views updated May 18 2018

Ionian a member of an ancient Hellenic people inhabiting Attica, parts of western Asia Minor, and the Aegean islands in pre-classical times. They were apparently displaced from some areas by the Dorians in the 11th or 12th century bc but retained their settlements in Attica, especially Athens, where they were responsible for some of the greatest achievements of classical Greece. They also colonized the islands that became known as the Ionian Islands.