against the Greeks.

Due to the lack of written testaments about their existence, we don’t really know much about their origins. The majority of the prehistoric evidence depends on material culture they have left behind.

They were divided into many tribes (around 200), and regarding to this fact never managed to form a political organization until the Odrysian state in the 5th century B.C. During the reigning of the King Burebista (Dacian state) in the 1st century B.C. there were, including Iliryans, tribes inhabiting mountainous regions and were recognized as ferocious and violent. They were living in ancient province of Thrace, Moesia, Macedonia, Dacia, Schytia Minor, Sarmatia, Bithynia, Mysia, Pannonia and other Balkan and Anatolia regions. The part of the Thrace south of the Danube river was ruled by the Persians, under Darius the Great.

In the Archaic period they were considered as barbaric and rural, but anyway had developed advanced forms of music, poetry, industry and art. They never formed any kind of national union in the Greek classical period. They were thought to live simple life in small fortified villages, avoiding the urban life.

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