L’épopée des rois thraces — Découvertes archéologiques en Bulgarie


Jewellery, ceramic, painting, sculpture

L’épopée des rois thraces
Découvertes archéologiques en Bulgarie

Past: April 16 → July 20, 2015

Home to Orpheus and various legendary kings featured in Homer, Thrace is still a little known region whose splendors are now being slowly revealed thanks to recent archaeological research. During the classical period there emerged a new regional power, the Odrysian kingdom, on the edges of the Greek world and the Persian Empire. Numerous graves of kings and aristocrats uncovered in recent decades have yielded ceramic, bronze, and golden furnishings that testify to the wealth of Thrace. Located between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, Thrace was stimulated by its multifarious contacts with surrounding civilizations. This exhibition will explore the reality and complexity of the Odrysian kingdom through artifacts from Bulgarian museums.

Seeking to offer a historical approach to Thrace from the fifth to third centuries BC, the exhibition focuses on the rise and establishment of a major political power, namely the Odrysian kingdom. In a region marked by a multiplicity of political and social centers of gravity, this dynasty managed to develop its own identity.

Two distinct phases in the construction of the kingdom’s aristocratic identity are evident in the period between the withdrawal of Persian troops from Aegean Thrace in 479 BC and the Celtic invasions that began around 279 BC. During the classical period, the Odrysian dynasty was a key regional player in the game of alliances being conducted by Macedonians and Athenians around their northern Aegean colonies. During the Hellenistic period, the Odrysae came face to face with other modes of rule as manifested not only by the kingdom of Macedonia but also by the powers they encountered on expeditions to the Orient alongside Alexander the Great.

The reality of the Odrysian world will be presented in the global context of the ancient world, involving contact with other regional entities, such the autonomous Thracian tribes of the Getae and Triballi, as well as Greek city-states. Recent archaeological discoveries show how this local power appropriated a varied range of glamorous items originating from differing geographical regions — Achaemenid Asia Minor, Greek city-states, and the Macedonian kingdom — which, rather than diluting Thracian identity, were reformulated into a discourse that shaped Thrace’s own fully autonomous identity.

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Palais royal, musée du Louvre

75001 Paris


Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Wednesday, Friday until 9:30 PM
Lundi, jeudi, samedi, dimanche : fermeture des salles à partir de 17h30

Admission fee

Full rate €17.00

D’octobre à mars : le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit pour tous.

Venue schedule