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Osprey Men-at-Arms 360 : The Thracians 700 BC - 46 AD

The Thracians were an Indo-European people who occupied a large area between northern Greece and southern Russia. In the 7th-6th centuries BC - contemporary with the founding of Rome and of Greek colonies around the Black Sea - they began to acquire a reputation as fierce warriors, and were incorporated into the Persian armies. In the 5th century various Thracian kingdoms emerged; they were a very numerous but fiercely disunited people, living in scattered villages under various tribal names. Thracian warriors specialised in light infantry and light cavalry tactics; and pictorial sources - Greek vase paintings - show them in colourful and distinctive costumes, often with distinctive weapons - the rhomphaia, a long blade with a long handle, wielded two-handed like a bill-hook. Throughout the classical period they were prominent as enemies of, and in large numbers as mercenary soldiers for, all the regional powers - Persia, Scythia, Athens, Macedon (under Alexander the Great), the Hellenistic successor kingdoms, Pontus and Rome. The Romans finally conquered the Thracians in 46 AD (at the same time as the Claudian invasion of Britain), and Thrace became a province of the Empire, providing large numbers of Roman auxiliary units, particularly of cavalry. Text by Christopher Webber with illustrations by Angus McBride.

    Contents
  • Chronology
  • Historical Outline
    Archaic
    Classical
    Hellenistic &
    Roman Periods
  • The Sources
  • Thracian Costume
  • Armour
  • Weapons
  • Fortifications
  • The Thracian Army
  • Thracian Mercenary Troops
  • Troop Types
  • Tribes
  • Tactics
  • Representative Campaigns
    Lysimachos in Thrace 323 BC
    Magnesia 189 BC

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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