Achaea

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A·chae·an / əˈkēən/ • adj. of or relating to Achaea in ancient Greece. ∎  (esp. in Homeric contexts) Greek. • n. an inhabitant of Achaea. ∎  (esp. in Homeric contexts) a Greek.

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Achaean of or relating to Achaea in ancient Greece; (especially in Homeric contexts) Greek. The Achaeans were among the earliest Greek-speaking inhabitants of Greece, being established there well before the 12th century bc. Some scholars identify them with the Mycenaeans of the 14th–13th centuries bc. The Greek protagonists in the Trojan War are regularly called Achaeans in the Iliad, though this may have referred only to the leaders.

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Achaea (əkē´ə), region of ancient Greece, in the northern part of the Peloponnesus on the Gulf of Corinth. It lay between Sicyon and Elis. There the Achaeans supposedly remained when driven from other parts of Greece by the Dorian invasion. The small Achaean cities eventually banded together in the First Achaean League, but exerted little influence. Later, however, the Second Achaean League became an important factor. After the downfall of the league, the name Achaea, or Achaia, was given to a Roman province in the Peloponnesus.

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