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Ἴωνες). Ionians; one of the two great original divisions of the Hellenic race, the other being the Doric. Their ancestors at an early period spread over the coasts of Asia Minor, and there established a people of great commercial and intellectual activity, while the ancestors of the Dorians settled in the highlands of Northern Greece. In Asia the Ionians came into close contact with the Semitic peoples, especially at Miletus, and from them received an impulse towards civilization which they in turn imparted to their kinsmen on the other side of the Aegaean. Their name (under the form Ἰάονες) occurs only once in the Iliad (xiii. 685), but not long after this we find them in Attica and in a part of the Peloponnesus. Their name was by them derived from that of the mythical Ion, adopted son of Xuthus (cf. Herod.viii. 44). The Oriental peoples called the Greeks indiscriminately by the name “Ionians” (Schol. on Acharn. 104). See Hellas; Heraclidae; Ionia; Pelasgi.

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