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Achaeans

Achaeans, people of ancient Greece, of unknown origin. In Homer, the Achaeans are specifically a Greek-speaking people of S Thessaly. Historically, they seem to have appeared in the Peloponnesus during the 14th and 13th cent. BC, and c.1250 BC they became the ruling class. There is no sharp line of separation between the earlier Mycenaean civilization and the Achaean; the cultures seem to have intermingled. The invasions of the Dorians supposedly forced some of the Achaeans out to Asia Minor; others were concentrated in the region known in classical times as Achaea.

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Achaean

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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