Faction Preview:The Thracian Tribes
Models & Skins: Snevets
, Additional Credits: Striker JD
and Dark Fenrir
, Map: Uranos
, Text & research : Apostate
, Additional Art : LupusThrace
Thrace, the mysterious lands that extend North-East of Hellas, their land was considered by ancient Greeks as the 4th part of the known world along with Europe, Libya (Africa)and Asia. Herodotus describes them as the largest population on earth, second only to the people of India, and suggests that they would be the most powerful nation of all, if they were not so barbarian and did not enjoy fighting each other so much.
Thracians formed a racial group, divided into many different tribes and clans (as many as 40 maybe), that had a variety of cultural development. The most significant tribes were the plain-dwelling tribes of the Getai, Moesi, Odrysai and the mountainous tribes of the Thyni, Odomanti, Dii, Bessi, Bisaltai, and Satrai tribes. In historic times they occupied the area between present Northern-East Hellas (Greece), the northern Balkans and Northwest Asia Minor. Some of them were completely uncivillized and primitive, even living in caves, whereas other Thracians inhabited more organized societies and settlements. All of them, semi-savage or nearly refined, had in common that they were war-like, harsh and always ready for combat ! They were also famous hunters and notorious raiders. When they did not fight each other, or serve as mercenaries in foreign armies, they liked to play music and dance armed with their weapons, just like the Cretans. After all, they are considered to be excellent musicians since Orpheus, a major mythological figure who could charm with his lyre even the trees or the lifeless stones, was supposed to have come from Thrace. The contradiction which makes the Thracians bloody warriors, but inclined to music and poetry, is completed by Orpheus' death, who according to the legend was dismembered by furious Thracian women out of jealousy.
Thracians had some awkard customs. They would mourn when a child was born in advance of his future death, and celebrate the death of their relatives. They paid for their wifes, and were given their money back if the bonding didn't last. Many times the favoured lady of a Thracian who was killed was sacrificed too, while they had a bad reputation of not keeping their oaths. Another habit they were known for, was their excessive wine-drinking, encouraged by the worship of the god Dionysos. Unlike the Greeks who watered down the wine, Thracians drank it always unalloyed. Thracians came into contact with the Greek cities on the coasts of the northern Aegean Sea, established trade relations with them, but also raided them many times. There are references indicating that sometimes Thracians called Greeks to become their administrators and on some occasions, even their kings. For example, the family of Miltiades, the Athenian hero of the battle of Marathon, had ruled the Dologes tribe for a couple of generations after they were asked to.
When the Persian king Darius invaded Thrace he conquered a large part of their land, but didn't succeed in bringing the warlike Odrysian tribe under Persian rule. Later, all the Thracians were forced to participate in king Xerxes' campaign against Hellas, but when the Persians were defeated, the Odrysians formed a large, powerful and rich in resources state, which was said to have even maintained an army of 150,000 men ! During that time, the first "civilized" Odrysian kingdom was established in south-eastern Thrace. Most Thracian Kings mentioned in ancient texts, were of Odrysian origin. This tribe had established very good relations with Athens since the 5th century BC and was eventually civillized and "hellenised".
In the "anatomy" point of view, Thracians were red or light haired and bearded (long or short, straight hair – sometimes dressed in a kind of top-knot, probably a sign of noble or warrior status), with grey or blue eyes, white skinned with muscular bodies decorated with tattoos.
During war they were specialised to fight as light infantry with javelins, a small shield, the "pelte", and usually a dagger, but they were also excellent horsemen, being the "Northern Horse masters", and used in their armies very skilled horse riders – so, they had a dangerous and plentiful cavalry, while even the most fearless Greeks, may hesitate at the view of the wild barbarian warbands, some of the most savage warriors amongst the Thracians. The melee equipment of these troops varied depending on the influences of other people like, the Scythians, Celts, Greeks, Phrygians and the Dacians. They used long swords, short swords, daggers and even Hellenic "kopis" swords, but the most fearful weapon was the two-handed romphaia which could cut a man in two with one clean blow !
Because of their great skirmish style of fighting and the use of this type of leather shield, they were superior against the Hellenic skirmish units, who carried no shield at all, like javellineers ! So, after a while, the Hellenic factions copied this type of warrior and create their own "Peltastai" units !…
Thracians lived almost entirely in villages; the city of Seuthopolis seemed to be the only significant real town in Thrace, which was built by Thracians and not by Hellenes. Thrace had the potential to field big numbers of fearless, savage and bloodthirsty troops, bringing fear and terror to every neighbouring state.
The closest bondage between the Thracians and Greeks is met in religion. They worship common gods and honor common heroes, while certain religious celebrations are said to have been brought to Hellas by Thracians themselves. Thracians are also not negative towards Hellenic cultural and economic influence, but these aren't at all reasons to spare any of the weaker Greek cities they neighbor with...Locations/Regions around Thrace Faction UnitsDii Peltast
All Thracians are known as hardy warriors, but the most fearless and warlike of their kind are the Dii. They live in southern Thrace, in the Rodope mountain ranges. Although they fight as ordinary peltasts, they carry a "machaira" sword, which is a heavy and effective shock weapon. They are ready to pick a fight anytime, and against any foe...Agrianes Peltast
The famous Thracian highlanders that "Megas Alexandros" (Alexander the Great) had used in his campaigns in Asia. They are highly skilled in hunting and skirmish warfare, but they also carry the "romphaia", which makes them even more lethal !Bithynian Peltast
These Thracian people, along with the Thynoi tribe, had settled in northwest Asia Minor. Bithynoi are excellent warriors and are heavily influenced by the Phrygians, due to their proximity. Only the wealthiest men can afford to wear the phrygian helmet.Getai Horse-Archers
The Getai are equipped similar to their neighbours, the Scythians, and are trained in the same type of warfare, which makes them very capable horse-archers.
Their clothing differs from the other Thracian tribes, and is mostly influenced again by their Scythian neigbours.Mercenary Thracian Peltasts
A typical Thracian Peltast used in Greek or non-Greek armies as mercenaries.
They are normal Peltasts, except for the fact that they wear the alternative Thracian cap, made from fox-skins. The Thracians many times would fight as mercenaries, hired by either other Thracians, Greeks or whoever else could pay them and bring them to a good battle...Thracian Cavalry
The Thracians, being horsemasters, soon learned the value of shock cavalry armed with a heavy spear. They don't wear any heavy armour, but still pose as a deadly threat, to both light infantry and light cavalry.Thracian Clubmen
These northern Thracians carry curved clubs, which can break enemy spears in battle or even injure thir enemies badly. They also have short spears to finish off the job efficiently...Thracian Infantry
These men are the more heavily armed peltasts, they carry a big scythe-type of weapon called a "romphaia", which is used with either one or two hands, they also wear phrygian helmets with face masks, which give them a fearsome look in the battlefield.'Thracian Skirmisher' Light Cavalry
These Thracian cavalry-men are mounted peltasts, fast and skillful riders, specialised in hit and run tactics.Thracian Peltast
Since their environments and ways of life are so different, the Thracians fight in a totally different style than that of the Greeks. They fight as lightly armed skirmishers, wearing the typical Thracian dress, cap, boots and a long cape due to their colder climate. They carry a small round or crescent shield, the "pelta", and their typical weapons are javelins and daggers.Thracian Trumpeteer
These Thracian officers wear and are equipped with a mixture of Greek and Thracian outfits.Thracian Lesser General
These Thracian officers wear and are equipped with a mixture of Greek and Thracian outfits.Thracian Bodyguard
The guards of the general are well-equipped nobles, who can afford weapons imported from Hellenic cities. They wear a bronze thorax, Chalkidean semi-open helmets and fight with javelins and swords.Thracian General
These Thracian officers wear and are equipped with a mixture of Greek and Thracian outfits.Triballi Peltast
These savage men inhabit the northern Thracian regions, and they find themselves far away from any refined Hellenic influences. They are usually independent from the numerous Odryssian Thracians, and they will prove themselves as very hardy warriors.
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