What Were the Greeks Called in Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered what the Greeks were called in ancient times? The answer may surprise you. Let’s take a journey back in time and explore the various names given to this ancient civilization.

The Early Greeks

The earliest known name for the Greeks was “Achaeans.” This name was used by Homer in his epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Achaeans were a group of people who lived in Greece during the Bronze Age.

The Mycenaeans

After the Achaeans, came the Mycenaeans. They were named after their capital city of Mycenae, which was located in southern Greece. The Mycenaeans were known for their impressive palaces and fortresses, as well as their extensive trade network.

The Hellenes

During the Classical period, which began in the 5th century BCE, the Greeks began to be referred to as “Hellenes.” This name came from Hellen, a legendary figure who was said to be the ancestor of all Greeks.

The Spartans

One particular group of Greeks that deserves mention are the Spartans. They were known for their strict social structure and military prowess. The Spartans called themselves “Lacedaemonians,” after their capital city of Lacedaemon.

The Byzantines

Finally, we come to the Byzantine Empire. After the fall of Rome, Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire, which lasted from 395 CE until 1453 CE. During this time period, Greeks were often referred to as “Romioi,” which means “Romans” in Greek.

  • Summary: Over time, Greeks were called by different names such as Achaeans and Hellenes during different periods of time in history.
  • Key Takeaway: The Greeks were referred to by different names throughout their history, reflecting the changes in their political and cultural landscape.

In conclusion, the Greeks were known by several different names over the course of their long and fascinating history. From the Achaeans and Mycenaeans to the Hellenes and Byzantines, each name reflects a different period in Greek civilization. Regardless of what they were called, however, one thing is certain: the Greeks left an indelible mark on Western civilization that continues to be felt to this day.