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Grecs et indigènes de la Catalogne à la mer Noire

Henri Tréziny

Chapitre 5. Grecs et indigènes en Thrace, entre mer Egée et mer Noire

1. Greeks and Thracians. Geography and culture

Zosia Archibald


‘Thracians’ is the name that was applied in antiquity to most of the inhabitants of the east Balkan landmass between the Carpathians and the Aegean. Early historical communities seem to have defied the impediments of geography to develop close contacts with their southerly and easterly neighbours, which resulted in the emergence of new population nuclei. The best known of these are along the Aegean and Black Sea coastlines. The archaeological evidence at these coastal sites suggests that key persons within the new settlements were wealthy and influential figures. Recent fieldwork in Macedonia, the Aegean coastal region, and in inland Thrace, indicates some common elements in the subsistence patterns of these regions, and thus similar lifestyles in the early first millennium BCE. At the same time, important technological changes created new social possibilities. The emergence of iron as the principal metal ; of standardised ceramic forms made on the fast wheel ; and of oared ships, combined to create new opportunities for incomers as well as indigenous groups.

Entrées d'index

Keywords :

Greeks, Thracians

Géographique :

mer Noire, mer Égée

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The east Balkan landmass is, for the most part, the ecological counterpoint of the Aegean area – a continent with mountain chains orientated west – east, which impede movement from the margins to the interior. Parallel to the Danube is the Stara Planina (Balkan range), and further south are the peaks of Rhodope, separated by a roughly triangular lowland area, the Thracian Plain. Even today, whether one uses the arterial roads or the railways, it is much easier to travel east – west or west – east than it is to go north – south or south to north. Ease, however, is only one of the factors that determines why people travel. Evidence from antiquity, whether it be the witness of Thucydides (2.97.1-2), in his otherwise unexplained remarks about travel times between the Aegean coast and the Danube (Archibald 2006, 115-122) or the distribution of bulk commodities, such as wine and oil amphorae, or the spread of distinctive Classical architectural forms in tomb construction and decoration, o...


Lecturer in Classical Archaeology in the School of Archaeology, Classics, and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, 12-14 Abercromby Square, Liverpool, Merseyside, L69 7WZ, United Kingdom <>

© Publications du Centre Camille Jullian, 2010

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