ZALMOXIS, or ZAMOLxIS, a semi-mythical social and religious reformer, regarded as the only true God by the Thracian Getae.
94), the Getae, who believed in the immortality of the soul, looked upon death merely as going to Zalmoxis.
By the euhemeristic Hellespontine Greeks Herodotus was told that Zalmoxis was really a man, formerly a slave of Pythagoras at Samos, who, having obtained his freedom and amassed great wealth, returned to Thrace, and instructed his fellow-tribesmen in the doctrines of Pythagoras and the arts of civilization.
Herodotus, who declines to commit himself as to the existence of Zalmoxis, expresses the opinion that in any case he must have lived long before the time of Pythagoras.
It is probable that Zalmoxis is Sabazius, the Thracian Dionysus or Zeus; Mnaseas of Patrae identified him with Cronus.
The Getae are described by Herodotus as the most valiant and upright of the Thracian tribes; but what chiefly struck Greek inquirers was their belief in the immortality of the soul (hence they were called aOavaT4"ovTes) and their worship of Zalmoxis (or Zalmolxis), whom the euhemerists of the colonies on the Euxine made a pupil of Pythagoras.
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