The Thrace area has been under control of many different rulers. Greek colonies were founded in the 6th century BC, the area was ruled by Persia for some 30 years, and later conquered by the Macedonians, the Romans, Byzantium, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Turks. The possesion of Thrace was extremely important for the strategy of the ancient and medieval countries, because it allowed them to start conquering the surrounding areas.
Thracians have also been called Bistonians, after Biston.
There are two famous Thracians for the Western Civilization. Orpheus, in Greek legend, was the chief representative of the art of song and playing the lyre, and of great importance in the religious history of Greece. Spartacus was a Roman slave who led a large slave uprising in what is now Italy in (73 - 71 B.C.). His army of escaped gladiators and slaves defeated several Roman legions in what is known as the "Third Servile War".