Ancient Greece is known for its rich history, culture, and contributions to the world. The people of Ancient Greece were just as diverse as the country’s landscape. Let’s explore what these people were called.
What were the people from Ancient Greece called?
The people of Ancient Greece referred to themselves as “Hellenes.” This term was derived from their mythological ancestor Hellen, who was the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha.
Did all Greeks identify as Hellenes?
While the term “Hellenes” was used by many Greeks to refer to themselves, there were also various city-states throughout Ancient Greece, each with its own identity and name. For example, those from Athens were called Athenians, those from Sparta were called Spartans, and so on.
What about other names for Ancient Greeks?
The term “Greeks” was actually not used by the people of Ancient Greece themselves. It is believed that this term was given to them by outsiders who had difficulty pronouncing the word “Hellenes.” Additionally, during the time of Ancient Greece, there were also several other tribes living in the surrounding areas such as Thracians and Illyrians who may have been referred to as Greeks by outsiders.
The diversity of Ancient Greek society
As mentioned earlier, the people of Ancient Greece were quite diverse in terms of their culture and identity. Beyond their city-state affiliations, there were also differences in language (Ancient Greek had several dialects), religion (with different gods and beliefs across regions), and even physical appearance (with some being fair-skinned while others had darker complexions).
While the people of Ancient Greece referred to themselves as Hellenes, there were also various city-states with their own identities and names. The term “Greeks” was not used by the people of Ancient Greece and was likely given to them by outsiders. Despite these differences, Ancient Greece remains a fascinating and important part of world history.