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SATRAE (Σάτραι, Hdt. 7.110-112), a Thracian people who occupied a portion of the range of the Pangaeus,between the Nestus and the Strymon. Herodotus states that they were the only Thracian tribe who had always preserved their freedom; a fact for which he accounts by the nature of their country,--a mountainous region, covered with forests and snow--and by their great bravery. They alone of the Thracians did not follow in the train of Xerxes, when marching towards Greece. The Satrae were in possession of an oracle of Dionysus, situated among the loftiest mountain peaks, and the interpreters of which were taken from among the Bessi,--a circumstance which has suggested the conjecture that the Satrae were merely a clan of the Bessi,--a notion which is rendered more probable by the fact Republic. that Herodotus is the only ancient writer who mentions them; whereas the Bessi are repeatedly spoken of. We may infer from Pliny's expression, “Bessorum multa nomina” (4.11. s. 18), that the Bessi were divided into many distinct clans. Herodotus says that to the Satrae belonged the principal part of the gold and silver mines which then existed in the Pangaeus.


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