Thrace was a region in southeast Europe, forming part of present-day Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
Thasos was an island in the north of the Aegaean sea, off the coast of Thrace and opposite the mouth of the river Nestus. It was at a very early period taken possession of by the Phoenicians, on account of its valuable gold mines. According to tradition the Phoenicians were led by Thasus, son of Poseidon, or Agenor, who came from the East in search of Europa, and from whom the island derived its name. Thasos was afterwards colonised by the Parians in 708 B.C., and among the colonists was the poet. Archilochus. Besides the gold mines in Thasos itself, the Thasians possessed still more valuable gold mines at Scapte Hyle on the opposite coast of Thrace. The mines in the island had been most extensively worked by the Phoenicians, but even in the time of Herodotus they were still productive. They possessed at this time a considerable territory on the coast of Thrace, and were one of the richest and. most powerful peoples in the north of the Aegaean. They were subdued by the Persians under Mardonius, and subsequently became part of the Athenian maritime empire. They revolted, however, from Athens in 465 B.C., and after sustaining a siege of 3 years, were subdued by Cimon in 463. They were obliged to surrender to the Athenians all their possessions in Thrace, to destroy their fortifications, to give up their ships, and to pay a large tribute for the future. They again revolted from Athens in 411, and called in the Spartans, but the island was again restored to the Athenians by Thrasybulus in 407 principal town in the island, also called Thasos, was situated on the N. coast upon 3 eminences. There are still a few remains of the ancient town.