Greeks and Macedonians alike tended to look down on Thracians, considering them barbarian and uncouth. However unrefined they may have been, there was no doubt they were a warrior society, and they made a considerable contribution to the campaigns of Alexander. 20% of Alexander's army is thought to have been Thracian, yet we have very little contemporary evidence for their appearance.
Thracian infantry were mostly peltasts, lightly armed infantry with javelins or a sword. The figures in this set include both, with some of the swords being of the type particularly associated with Thrace. These had a handle of about the same length as the blade, which was slightly curved or curved only at the end. Shields were made of wood or wicker, and sometimes covered in animal skins or leather. The crescent shape, appearing on two of these figures, is known to have been used, but round and oval ones are also likely.
Thrace's geographical position meant it was influenced by the Macedonians and Greeks in the South, and by the Celts in the North. Once the country was conquered by Macedonia, Greek influence was much stronger, and it is probable that most Thracians in Alexander's army looked much like their Greek and Macedonian colleagues. However this was truer of the South than the North of the country, and the figures here are dressed in more traditional Thracian style. There was no national look as we would understand it, and fashions in weapons and clothing tended to persist in Thrace long after they had disappeared elsewhere. These men wear a mixture of helmets and the traditional cap. Some of the helmets are of the 'Thracian' type, designed to mimic these caps. Clothing is a tunic and usually trousers. A belt carries a dagger, which was a common secondary weapon. All wear cloaks, and footwear is a mixture of boots and sandals, with some wearing greaves. As we have said, there is no definitive look to Alexander's Thracians, but those that retained their traditional costume would probably have looked much like these figures.
The poses are quite appropriate and well done, though the figure with the round shield holding his javelin aloft looks a little awkward. None of the weapons are separate, which will please some, and detail overall is fine. This is a nice set of figures that depict an interesting subject, and they go well with the other Alexander sets from this manufacturer.