The Getty Scholars Program at the Villa for the 2019/2020 term will consider the ancient culture of Thrace, in particular its relations to its southern neighbor Greece and, in a later period, Rome. The Thracians feature prominently in Greek history and are well attested in literature, art, and archaeology. No doubt interacting already in the Bronze Age, Thracians had particularly close relations with the Greek colonists who settled along the Black Sea coast in the seventh century BC, including those who took an interest in the gold and silver mines in Thracian territory. Although adversaries during the Persian Wars, Thracians were later employed as soldiers to fight beside the Athenians and became a familiar sight in Greece. The Odrysian kingdom united the various Thracian tribes in the mid-fifth century BC and survived into the first century AD. The rich archaeological remains of Thrace, including royal burials with superb gold, silver, and bronze works, attest to the sophistication of the culture, which combined local, Greek, and Persian elements. In turn, Thracian religion, including Orphic beliefs and the worship of the goddess Bendis, had a profound influence in Greece.

Getty Scholars


Zosia Archibald is Senior Lecturer in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Liverpool, England. Her research focuses on classical archaeology of southern Europe and the Aegean.
Orphic Echoes: Divine, Human, and Animal Interactions in Ancient Thrace
(April–June)

Amalia Avramidou is Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece. Her research focuses on cultural exchanges and appropriations of Thrace.
Greek Theater and Ancient Thrace: An Overview of the Archaeology, Iconography and Literature
(April–June)

Joe Manning is the William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Classics and History at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. His research centers on the economic and legal history of the Hellenistic world and on social and cultural responses to climate change.
Volcanoes, Nile Variability and the Course of Egyptian History
(April–June)

Dimitris Matsas is an independent scholar based in Komotini, Greece. His research focuses on Greek-Thracian cult relations, particularly in the area of Ismaros.
Thracians and Greeks in Thrace and Samothrace: Aspects of Cult
(April–June)

Emil Nankov is Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria. His research centers on the effects of military mobility on local political and cultural landscapes.
Within a Throw's Reach: Sling Bullet Messages of Shared Pasts
(January–March)

Ivo Topalilov is Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology at Shumen University, Bulgaria. His research focuses on ancient propaganda during the 2nd century.
The Foundation Myth as a Source for the Ethnicity of the Intellectual Elite in Roman Thrace
(January–March)

Despoina Tsiafaki is Classical Archaeologist and Director of Research at the Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies, Marousi, Greece. Her archaeological research centers on ancient Greece, Thrace and the North Aegean area.
Greeks and Myths Travel to Thrace
(January–March)

Julia Tzvetkova is Assistant Professor of Ancient History at Sofia University, "St. Kliment Ohridski," Bulgaria. Her research focuses on the historical geography of ancient Thrace and ancient settlement patterns.
The Hemidrachms of the Thracian Chersonese: Iconography, Design and Interpretation
(September–December)

Predoctoral Fellow


Matthew Schueller is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Public Entertainment Venues as Urban Network Actors in Roman Macedonia and Thrace
(September–June)


2019-2020 Scholar Year Poster: The Classical World in Context: Thrace

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