One notable cult, attested from Thrace to Moesia and Scythia Minor, is that of the "Thracian horseman", also known as the "Thracian Heros", at Odessos (Varna) attested by a Thracian name as Heros Karabazmos, a god of the underworld usually depicted on funeral statues as a horseman slaying a beast with a spear.
Known Thracian deities include:
Known Dacian theonyms include:
Kogaionon was the name of a holy mountain of the Dacians.
The concept of the Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, The Ground of Being, Urgrund, The Absolute Principle, The Source/Fountain/Well/Center/Foundation of Reality, The Ultimate Oneness/Whole, The Absolute God of The Universe, and other names, titles, aliases, and epithets, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the entity that is the greatest, highest, or "truest" being, existence, or reality.
There are many conceptions of the Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, formal science (such as mathematics), and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, objects, entities, and types, kinds, and categories of being.
The Absolute is often thought of as generating manifestations that interact with lower or lesser types, kinds, and categories of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of the Absolute.
The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".
The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.Cotyttia
Cotyttia (Greek: Κοτύττια, Kotuttiā) was an orgiastic, nocturnal religious festival of ancient Greece and Thrace in celebration of Kotys, the goddess of sex, considered an aspect of Persephone.Ctistae
The Ctistae or Ktistai (Greek: κτίσται) were a group/class among the Mysians of ancient Thracian culture.
The Mysians avoided consuming any living thing, and therefore lived on such foodstuffs as milk and honey. For this reason, they were referred to as "god-fearing" and "capnobatae" (kapnobatai) or "smoke-treading".
The Ctistae were a class of Mysians who not only observed these dietary restrictions, but abstained from cohabitating with women. They led celibate lives, never marrying. They were held in a place of honor by the Thracians, with their lives being dedicated to the gods. They are described by Strabo, sourcing Poseidonius.
According to Strabo, whether they took up celibacy or not they were collectively called Hippemolgi ("mare-milkers"), Galactophagi ("living on milk") or Abii ("not living (with women)").Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the ethnic religion practiced by the Germanic peoples from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages. From both archaeological remains and literary sources, it is possible to trace a number of common or closely related beliefs throughout the Germanic area into the Middle Ages, when the last pagan areas in Scandinavia were Christianized. Rooted in Proto-Indo-European religion, Proto-Germanic religion expanded during the Migration Period, yielding extensions such as Old Norse religion among the North Germanic peoples, Continental Germanic paganism practiced amid the continental Germanic peoples, and Anglo-Saxon paganism among the Old English-speaking peoples. Germanic religion is best documented in several texts from the 10th and 11th centuries, where they have been best preserved in Scandinavia and Iceland.Greek hero cult
Hero cults were one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. In Homeric Greek, "hero" (ἥρως, hḗrōs) refers to a man who fought (on either side) during the Trojan War. By the historical period, however, the word came to mean specifically a dead man, venerated and propitiated at his tomb or at a designated shrine, because his fame during life or his unusual manner of death gave him power to support and protect the living. A hero was more than human but less than a god, and various kinds of supernatural figures came to be assimilated to the class of heroes; the distinction between a hero and a god was less than certain, especially in the case of Heracles, the most prominent, but atypical hero.The grand ruins and tumuli remaining from the Bronze Age gave the pre-literate Greeks of the 10th and 9th centuries BC a sense of a grand and vanished age; they reflected this in the oral epic tradition, which would crystallize in the Iliad. Copious renewed offerings begin to be represented, after a hiatus, at sites like Lefkandi, even though the names of the grandly buried dead were hardly remembered. "Stories began to be told to individuate the persons who were now believed to be buried in these old and imposing sites", observes Robin Lane Fox.Illyrian mythology
Illyrian mythology is only known through mention of Illyrian deities on Roman period monuments, some with interpretatio Romana. There appears to be no single most prominent Illyrian god and there would have been much variation between individual Illyrian tribes. The Illyrians did not develop a uniform cosmology on which to center their religious practices.Some deities are known exclusively from Istria, such as Eia, Malesocus, Boria and Iria. In Liburnia, Anzotica is identified with Venus. Other local theonyms include Latra, Sentona and Ica. Bindus, identified with Neptune, was worshipped among the Japodes. Further north, the hot springs of Topusko were dedicated to Vidasus and Thana, identified with Silvanus and Diana. From the eastern Balkans, the cult of the Thracian horseman spread to Illyria during the early centuries CE. The god Medaurus mentioned in a dedication at Lambaesis in Africa by a Roman senator and native of Risinium appears to be identical to the horseman, being described as riding on horseback and carrying a lance. The Delmatae had Armatus as a god of war. The god En was also worshipped by Illyrians. In Serbia and other Slavic Balkan Orthodox countries have got Vidovdan in 28 june in Julian calendar and 15 june in Gregorian calendar,that day is celebrated by the example of the greatest Illyrian god Vidasus or Vid. Vidovdan is one of the biggest Serbian days.List of religions and spiritual traditions
While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a
[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.Paleo-Balkan mythology
Paleo-Balkan mythology is the religious beliefs of the Paleo-Balkan peoples (e.g. Thracians, Illyrians, Dacians, etc.) prior to their assimilation by the Roman pantheon and subsequent Christianization.Reincarnation
Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being starts a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence. It is a central tenet of Indian religions, namely Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism, although there are Hindu groups that do not believe in reincarnation but believe in an afterlife. A belief in rebirth/metempsychosis was held by Greek historic figures, such as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato. It is also a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar, and as an esoteric belief in many streams of Orthodox Judaism. It is found as well in some tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia and South America.Although the majority of denominations within Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the mainstream historical and contemporary followers of Cathars, Alawites, the Druze, and the Rosicrucians. The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Orphism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism, and Gnosticism of the Roman era as well as the Indian religions have been the subject of recent scholarly research. Unity Church and its founder Charles Fillmore teaches reincarnation.
In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation, and many contemporary works mention it.Thracian horseman
The Thracian horseman (also "Thracian Rider" or "Thracian Heros") is the name given to a recurring motif of a horseman depicted in reliefs of the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the Balkans (Thrace, Macedonia, Moesia, roughly from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD).
Its depiction is in the tradition of the funerary steles of Roman cavalrymen, with the addition of syncretistic elements from Hellenistic and Paleo-Balkanic religious or mythological tradition.
The Thracian horseman is depicted as a hunter on horseback, riding from left to right. Between the horse's hooves is depicted either a hunting dog or a boar. In some instances, the dog is replaced by a lion.
Inscriptions found in Romania identify the horseman as Heros (also Eros, Eron, Herros, Herron), apparently the word heros used as a proper name. The Cult of the Thracian horseman was especially important in Philippi, where the Heros had the epithets of soter (saviour) and epekoos "answerer of prayers". Funerary stelae depicting the horseman belong to the middle or lower classes (while the upper classes preferred the depiction of banquet scenes).
The motif most likely represents a composite figure, a Thracian heroes possibly based on Rhesus, the Thracian king mentioned in the Iliad, to which Scythian, Hellenistic and possibly other elements had been added.In the Roman era, the "Thracian horseman" iconography is further syncretised. The rider is now sometimes shown as approaching a tree entwined by a serpent, or as approaching a goddess. These motifs are partly of Greco-Roman and partly of possible Scythian origin.
The motif of a horseman with his right arm raised advancing towards a seated female figure is related to Scythian iconographic tradition. It is frequently found in Bulgaria, associated with Asclepius and Hygeia.
The motif of a standing goddess flanked by two horsemen, identified as Artemis flanked by the Dioscuri, and a tree entwined by a serpent flanked by the Dioscuri on horseback is transformed into a motif of a single horseman approaching the goddess or the tree.
Related to the Dioscuri motif is the so-called "Danubian Horsemen" motif of two horsemen flanking standing goddess.The motif of the Thracian horseman is not to be confused with the depiction of a rider slaying a barbarian enemy on funerary stelae, as on the Stele of Dexileos, interpreted as depictions of a heroic episode from the life of the deceased.Under the Roman Emperor Gordian III the god on horseback appears on coins minted at Tlos, in neighboring Lycia, and at Istrus, in the province of Lower Moesia, between Thrace and the Danube.The motif of the Thracian horseman was continued in Christianised form in the equestrian iconography of both Saint George and Saint Demetrius.Thracian language
The Thracian language () is an extinct and poorly attested language, generally considered to be Indo-European, spoken in ancient times in South-East Europe by the Thracians. The linguistic affinities of the Thracian language are poorly understood, but it is generally agreed that it exhibited 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 enable the nature of this relationship to be decided.
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.Other theories about Thracian remain controversial.
Some linguists have suggested that the Albanian language and the ethnogenesis of the Albanians followed a migration by members of the Bessi westward into Albania.
A classification put forward by some linguists, such as Harvey Mayer, suggests that Thracian (and Dacian) belonged to the Baltic branch of Indo-European. However, this theory has not achieved the status of a general consensus among linguists.These are among many competing hypotheses regarding the classification and fate of Thracian.Zalmoxianism
Zalmoxianism or Zamolxianism is a Neopagan movement in Romania which promotes the rebuilding of an ethnic religion and spirituality of the Romanians through a process of reconnection to their ancient Dacian and Thracian roots. The religion takes its name from Zalmoxis or Zamolxe, at the same time the name of the primordial god and the archetype of the enlightened man in Paleo-Balkan mythology. Scholars Bakó and Hubbes (2011) have defined Zalmoxianism, like the other ethnic religious revivals of Europe, as a reconstructionist ethno-paganism.
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Lists of mythological figures