c.500-300 BC

By Marc Adda

The Thracians lived to the north of Greece in what is today Bulgaria—although Thracian tribes and influence extended over much of the Balkan region and northwards into what is now Rumania. Herodotus describes them as the second most numerous people in the world after the Indians. Thracians where almost certainly close cousins of the Greeks themselves, although their distinct language does not survive to provide much in the way of evidence. Thrace was not a nation as such but a broad area divided into numerous tribal areas and petty kingdoms. The Thracians are often credited with the evolution of the peltast, a type of lightly armed multi-purpose warrior able to operate in the rugged and often mountainous regions of Thrace.