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Early history

Thracians, Dacians ...

The Greek historian and philosopher Herodotus describes the Thracians as good field-workers and feared swordsmen. Indo-European population, they used to inhabit the territory north of ancient Greece , the western side of the Black Sea up to the Pannonian lowland and were divided into several tribes.

The eldest testimony show their presence at the Black Sea coast (north of today's Bulgarian city of Varna ) already 6000BC. Thracians developed high forms of music and poetry, but their savage warfare led the Greeks to consider them barbarians. Agriculture, stock raising, pastoral activities were their main occupations. Around 600BC, on Romanian territory were foundated many Greek colonies - most important ones being Tomi (modern Constanta ) or Callatis (modern Mangalia). Though, local Thracians did not absorb the Greek culture, but kept the belief in their god Zamolxis (a healing thunder god, master of the cloudy sky). Being exploited by the Greeks and afterwards also by the Persians, the Thracian tribes were united several times throughout history (under Sitalces - 5th century BC, Lysimachus - 3rd century BC), but these alliances did not last long. They offered though the beginning of some famous cities like Serdica (modern Sofia), Adrianopole (modern Edirne ) and many more. Finally, the territories below the Danube fell under Roman rule (under Emperor Claudius - 46 AD).

North of the Danube, the Thracian tribes known as Dacians and Getians united again the separate smaller tribes and formed one of the most powerful empires, expanding from the Black Sea coast until modern Austria , with the capital at Sarmisegetuza in Orastie mountains (today's Romania ).

After the death of king Burebista (44BC) the empire started to weaken and was finally conquered 105-106 by the Romans. Due to the occupation of the Roman Empire and also to the different migrating populations which settled down on their territory throughout the first millennium AD, the Thracian tribes were assimilated and disappeared as such.

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