Ancient Greece is one of the most fascinating and influential civilizations in world history. But have you ever wondered what it was actually called during its time? In this article, we will explore the many names that Ancient Greece went by and how they came to be.
The Names of Ancient Greece
When we talk about Ancient Greece, we are actually referring to a collection of city-states that existed in the Mediterranean region from around 800 BCE to 146 BCE. These city-states were known for their unique cultures, political systems, and military prowess.
So what did these city-states call themselves? Well, the answer is not so simple. In fact, there were many different names that Ancient Greeks used to refer to themselves and their homeland.
One of the most common names for Ancient Greece was Hellas. This name comes from the Hellenes, who were an ancient tribe that lived in what is now Greece. Over time, the name Hellas became synonymous with all of the Greek-speaking people and their land.
Fun Fact: The word “Hellenic” is still used today to refer to anything related to Greece or Greek culture.
In modern times, Greece is officially known as the Hellenic Republic. This name was chosen as a nod to Ancient Greece’s cultural heritage and its status as one of the cradles of Western civilization.
Another name for Ancient Greece was Graecia. This name comes from “Graikoi,” which was a term used by non-Greek peoples (such as the Romans) to refer to Greeks.
Interesting Fact: The word “Greek” itself comes from Graikoi!
Achaea was another name for Ancient Greece that was used in ancient times. This name comes from the region of Achaea, which was located in the northern part of the Peloponnese peninsula.
Why So Many Names?
You may be wondering why there were so many different names for Ancient Greece. The answer lies in the fact that Ancient Greece was not a unified country like we think of today. Instead, it was made up of many different city-states, each with their own unique culture and identity.
These city-states often had rivalries and conflicts with one another, so it’s not surprising that they would use different names to refer to themselves. Additionally, non-Greek peoples who encountered the Greeks would have their own names for them based on their own languages and cultures.
So what did Ancient Greece used to be called? The answer is that it had many different names depending on who you asked and when.
Some of the most common names were Hellas, Graecia, and Achaea. Despite this confusion, one thing is for sure: Ancient Greece left an indelible mark on Western civilization that is still felt today.
- Hellas: A common name for Ancient Greece that comes from the Hellenes.
- Hellenic Republic: The modern name for Greece that pays homage to its cultural heritage.
- Graecia: A name given to Greeks by non-Greek peoples.
- Achaea: Another name for Ancient Greece based on the region of Achaea.