RegionBulgaria, European Turkey, parts of Southern Serbia, parts of the region of Macedonia (including Paeonia), regions in Northern Greece, parts of Romania, parts of Bithynia in Anatolia. Probably also spoken in parts of Dardania.
Extinct6th century AD[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3txh

The Thracian language (/ˈθrʃən/) is an extinct and poorly attested language, spoken in ancient times in Southeast Europe by the Thracians. The linguistic affinities of the Thracian language are poorly understood, but it is generally agreed that it was an Indo-European language with satem features.

A contemporary, neighboring language, Dacian is usually regarded as closely related to Thracian. However, there is insufficient evidence with respect to either language to ascertain the nature of this relationship.

The point at which Thracian became extinct is a matter of dispute. However, it is generally accepted that Thracian was still in use in the 6th century AD: Antoninus of Piacenza wrote in 570 that there was a monastery in the Sinai, at which the monks spoke Greek, Latin, Syriac, Egyptian, and Bessian – a Thracian dialect.[2][3][4][5]

Other theories about Thracian remain controversial. A classification put forward by some linguists, such as Harvey Mayer, suggests that Thracian (and Dacian) belonged to the Baltic branch of Indo-European, or at least is closer to Baltic than any other Indo-European branch.[6] However, this theory has not achieved the status of a general consensus among linguists, and Mayer's work in that article is largely outdated, unfounded, or racist. These are among many competing hypotheses regarding the classification and fate of Thracian.[7]

Geographic distribution

The Thracian language or languages were spoken in what is now Bulgaria,[8][9] Romania, North Macedonia, Northern Greece, European Turkey and in parts of Bithynia (North-Western Asiatic Turkey).

Remnants of the Thracian language

Limits of the (southern) Thracian linguistic territory according to Ivan Duridanov, 1985

Little is known for certain about the Thracian language, since no text has been satisfactorily deciphered. Some of the longer inscriptions may be Thracian in origin but they may simply reflect jumbles of names or magical formulas.[10]

Enough Thracian lexical items have survived to show that Thracian was a member of the Indo-European language family and that it was a satemized language by the time it is attested.

Besides the aforementioned inscriptions, Thracian may be attested through personal names, toponyms, hydronyms, phytonyms, divine names, etc. and by a small number of words cited in Ancient Greek texts as being specifically Thracian.[11][unreliable source?]

There are 23 words mentioned by ancient sources considered explicitly of Thracian origin and known meaning.[12][13] Of the words that are preserved in ancient glossaries, in particular by Hesychius, only three dozen can be considered "Thracian". However, Indo-European scholars have pointed out that "even the notion that what the ancients called "Thracian" was a single entity is unproven."[14] The table below lists potential cognates from Indo-European languages, but a number of them have not found general acceptance within Indo-European scholarship. Not all lexical items in Thracian are assumed to be from the Proto-Indo-European language, some non-IE lexical items in Thracian are to be expected.

Word Meaning Attested by Cognates Notes
ἄσα (asa) colt’s foot (Bessi) Dioskurides Lit. dial. asỹs ‘horse-tail, Equisetum’, Latv. aši, ašas ‘horse-tail, sedge, rush’ The etymology of both Baltic words is unclear and extra-Baltic cognates have yet to be established [15]
βόλινθος (bólinthos) aurochs, European bison Aristotle Proto-Slavic *volъ ("ox"). Per Beekes, Pre-Greek.[16] See also Gk. βοῦς 'cow', but Latv. govs ' id ' both < PIE *gwṓws. Proto-Slavic *vòlъ has no extra-Slavic cognates.
βρία (bría) unfortified village Hesychius, compare the Toponyms Πολτυμβρία, Σηλυ(μ)μβρία, and Βρέα in Thrace. Compared to Greek ῥίον (ríon; "peak, foothills") and Tocharian A ri, B riye ("town") as if < *urih₁-. Alternatively, compare Proto-Celtic *brix- ("hill"). Gk ῥίον has no clear etymology.[17] The Toch lemmata may be related.[18]
βρίζα (bríza) rye Galen Perhaps of Eastern origin, compare Greek ὄρυζα, Sanskrit vrīhí- ("rice"). The 'rice' words in Gk and IIr are Wandelworts. The Gk word may be borrowed from an Eastern Iranian language.[19]
βρυνχός (brynkhós) kithara[20] Compared with Slavic *bręčati "to ring". The Proto-Slavic lemma is reconstructed based exclusively on Serbo-Croatian brecati 'twang, be insolent, etc.' and consequently may not even be reconstructable to its own proto-language as there are no external or internal comparanda. It may be onomatopoetic in nature.
βρῦτος (brŷtos) beer of barley many Slavic "vriti" (to boil), Germanic *bruþa- ("broth"), Old Irish bruth ("glow"), Latin dē-frŭtum ("must boiled down").[20][a]
dinupula, si/nupyla wild melon Pseudoapuleus Lithuanian šùnobuolas, lit. ("dog’s apple"), or with Slavic *dynja ("melon"). Per Vladimir Georgiev, derived from *kun-ābōlo- or *kun-ābulo- 'hound's apple'.[20] Proto-Slavic *dyña (from earlier *kъdyña is most likely borrowed from Gk. κῠδώνῐον via Lat. cydōnia[22]
γέντον (génton) meat Herodian., Suid., Hesych Possibly descended from IE *gʷʰn̥tó- 'strike, kill', cf. Sanskrit hatá- ‘hit, killed’ The adjective *gʷʰn̥tós in the zero-grade has an *-s in the, whereas in Thracian the word ends in a nasal, which is a serious issue that requires morphological remodelling in Thracian for it to be posited as the starting point for Thracian γέντον. Furthermore, the e-grade vowel of the Thracian potential avatar remains to be explained as well if from an original PIE *gʷʰn̥tós.
καλαμίνδαρ (kalamíndar) plane-tree (Edoni) Hesych.
κη̃μος (kêmos) a kind of fruit with follicle Phot. Lex.
κτίσται (ktístai) Ctistae Strabo
midne (in a Latin inscription, thus not written with Gk alphabet) village inscription from Rome Latvian mītne 'a place of stay', Avestan maēϑana- 'dwelling'
Πολτυμ(βρία) (poltym-bría) board fence, a board tower Old English speld 'wood, log' The OE lemma is poorly understood and extra-Germanic cognates are few and far between. OE speld may have descended from a PIE root *(s)pley- which is poorly attested and does not seem to be a formal match to the Thracian term.
ῥομφαία (rhomphaía) broadsword Compared with Latin rumpō ("to rupture"),[20] Slavic: Russian разрубать, Polish rąbać ("to hack", "to chop", "to slash"), Polish rębajło ("eager swordsman"), Serbo-Croatian ’’rmpalija’’ ("bruiser") The Slavic terms here must come from a medial *-bh-, whereas Lat. rumpō 'I break' must descend from a medial *-p-[23] and therefore those words aren't even cognate with each other, let alone with the Thracian term.
σκάλμη (skálmē) knife, sword Soph. y Pollux, Marcus Anton., Hesych., Phot. L Albanian shkallmë ("sword"), Old Norse skolmr 'cleft' The Albanian term is likely a secondary innovation. ON skolmr is unclear and has no extra-Germanic cognates;[24] it is unlikely to be related to the Thracian term.
σκάρκη (skárkē) a silver coin Hesych., Phot. Lex.
σπίνος (spínos) 'a kind of stone, which blazes when water touches it' (i.e. 'lime') Arist. PIE *k̑witn̥os 'white, whitish', Greek τίτανος (Attic) and κίττανος (Doric) 'gypsum, chalk, lime'.
Although from the same PIE root, Albanian shpâ(ni) 'lime, tartar' and Greek σπίνος 'lime' derive from a secondary origin as they were probably borrowed from Thracian due to phonetic reasons[25]
τορέλλη (toréllē) a refrain of lament mourn song Hesych.
ζαλμός (zalmós) animal hide Porphyr. Per Georgiev, derived from *kolmo-s. Related to Gothic hilms, German Helm and Old Iranian sárman 'protection'.[20] Thracian initial ζ- can either be related to PIE *ḱ (as in these 'cognates' and several below) or to *ǵh-/*gh- as in the following entry, but not both.
ζειρά (zeira) long robe worn by Arabs and Thracians Hdt., Xen., Hesych. Per Georgiev, related to Greek χείρ (kheir) and Phrygian ζειρ (zeir) 'hand'.[20] See above.
ζελᾶ (zelâ), also ζῆλα (zêla), ζηλᾱς (zelās) wine many Compared with Greek χάλις (khális; "unblended wine") and κάλιθος (kálithos; "wine") See above.
ζετραία (zetraía) pot Pollux Per Georgiev, related to Greek χύτρα (khútra) 'pot'.[20] See above.
zibythides the noble, most holy one Hesych. Lith. žibùtė ("shining")


The following are the longest inscriptions preserved. The remaining ones are mostly single words or names on vessels and other artifacts. No translation has been accepted by the larger Indo-European community of scholars.[26]

Ezerovo inscription

The Ring of Ezerovo, found in 1912

Only four Thracian inscriptions of any length have been found. The first is a gold ring found in 1912 in the village of Ezerovo (Plovdiv Province of Bulgaria); the ring was dated to the 5th century BC.[27] On the ring an inscription is found written in a Greek script and consisting of 8 lines, the eighth of which is located on the edge, the rim, of the rotating disk; it reads without any spaces between: ΡΟΛΙΣΤΕΝΕΑΣΝ / ΕΡΕΝΕΑΤΙΛ / ΤΕΑΝΗΣΚΟΑ / ΡΑΖΕΑΔΟΜ / ΕΑΝΤΙΛΕΖΥ / ΠΤΑΜΙΗΕ / ΡΑΖ // ΗΛΤΑ

Dimitar Dechev (Germanised as D. Detschew) separates the words as follows:[28][29]






















Rolisteneas Nerenea tiltean ēsko Arazea domean Tilezypta miē era zēlta

I am Rolisteneas, a descendant of Nereneas; Tilezypta, an Arazian woman, delivered me to the ground.

Kyolmen inscription

A second inscription, hitherto undeciphered, was found in 1965 near the village of Kyolmen [bg], Varbitsa Municipality, dating to the sixth century BC. Written in a Greek alphabet variant, it is possibly a tomb stele inscription similar to the Phrygian ones; Peter A. Dimitrov's transcription thereof is:[30]




Duvanlii inscription

A third inscription is again on a ring, found in Duvanlii [bg], Kaloyanovo Municipality, next to the left hand of a skeleton. It dates to the 5th century BC. The ring has the image of a horseman[33] with the inscription surrounding the image. It is only partly legible (16 out of the initial 21):












ēuziē ..... dele / mezēnai

The word mezenai is interpreted to mean 'Horseman', and a cognate to Illyrian Menzanas (as in "Juppiter/Jove Menzanas" 'Juppiter of the foals' or 'Juppiter on a horse');[34] Albanian mëz 'foal'; Romanian mînz 'colt, foal';[35][36] Latin mannus 'small horse, pony';[37][38] Gaulish manduos 'pony' (as in tribe name Viromandui[39] 'men who own ponies').[40][b]


Main article: Classification of Thracian

The Thracian language in linguistic textbooks is usually treated either as its own branch of Indo-European, or is grouped with Dacian, together forming a Daco-Thracian branch of IE. Older textbooks often grouped it also with Illyrian or Phrygian. The belief that Thracian was close to Phrygian is no longer popular and has mostly been discarded.[42]

No definite evidence has yet been found that demonstrates that Thracian or Daco-Thracian belonged on the same branch as Albanian or Baltic or Balto-Slavic or Greco-Macedonian or Phrygian or any other IE branch. For this reason textbooks still treat Thracian as its own branch of Indo-European, or as a Daco-Thracian/Thraco-Dacian branch.

The generally accepted clades branched from the Proto-Indo-European language are, in alphabetical order, the Proto-Albanian language, Proto-Anatolian language, Proto-Armenian language, Proto-Balto-Slavic language, Proto-Celtic language, Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Greek language, Proto-Indo-Iranian language, Proto-Italic language, and the Proto-Tocharian language. Thracian, Dacian, Phrygian, Illyrian, Venetic, and Paeonian are fragmentarily attested and cannot be reliably categorized.

Much of the information in the following table is either outdated or entirely incorrect and can be contested by looking at a dictionary of any of the languages in question or any of the four major textbooks of Indo-European. Some of the biggest issues: Tocharian collapsed voiceless, voiced, and voices aspirates into voiceless stops;[43] Armenian doesn't have aspirated voiceless stops (but rather ejective);[44]; the anaptyctic vowels of Germanic,[45] Balto-Slavic,[46] and Italic[47] that developed from syllabic resonants are all different (but are shown as being the same because the table is badly constructed and -oR- does not equal -uR-); we know what happened with the dental clusters medially in Hittite and it's -zz-.[48] Furthermore, there are no data or attestations of Pelasgian whatsoever[49] and its inclusion in the table is confusing. Due to these major omissions and errors, this table is unlikely to be used as a datum for Thracian historical phonology.

Language/difference according to Duridanov (1985)
Change o > a r > ir, ur (or)
l > il, ul (ol)
m > im, um (om)
n > in, un (on)
kʷ, gʷ, gʷʰ
> k, g (k), g
ḱ, ǵ, ǵʰ
> s (p), z (d)
p, t, k
> pʰ, tʰ, kʰ
b, d, g
> p, t, k
bʰ, dʰ, gʰ
> b, d, g
sr > str tt, dt > st
Thracian + + + + + + + + + +
Dacian + + + + + - - + + -
Balto-Slavic + + + + + - - + -/+ +
Pelasgian + + + + + + + + ? ?
Albanian + + - +/- +/- - - + - -
Germanic + + + - - - + + + -
Indo-Iranian + - - +/- + - - +/- - +/-
Greek - - - - - - - - - +
Phrygian - - - - + + + + - ?
Armenian - - - - + + + - - ?
Italic - + - - - - - - - -
Celtic - - - - - - - + - -
Hittite + - - - - - + + ? ?
Tocharian +/- - - - - - + + - ?
Divergent sound-changes in Paleo-Balkan languages according to Georgiev (1977)[50]
Proto-Indo-European Dacian Thracian Phrygian
*o a a o
*e ie e e
*ew e eu eu
*aw a au
*r̥, *l̥ ri ur (or), ur (ol) al
*n̥, *m̥ a un an
*M M T T
*T T TA (aspirated) TA
*s s s
*sw s s w
*sr str str br

Note: Asterisk indicates reconstructed IE sound. M is a cover symbol for the row of voiced stops (mediae), T for unvoiced stops (tenues) and TA for aspirated stops (tenues aspiratae). ∅ indicates zero, a sound that has been lost. For the last 150 years, these sounds have been called voiceless, voiced, and voiced aspirates, and it is no longer believed by any Indo-Europeanists that there were voiceless aspirates in the proto-language and consequently this table is entirely out of date and functionally useless for the historical development of Thracian.

Divergent sound-changes in Dacian and Thracian according to Duridanov (1985)[51]
Indo-European Dacian Thracian
*b, *d, *g b, d, g p, t, k
*p, *t, *k p, t, k ph, th, kh
ä (a) ē
*e (after consonant) ie e
*ai a ai
*ei e ei
*dt (*tt) s st

Thraco-Dacian has been hypothesized as forming a branch of Indo-European along with Baltic,[52] but a Balto-Slavic linguistic unity is so overwhelmingly accepted by the Indo-European linguistic community that these hypotheses do not pass muster.

For a large proportion of the 300 Thracian geographic names there are cognates within the Baltic toponymy, most similarities between Thracian and Balto-Slavic personal and geographic names were found, especially Baltic. According to Duridinov the "most important impression make the geographic cognates of Baltic and Thracian" "the similarity of these parallels stretching frequently on the main element and the suffix simultaneously, which makes a strong impression". According to him there are occasional similarities between Slavic and Thracian because Slavic is related to Baltic, while almost no lexical similarities within Thracian and Phrygian were found.[53] This significant relatedness show close affinity and kinship of Thracian with Baltic. It should, however, be stressed that this is not how modern historical linguistics is performed, and that similar-looking words are not enough to demonstrate cognition. The principle of the regularity of sound change and regular sound correspondences is the only method of demonstrating cognation[54] and consequently the following table is not indicative of anything and should generally be disregarded.

The following table shows the cognate Thracian and Baltic place names,[12] some Polish and related Lechitic names from the transitional area of the ancient Veneti-Eneti along the Amber Road were added:[citation needed]

Thracian place Lithuanian place Latvian place Old Prussian place Polish / Lechitic place cognates
Alaaiabria Alajà Lith. aléti ‘to be flooded’
Altos Altis
Antisara Sarija Sarape
Armonia Armona, Armenà Lith. armuõ, -eñs ‘a swamp, bog’, arma ‘the same’[citation needed]
Armula Armuliškis Muły lit. arma ‘mud’[citation needed], Pol. muł ‘mud’
Arpessas Varpe, Varputỹs, Várpapievis Warpen, Warpunen Latv. vārpats ‘whirlpool’; Lith. varpýti (-pa, -pia) ‘to dig’[citation needed]
Arsela Arsen Arsio, Arse Ursynów
Aspynthos Latv. apse; Old-Pruss. abse; Lith. apušẽ[citation needed]
Atlas Adula
Asamus Comparable to Old Bulgarian Ošam; per Georgiev, identical to Asamum, a city in Dalmatia, and both from *ak(a)m(u) 'stone' or *ak(a)myo- 'stony'.[55] Old Iranian aśman- ‘stone’; Lit. ašmuo, ašmenys,
Vairos Vaira Lit. vairus ‘diverse’
Baktunion Batkunu kaimas
Beres Bẽrė, Bėrẽ, Bėr-upis, Bėrupė Bēr-upe, Berēka Bieruń, Beroun, Pěrno Lit. bėras, Latv. bęrs ‘brown, swarthy’,
Bersamae Berezina, Brest
Veleka Velėkas
Bolba bria Balvi, Bàlvis, Bolva Lith. Bálvis 'a lake'; Old-Pruss. Balweniken
Calsus Kalsi, Kalsiņš, Kals-Strauts ‘dry stream’ Kalisz Latv. kalst, kaltēt ‘dry’,
Chalastra chałastra, hałastra Lith. sravà ‘a stream’; Latv. strava ‘stream, torrent’,
Daphabae Lith. dãpas ‘a flood’; Old-Pruss. ape ‘river’[citation needed]
Dingion Dingas, Dindze, Dingupite Dinge Dynów Latv. dinga ‘a plant’ and ‘fertile place’[citation needed]
Dimae Dūmė Dūmis Dumen Dukla (Scythian settlement since 2nd millennium BCE) Lit. dūmas ‘dark (for beef)’; Latv. dūms ‘dark-brown’[citation needed]
Egerica Vegerė Vedzere
Ereta Veretà
Germe, Germai, Germenne, Germania Cognate to Greek θερμός (thermós) 'warm, hot'.[56]
Gesia Gesavà Dzêsiens Gesaw Gąsiek, Rzeszów?
Ginula Ginuļi Ginulle Goniądz Latv. g'inis, g'inst ‘to spoil’, Pol. ginąć ‘to get lost, to perish’, compare Engl. gone[citation needed]
Armonia Armona Lit. armuo, -ens ‘quagmire’[citation needed]
Iuras Jūra, Jūrė, Jūrupis Jura Lit. and Latv. jūra ‘sea’[57]
Kabyle Kabile Cabula
Kallindia Galindo, Galinden, Galynde Golina, Goleniów, Gołdap, Gołańcz Galindai, Lit. galas ‘end’[citation needed]
Kapisturia Kaplava Kapas-gals Kappegalin Kopanica (multiple entries) Latv. kãpa, kãpe ‘long mountainous strip, dune, slope’; Lith. kopà ‘sandy hill’,
Kurpisos, Kourpissos Kurpų kámas, Kurpulaukis Kazūkurpe, Kurpesgrāvis, Kurpkalns Kurpie Lit. kurpti ‘to dig',
Kersula Keršuliškių kaimas Lit. keršulis ‘pigeon’
Knishava Knisà Knīsi, Knīši, Knīsukalns Knyszyn Lith. knìsti ‘to dig, to rummage’
Kypsela Kupšeliai Kupšeļi Kutno?
Lingos Lingė, Lingenai Lingas, Lingi, Lingasdikis Lingwar Lędziny, Leżajsk, Legnica, Lit. lengė 'valley’
Markellai Markẽlis, Markelỹne Marken Marki (mesolithic settlement) Lit. marka ‘pit’, merkti ‘dunk’
Meldia Meldė, Meldínis Meldine, Meldini Mildio, Mildie Zhemait. Melьdəikvirshe, Melьdəinəi, Lith. meldà, méldas ‘marsh reed’; Latv. meldi ‘reed’
Mygdonia Mūkė Mukas Myszków, Myšno Zhemait. river Muka, Mukja,
Ostophos Uõstas, Ũstas Uostupe, Ũostup Ustup (part of Zakopane), Ústup, Puszczykowo Lit. pušynas ‘spurs forest’, Pol. ostęp (regional: ustup) ‘wilderness’, ‘section set aside’, compare pustynia ‘desert’, pustkowie ‘wasteland’[citation needed]
Paisula Paišeliai Paissyn Pasłęk, Pasym Lit. paišai ‘soot’
Palae Palà Połczyn-Zdrój, Pelpin, Pełczyce, Poltava Lit. palios ‘swamp'
Palnma Palminỹs, Palmajos káimas Paļmuota Palmiry Lit. palios ‘swamp'
Panion Panewniki Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp, quagmire’,
Pannas Panyen Panewniki Old Pruss. pannean ‘quagmire’,
Pautalia Paũtupis Pauteļi, Pautupīte, Pautustrauts Pauta, Pauten Puck, Pułtusk, Puławy Lith. putà, pl. pùtos ‘foam, froth’, putóti ‘to foam’; Latv. putas ‘foam’
Pizos Pisa ęzęrs Pissa, Pissen, Pisse, Pysekaym, Piselauk Pyskowice Latv. pīsa ‘swamp’
Praizes Limne Praustuvė Praga Lith. praũsti (prausiù, -siaũ) ‘to wash’, prausỹnės ‘washing’; Latv. prauslât ‘to spray, to sprinkle’, Pol. prać ‘to wash, to beat’
Pusinon Pusyne, Pušinė, Pušyno káimasPušinė Pszczyna Lit. pušynas ‘spurs forest’, Zhemait. Pushina 'a stream', Pushine 'meadows',
Pupensis vicus(village) Pupių káimas, Pupinė Pupa Pupkaym, Paupayn Latinized vicus for ‘village', Lit. and Latv. pupa 'beans', kaimas 'village'(cf. Bobov Dol)
Purdae Porden, Purde Zhemait. Purdjaknisə Popelьki
Raimula Raimoche Lith. ráimas ‘motley, particoloured’
Rhakule Rãkija, Rakavos káimas Roklawken, Rocke Raciąż, Racibórz Lith. ràkti, rankù, rakiaũ ‘to dig out, unearth’; Latv. rakt, rùoku ‘to dig’, rakņât ‘to dig’
Rhamae Rãmis, Ramùne Rāmava Ramio, Rammenflys Rumia (populated since 6th century BC) Lit. ramus ‘quiet’
Rhodope Mountains Rudupe Rudawy, Rudawy, Rudohoří, Rudnik, Ruda Śląska, Rudno, Rudniki, Rudnia e.t.c. Zhemait. Rudupja, Rudupə, Rudupi, Lith. rùdas ‘reddish, ruddy, dark yellow’, Lith. ùpė ‘river’, Pol. directly from ruda ‘ore, mineral’
Rhusion Russe, Russien, Rusemoter Lith. rūsỹs (and rúsas) ‘a pit for potatoes; cellar, basement’; Latv. rūsa ‘a pit’
Rumbodona Rum̃ba, Rum̃ba, Rum̃b, Rum̃bas, Rumbai Porąbka, Zaręby, Rębaczów e.t.c. Latv. rum̃ba ‘waterfall, river rapids’; Lith. rum̃bas, rùmbas, rumbà ‘periphery’, Pol. rąbać ‘to chop, to hew, to fell, to cut down’
Sarte Sar̃tė, Sartà Sār̃te, Sārtupe Zhemait. Sarta, Sarti, Lit. sartas ‘red (horse)’; Latv. sarts ‘ruddy’
Scretisca Skretiškė Zakręt Lit. skretė ‘circle’, Pol. skręcić się ‘to twist, to turn’ + the suffix -się ‘-oneself’
Seietovia Sietuvà, Siẽtuvas Zhemait. Setuva, Lit. sietuva ‘whirlpool’
Sekina Šėkinė Siekierki, Sieczka Lith. šėkas ‘recently mowed down grass, hay’; Latv. sêks ‘the same’,
Serme Sermas
Silta Šiltupis Siltie, Siltums, Siltine Lit. šiltas ‘warm, nice’; Latv. sìlts ‘warm’
Skaptopara, Skalpenos, Skaplizo Skalbupis, Skalbýnupis, Skalbstas, Skaptotai, Skaptùtis Toporów Lith. skãplis ‘a type of axe’; Lith. skaptúoti ‘to cut, to carve',
Skarsa Skarsin, Skarsaw Skoczów Lith. sker̃sas ‘transverse, oblique, slanting’, Sker̃sė, Sker̃s-upỹs, Sker̃sravi,
Scombros Lith. kumbrỹs, kum̃bris ‘hill, top of a mountain; small mountain’; Latv. kum̃bris ‘hump, hunch’
Spindea Spindžių káimas, Spindžiùs Spindags Lit. spindžius, spindis, 'clearing'; Latv. spindis ‘spark’
Stambai Strũobas, Struõbas Lit. stramblys ‘cob’; Old-Pruss. strambo ‘stubble-field’
Strauneilon Strūnelė, Strūnà Lit. sr(i)ūti ‘flow’
Strymon Stryj, Strumień, Czerwony Strumień, Strumień Godowski e.t.c. Lit. sraumuo ‘stream’, Pol. strumień ‘stream’
Strauos Strėva Strawa, Strawka (rivers) Latv. strava, Lit. srava ‘course’,
Suitula Svite Świecie Lit. švitulys ‘light’, Pol. światło ‘light’, świecić ‘to light’, świt ‘dawn’, Świtula ‘the dawning one’ (feminine)
Souras Sūris, Sūrupė, Sūupis Sure Soła, Solina, Solinka, Wisła (Vysoła), (Wesoła) Lit. sūras ‘salty’, Pol. direct from solь ‘salt’, (Wesoła may have a different etymology veselъ ‘merry’)
Succi Šukis Sukas, Sucis Sucha (multiple entries) Pol. suchy ‘dry’, susi (akin to Succi) is the masculine plural nominative form
Tarpodizos Tárpija Târpi, Tārpu pļava Tarnów, , Tarnowola, Tarnowskie Góry, Tarnowo (multiple entries) Lith. tárpas ‘an interstice’ and ‘a gap, a crack’; Zhemait. Tarpu kalьne, Tarpdovdəi
Tarporon Poronin Lith. tárpas ‘an interstice’,
Tarpyllos Terpìnė, Tárpija
Tirsai Tirza Tirskaymen Lith. tir̃štis ‘density, thickness’ and ‘thicket, brush-wood’
Tranoupara Tranỹs Trani, Tranava Lit. tranas ‘hornet’
Trauos Traũšupis Lith. traũšti ‘to break, to crumble’, traušus ‘brittle’; Latv. traušs, trausls ‘brittle, fragile’
Tynta Tunti, Tunte Thuntlawken Lit. tumtas, tuntas ‘flock'
Urda, Urdaus Ùrdupis, Urdenà Urdava Zhemait. Urdishki; Lit. urdulys ‘mount stream’, virti ‘spring’
Veleka Velėkas Wielichowo (Pomerania), Wielichowo Lith. velėkles ‘a place, used for washing’
Verzela Vérža, Véržas Lith. váržas ‘a basket for fish’; Latv. varza ‘dam’
Vevocasenus Vàive Woywe, Wewa, Waywe Latin vicus
Zburulus Žiburių káimas Lit. žiburỹs ‘a fire, a light, something burning; a torch’
Zilmissus Žilmà, Žilmas Latv. zelme ‘green grass or wheat’
Zyakozeron Žvakùtė Zvakūž Lith. žvãkė ‘a light, a candle’

Fate of the Thracians and their language

According to Skordelis, when Thracians were subjected by Alexander the Great they finally assimilated to Greek culture and became as Greek as Spartans and Athenians, although he considered the Thracian language as a form of Greek.[58] According to Crampton (1997) most Thracians were eventually Hellenized or Romanized, with the last remnants surviving in remote areas until the 5th century.[59] According to Marinov the Thracians were likely completely Romanized and Hellenized after the last contemporary references to them of the 6th century.[60]

Another author considers that the interior of Thrace have never been Romanized or Hellenized (Trever, 1939).[61] This was followed also by Slavonization. According to Weithmann (1978) when the Slavs migrated, they encountered only a very superficially Romanized Thracian and Dacian population, which had not strongly identified itself with Imperial Rome, while Greek and Roman populations (mostly soldiers, officials, merchants) abandoned the land or were killed.[62] Because Pulpudeva survived as Plovdiv in Slavic languages, not under Philippopolis, some authors suggest that Thracian was not completely obliterated in the 7th century.[63][64]

See also


  1. ^ Valdés (2017) cites other cognates to the root: Celtic deity Borvo and Latin ferveo "I boil" (from e-grade).[21]
  2. ^ A similarly looking word Mandicae 'to Mandica' is attested in an inscription from Asturia. It has been suggested to mean the name of a goddess related to foals.[41]


  1. ^ Thracian at MultiTree on the Linguist List
  2. ^ Arnold Joseph Toynbee, Some problems of Greek history, Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 56: In the late sixth century there were still Bessian-speaking monks in the monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai (see P. Geyer Itinera Hierosolymitana, Vienna 1898, Templaky, pp. 184; 213.)
  3. ^ Oliver Nicholson as ed., The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity; Oxford University Press, 2018; ISBN 0192562460, p. 234:...The "Piacenza Pilgrim (56) mentioned Bessian-speaking monks on the Sinai Peninsula. ABA J. J. Wilkes, The Illyrians (1992)...
  4. ^ J. P. Mallory, Douglas Q. Adams as ed., Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture; Taylor & Francis, 1997; ISBN 1884964982, p. 576: The most recently attested Thracian personal names are found in two monasteries in the Near East (the Bessi of Mt Sinai) dating to the sixth century AD.
  5. ^ Bessian is the language of the Bessi, one of the most prominent Thracian tribes. The origin of the monasteries is explained in a mediaeval hagiography written by Symeon the Metaphrast in Vita Sancti Theodosii Coenobiarchae in which he wrote that Saint Theodosius founded on the shore of the Dead Sea a monastery with four churches, in each being spoken a different language, among which Bessian was found. The place at which the monasteries were founded was called "Cutila", which may be a Thracian name.
  6. ^ Mayer, Harvey E. "Dacian and Thracian as Southern Baltoidic." In: Lituanus: Lithuanian Quarterly Journal of Arts and Sciences. Volume 38, No. 2 – Summer 1992.. Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas, University of Rochester. ISSN 0024-5089. 1992 Lituanus Foundation, Inc.
  7. ^ 1994 Gottfried Schramm: A New Approach to Albanian History
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of European peoples, Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason, Infobase Publishing, 2006, ISBN 0-8160-4964-5, p. 205.
  9. ^ Archaeology and language: the puzzle of Indo-European origins, Colin Renfrew, CUP Archive, 1990, ISBN 0-521-38675-6, p. 71.
  10. ^ Olteanu et al.
  11. ^ Duridanov, Ivan. "The Language of the Thracians". Retrieved 2007-01-14.
  12. ^ a b Duridanov, I. (1976). The Language of the Thracians (An abridged translation of Ezikyt na trakite, Ivan Duridanov, Nauka i izkustvo, Sofia, 1976. (c) Ivan Duridanov).
  13. ^ Georgiev, Vladimir I.. "Thrakisch und Dakisch". Band 29/2. Teilband Sprache und Literatur (Sprachen und Schriften [Forts.]), edited by Wolfgang Haase, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 1983. pp. 1151-1153. doi:10.1515/9783110847031-015
  14. ^ Fortson, B. (2004). Indo-European Language and Culture: an Introduction. p. 404.
  15. ^ Fraenkel, Ernst (1962). Litauisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch. p. 124.
  16. ^ Beekes 2009, p. 225
  17. ^ Beekes 2009, p. 1287
  18. ^ Adams, D. (2013). A Dictionary of Tocharian B: Enlarged and Greatly Revised. p. 582.
  19. ^ Beekes 2009, p. 1112-3
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Georgiev, Vladimir I.. "Thrakisch und Dakisch". Band 29/2. Teilband Sprache und Literatur (Sprachen und Schriften [Forts.]), edited by Wolfgang Haase, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 1983. p. 1152. doi:10.1515/9783110847031-015
  21. ^ Valdés, Marcos Obaya. "Averamientu al astúricu. Vocalización de les nasales del grau-cero indo-européu: *mo > am / *no > an, y delles propuestes etimolóxiques". In: Lletres asturianes: Boletín Oficial de l'Academia de la Llingua Asturiana Nº. 117, 2017, p. 64. ISSN 2174-9612
  22. ^ Vasmer, M. (1973). Этимологический словарь русского языка [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language] (in Russian), ed. Oleg Trubačev.
  23. ^ Rix, H.; et al. (2001). Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben [Lexicon of Indo-European Verbs] (in German). ((cite book)): Explicit use of et al. in: |last= (help)
  24. ^ de Vries, J. (1977). Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Etymological Dictionary of Old Norse] (in German). p. 498.
  25. ^ Witczak, Krzysztof Tomasz (2012). "Studies in Thracian vocabulary (I-VII)". Studia Indogermanica Lodziensia. VII: 153–168. pp. 159–161.
  26. ^ Klein et al. edd., Jared (2018). "XVI Languages of fragmentary attestation, section 104 by Claude Brixhe". Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. De Gruyter. p. 1851. There are as many interpretations of these as there are investigators; and as a result these monuments have not contributed anything to our knowledge of the language
  27. ^ "Golden ring with Thracian inscription. NAIM-Sofia exhibition". National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Sofia.
  28. ^ Duridanov, Ivan (1985). Die Sprache der Thraker. Bulgarische Sammlung (in German). Vol. 5. Hieronymus Verlag. ISBN 3-88893-031-6. Ich bin Rolisteneas, Sprößling des Nereneas; Tilezypta, Arazerin nach ihrer Heimat, hat mich der Erde übergeben (d.h. begraben).
  29. ^ Russu, Ion I. (1969). Die Sprache der Thrako-Daker (in German). Ed. Ştiinţificā.
  30. ^ Dimitrov, Peter A. (2009). "The Kyolmen Stone Inscription". Thracian Language and Greek and Thracian Epigraphy. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-4438-1325-9.
  31. ^ a b Written from right to left.
  32. ^ Written from left to right.
  33. ^ Pleket, H.W., and R.S. Stroud, eds. 1994. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum. 41-584. Amsterdam. doi:10.1163/1874-6772_seg_a41_584
  34. ^ Meudler, Marcel (2003). "Mézence, un théonyme messapien?". Revue des Études Anciennes (in French). 105 (1): 5–6. doi:10.3406/rea.2003.5647.
  35. ^ Oreshko, Rostislav (2020). "The onager kings of Anatolia: Hartapus, Gordis, Muška and the steppe strand in early Phrygian culture" (PDF). Kadmos. 59 (1–2): 118=. doi:10.1515/kadmos-2020-0005.
  36. ^ Pax Leonard, Stephen (2021). "Hipponyms in Indo-European: using register to disentangle the etyma". Journal of Language Relationship. 19 (1–2): 4. doi:10.1515/jlr-2021-191-206 (inactive 2024-04-06).((cite journal)): CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of April 2024 (link)
  37. ^ Kaluzkaja, Irina. "Thracian-Illyrian language parallels: Thrac. MEZENAI - Illyr. Menzanas". In: Thracian World at Crossroad of Civilizations - Proceedings of 7th International Congress of Thracology. Bucharest: 1996. pp. 372-373.
  38. ^ Francisco Marcos-Marin. "Etymology and Semantics: Theoretical Considerations apropos of an Analysis of the Etymological Problem of Spanish mañero, mañeria." In: Historical Semantics—Historical Word-Formation. de Gruyter, 1985. p. 381.
  39. ^ Balmori, C. Hernando. "Notes on the etymology of sp. ‘perro’". In: Etudes Celtiques, vol. 4, fascicule 1, 1941. p. 49. DOI:
  40. ^ Georgiev, Vladimir I.. "Thrakisch und Dakisch". Band 29/2. Teilband Sprache und Literatur (Sprachen und Schriften [Forts.]), edited by Wolfgang Haase, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 1983. p. 1161. doi:10.1515/9783110847031-015
  41. ^ Valdés, Marcos Obaya. "Averamientu al astúricu. Vocalización de les nasales del grau-cero indo-européu: *mo > am / *no > an, y delles propuestes etimolóxiques". In: Lletres asturianes: Boletín Oficial de l'Academia de la Llingua Asturiana Nº. 117, 2017, p. 67. ISSN 2174-9612
  42. ^ See C. Brixhe – Ancient languages of Asia Minor, Cambridge University Press, 2008
    We will dismiss, at least temporarily, the idea of a Thraco-Phrygian unity. Thraco-Dacian (or Thracian and Daco-Mysian) seems to belong to the eastern (satem) group of Indo-European languages and its (their) phonetic system is far less conservative than that of Phrygian (see Brixhe and Panayotou 1994, §§ 3ff.)
  43. ^ Ringe, Don A. (1996). On the Chronology of Sound Changes in Tocharian. p. 152.
  44. ^ Godel, R. (1975). An introduction to the Study of Classical Armenian. p. 9.
  45. ^ Ringe, Don A. (2017). From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic, 2nd ed. p. 100.
  46. ^ Leskien, A. (1969). Handbuch der altbulgarischen Sprache, 9th ed. p. 15.
  47. ^ Weiss, M. (2020). Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin. p. 103-4.
  48. ^ Melchert and Hoffner, C. and H. (2008). A Grammar of the Hittite Language. p. 44.
  49. ^ Klein et al. edd., Jared (2018). "XVI Languages of fragmentary attestation, section 109 by R.S.P. Beekes". Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics. De Gruyter. p. 1874. "The attempt to determine phonological rules for an Indo-European pre-Greek language ('Pelasgian') considered a complete failure today
  50. ^ Georgiev, Vladimir (1977). Trakite i technijat ezik/Les Thraces et leur langue [The Thracians and their language] (in Bulgarian and French). Sofia, Bulgaria: Izdatelstvo na Bălgarskata Akademija na naukite. pp. 63, 128, 282.
  51. ^ Duridanov 1985, ch. VIII.
  52. ^ Holst (2009):66.
  53. ^ [1](Duridanov 1978: с. 128)
  54. ^ Hoenigswald, Henry (1960). Language Change and Linguistic Reconstruction. University of Chicago Press. p. 119-43.
  55. ^ Georgiev, Vladimir I.. "Thrakisch und Dakisch". Band 29/2. Teilband Sprache und Literatur (Sprachen und Schriften [Forts.]), edited by Wolfgang Haase, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 1983. p. 1154. doi:10.1515/9783110847031-015
  56. ^ Georgiev, Vladimir I.. "Thrakisch und Dakisch". Band 29/2. Teilband Sprache und Literatur (Sprachen und Schriften [Forts.]), edited by Wolfgang Haase, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 1983. pp. 1154, 1156. doi:10.1515/9783110847031-015
  57. ^ Blažek, Vaclav. "Baltic *jūrā-/-(i)iā- 'sea' & "*jaurā-/-(i)iā-" 'wet soil, bog, deep water'". In: Acta linguistica Lithuanica t. 84, 2021, pp. 31-32. ISSN 1648-4444. DOI: 10.35321/all84-02
  58. ^ Daskalov, Roumen; Vezenkov, Alexander (13 March 2015). Entangled Histories of the Balkans – Volume Three: Shared Pasts, Disputed Legacies. BRILL. p. 51. ISBN 9789004290365.
  59. ^ R.J. Crampton (1997). A Concise History of Bulgaria. Cambridge University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-521-56719-X.
  60. ^ Daskalov, Roumen; Vezenkov, Alexander (13 March 2015). Entangled Histories of the Balkans – Volume Three: Shared Pasts, Disputed Legacies. BRILL. p. 10. ISBN 9789004290365.
  61. ^ Trever, Albert Augustus. History of Ancient Civilization. Harcourt, Brace. p. 571
  62. ^ Michael W. Weithmann, Die slawische Bevölkerung auf der griechischen Halbinsel (Munich 1978)
  63. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Adams, Douglas Q. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 576. ISBN 978-1-884964-98-5.
  64. ^ Katičić, Radoslav (1976). Ancient Languages of the Balkans. Mouton. p. 136.

General references

Further reading