views updated May 14 2018

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.