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Thracia

THRACIA thrā she ə (Θρακία). Ancient Thrace, to use the more common term, was the eastern half of the Balkan peninsula. This at least was the case in historic times, though there is evidence that the Thracian tribes were pushed back before 1300 b.c. from the Adriatic to the Axius. After 480 b.c. they lost all territory W of the Strymon to the intruding Macedonians. Thrace was a rugged land, including the wooded mountain region of Haemus, the fertile territory of the Hebrus valley, and the steppe country of the Dobrudja. The language was Indo-European, the social structure a conglomerate of monarchical tribes, each with a feudal aristocracy and a serf-like peasantry. The Thracians had the elements of culture—some poetry and music. They worshiped Dionysus, the vegetation god. For the rest, they bore a somber reputation in the civilized Hellenic world for sheer savagery, human sacrifice, barbaric tattooing, and heavy drinking. There were Gr. colonies on the southern and eastern coasts