Thracians: ancient nation living on the southeastern Balkan Peninsula.
- In the north the Danube, in the east the Black Sea, in the south the Aegean Sea, in the west the Mlava (ancient Margus). Essentially modern Bulgaria. Divided into a northern and a southern half by the Balkans (ancient Haemus).
- Tribal society; Indo-European language.
- In the first millennium BCE four major groups of tribes: the Bessae in the southwest; the Triballians in the northwest; the Getae in the northeast; the Odryssae on the southeast in the valley of the Maritsa (ancient Hebros)
- In the center the "Valley of the Thracian Kings" (funeral mounds like Kazanlak and Golyamata Kosmatka)
- According to the Greek historian Herodotus, they were the world’s largest nation after the Indians, and would be invincible if they would have one king. He devoted a part of his fifth book to the Thracians.
- 2400-1600 BCE: Ethnogenesis; at about the same time as the Greeks entered Greece
- Related to Mycenaean Greece
- Some legendary stories (e.g. Orpheus; Rhesus; Heracles and the horses of Diomedes)
- s.XI-X BCE: Migrations to Anatolia (cf. Troy VIIb; the Thracian Brygians are the same as the Anatolian Phrygians)
- s.VII-VI BCE: Greek settlements on the shores of the Black Sea (e.g., Odessos/Varna, Apollonia/Sozopol, Byzantium) and Aegean Sea
- The Thracians start to export cereals, leather, metals, wood, and slaves
- Mid-sixth century: mentioned by Herodotus as subjects of the Lydian king Croesus.note[Herodotus, Histories 1.6.] This must refer to Thracians in Asia.
- c.514 BCE: The Achaemenid king Darius the Great subdues several Thracian tribes before continuing to wage war against the Scythians. Thrace was pacified by a general named Megabazus.
- c.475: End of the Achaemenid presence in Europe; beginning of Athenian interest in the northern Aegean region (Ennea Hodoi/Amphipolis)
- Second half fifth century: king Sitalces organizes the Odryssan kingdom
- 424-410 BCE: Reign of Seuthes I of the Odryssae
- The Odryssan kingdom is divided between Medocus and Seuthes II. In 401, the latter is host of Xenophon, who describes the country in his Anabasis.
- 383-359 BCE: Reign of king Cotys I of the Odryssae
- 356-341 BCE: King Philip II of Macedonia subjects Thrace. Philippopolis founded in the country of the Bessi (modern Plovdiv)
- 335 BCE: King Alexander III the Great of Macedonia crosses the Danube
- There are Thracian cavalrymen in Alexander's army; they are mentioned in the accounts of the battle of Gaugamela. One of them is mentioned as co-ruler of Taxila.
- 323 BCE: Death of Alexander in Babylon (text); settlement of Babylon (text); Lysimachus made satrap of Thrace, where Macedonian overlordship is no longer recognized; Lysimachus cannot overcome the Odryssan king Seuthes III; beginning of a long series of wars
- Gradual state building; Thrace becomes a Hellenistic state
- 309 BCE: Founding of Lysimacheia
- 305 BCE: Lysimachus proclaims himself king
- c.300 BCE: Treasure of Panagyurishte
- c. 295 BCE:Death of Seuthes III (buried in Golyamata Kosmatka)
- 292 BCE: Lysimachus' son Agathocles captured by the Thracians; later, Lysimachus himself is also taken prisoner; they have to cede land
- 280/279 BCE: Celtic invasion
- 194 BCE: Conquered by the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great
- c.189 BCE: First contacts with the Romans, who build the Via Egnatia along the Aegean shore
- Continued state building
- 88 BCE: Revolt of the Thracian slave Spartacus in Central Italy
- 87 BCE: Sulla subjects the Maedi
- Allied to king Mithridates VI of Pontus