Thrace

Thrace

Overview

Thrace icon is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains
Balkan Mountains
The Balkan mountain range is a mountain range in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak on the border between Bulgaria and eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea...

 on the north, Rhodope Mountains
Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik , is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain...

 and the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 on the south, and by the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

 on the east. The areas it comprises are southeastern Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 (Northern Thrace
Northern Thrace
North Thrace or Northern Thrace constitutes the northern and the largest part of the historical region of Thrace...

), northeastern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Western Thrace
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

), and the European part of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 (Eastern Thrace). The biggest part of Thrace is part of present-day Bulgaria.
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Encyclopedia

Thrace icon is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains
Balkan Mountains
The Balkan mountain range is a mountain range in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak on the border between Bulgaria and eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea...

 on the north, Rhodope Mountains
Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe, with over 83% of its area in southern Bulgaria and the remainder in Greece. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik , is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain...

 and the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 on the south, and by the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

 on the east. The areas it comprises are southeastern Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 (Northern Thrace
Northern Thrace
North Thrace or Northern Thrace constitutes the northern and the largest part of the historical region of Thrace...

), northeastern Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Western Thrace
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

), and the European part of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 (Eastern Thrace). The biggest part of Thrace is part of present-day Bulgaria. In Turkey, it is also called Rumelia
Rumelia
Rumelia was an historical region comprising the territories of the Ottoman Empire in Europe...

. The name comes from the Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

, an ancient Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 people inhabiting Southeastern Europe.

Borders


The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. Noteworthy is the fact that, at an early date, the ancient Greeks employed the term "Thrace" to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 inhabited by the Thracians, a region which "had no definite boundaries" and to which other regions (like Macedonia and even Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

) were added. In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into "Asia, Libya, Europa and Thracia". As the knowledge of world geography of the Greeks broadened, the term came to be more restricted in its application: Thrace designated the lands bordered by the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 on the north, by the Euxine Sea (Black Sea) on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by the Illyrian
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

 lands (i.e. Illyria
Illyria
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians....

) to the west. This largely coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom
Odrysian kingdom
The Odrysian kingdom was a union of Thracian tribes that endured between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC. It consisted largely of present-day Bulgaria, spreading to parts of Northern Dobruja, parts of Northern Greece and modern-day European Turkey...

, whose borders varied in time. During this time, specifically after the Macedonian conquest, the region's old border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River
Struma River
The Struma or Strymónas is a river in Bulgaria and Greece. Its ancient name was Strymōn . Its catchment area is 10,800 km²...

 to the Mesta River
Mesta River
The Nestos or Mesta , formerly the Mesta Karasu , is a river in Bulgaria and Greece. It rises in the Rila Mountains and flows into the Aegean Sea near the island of Thasos. It plunges down towering canyons toward the Aegean Sea through mostly metamorphic formations...

. This usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, (classical) Thrace referred only to the tract of land largely covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. In its early period, the Roman province of Thrace
Thracia (Roman province)
Thracia was the name of a province of the Roman empire. It was established in AD 46, when the former Roman client state of Thrace was annexed by order of emperor Claudius ....

 was of this extent, but after the administrative reforms of the late 3rd century, Thracia's much reduced territory became the six small provinces which constituted the Diocese of Thrace
Diocese of Thrace
The Diocese of Thrace was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of the eastern Balkan Peninsula The Diocese of Thrace was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of the eastern Balkan Peninsula The Diocese of Thrace was a diocese of the later...

. The medieval Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 theme of Thrace contained only what today is Eastern Thrace.

Cities of Thrace



The largest cities of Thrace are: Istanbul (European side), Plovdiv, Burgas, Stara Zagora, Haskovo
Haskovo
Haskovo , is a city, an administrative centre of the homonymous Haskovo Province in southern Bulgaria, not far from the borders with Greece and Turkey. As of February 2011, it has a population of 74,843 inhabitants....

 and Edirne.

Demographics and religion


Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Muslims.

Thrace in ancient Greek mythology


Ancient Greek mythology provides them with a mythical ancestor, named Thrax
Thrax (mythology)
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 .-Popular culture:*Thrax appears in the animated...

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

, who was said to reside in Thrace. The Thracians appear in Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

's Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy 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...

 as Trojan
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

 allies, led by Acamas
Acamas
Acamas was a name attributed to several characters in Greek mythology. The following three all fought in the Trojan War, and only the first was not mentioned by Homer....

 and Peiros
Peiros
The Peiros is a river in the central and the northwestern parts of the Achaea prefecture. The river can also be known locally with numerous names including Kamenitsa , Mellas or Melas , Pieros , Nezeritiko , Prevedos and Acheloos .-Places within the...

. Later in the Iliad, Rhesus
Rhesus
Rhesus can refer to any of the following:* Rhesus of Thrace, a king in Greek mythology* S. Vivianus Rhesus, a Roman governor of Thrace* In Greek mythology, a river-god, son of Oceanus and Tethys...

, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus
Cisseus
In Greek mythology, Cisseus was a Thracian king and father of Theano, the wife of Antenor, as related in Homer's Iliad. His wife was Telecleia, a daughter of King Ilus of Troy....

, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor
Antenor
Antenor was an Athenian sculptor, of the latter part of the 6th century BC. He was named after the mythological figure also called Antenor. He was the creator of the joint statues of the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton, set up by the Athenians on the expulsion of Hippias. These statues...

, is also given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, and stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 in the east. The Catalogue of Ships
Catalogue of Ships
The Catalogue of Ships is a passage in Book 2 of Homer's Iliad , which lists the contingents of the Achaean army that sailed to Troy...

 mentions three separate contingents from Thrace: Thracians led by Acamas and Peiros, from Aenus
Aenus (Thrace)
Aenus , modern Enez in Turkey, was an ancient Greek city on the southeastern coast of Thrace. Formerly called Poltyobria , it was located near the mouth of the Hebrus River, not far from the Melas Gulf , which is formed by the Thracian Chersonesus to the east...

; Cicones
Cicones
The Cicones, Ciconians or Kikonians, were a Homeric Thracian tribe, whose stronghold in the time of Odysseus was the town of Ismara , located at the foot of mount Ismara, on the south coast of Thrace . They are mentioned in book two of the Iliad as having joined the war on the side of the Trojans,...

 led by Euphemus
Euphemus
Euphemus in Greek mythology was a son of Poseidon, an Argonaut connected with the legend of the foundation of Cyrene.Euphemus is also a character mentioned in in Book II of the Iliad.- Greek mythology :...

, from southern Thrace, near Ismaros
Ismara
Ismara also Ismaros or Ismarus is a city of the Cicones, mentioned in the Odyssey.-Homeric Ismaros:After their departure from Troy, Odysseus and his companions stop at Ismaros. They sack the town, and attack the Cicones, the inhabitants of the adjacent region...

; and from the city of Sestus, on the Thracian (northern) side of the Hellespont, which formed part of the contingent led by Asius
Asius
Asius or Asios may refer to:* Asius Hyrtacides son of Hyrtacus.* Asius .* Asius of Samos, an ancient Greek genealogical poet.* Asius , a genus of gelinine wasps.* an Osian* 11554 Asios, an asteroid...

. Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes
Mares of Diomedes
The Mares of Diomedes, also called the Mares of Thrace, were four man-eating horses in Greek mythology. Magnificent, wild, and uncontrollable, they belonged to the giant Diomedes , king of Thrace, a son of Ares and Cyrene who lived on the shores of the Black Sea...

, Tereus
Tereus
In Greek mythology, Tereus was a Thracian king, the son of Ares and husband of Procne. Procne and Tereus had a son, Itys.Tereus desired his wife's sister, Philomela. He forced himself upon her, then cut her tongue out and held her captive so she could never tell anyone. He told his wife that her...

, Lycurgus, Phineus
Phineus
Phineus may refer to:* Phineus, killed by Perseus. See Andromeda * Blind King Phineus or Phineas of Thrace, visited by Jason and the Argonauts* Phineas Nigellus, a deceased headmaster in the Harry Potter universe...

, Tegyrius, Eumolpus
Eumolpus
In Greek mythology, Eumolpus was the son of Poseidon and Chione. According to Apollodorus, Chione, daughter of Boreas and Oreithyia, pregnant with Eumolpus by Poseidon, was frightened of her father's reaction so she threw the baby into the ocean...

, Polymnestor, Poltys
Poltys
Poltys is a mythical king and eponym of the Thracian city of Poltyobria , featured in Apollodorus's account of the story of the hero Heracles . Poltys and his brother Sarpedon are given as sons of the sea-god Poseidon...

, and Oeagrus
Oeagrus
In Greek mythology, Oeagrus , son of Pierus or Tharops, was a king of Thrace. He and the muse Calliope were the parents of Orpheus and Linus. He was also sometimes called the father of Marsyas. There are various versions as to where Oeagrus's domain was actually situated. In one version, he ruled...

 (father of Orpheus
Orpheus
Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

). In addition to the tribe that Homer calls Thracians, ancient Thrace was home to numerous other tribes, such as the Edones
Edoni
The Edoni were a Thracian people who dwelt mostly between the Nestus and the Strymon rivers in southern Thrace, but also once dwelt west of the Strymon at least as far as the Axios. They inhabited the region of Mygdonia before the Macedonians drove them out...

, Bisaltae
Bisaltae
The Bisaltae were a Thracian people on the lower Strymon river, who gave their name to Bisaltia, the district between Amphipolis and Heraclea Sintica on the east and Crestonice on the west...

, Cicones
Cicones
The Cicones, Ciconians or Kikonians, were a Homeric Thracian tribe, whose stronghold in the time of Odysseus was the town of Ismara , located at the foot of mount Ismara, on the south coast of Thrace . They are mentioned in book two of the Iliad as having joined the war on the side of the Trojans,...

, and Bistones.

Thrace is also mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphoses in the episode of Philomela, Procne, and Tereus. Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela. He kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, and cuts out her tongue. Philomela manages to get free, however. She and her sister, Procne, plot to get revenge, by killing Itys (son of Tereus and Procne) and serving him to his father for dinner. At the end of the myth, all three turn into birds—Procne, a swallow; Philomela, a nightingale; and Tereus, a hoopee.

Ancient history




The indigenous population of Thrace was a people called the Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

, divided into numerous tribal groups. Thracian troops were known to accompany neighboring ruler Alexander the Great when he crossed the Hellespont which abuts Thrace, and took on the Persian Empire of the day.

The Thracians did not describe themselves as such and Thrace and Thracians are simply the names given them by the Greeks.

Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a lasting political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the 4th century BC. Like Illyrians
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

, Thracian tribes of the mountainous regions fostered a locally ruled warrior tradition, while the tribes based in the plains were purportedly more peaceable. Recently discovered funeral mounds in Bulgaria suggest that Thracian kings did rule regions of Thrace with distinct Thracian national identity.

During this period, a subculture of celibate
Celibacy
Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

 ascetics called the Ctistae
Ctistae
The Ctistae were a group/class in ancient Thracian culture. They led celibate lives, never marrying. They were held in a place of honor by the Thracians, with their lives being dedicated to the gods....

 lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers, priests and prophets.

Medieval history


By the mid 5th century, as the Roman Empire began to crumble, Thracia fell from the authority of Rome and into the hands of Germanic tribal rulers. With the fall of Rome, Thracia turned into a battleground territory for the better part of the next 1,000 years. The eastern successor of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in the Balkans, the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, retained control over Thrace until the 8th century when the northern half and late almostly the entire region was incorporated into the First Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

. Byzantium regained Thrace in the late 10th century and administered it as a theme
Thrace (theme)
The Theme of Thrace was a province of the Byzantine Empire located in the south-eastern Balkans, comprising varying parts of the eponymous geographic region during its history.-History:...

, until the Bulgarians regained control of the northern half at the end of the 12th century. Throughout the 13th century and the first half of the 14th century, the region was changing in the hands of the Bulgarian and the Byzantine Empire(excl. Constantinopole). In 1265 the area suffered a Mongol raid from the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

, led by Nogai Khan
Nogai Khan
Nogai , also called Isa Nogai, was a general and de facto ruler of the Golden Horde and a great-great-grandson of Genghis Khan. His grandfather was Baul/Teval Khan, the 7th son of Jochi...

. In 1352, the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Turks conducted their first incursion into the region subduing it completely within a matter of two decades and occupying it for five centuries.

Modern history


With the Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

 in 1878, Northern Thrace was incorporated into the semi-autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Rumelia
Eastern Rumelia or Eastern Roumelia was an administratively autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire and Principality of Bulgaria from 1878 to 1908. It was under full Bulgarian control from 1885 on, when it willingly united with the tributary Principality of Bulgaria after a bloodless revolution...

, which united with Bulgaria in 1885. The rest of Thrace was divided among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century, following the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

, World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and the Greco-Turkish War. Today Thracian is a strong regional identity in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and other neighbouring countries.

Famous Thracians and people from Thrace

  • In Ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus
    Orpheus
    Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

     was the chief representative of the art of song and playing the lyre
    Lyre
    The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

    .
  • Democritus
    Democritus
    Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos....

     was a Greek philosopher and mathematician from Abdera, Thrace
    Abdera, Thrace
    Abdera was a city-state on the coast of Thrace 17 km east-northeast of the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. The site now lies in the Xanthi peripheral unit of modern Greece. The municipality of Abdera, or Ávdira , has 18,573 inhabitants...

     (c. 460–370 BC.) His main contribution is the atomic theory
    Atomic theory
    In chemistry and physics, atomic theory is a theory of the nature of matter, which states that matter is composed of discrete units called atoms, as opposed to the obsolete notion that matter could be divided into any arbitrarily small quantity...

    , the belief that all matter is made up of various imperishable indivisible elements which he called atoms.
  • Herodicus
    Herodicus
    Herodicus was a Greek physician of the fifth century BC, and a native of Selymbria. The first use of therapeutic exercise for the treatment of disease and maintenance of health is credited to him, and he is believed to have been one of the tutors of Hippocrates...

     was a Greek physician of the fifth century BC who is considered the founder of sports medicine
    Sports medicine
    Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise...

    . He is believed to have been one of Hippocrates'
    Hippocrates
    Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

     tutors.
  • Protagoras
    Protagoras
    Protagoras was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher and is numbered as one of the sophists by Plato. In his dialogue Protagoras, Plato credits him with having invented the role of the professional sophist or teacher of virtue...

     was a Greek philosopher from Abdera, Thrace
    Abdera, Thrace
    Abdera was a city-state on the coast of Thrace 17 km east-northeast of the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. The site now lies in the Xanthi peripheral unit of modern Greece. The municipality of Abdera, or Ávdira , has 18,573 inhabitants...

     (c. 490–420 BC.) An expert in rhetoric
    Rhetoric
    Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

    s and subjects connected to virtue and political life, often regarded as the first sophist. He is known primarily for three claims (1) that man is the measure of all things, often interpreted as a sort of moral relativism
    Moral relativism
    Moral relativism may be any of several descriptive, meta-ethical, or normative positions. Each of them is concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures:...

    , (2) that he could make the "worse (or weaker) argument appear the better (or stronger)" (see Sophism
    Sophism
    Sophism in the modern definition is a specious argument used for deceiving someone. In ancient Greece, sophists were a category of teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching aretê — excellence, or virtue — predominantly to young statesmen and...

    ) and (3) that one could not tell if the gods existed or not (see Agnosticism
    Agnosticism
    Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

    ).
  • Spartacus
    Spartacus
    Spartacus was a famous leader of the slaves in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory and may not always be reliable...

     was a Thracian auxiliary soldier in the Roman army
    Roman army
    The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

     who deserted but was captured and then enslaved by the Romans. He led a large slave uprising in what is now Italy in 73–71 BC. His army of escaped gladiator
    Gladiator
    A gladiator was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the...

    s and slaves defeated several Roman legion
    Roman legion
    A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

    s in what is known as the Third Servile War
    Third Servile War
    The Third Servile War , also called the Gladiator War and the War of Spartacus by Plutarch, was the last of a series of unrelated and unsuccessful slave rebellions against the Roman Republic, known collectively as the Roman Servile Wars...

    .
  • A number of Roman emperor
    Roman Emperor
    The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

    s of the 3rd-5th century were of Thraco-Roman
    Thraco-Roman
    The terms Thraco-Roman and Daco-Roman refer to the culture and language of the Thracian and Dacian peoples who were incorporated into the Roman Empire and ultimately fell under the Roman and Latin sphere of influence.-Meaning and usage:...

     backgrounds (Maximinus Thrax
    Maximinus Thrax
    Maximinus Thrax , also known as Maximinus I, was Roman Emperor from 235 to 238.Maximinus is described by several ancient sources, though none are contemporary except Herodian's Roman History. Maximinus was the first emperor never to set foot in Rome...

    , Licinius
    Licinius
    Licinius I , was Roman Emperor from 308 to 324. Co-author of the Edict of Milan that granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire, for the majority of his reign he was the rival of Constantine I...

    , Galerius
    Galerius
    Galerius , was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299. He also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300...

    , Aureolus
    Aureolus
    For the Frankish ruler of Aragon, see Aureolus of Aragon.Manius Acilius Aureolus was a Roman military commander and would-be usurper. He was one of the so-called Thirty Tyrants who populated the reign of the Emperor Gallienus...

    , Leo the Thracian, etc.). These emperors were elevated via a military career, from the condition of common soldiers in one of the Roman legions to the foremost positions of political power.

See also

  • 1934 Thrace Pogroms
    1934 Thrace Pogroms
    1934 Thrace Pogroms refers to a series of violent events that took place in June and July 1934 which involved Turks and Jewish residents of Thrace region of Turkey.-History:...

  • 1989 expulsion of Turks from Bulgaria
    1989 expulsion of Turks from Bulgaria
    In 1984, as part of a policy of Bulgarisation, all Bulgarian nationals who were ethnically Turkish were forced to exchange their names for Bulgarian names amid much official intimidation, some violence and loss of life...

  • Bulgarisation
    Bulgarisation
    Bulgarisation is a term used to describe a cultural change of the spread of Bulgarian culture within various areas in the Balkans....

  • Dacia
    Dacia
    In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

  • Dardania
  • Macedon
    Macedon
    Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

  • Moesia
    Moesia
    Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Southern Serbia , Northern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak .-History:In ancient...

  • Moesogoths
    Moesogoths
    The Moesogoths were a branch of the Goths who settled in Moesia, a region north of Thrace within the Roman Empire. This branch from the Ostrogoths occurred due to religious reasons. The leader and hero of these people was Tilton the Victious, as he was called by the Romans, established a tribal...

  • Music of Thrace
    Music of Thrace
    Music of Thrace is the music of Thrace, a region in Southeastern Europe spread over southern Bulgaria , northeastern Greece , and European Turkey ....

  • Paionia
    Paionia
    In ancient geography, Paeonia or Paionia was the land of the Paeonians . The exact original boundaries of Paeonia, like the early history of its inhabitants, are very obscure, but it is believed that they lay in the region of Thrace...

  • Spartacus:Blood and Sand
  • The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913
    The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913
    "The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913" were events described by Bulgarian academician Lyubomir Miletich in 1918, but also mentioned by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace with also a detailed report on the annihilation of Thracian Muslims...

  • Kara Thrace
    Kara Thrace
    Kara Thrace is a fictional character in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica franchise. Played by Katee Sackhoff, she is a revised version of Lieutenant Starbuck from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series...

    , a fictional character from the series Battlestar Galactica
  • Turkish Republic of Thrace
  • Turks of Western Thrace
    Turks of Western Thrace
    Turks of Western Thrace are ethnic Turks who live in Western Thrace, in the north-eastern part of Greece.According to the Greek census of 1991, there were approximately 50,000 Turks in Western Thrace, out of the approximately 98,000 strong Muslim minority of Greece...


External links