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Achaia

ACHAIA ə kā’ yə (̓Αχαία). The Rom. province which included all of the Peloponnesus, much of central Greece and the Cyclades. The name is derived from ̓Αχαιοί, a common designation in Homer for the Greeks who besieged Troy in the 12th cent. b.c. It is generally applied to the followers of Agamemnon, who came from the fertile plains of Argos and the surrounding areas, and to the men of Achilles who came from Pithian Thessaly in the NE. It is also the name for the Greeks which is found in Hitt. and Egyp. texts of the period 1400-1200 b.c. That they were Gr.-speaking people is borne out by the decipherment of Linear B tablets from Late Bronze Age (Mycenaean) settlements at Mycenae, Pylos and Thebes. Herodotus (VII 94) was no doubt wrong when he stated that they supplanted the Ionians in the Peloponnesus after they moved from their original home in Thessaly. They were instead Gr.-speaking intruders who replaced the original inhabitants of both regions, prob. at the end of the Middle B