The Greek-Thracian Relations and the Hellenization of Thrace from the Archaic to the Late Classical period
The purpose of the present Master thesis is to describe the Greek‐Thracian relations and to investigate the extent of the subsequent Hellenization of the indigenous population in Thrace. Specifically, it focuses on the chronological periods between the Archaic and Late Classical era. This research supports that the Greek colonial movement towards the Thracian area, starting from the Archaic period onwards, was the stimulus that activated the familiarization of the natives with the Greek culture. The next catalytic event in the history of the examined area was the emergence of a centralized political power, the Odrysian kingdom, after the Persian failure in 480 B.C. (ca. the middle of the 5th century B.C.). The Odrysian kings, who favored the presence of the Greek colonies in their territory, established official state relations with the mainland Greece and consequently, were involved actively to the Greek historical scene. The consequent political‐diplomatic, economic‐commercial and social interactions between the local population and the Greeks constitute the basic factors for the diffusion of the Greek culture in the Thracian area. These arguments are supported by the available ancient literary sources and archaeological material, which substantiate the various forms in which this process was manifested. The next phase for the Thracian history was initiated with the subjugation of the examined area to the Macedonians (341 B.C.). During this era, the penetration of the Greek culture towards the Thracian hinterland was favored by the establishment of settlements in the interior. This transitional phase in Thrace was marked by the amplification of the Hellenization process and the inclusion of those who took part in it, regardless of their origin, into the Greek world. However, the results of this process became definitive during the next historical period, the Roman era.