The boundaries of Thrace varied at different times; in the 5th cent. bc the kingdom of the Odrysae, the leading tribe, extended from the Danube on the north to the Hellespont and the Greek fringe on the south, and from Byzantium to the sources of the Strymon.
Ancient writers considered the Thracians (who were Indo‐Europeans) a primitive people, consisting of the warlike and ferocious tribes dwelling in the mountains of Haemus and Rhodope, and the peaceable dwellers in the plain, who came into contact with the Greek colonies on the Aegean and the Propontis. Until classical times the Thracians lived in open villages; only in Roman times was urban civilization developed. Herodotus remarks that, if they could have been united under a single king, they would have been invincible, a view corroborated by Thucydides 2; in fact, unlike the Macedonians, the Thracians never achieved a national history. From the 8th cent. the coast of Thrace was colonized by Greeks at Abdera, Perinthus, Byzantium, and elsewhere, but the Thracians resisted Greek influence.
Subjects: Classical Studies.