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Ἀχαιοί). One of the chief Hellenic races, and, according to tradition, descended from Achaeus, who was the son of Xuthus and Creüsa, and grandson of Hellen. The Achaei originally dwelt in Thessaly, and from thence migrated to Peloponnesus, the whole of which became subject to them with the exception of Arcadia, and the country afterwards called Achaea. As they were the ruling nation in Peloponnesus in the heroic times, Homer frequently gives the name of Achaei to the collective Greeks. On the conquest of Peloponnesus by the Heraclidae and the Dorians, eighty years after the Trojan War, many of the Achaei under Tisamenus, the son of Orestes, left their country and took possession of the northern coast of Peloponnesus, then inhabited by Ionians, whom they expelled from the country, which was henceforth called Achaea. The expelled Ionians migrated to Attica and Asia Minor. The Achaei settled in twelve cities: Pellené, Aegira, Aegae, Bura, Helicé, Aegium, Rhypae, Patrae, Pharae, Olenus, Dymé, and Tritaea. These twelve cities formed a league for mutual defence and protection. The Achaei had little influence in the affairs of Greece till the time of the successors of Alexander. In B.C. 281, the Achaei, who were then subject to the Macedonians, resolved to renew their ancient league for the purpose of shaking off the Macedonian yoke. This was the origin of the celebrated Achaean League (q.v.), which did not, however, obtain much importance till B.C. 251, when Aratus united to it his native town, Sicyon. The example of Sicyon was followed by Corinth and many other towns in Greece, and the league soon became the chief political power in Greece. At length the Achaei declared war against the Romans, who destroyed the league, and thus put an end to the independence of Greece. Corinth, then the chief town of the league, was taken by the Roman general Mummius, in B.C. 146, and the whole of southern Greece made a Roman province under the name of Achaea (q.v.).

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