The Sarmatians were a large confederation of Iranian people during classical antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD. They spoke Scythian, an Indo-European language from the Eastern Iranian family and their territory, which was known as Sarmatia to Greco-Roman ethnographers, corresponded to the western part of greater Scythia. In the 1st century AD the Sarmatians began encroaching upon the Roman Empire in alliance with Germanic tribes, in the 3rd century AD their dominance of the Pontic Steppe was broken by the Germanic Goths. With the Hunnic invasions of the 4th century, many Sarmatians joined the Goths, a related people to the Sarmatians known as the Alans survived in the North Caucasus into the Early Middle Ages, ultimately giving rise to the modern Ossetic ethnic group. The Sarmatians were eventually assimilated and absorbed by the Proto-Slavic population of Eastern Europe. Sarmatae probably originated as just one of several names of the Sarmatians. Strabo in the 1st century names as the tribes of the Sarmatians the Iazyges, the Roxolani, the Aorsi.
The Greek name Sarmatai sometimes appears as Sauromatai, which is almost certainly no more than a variant of the same name, historians often regarded these as two separate peoples, while archaeologists habitually use the term Sauromatian to identify the earliest phase of Sarmatian culture. Any idea that the name derives from the lizard, linking to the Sarmatians use of reptile-like scale armour. Both Pliny the Elder and Jordanes recognised the Sar- and Sauro- elements as interchangeable variants, Greek authors of the 4th century mention Syrmatae as the name of a people living at the Don, perhaps reflecting the ethnonym as it was pronounced in the final phase of Sarmatian culture. Oleg Trubachyov derived the name from the Indo-Aryan *sar-mat, the Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian word *sar-, by this derivation was noted the unusual high status of women from the Greek point of view and went to the invention of Amazons. Other scholars, like Harold Walter Bailey, derived the word from Avestan sar- from tsar- in Old Iranian.
It was derived from the name of Avestan region in the west Sairima, recently R. M. Kozlova derived it from *Sъrm- < Proto-Slavic adjective *sъrmatъ, with the meaning that is rich with sormima i. e. shallows, referring to the rivers. The Sarmatians emerged in the 7th century BC in a region of the steppe to the east of the Don River, for centuries they lived in relatively peaceful co-existence with their western neighbors the Scythians. Then, in the 3rd century BC, they fought with the Scythians on the Pontic steppe to the north of the Black Sea, the Sarmatians were to dominate these territories over the next five centuries. Pliny the Elder wrote that they ranged from the Vistula River to the Danube, in 1947, Soviet archaeologist Boris Grakov defined a culture flourishing from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, apparent in late kurgan graves, sometimes reusing part of much older kurgans. It was a nomadic steppe culture ranging from the Black Sea eastward to beyond the Volga, in Hungary, a great Late Sarmatian pottery centre was reportedly unearthed between 2001 and 2006 near Budapest, in the Üllő5 archaeological site.
Typical grey, granular Üllő5 ceramics form a group of Sarmatian pottery found everywhere in the north central part of the Great Hungarian Plain region
The peninsula is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson and west of the Russian region of Kuban. It is connected to Kherson Oblast by the Isthmus of Perekop and is separated from Kuban by the Strait of Kerch, the Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Crimea has historically been at the boundary between the world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century, in 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. It became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine in 1991, with Sevastopol having its own administration, within Ukraine, the ex-Soviet Black Sea Fleet and its facilities were divided between Russias Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Naval Forces. The two navies shared some of the harbours and piers, while others were demilitarised or used by either country. Sevastopol remained the location of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters with the Ukrainian Naval Forces Headquarters based in the city, most of the international community does not recognize the annexation and considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory.
Russia currently administers the peninsula as two federal subjects, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Ukraine continues to assert its right over the peninsula, the classical name Tauris or Taurica is from the Greek Ταυρική, after the peninsulas Scytho-Cimmerian inhabitants, the Tauri. In English usage since the modern period the Crimean Khanate is referred to as Crim Tartary. The Italian form Crimea becomes current during the 18th century, the omission of the definite article in English became common during the 20th century. The name Crimea follows the Italian form from the Crimean Tatar name for the city Qırım which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde, the name of the capital was extended to the entire peninsula at some point during Ottoman suzerainty. The origin of the word Qırım is uncertain, suggestions argued in various sources include, a corruption of Cimmerium. A derivation from the Turkic term qirum, from qori-, other suggestions that have not been supported by sources but are apparently based on similarity in sound include, a derivation from the Greek Cremnoi.
However, he identifies the port, not in Crimea, no evidence has been identified that this name was ever in use for the peninsula. The classical name was revived in 1802 in the name of the Russian Taurida Governorate, in the 8th century BCE the Cimmerians migrated to the region and subsequently the Scythians as well it being the site of Greek colonies. The most important city was Chersonesos at the edge of todays Sevastopol, the Persian Achaemenid Empire expanded to Crimea. Later occupiers included the Romans, Huns, the Byzantine Empire, the Kipchaks, the Golden Horde, consideration of the succeeding residents of the peninsula by their linguistic grouping is of relevance
The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Sicily, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world, many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization. The cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Alexandria, most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of the modern Greek state and Cyprus. The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor, other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic.
They are part of a group of ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an archetypal diaspora people. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, the Mycenaeans quickly penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete and the shores of Asia Minor. Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus, the Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as an era of heroes, closeness of the gods. The Homeric Epics were especially and generally accepted as part of the Greek past, as part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of antiquity. The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC, the works of Homer and Hesiod were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos and mythology.
The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period, the classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in eras, the Peloponnesian War, the large scale civil war between the two most powerful Greek city-states Athens and Sparta and their allies, left both greatly weakened. Many Greeks settled in Hellenistic cities like Alexandria and Seleucia, two thousand years later, there are still communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, like the Kalash, who claim to be descended from Greek settlers. The Hellenistic civilization was the period of Greek civilization, the beginnings of which are usually placed at Alexanders death. This Hellenistic age, so called because it saw the partial Hellenization of many non-Greek cultures and this age saw the Greeks move towards larger cities and a reduction in the importance of the city-state.
These larger cities were parts of the still larger Kingdoms of the Diadochi, however, remained aware of their past, chiefly through the study of the works of Homer and the classical authors. An important factor in maintaining Greek identity was contact with barbarian peoples and this led to a strong desire among Greeks to organize the transmission of the Hellenic paideia to the next generation
The Bosporan Kingdom was the longest surviving Roman client kingdom. The 1st and 2nd centuries BC saw a period of renewed golden age of the Bosporan state and it was a Roman province from 63 to 68 AD, under Emperor Nero. At the end of the 2nd century AD, King Sauromates II inflicted a defeat on the Scythians. The prosperity of the Bosporan Kingdom was based on the export of wheat and these include gold work, vases imported from Athens, coarse terracottas, textile fragments and specimens of carpentry and marquetry. These Greek colonies were settled by Milesians in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. Phanagoria was a colony of Teos, and the foundation of Nymphaeum may have had a connection with Athens, at least it appears to have been a member of the Delian League in the 5th century. The Bosporan Kingdom was centred around the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, known in antiquity as the Cimmerian Bosporus from where the name derived. Spartocus founded a dynasty which seems to have endured until c.110 BC, surviving material do not supply enough information to reconstruct a complete chronology of kings of the region.
Satyrus son Leucon eventually took the city and he was succeeded jointly by his two sons, Spartocus II, and Paerisades, Spartocus died in 342, allowing Paerisades to reign alone until 310. After Paerisades death, a war between his sons Satyrus and Eumelus was fought. Satyrus defeated his younger brother Eumelus at the Battle of the River Thatis in 310 BC but was killed in battle. Eumelus successor was Spartocus III and after him Paerisades II, succeeding princes repeated the family names, so it is impossible to assign them a definite order. Paerisades was killed by a Scythian named Saumacus who led a rebellion against him and they maintained close relations with Athens, their best customer for the Bosporan grain exports, Leucon I of Bosporus created privileges for Athenian ships at Bosporan ports. The Attic orators make numerous references to this, in return the Athenians granted Leucon Athenian citizenship and made decrees in honour of him and his sons. His eldest living son, regent of Cimmerian Bosporus, was unwilling to aid his father, so Mithridates had Machares killed, Mithridates ordered the conscriptions and preparations for war.
In 63 BC, the youngest son of Mithridates, led a rebellion against his father, Mithridates VI withdrew to the citadel in Panticapaeum, where he committed suicide. Pompey buried Mithridates VI in a tomb in either Sinope or Amasia. Before the death of Pharnaces II, Asander had married Pharnaces II’s daughter Dynamis and Dynamis were the ruling monarchs until Caesar commanded a paternal uncle of Dynamis, Mithridates II to declare war on the Bosporan Kingdom and claimed the kingship for himself
Third Mithridatic War
The Third Mithridatic War was the last and longest of three Mithridatic Wars and was fought between Mithridates VI of Pontus, who was joined by his allies, and the Roman Republic. The war ended in defeat for Mithridates, ending the Pontic Kingdom, the period between the Second and Third wars of Rome and the Pontic Kingdom is discussed under the Kingdom of Pontus. The immediate cause of the Third War was the bequest to Rome by King Nicomedes IV of Bithynia of his kingdom upon his death, having launched an attack at the same time as a revolt by Sertorius swept through the Spanish provinces, Mithridates was initially virtually unopposed. The Senate responded by sending the consuls Lucius Licinius Lucullus and Marcus Aurelius Cotta to deal with the Pontic threat, the only other possible general for such an important command, was in Gaul, marching to Hispania to help crush the revolt led by Sertorius. Lucullus was sent to govern Cilicia and Cotta to Bithynia, the original plan was that Cotta should tie down Mithridates fleet, while Lucullus attacked by land.
Cotta was therefore ordered to station his fleet at Chalcedon, while Lucullus marched through Phrygia with the intention of invading Pontus. Lucullus had not advanced far when news came through that Mithridates had made a rapid march westward, attacked Cotta, sixty-four Roman ships had been captured or burnt, and Cotta had lost three thousand men. There Cotta was forced to remain until Lucullus could come to his rescue, having made his way to Nicomedia, Cotta watched in frustration as Mithridates, after destroying his fleet, escaped the city and sailed down the Bosporus to the town of Heraclea Pontica. Joined by Lucullus at Nicomedia in 73 BC, Cotta was assigned the task of securing Lucullus rear by taking the town of Heraclea, after reducing the Pontic coast, Cotta began besieging Heraclea, which took him two years to complete, sacking the city in 71 BC. During this time he was forced to dismiss one of his quaestors, P. Oppius, charging him with bribery, while Lucullus stayed in the East, Cotta returned to Rome in 70 BC, where he at first was widely acclaimed for his victory at Heraclea.
However, around 67 BC he was accused of appropriation of war booty by Gaius Papirius Carbo and he was convicted of the offence and expelled from the Senate. Upon his arrival, Lucullus met up with Roman forces which had been campaigning in Asia Minor, in 69 BC Lucullus led a campaign into Armenia against Tigranes the Great, Mithridates son-in-law and ally, to whom Mithridates had fled after Cabeira. He began a siege of the new Armenian imperial capital of Tigranocerta in the Arzenene district, Tigranes returned from mopping up a Seleucid rebellion in Syria with his main host, and sought battle with the Romans. Lucullus army annihilated the Armenian host, despite odds of more than two to one against him. This was the battle of Tigranocerta. Tigranes retired to the regions of his kingdom to gather another army. Meanwhile, Lucullus moved off south-eastwards to the kingdom of the Kurds on the frontiers of the Armenian and Parthian empires, in the summer of 68 BC Lucullus marched against Tigranes and crossed the Anti-Taurus range heading for the old Armenian capital Artaxata.
Once again Tigranes was provoked to attack and in a battle at the Aratsani River Lucullus was heavily defeated by the Armenian army
The Scythian languages belonged to the Eastern branch of the Iranian languages. Ancient Greek historians spoke of Scythians who lived north of the Black Sea, Persians used the term Saka, for approximately the same people who lived further east. Although the ancients did not clearly distinguish the two terms, modern scholars usually use Saka to refer to Iranian-speaking tribes who inhabited the central steppe, the Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who had moved into the Tarim Basin. Assyrian sources speak of Iskuzai or Askuzai south of the Caucasus who were probably Scythians, the relationships between the peoples living in these widely separated regions remains unclear. Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. In the 8th century BC they possibly raided Zhou China, soon after they expanded westwards and dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe.
Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia, and Crimea, the Scythians established and controlled a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China, perhaps contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilizations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians and these objects survive mainly in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and frequently raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, around 650–630 BC, Scythians briefly dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power all the way to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC, and were subsequently gradually conquered by the Sarmatians. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians, Scythians kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons, and fought with bows and arrows on horseback.
They developed a culture characterized by opulent tombs, fine metalwork. Sulimirski views the Histories of Herodotus as the most important literary source relating to ancient Scyths, Herodotus provides a depiction that can be related to the results of archaeological research, but apparently knew little of the eastern part of Scythia. He did say that the ancient Persians called all the Scyths Σάκαι and their principal tribe, the Royal Scyths, ruled the vast lands occupied by the nation as a whole, calling themselves Σκώλοτοι. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda, which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, in which the d has been regularly replaced by an l. Saka, on the hand, Szemerényi relates to an Iranian verbal root, sak-, go, roam. The name does appear somewhat further east than the Achaemenid Empire, whether they adopted the Achaemenid name, or Saka came to be an endonym, it is not clear
Kerch is a city of regional significance on the Kerch Peninsula in the east of the Crimea. Founded 2,600 years ago as an ancient Greek colony, the city experienced rapid growth starting in the 1920s and was the site of a major battle during World War II. Today, it is one of the largest cities in Crimea and is among the republics most important industrial, archeological digs at Mayak village near the city ascertained that the area had already been inhabited in 17th–15th centuries BC. Kerch as a city starts its history in 7th century BC, Panticapaeum subdued nearby cities and by 480 BC became a capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus. Later, during the rule of Mithradates VI Eupator, Panticapaeum for a period of time became the capital of the much more powerful. The city was located at the intersection of routes between the steppe and Europe. This caused it to grow rapidly, the citys main exports were grain and salted fish, wine-making was common. According to extant documents the Melek-Chesme river was navigable in Bosporan times, a large portion of the citys population was ethnically Scythian, Sarmatian, as the large royal barrow at Kul-Oba testifies.
In the 1st century AD Panticapaeum and the Kingdom of Bosporus suffered from Ostrogoth raids, from the 6th century the city was under the control of the Byzantine Empire. By order of Emperor Justinian I, a citadel named Bospor was built there, Bospor was the centre of a bishopric, the diocese of Bosporus and developed under the influence of Greek Christianity. In 576, it withstood a siege by the Göktürks under Bokhan, aided by Anagai, in the 7th century, the Turkic Khazars took control of Bospor, and the city was named Karcha from Turkic karşı meaning opposite, facing. The main local government official during Khazar times was the tudun, Christianity was a major religion in Kerch during the period of Khazar rule. Kerchs Church of St. John the Baptist was founded in 717, the Church of the Apostles existed during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, according to the Life of the Apostle Andrew by Epiphanius of Salamis. Following the fall of Khazaria to Kievan Rus in the late 10th century and its ruler, Georgius Tzul, was deposed by a Byzantine-Rus expedition in 1016.
From the 10th century, the city was a Slavic settlement named Korchev, Kerch was a center of trade between Russia, Crimea and the Orient. In the 13th century, the Crimea including Korchev was invaded by Mongols, after Mongols, the city became the Genoese colony of Cerco in 1318 and served as a sea harbour, where townspeople worked at salt-works and fishery. In 1475, city was passed to the Ottoman Empire, during the Turkish rule Kerch fell into decay and served as a slave-market. It repeatedly suffered from raids of Zaporizhian Cossacks, in response to strengthening of Russian military forces in Azov area, the Turks built a fortress, named Yenikale, near Kerch on the shore of Kerch Strait
Ancient Greek includes the forms of Greek used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often divided into the Archaic period, Classical period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek, the language of the Hellenistic phase is known as Koine. Koine is regarded as a historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it closely resembled Attic Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects, Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers. It has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article primarily contains information about the Epic and Classical phases of the language, Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects. The main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Arcadocypriot, some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions.
There are several historical forms, homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey, and in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic, the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period and they have the same general outline, but differ in some of the detail. The invasion would not be Dorian unless the invaders had some relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects.
Often non-west is called East Greek, Arcadocypriot apparently descended more closely from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age. Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, and can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect, thessalian likewise had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions, generally equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, and Northern Peloponnesus Doric. The Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek and this dialect slowly replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, which is spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek, by about the 6th century AD, the Koine had slowly metamorphosized into Medieval Greek
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of land area and the island groups historical capital. Administratively the island forms a municipality within the Rhodes regional unit. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes, the city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey, Rhodes nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, the Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the island has been known as Ρόδος in Greek throughout its history. In addition, the island has been called Rodi in Italian, Rodos in Turkish, and Rodi or Rodes in Ladino. The island of Rhodes is shaped like a spearhead,79.7 km long and 38 km wide, with an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres.
The city of Rhodes is located at the tip of the island, as well as the site of the ancient. The main air gateway is located 14 km to the southwest of the city in Paradisi, the road network radiates from the city along the east and west coasts. There are mineral-rich spring water used to give medicinal baths and the spa resorts offer various health treatments, Rhodes is situated 363 km east-south-east from the Greek mainland, and 18 km from the southern shore of Turkey. The interior of the island is mountainous, sparsely inhabited and covered with forests of pine, while the shores are rocky, the island has arable strips of land where citrus fruit, wine grapes, vegetables and other crops are grown. The Rhodian population of deer was found to be genetically distinct in 2005. In Petaloudes Valley, large numbers of tiger moths gather during the summer months, mount Attavyros, at 1,216 metres, is the islands highest point of elevation. Earthquakes include the 226 BC earthquake that destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes, one on 3 May 1481 which destroyed much of the city of Rhodes, and one on 26 June 1926.
On 15 July 2008, Rhodes was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake causing minor damage to a few old buildings, Rhodes has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. The island was inhabited in the Neolithic period, although remains of this culture. In the 16th century BC, the Minoans came to Rhodes, Greek mythology recalled a Rhodian race called the Telchines and associated the island of Rhodes with Danaus, it was sometimes nicknamed Telchinis
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family, the study of Thracians and Thracian culture is known as Thracology. Thracians are one of the three primary groups of modern Bulgarians. The first historical record about the Thracians is found in the Iliad, the ethnonym Thracian comes from Ancient Greek Θρᾷξ or Θρᾴκιος/Ionic, Θρηίκιος, and the toponym Thrace comes from Θρᾴκη/Ion. These forms are all exonyms as applied by the Greeks, in Greek mythology, Thrax was regarded as one of the reputed sons of the god Ares. In the Alcestis, Euripides mentions that one of the names of Ares himself was Thrax since he was regarded as the patron of Thrace, the origins of the Thracians remain obscure, in the absence of written historical records. Evidence of proto-Thracians in the period depends on artifacts of material culture. Leo Klejn identifies proto-Thracians with the multi-cordoned ware culture that was pushed away from Ukraine by the advancing timber grave culture and we speak of proto-Thracians from which during the Iron Age Dacians and Thracians begin developing.
Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not manage to form a political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the fifth century BC. A strong Dacian state appeared in the first century BC, during the reign of King Burebista, including the Illyrians, the mountainous regions were home to various peoples regarded as warlike and ferocious Thracian tribes, while the plains peoples were apparently regarded as more peaceable. Thracians inhabited parts of the ancient provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, Scythia Minor, Bithynia, Mysia and other regions of the Balkans and Anatolia. This area extended over most of the Balkans region, and the Getae north of the Danube as far as beyond the Bug and including Panonia in the west. Aligning themselves in kingdoms and tribes, they never displayed any form of unity beyond short. Similar to the Celtic and Slavic tribes, most people are thought to have lived simply in small fortified villages, although the concept of an urban center was not developed until the Roman period, various larger fortifications which served as regional market centers were numerous.
Yet, in general, despite Greek colonization in such areas as Byzantium and other cities, the first Greek colonies in Thrace were founded in the eighth century BC. Thrace south of the Danube was ruled for half a century by the Persians under Darius the Great. In the first decade of the sixth century BC, the Persians invaded Thrace, Thracians were forced to join the invasions of European Scythia and Greece. According to Herodotus, the Bithynian Thracians had to contribute a large contingent to Xerxes invasion of Greece in 480 BC, Darius left in Europe one of his commanders named Megabazus whose task was to accomplish conquests in the Balkans
Mithridates VI of Pontus
He is often considered the greatest ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus. Mithridates VI was a prince of Persian and Greek ancestry, Mithridates was born in the Pontic city of Sinope, and was raised in the Kingdom of Pontus. He was the first son among the children born to Laodice VI and his father, Mithridates V, was a prince and the son of the former Pontic monarchs Pharnaces I of Pontus and his wife-cousin Nysa. His mother, Laodice VI, was a Seleucid princess and the daughter of the Seleucid monarchs Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Mithridates V was assassinated in about 120 BC in Sinope, poisoned by unknown persons at a lavish banquet which he held. He left the kingdom to the joint rule of Mithridates mother, Laodice VI, neither Mithridates nor his younger brother were of age, and their mother retained all power as regent for the time being. Laodice VI’s regency over Pontus was from 120 BC to 116 BC, during his mother’s regency, he escaped from his mothers plots against him, and went into hiding. Mithridates emerged from hiding, returning to Pontus between 116 BC and 113 BC and was hailed as king and he removed his mother and brother from the throne, imprisoning both, becoming the sole ruler of Pontus.
Laodice VI died in prison, ostensibly of natural causes, Mithridates Chrestus may have died in prison also, or may have been tried for treason and executed. Mithridates first married his younger sister Laodice, aged 16 and his goal was to preserve the purity of their bloodline, solidify his claim to the throne, to co-rule over Pontus, and to ensure the succession to his legitimate children. Mithridates entertained ambitions of making his state the dominant power in the Black Sea and he first subjugated Colchis, a region east of the Black Sea, and prior to 164 BC, an independent kingdom. He clashed for supremacy on the Pontic steppe with the Scythian King Palacus, the young king turned his attention to Anatolia, where Roman power was on the rise. He contrived to partition Paphlagonia and Galatia with King Nicomedes III of Bithynia and it soon became clear to Mithridates that Nicomedes was steering his country into an anti-Pontic alliance with the expanding Roman Republic. When Mithridates fell out with Nicomedes over control of Cappadocia, and defeated him in a series of battles, the next ruler of Bithynia, Nicomedes IV of Bithynia, was a figurehead manipulated by the Romans.
Mithridates plotted to overthrow him, but his attempts failed and Nicomedes IV, instigated by his Roman advisors, Rome itself was involved in the Social War, a civil war with its Italian allies. Thus, in all of Roman Asia Province there were two legions present in Macedonia. These legions combined with Nicomedes IVs army to invade Mithridates kingdom of Pontus in 89 BC, however, won a decisive victory, scattering the Roman-led forces. His victorious forces were welcomed throughout Anatolia, the following year,88 BC, Mithridates orchestrated a massacre of Roman and Italian settlers remaining in several Anatolian cities, essentially wiping out the Roman presence in the region. This episode is known as the Asiatic Vespers, the Kingdom of Pontus comprised a mixed population in its Ionian Greek and Anatolian cities