Region of northern Peloponnese
along the southern coast of the gulfs of Corinth
and Calydon. Achaia (or Achaea)
owes its name to the mythological hero Achaeus, brother of Ion (the eponym of
the Ionians) and son of Xouthus, a son of Hellen and grandson of Deucalion. Achaeus'
mother was Creusa, a daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens.
“Achaeans” was the name given to the offspring of Achaeus, one of
the Hellenic tribes that populated Greece;
it is also one of the names that Homer uses most often to designate the Greeks
as a whole.
In his Histories, I, 145-146, Herodotus tells us that the Achaeans settled in what later became known as Achaia by driving the Ionians that had settled there earlier out (after they had themselves been expelled from Argolis and Laconia by the Dorians).
Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.
The northern coast of the Peloponnesus, originally called Aegialea or Aegialus, i. e. the coast-land, was bounded on the north by the Corinthian Gulf and the Ionian Sea, on the south by Elis and Arcadia, on the west by the Ionian Sea, and on the east by Sicyonia.
Aegialeia. The name, before the Roman conquest in 146 B.C., of a strip
of land between the gulf of Corinth
in the north and Elis and
Arcadia in the south, embracing
twelve cities leagued together. The Achaean League was prominent in the struggle
of the Greeks against Roman domination; It is probably due to this fact that the
name was afterwards extended to the whole country south of Macedonia
and Illyricum, corresponding
approximately to modern Greece.
During the Roman period Achaia was usually governed as a senatorial province. The Governor was an ex-Praetor of Rome, and bore the title of Proconsul. Corinth was the capital. When St. Paul came into Achaia (Acts 18), Gallio, a brother of Seneca, was proconsul. His refusal to interfere in the religious affairs of the Jews and the tolerance of his administration favoured the spread of Christianity. In Corinth the Apostle founded a flourishing church. In his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, he salutes Christians “in all Achaia” (i, 1) and commends their charity.
W.S. Reilly, ed.
This text is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.
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