Osprey Publications The Thracians 700BC- 46 AD Men-at-Arms 360
Published 25/Sep/2001
ISBN 1841763292
Price: UK 8.99 | US $14.95
Australia $24.00
Author's Comments
View a colour plate
Related Osprey Titles
The Artists

List of contents

Format 248 x 184mm
Extent 48pp
No. of illustrations 46 b/w
Binding Paperback

The Thracians 700 BC- 46 ADAbout this title

The Thracians were an Indo-European people who occupied a large area between northern Greece and southern Russia. In the 7th/6th centuries BC - i.e. contemporary with the founding of Rome and of Greek colonies around the Black Sea - they began to acquire a reputation as fierce warriors, and were incorporated into the Persian armies. In the 5th century various Thracian kingdoms emerged; they were a very numerous but fiercely disunited people, living in scattered villages under various tribal names. Thracian warriors specialised in light infantry and light cavalry tactics; and pictorial sources - e.g. Greek vase paintings - show them in colourful and distinctive costumes, often with distinctive weapons - e.g. the rhomphaia, a long blade with a long handle, wielded two-handed like a bill-hook. Throughout the classical period they were prominent as enemies of, and in large numbers as mercenary soldiers for, all the regional powers - Persia, Scythia, Athens, Macedon (under Alexander the Great), the Hellenistic successor kingdoms, Pontus and Rome. The Romans finally conquered the Thracians in 46 AD (at the same time as the Claudian invasion of Britain), and Thrace became a province of the Empire, providing large numbers of Roman auxiliary units, particularly of cavalry.

  • This is the only book of its kind devoted to the much-neglected subject of the Thracians, and benefits from a wealth of new information centring around recent archaeological finds (some were made in December 2000, and parts of the book had to be re- written).
  • The Thracians were renowned for their prowess in battle, and this account of their organisation and attire makes intriguing reading.
  • Eight pages of superb colour artwork bring to life the colourful tribesmen of Thrace.
  • This is the first time that the paintings on the Kazanluk and Sveshtari tombs have been reconstructed, and the corriodor paintings from Kazanluk have been fully illustrated
  • This is the first time that several important items of arms  and armour have been shown outside Bulgaria - including the famous rhomphaia
  • This is the first time that most of the fabulous gold and silver Thracian horse decorations have been reconstructed
  • Related titles from Osprey include:
    • MAA 137 The Scythians 700-300 BC
    • MAA 148 The Army of Alexander the Great
    • MAA 129 Rome's Enemies 1 - Germanics and Dacians
    • MAA 69 The Greek and Persian Wars 500 - 323 BC
    • MAA 291 Republican Roman Army 200- 104 BC
    • MAA 283 Early Roman Armies
    • MAA 46 The Roman Army from Caesar to Trajan
    • MAA 93 The Roman Army from Hadrian to Constantine
    • Campaign 7 Alexander 334- 323 BC
    • Elite 7 The Ancient Greeks
    • Elite 6 The Spartan Army
    • Warrior 27 Greek Hoplite
    • Warrior 30 Celtic Warrior 300 BC- AD 100

About the Author
Christopher Webber was born in Reading in 1961 and lived in the UK, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka before moving to Sydney in 1972. Having gained a number of degrees and diplomas he is currently studying a MA in Ancient History at the University of Sydney and works as a computer technician at a technical college. He has visited and assisted at digs on Thracian archaeological sites in Bulgaria. His many interests include writing, creating web sites (
inclduing the Starosel web site ), cycling (including riding around Bulgaria), singing, bushwalking, and wargaming.

About the Illustrator
Angus McBride was one of the world's most respected historical illustrators, and contributing to more than 70 Osprey titles in the past three decades. Born in 1931 of Highland parents but orphaned as a child, he was educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School. He worked in advertising agencies from 1947, and after national service, emigrated to South Africa. He died in Cape Town in 2006.

Other Artists

Daniella Carlsson, Johnny Shumate, and  Linda Dicmanis also created special drawings for this book, many never attempted before.  You can see other valuable examples of their work throughout this web site.  All three artists are interested in further work.

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8 New Colour Plates
22 warriors, most painted for the first time 

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Full Colour Artwork
Many weapons and some armour haave not been seen before in the West

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Unrivalled detail
Based on the very latest discoveries


pelte10.gif (2499 bytes)cloakmunich.gif (1903 bytes)Diagrams
The only book with 11 shield and 12 cloak designs












This page last updated on Monday, 24 September 2007 by Christopher Webber vakarr@yahoo.com.au