Haemus Mons
In earlier times the Balkan mountains
Balkan Mountains
The Balkan mountain range is a mountain range in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak on the border between Bulgaria and eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea...

 were known as the Haemus Mons. It is believed that the name is derived from a Thracian
Thracian language
The Thracian language was the Indo-European language spoken in ancient times in Southeastern Europe by the Thracians, the northern neighbors of the Ancient Greeks. The Thracian language exhibits satemization: it either belonged to the Satem group of Indo-European languages or it was strongly...

 word *saimon, 'mountain ridge', which is unattested but conjectured as the original Thracian form of Greek Haimos.

In antiquity, the mountain range and the area around it was populated by free Thracian peoples such as the Bessi
The Bessi were an independent Thracian tribe who lived in a territory ranging from Moesia to Mount Rhodope in southern Thrace, but are often mentioned as dwelling about Haemus, the mountain range that separates Moesia from Thrace and from Mount Rhodope to the northern part of Hebrus...

, Dii
The Dii were an independent Thracian tribe, swordsmen, who lived among the foothills of Mount Rhodope in Thrace. They often joined the ranks of organized armies as mercenaries or volunteers...

, and Satrae
The Satrae were, in ancient geography, a Thracian people, inhabiting part of Mount Pangaeus between the rivers Nestus and Strymon ....

. Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 records that an oracle-shrine of Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

 (originally a Thracian god whose cult became widespread among the ancient Greeks) was located atop one of its mountains.

John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

's Sylvarum Liber (Naturam non pati senium, v. 29) contains a reference to "lofty
Lofty may refer to:* A lofty ideal* A nickname for a person of above average height. Also used ironically for persons of below average height....

Tunc etiam aërei divulsis sedibus Hæmi
the summit even of lofty Haemus shall crumble;

Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

 mentions Haemus in connection with Orpheus
Orpheus was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. The major stories about him are centered on his ability to charm all living things and even stones with his music; his attempt to retrieve his wife from the underworld; and his death at the hands of those who...

 in his Ode for St. Cecilia's Day:
Hark! Haemus resounds with the Bacchanals' cries.

In Greek, the Balkan Peninsula is thus known as the Peninsula of Haemus (Χερσόνησος του Αίμου).

In classical Latin poetry Haemus was drawn into association with the Roman civil wars; although geographically incorrect, it was attractive most likely because it was a homonym
In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that often but not necessarily share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings...

 with the Greek word for blood (haema) and bloody (haimon), as well as for its connection to the singer Orpheus. (See Lucan
Lucan is the common English name of the Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus.Lucan may also refer to:-People:*Arthur Lucan , English actor*Sir Lucan the Butler, Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend...

 Civil War 6.576, 7.174, Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 Metam. 10.77, Ex Ponto 4.5.5, Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

 Georgics 1.492.)

Other uses

Haemus Mons is also a 10 km high mountain on the Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

 moon Io
Io (moon)
Io ) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter and, with a diameter of , the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System. It was named after the mythological character of Io, a priestess of Hera who became one of the lovers of Zeus....


See also

  • Balkan peninsula
  • Dacia
    In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

  • Haemus
    In Greek mythology, King Haemus of Thrace was the son of Boreas. He was vain and haughty and compared himself and his wife, Queen Rhodope, to Zeus and Hera. The gods changed him and his wife into mountains...

     (the mythical Thracian King)
  • Montes Haemus
    Montes Haemus
    Montes Haemus is a curving range of mountains that forms the southwestern edge of the Mare Serenitatis basin on the Moon. They form a less prominent mirror image of the Montes Apenninus range to the west, and curve up to nearly join at the northern end. The eastern edge terminates with the...

    (lunar mountain range)
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