Authentic Ancient Coin of:
Greek city of Mesembria in Thrace Silver Diobol 10mm (1.22 grams) Struck 400-350 B.C.
Reference: Sear 1673 Crested helmet facing.
META in the four quarters of a radiate wheel.
An important colony of Megara, Mesembria was situated on the Black Sea coast, north of Apollonia Pontika.
The Corinthian helmet originated in ancient Greece and took its name from the city-state of Corinth. It was a helmet made of bronze which in its later styles covered the entire head and neck, with slits for the eyes and mouth. A large curved projection protected the nape of the neck. It also protected the cheek bones, which Greeks adored.
Out of combat, a Greek hoplite would wear the helmet tipped upward for comfort. This practice gave rise to a series of variant forms in Italy, where the slits were almost closed, since the helmet was no longer pulled over the face but worn cap-like. Although the classical Corinthian helmet fell out of use among the Greeks in favour of more open types, the Italo-Corinthian types remained in use until the 1st century AD, being used, among others, by the Roman army.
Apparently (judging from artistic and archaeological evidence) the most popular helmet during the Archaic and early Classical periods, the style gradually gave way to the more open Thracian helmet, Chalcidian helmet and the much simpler pilos type, which was less expensive to manufacture and did not obstruct the wearer's critical senses of vision and hearing as the Corinthian helmet did. Numerous examples of Corinthian helmets have been excavated, and they are frequently depicted on pottery.
The Corinthian helmet was depicted on more sculpture than any other helmet; it seems the Greeks romantically associated it with glory and the past. The Romans also revered it, from copies of Greek originals to sculpture of their own. From the sparse pictorial evidence we have of the republican Roman army, it seems that in Italy the Corinthian helmet evolved into a jockey-cap style helmet called the Italo-Corinthian, Etrusco-Corinthian or Apulo-Corinthian helmet, with the characteristic nose guard and eye slits becoming mere decorations on its face. Given many Roman corruptions of ancient Greek ideas, this change was probably inspired by the "over the forehead" position common in Greek art. This helmet remained in use well into the 1st century AD.
Herodotus mentions the Corinthian helmet in his Histories when writing of the Machlyes and Auseans, two tribes living along the River Triton in ancient Libya (the portion of ancient Libya he describes is most likely in modern Tunisia). The tribes chose annually two teams of the fairest maidens who fought each other ceremonially with sticks and stones. They were dressed in the finest Greek panoply topped off with a Corinthian helmet. The ritual fight was part of a festival honoring the virgin goddess Athena. Young women who succumbed to their wounds during the ordeal were thought to have been punished by the goddess for lying about their virginity (Histories, 4.180).
Thrace (demonym Thracian /ˈθreɪʃⁱən/; Bulgarian: Тракия, Trakiya, Greek: Θράκη, Thráki, Turkish: Trakya) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east. The areas it comprises are southeastern Bulgaria (Northern Thrace), northeastern Greece (Western Thrace), and the European part of Turkey (Eastern Thrace). The biggest part of Thrace is part of present-day Bulgaria. In Turkey, it is also called Rumelia. The name comes from the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting Southeastern Europe.
The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. Noteworthy is the fact that, at an early date, the ancient Greeks employed the term "Thrace" to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians, a region which "had no definite boundaries" and to which other regions (like Macedonia and even Scythia) were added. In one ancient Greek source, the very Earth is divided into "Asia, Libya, Europa and Thracia". As the knowledge of world geography of the Greeks broadened, the term came to be more restricted in its application: Thrace designated the lands bordered by the Danube on the north, by the Euxine Sea (Black Sea) on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by the Illyrian lands (i.e. Illyria) to the west. This largely coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied in time. During this time, specifically after the Macedonian conquest, the region's old border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River to the Mesta River. This usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, (classical) Thrace referred only to the tract of land largely covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. In its early period, the Roman province of Thrace was of this extent, but after the administrative reforms of the late 3rd century, Thracia's much reduced territory became the six small provinces which constituted the Diocese of Thrace. The medieval Byzantine theme of Thrace contained only what today is Eastern Thrace.
The largest cities of Thrace are: İstanbul (European side), Plovdiv, Burgas, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Edirne, Çorlu and Tekirdag.
Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Muslims.
Thrace in ancient Greek mythology
Ancient Greek mythology provides them with a mythical ancestor, named Thrax, son of the war-god Ares, who was said to reside in Thrace. The Thracians appear in Homer's Iliad as Trojan allies, led by Acamas and Peiros. Later in the Iliad, Rhesus, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor, is also given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, and stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea in the east. The Catalogue of Ships mentions three separate contingents from Thrace: Thracians led by Acamas and Peiros, from Aenus; Cicones led by Euphemus, from southern Thrace, near Ismaros; and from the city of Sestus, on the Thracian (northern) side of the Hellespont, which formed part of the contingent led by Asius. Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes, Tereus, Lycurgus, Phineus, Tegyrius, Eumolpus, Polymnestor, Poltys, and Oeagrus (father of Orpheus). In addition to the tribe that Homer calls Thracians, ancient Thrace was home to numerous other tribes, such as the Edones, Bisaltae, Cicones, and Bistones.
Thrace is also mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphoses in the episode of Philomela, Procne, and Tereus. Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela. He kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, and cuts out her tongue. Philomela manages to get free, however. She and her sister, Procne, plot to get revenge, by killing Itys (son of Tereus and Procne) and serving him to his father for dinner. At the end of the myth, all three turn into birds—Procne, a swallow; Philomela, a nightingale; and Tereus, a hoopoe.
The indigenous population of Thrace was a people called the Thracians, divided into numerous tribal groups. Thracian troops were known to accompany neighboring ruler Alexander the Great when he crossed the Hellespont which abuts Thrace, and took on the Persian Empire of the day.
The Thracians did not describe themselves as such and Thrace and Thracians are simply the names given them by the Greeks.
Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a lasting political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the 4th century BC. Like Illyrians, Thracian tribes of the mountainous regions fostered a locally ruled warrior tradition, while the tribes based in the plains were purportedly more peaceable. Recently discovered funeral mounds in Bulgaria suggest that Thracian kings did rule regions of Thrace with distinct Thracian national identity.
During this period, a subculture of celibate ascetics called the Ctistae lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers, priests and prophets.
By the mid 5th century, as the Roman Empire began to crumble, Thracia fell from the authority of Rome and into the hands of Germanic tribal rulers. With the fall of Rome, Thracia turned into a battleground territory for the better part of the next 1,000 years. The eastern successor of the Roman Empire in the Balkans, the Byzantine Empire, retained control over Thrace until the 8th century when the northern half of the entire region was incorporated into the First Bulgarian Empire. Byzantium regained Thrace in the late 10th century and administered it as a theme, until the Bulgarians regained control of the northern half at the end of the 12th century. Throughout the 13th century and the first half of the 14th century, the region was changing in the hands of the Bulgarian and the Byzantine Empire(excl. Constantinopole). In 1265 the area suffered a Mongol raid from the Golden Horde, led by Nogai Khan. In 1352, the Ottoman Turks conducted their first incursion into the region subduing it completely within a matter of two decades and occupying it for five centuries.
With the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Northern Thrace was incorporated into the semi-autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia, which united with Bulgaria in 1885. The rest of Thrace was divided among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century, following the Balkan Wars, World War I and the Greco-Turkish War. Today Thracian is a strong regional identity in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and other neighbouring countries.
Famous Thracians and people from Thrace
•Mehmed II Ottoman Sultan, born at Edirne in Thrace; he was the Sultan who conquered Constantinople, marking the end of the Middle Ages.
•Bayezid II Ottoman Sultan
•Spartacus was a Thracian auxiliary soldier in the Roman army who deserted but was captured and then enslaved by the Romans. He led a large slave uprising in what is now Italy in 73–71 BC. His army of escaped gladiators and slaves defeated several Roman legions in what is known as the Third Servile War.
• Belisaurius, one of the most successful Generals of the Roman Empire, was born in the borderlands between Thrace and Illyria.
•In Ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus was the chief representative of the art of song and playing the lyre.
•Democritus was a Greek philosopher and mathematician from Abdera, Thrace (c. 460–370 BC.) His main contribution is the atomic theory, the belief that all matter is made up of various imperishable indivisible elements which he called atoms.
•Herodicus was a Greek physician of the fifth century BC who is considered the founder of sports medicine. He is believed to have been one of Hippocrates' tutors.
•Protagoras was a Greek philosopher from Abdera, Thrace (c. 490–420 BC.) An expert in rhetorics and subjects connected to virtue and political life, often regarded as the first sophist. He is known primarily for three claims (1) that man is the measure of all things, often interpreted as a sort of moral relativism, (2) that he could make the "worse (or weaker) argument appear the better (or stronger)" (see Sophism) and (3) that one could not tell if the gods existed or not (see Agnosticism).
•A number of Roman emperors of the 3rd-5th century were of Thraco-Roman backgrounds (Maximinus Thrax, Licinius, Galerius, Aureolus, Leo the Thracian, etc.). These emperors were elevated via a military career, from the condition of common soldiers in one of the Roman legions to the foremost positions of political power.
Nesebar (pronounced [neˈsebər], Bulgarian: Несебър, Nesebar; Thracian: Menebria; Greek: Μεσήμβρια, Mesimvria, previously known as Mesembria; other spellings include Nessebar and Nesebur) is an ancient city and a major seaside resort on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, located in Nesebar municipality, Burgas Province. Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Black Sea" and "Bulgaria's Dubrovnik", Nesebar is a rich city-museum defined by more than three millennia of ever-changing history.
It is a one of the most prominent tourist destinations and seaports on the Black Sea, in what has become a popular area with several large resorts—the largest, Sunny Beach, is situated immediately to the north of Nesebar.
Nesebar has on several occasions found itself on the frontier of a threatened empire, and as such it is a town with a rich history. The ancient part of the town is situated on a peninsula (previously an island) connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made isthmus, and it bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilisations over the course of its existence. Its abundance of historic buildings prompted UNESCO to include Nesebar in its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.
Originally a Thracian settlement known as Menebria, the town became a Greek colony when settled by Dorians from Megara at the beginning of the 6th century BC, and was an important trading centre from then on and a rival of Apollonia (Sozopol). It remained the only Doric colony along the Black Sea coast, as the rest were typical Ionic colonies. Remains from the Hellenistic period include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, and an agora. A wall which formed part of the fortifications can still be seen on the north side of the peninsula. Bronze and silver coins were minted in the city since the 5th century BC and gold coins since the 3rd century BC.
The town fell under Roman rule in 71 BC, yet continued to enjoy privileges such as the right to mint its own coinage. It was one of the most important strongholds of the Byzantine Empire from the 5th century AD onwards, and was fought over by Byzantines and Bulgarians, being captured and incorporated in the lands of the First Bulgarian Empire in 812 by Khan Krum after a two week siege only to be ceded back to Byzantium by Knyaz Boris I in 864 and reconquered by his son Tsar Simeon the Great. During the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire it was also contested by Bulgarian and Byzantine forces and enjoyed particular prosperity under Bulgarian tsar Ivan Alexander (1331–1371) until it was conquered by Crusaders led by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy in 1366. The Slavic version of the name, Nesebar or Mesebar, has been attested since the 11th century.
Monuments from the Middle Ages include the 5–6th century Stara Mitropoliya ("old bishopric"; also St Sophia), a basilica without a transept; the 10th century church of the Virgin; and the 11th century Nova Mitropoliya ("new bishopric"; also St Stephen) which continued to be embellished until the 18th century. In the 13th and 14th century a remarkable series of churches were built: St Theodore, St Paraskeva, St Michael St Gabriel, and St John Aliturgetos.
The capture of the town by the Turks in 1453 marked the start of its decline, but its architectural heritage remained and was enriched in the 19th century by the construction of wooden houses in style typical for the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast during this period. It was a kaza centre in İslimye sanjak of Edirne Province before 1878. After the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1878, Nesebar became part of the autonomous Ottoman province of Eastern Rumelia as a kaza centre in Burgaz sanjak until it united with the Principality of Bulgaria in 1886.
Around the end of the 19th century Nesebar was a small town of Greek fishermen and vinegrowers, but developed as a key Bulgarian seaside resort since the beginning of the 20th century. After 1925 a new town part was built and the historic Old Town was restored.