Thracian Views and Inscriptions

Rock niches at Ardino, the Eastern Rhodopes mountains

The Thracian fortress near the village of Ustren, Kurdzhali district (probably XIII c. BC). The strong walls, 2.30 metre wide and 258 metre long, surround the peak from three sides. The other, southern, side ends in steep, inaccessible rock faces. 


Aerial view of the peninsula where the Thracian village and, later, Greek colony Messambria (modern Nessebur) were situated


A marble plate with an inscription in Greek, found in Nessebur (III c.BC). It is a treaty between Messambria and the Thracian ruler Sadala. The preserved (middle) part reads:

"... praise to be given to Sadala, as soon as possible. Let him be crowned with a golden wreath in the theater as a benefactor of the town during the Dionysius' festival. Let he and his descendants be given Messambrian citizenship, proksenia, the right to occupy a honourable place at the races, the right to enter and to leave the harbour on ship without any interference and without a prior agreement. Let Sadala be crowned each year with a wreath 50 staters worth, and let the cashier, after writing down the oath on a marble plate, place it over the plates of his predecessors Mopsiestij, Tarutin, Medista and Kotis in the temple of Apolo. An agreement between Sadala and the Messambrians: let those of the Messambrians, who are on ship and (are forced by the circumstances to) enter the territory of Sadala, give ... staters and ... half-staters from the freightage ..."

Regional Museum of History - Burgas 

An incription documenting the setting up of the marketplace of Pizos in 202 AD. The official formulae which legalise the "building of the marketplace of Pizos" are followed by lists of the first settlers, around 160 people from the surrounding nine Thracian villages: Skelabria, Stratopara, Krassalopara, Skept, Gelupara, Kirpizos, Bazopara, Strupil, and Bussipara. 

Also chiseled on the plate is the text of the decree of Quint Sicinius Qlar, the then ruler of the province of Thracia, which sets the administrative framework of whese marketplaces. They were ruled by toparses (mayors) who had the rank of town advisors, "to them I gave with a warrant the seal and the authority to plant, with the advice to be fair and lenient, and not arrogant and violent towards the inhabitants. And not only to do this, but to protect the property and the wealth of the population from those who try to perform unlawful acts and to cause disturbances. And in order to make the marketplaces richer, I ordered the people, those of them who have good reputation, from the neighbouring villages to be convinced as necessary - and to settle in these marketplaces, and I personally declare that those of them who do this voluntarily will receive big benefactions from the emperors: they will be freed from paying in kind to the town, from the duties to support the state postal service, from the duties to serve as guards in the burgs (the fortresses)."

National Archaeological Museum - Sofia

A plate with Greek inscription, 0.63 metre high, sculptured as a pediment. It was found in a cult room in the palace at Sevtopolis. The 37 lines of text contain a sworn statement between high representatives of the ruling Thracian aristocrasy. The inscription metions the names of the town - Sevtopolis, as well as that of Kabile. Copies of this iscriptions should be placed in both towns. Mentioned are also the temples at the town squares in the two towns. 

National Archaeological Museum - Sofia

Marble plate from the Struma valley, documenting manumission:

 "Zejpiron, son of Zejpiron and Bukuta, and his wife Danto, daughter of Zemburas, freed the slave Kerdola. Year 306. (i.e. 272 AD)"

National Archaeological Museum - Sofia

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