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Lelĕges

Λέλεγες). An ancient race, frequently mentioned with the Pelasgians as the prehistoric inhabitants of Greece. The Leleges were described as a warlike and migratory race, who first took possession of the coasts and the islands of Greece, and afterwards penetrated into the interior. Piracy was probably their chief occupation; and they are represented as the ancestors of the Teleboans and the Taphians, who were notorious for their piracies. The name of the Leleges was derived by the Greeks from an ancestor, Lelex, who is called king of either Megaris or Lacedaemon (Pausan. iii. 1, 1). They must be regarded as a branch of the great Indo-Germanic race, who became gradually incorporated with the Hellenes, and thus ceased to exist as an independent people. They are spoken of as inhabiting Acarnania and Aetolia, and afterwards Phocis, Locris, Boeotia, Megaris, Elis, and Laconia, which last was originally called Lelegia; also (in Asia Minor) Ionia, the southern part of the Troad, and Caria (Herod.i. 171). See Deimling, Die Leleger (Leipzig, 1862).

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