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Old 04-17-2009, 12:08 AM   #21
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I think this is the most important question that has never been satisfactorily answered by the proponents of the 6th century 'migration' theory. Without conclusive proof of the wholscale extinction of not only the Thracians, but also the Illyrians and numerous other indigenous peoples, the 6th century 'migration' theory simply cannot be sustained. The fact that the 6th century 'migration' theory was propagated so widely during the 19th century obviously has more to do with German, Austrian and English politics than an honest view of history.

If the 6th century 'migration' theory were fact, and wholescale extinction of the Thracians and Illyrians took place as a result of an 'invasion' by 'migrating' Slavs, one would expect to find numerous archaeological evidence of this just about everywhere in the Balkans. One would also expect to find a clear break in the material culture (art, burial styles, type of dwellings etc) of the region where the Thracian and Illyrian ceases and the 'Slavic' begins...yet there is none.

In fact when considering material culture, there is a high degree of continuity from the ancient right up until modern times in the Balkan region in general (except for Albania and Greece where the opposite is true).
The New Greeks are pushing the idea that the 5th century constitutes a clean break, in respect to the Macedonians and Macedonia, only so they can open specifically the region of ancient Macedonia to any number of possible historical revisions, that suites its modern political objectives.

It certainly constitutes a clean break, for ancient Greece (We know this because of the presence of Slavic speaking tribes there, and Albanians, among others), but in lands traditionally inhabited, or occupied from some dark and distant past, by Thracians (Slavic speakers), and related tribes (the two oldest tombs on Mt Olumpus,, are Thracian), which include ancient Macedonia, can we say such a break exists?

The only logical reason why were can't "see" the Thracians and the Illyrians, among others, perhaps even the ancient Macedonians, is because they are indistinguishable from the cultures of the various Slavic speaking ethnic groups, inhabiting those lands today.

There is no evidence of a mass migration, and there is no evidence of a clean break in the material culture, as you say.

It is a very cunning trick, to call us "Slavs" which immediately and automatically associates us, with the 5th century. This has most of us fooled, including myself, because the brain automatically, draws conclusions; if we arrived in the 5th century, who was there before Us ?...etc.

Last edited by Pelister; 04-17-2009 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:16 AM   #22
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I had a weird dream last night. Well, I have weird dreams every night and they leave me thinking about them all day. In this particular dream I can't really say what was going on but as the dream progressed (it all happened in the modern world) I could speak more and more of the Thracian language. I don't remember how it sounded or anything about it the language itself, but I remember I mastered it's grammar and could read texts(!) written in it. Maybe because the last thing I did before I went to bed last night was practising my Ancient Greek lessons and maybe because the last few days I spent most of my time reading about Thracians that my head is full of it. But the language I remember from my dream wasn't Ancient Greek.
Is it possible I actually knew Thracian in my dream???
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:11 AM   #23
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Slovak, I find the questions of the subconscious to be a very interesting field worth study and I believe it is most definitely possible.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:37 AM   #24
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The legendary gladiator and rebel called Spartacus was of Thracian origin, most likely from the Maedi tribe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartacus
Quote:
The ancient sources agree on Spartacus's origins. Plutarch describes him as "a Thracian of Nomadic stock".[1] Appian says he was "a Thracian by birth, who had once served as a soldier with the Romans, but had since been a prisoner and sold for a Gladiator".[2] Florus (2.8.8) described him as one "who from Thracian mercenary, had become a Roman soldier, of a soldier a deserter and robber, and afterwards, from consideration of his strength, a gladiator".[3] Some authors refer to the Thracian tribe of the Maedi,[4] which in historic times occupied the area on the southwestern fringes of Thrace (present-day south-western Bulgaria).[5] There is a hypothesis, he was born in the Thracian settlement Desudava,[6] in the area of present-day Sandanski,[7] where his monument is built.[8] Plutarch also writes that Spartacus's wife, a prophetess of the same tribe, was enslaved with him. The name Spartacus is otherwise attested in the Black Sea region: kings of the Thracian dynasty of the Cimmerian Bosporus[9] and Pontus[10] are known to have borne it, and a Thracian "Spardacus"[11] or "Sparadokos",[12] father of Seuthes I of the Odrysae, is also known.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maedi
Quote:
Maedi (also Maidans, Maedans, or Medi) were a Thracian tribe who, in historic times, occupied the area between Paionia and Thrace, on the southwestern fringes of Thrace, along the middle course of the Strymon and the upper course of the Nestus rivers, (present-day south-western Bulgaria).[1] Their capital city was Iamphorynna.
Eastern Macedonia and the Pirin region, usurped by Bulgaria during the Balkan wars of the early 20th century.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:42 AM   #25
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Even though by Strabos time (late 1st century BC) Thrace had been devastated to an exceptional degree, he said that the region as a whole could send into the field 15,000 cavalry and 200,000 infantry (Geography 7.f47). This would corroborate with Herodotus’ statement that there were about a million Thracians which allows an army 100,000-200,000 strong.

The Thracians by Christopher Webber, Page 34

Note that this is only referring to the Thracians in the region of Thrace
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:26 AM   #26
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Here is some information about the Thracian god Zalmoxis from the Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zalmoxis
Quote:
A number of etymologies have been given for the name. Diogenes Laertius (3rd century-4th century AD) claimed that Zalmoxis meant "bear skin". In his Vita Pythagorae, Porphyrius (3rd century) says that zalmon is the Thracian word for "hide" (τὴν γὰρ δορὰν οἱ Θρᾷκες ζαλμὸν καλοῦσιν). Hesychius (ca. 5th century) has zemelen (ζέμελεν) as a Phrygian word for "foreign slave".

The correct spelling of the name is also uncertain. Manuscripts of Herodotus' Historiae have all four spellings, viz. Zalmoxis, Salmoxis, Zamolxis, Samolxis, with a majority of manuscripts favouring Salmoxis. Later authors show a preference for Zamolxis. Hesychius quotes Herodotus, using Zalmoxis.

The -m-l- variant is favoured by those wishing to derive the name from a conjectured Thracian word for "earth", *zamol. Comparisons have also been made with the name of Zemelo, the Phrygian goddess of the earth, and with the Lithuanian chthonic god Zjameluks. However, this etymology is probably incorrect.

The -l-m- variant is admitted to be the older form and the correct form by the majority of Thracologists, as this is the form found in the older Herodotus manuscripts and other ancient sources. The -l-m- form is further attested in Daco-Thracian in Zalmodegikos, the name of a Getic King; and in Thracian zalmon, 'hide', and zelmis, 'hide' (PIE *kel-, 'to cover'; cf. English helm).
Later authors showed a preference to Zamol(xis) because it was probably most accurate. Although the banana who wrote this article claims that the etymology is 'probably incorrect', the invalid Slavic migration theory they evidently subscribe to shields them from stating the most obvious and closest cognate of ZAMOL(xis) to a modern tongue, which is ZEMJA/ZEMLJA/ZEMLE, present in the Slavic languages.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:30 AM   #27
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The Thracians were an indo-European people who occupied the area between northern Greece, Southern Russia and Northern Turkey.

Thracian warriors were ferocious opponents, and in high demand as mercenaries...often used to carry out executions and massacres....and often noted as switching sides if offered bribes.

...The Thracian tribes inhabited central Macedon until the founding of the Kingdom.

The Thracians were important in the affairs of both the Spartans and Athenians throughout the Peloponnesian War.

Despite the rise of Macedon, the Period 400-280 Represented a Thracian golden age...Thracian art flourished...

In 357 Philip defeated a coalition of Athenains, Thracians, Illyrians and Paeonians.

Alexander the Great at War Ruth Sheppard 2008


If we give credit to Strabo, we must consider the Macedonians as a Thracian people. That the geographer mentions several parts of the Macedonian country, and Pieria, (insert: also home to Mt. Pierus, home to Orpheus - Thracian) on the borders of Thessaly, which he expressly says had been peopled by the Thracians. In another passage he declares that in his time (63BC to 24AD) the Thracians still had possession of many countries considered as belonging to Greece, namely, Macedonia, and some parts of Thessaly. By this we can only understand that the Thracian language and Thracian manners still prevailed among the inhabitants of these countries, and that though ruled by Grecian princes, the people had not become assimilated to the Greeks.

Researches Into the Physical History of Mankind
James Cowles Prichard 1841


The Greek type of religion...had no learning to anything resembling an excited emotional worship like that practiced by the Thracians in their orgiastic cult of Dionysos...The thrilling tones of this “enthusiastic” worship awoke an answering chord deep in the hearts of many Greeks

That the original home of Dionysos-worship was in Thrace and popular among Thracians. The southernmost of Thracian who were best known to the Greeks lived on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Hebros and Axios. The god who Greeks knew in its Greek form “Dionysos.

The Homeric poems do not recognise Dionysos as belonging to the gods of Olympus. It is true that they nowhere plainly refer to him as the wine-god, but of the “frenzied” Dionysos and his “Nurses” who were attacked by the Thracian Lykourgos.

Psyche: the cult of souls and the belief in immortality among the Greeks
*By Erwin Rhode 2000



Thracians mourned births and rejoiced at funerals because life was dedicated to sorrows and death to paradise.

The Thracian horseman, known as “The Hero” Later he was assimilated to the Pantheons of Greece and Rome invoked as “Apollo” or “Hercules” He enters history in the Iliad as Rhesos, King of Thrace, who joins the Trojans’ cause. Homer notes his chariot and horses. Euripides expands the description “rider, golden and swift...the chariot like flames where the red shield leaps...the white steeds the burning spear.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...acians&f=false

New York Magazine 27 Jun 1977


Many of the place names in Bulgaria are Thracian origin, they include rivers such as the Yantra (Antris), the Tundzha (Tonzos), the Stuma (Strymon), Mountains such as the Rhodopes, and towns such as Plovdiv (Pulpudeva) and Neseber (Mesambria)

The Thracians were not only good farmers, and stock breeders but skilled metal workers who produced exquisite jewellery, elaborate horse ornaments... Thracians were regarded by the Greeks as skilled healers, who made wide use of herbs and spiritual healing.

The religion of the Thracians was sun worship...The legend of Orpheus relates how the urn containing mortal remains was placed on top of a column so that the Sun could reach it first thing every morning.

A deitie Bendis was the Thracian version of the Great Mother Goddess, who was associated with animals, vegetation, fertility, hunting, marriage and childbirth. She is often depicted riding a doe and carrying spears and a bow and sometimes dress in a chiton, with a Phrygian cap on her head and animal skin over her shoulders.

Dionysus was said to be the son of Zeus and Semele, who, although Greek authors make her daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes, is associated with the Phrygian Earth Goddess, Zemelo (Slavic word for earth).

Bulgarian folk customs
*By Mercia MacDermott



Strabo informs us that the Greeks regarded the Gatae as a branch of Thracians, and says further, that the people of that name occupying both sides of the Danube. From the latter sprang those Mysians who, at that period when Strabo wrote, occupied that portion of Asia Minor situated between the Lydians, the Phrygians and the Trojans. The Phrygians themselves, continues our geographer are only Bryges, a Thracian people, as well as the Mygdonains, and the Bebryces, the Maedobithyni...

On The Origin And Ramifications Of The English Language
Henry Welsford 1845


The earliest traditions of Greek music derived from Phrygia, transmitted through the Greek colonies in Anatolia, and included the Phrygian mode, which was considered to be the warlike mode in ancient Greek music. Phrygian Midas, the king of the "golden touch", was tutored in music by Orpheus himself, according to the myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygia

The earliest mentionings of the Bryges are contained in the historical writings of Herodotus, who relates them to Phrygians by stating that, according to the Macedonians, the Bryges "changed their name" to Phryges after migrating into Anatolia

Small groups of Bryges, after the migration to Anatolia and the expansion of the kingdom of Macedon, were still left in northern Pelagonia and around Epidamnus.

In the Balkans, the Bryges occupied central Albania and northern Epirus,[5] as well as Macedonia, mainly west of the Axios river, but also Mygdonia, which was conquered by the kingdom of Macedon in the early 5th century BC;[6] they seem to have lived peacefully next to the inhabitants of Macedonia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryges
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:35 AM   #28
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Nice selection of quotes and information, IoM. This is what stands out for me:
Quote:
If we give credit to Strabo, we must consider the Macedonians as a Thracian people.
Quote:
The Phrygians themselves, continues our geographer are only Bryges, a Thracian people.
Quote:
Strabo informs us that the Greeks regarded the Gatae as a branch of Thracians, and says further, that the people of that name occupying both sides of the Danube.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:32 AM   #29
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Just some earlier cited quotes with the sources and links for reference.

Herodotus:
Quote:
http://classics.mit.edu/Herodotus/history.5.v.html

The Thracians are the most powerful people in the world, except, of course, the Indians; and if they had one head, or were agreed among themselves, it is my belief that their match could not be found anywhere, and that they would very far surpass all other nations. But such union is impossible for them, and there are no means of ever bringing it about. Herein therefore consists their weakness.
Pausanias:
Quote:
http://www.theoi.com/Text/Pausanias1A.html

After the death of Alexander, Lysimachus ruled such of the Thracians, who are neighbors of the Macedonians, as had been under the sway of Alexander and before him of Philip. These would comprise but a small part of Thrace. If race be compared with race no nation of men except the Celts are more numerous than the Thracians taken all together, and for this reason no one before the Romans reduced the whole Thracian population.
Titus Livius:
Quote:
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy28.html

The condition of his own kingdom was far from tranquil; reports were brought to him announcing that Scerdilaedus and Pleuratus were again active and that Thracian tribes, especially the Maedi, were prepared to invade Macedonia as soon as the king was involved in a distant war.
Quote:
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy42.html

Envoys also from Thrace, with the Maedi and Astii, came to ask for alliance and friendship. Their request was granted and each received a present of 2000 ases. The Romans were especially glad that these peoples had been received into alliance, because Thrace lay at the back of Macedonia.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:19 AM   #30
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In Homer's Iliad, there is a story told about a certain Thracian singer named Thamyris, who was the son of Philammon and the nymph Argiope. I have tried to search a little for the etymology of this name, but couldn't find much. Some time later it is recorded in the form of Timarete and Tamaris as names of other people. Not sure if it has any etymology in Greek, but it looks very similar to the Slavic name Damir.
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