Ionian


Ionian
/uy oh"nee euhn/, adj.
1. of or pertaining to Ionia.
2. of or pertaining to the branch of the Greek people named from Ion, their legendary founder.
n.
3. a member of one of the four main divisions of the prehistoric Greeks who invaded the Greek mainland and, after the Dorian invasions, emigrated to the Aegean islands and the coast of Asia Minor. Cf. Achaean (def. 5), Aeolian (def. 2), Dorian (def. 2).
4. an Ionian Greek.
[1555-65; IONI(A) + -AN]

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I
Any ancient Greek inhabitant of Ionia, from the time of the collapse of Mycenae.

Ionian cities colonized southern Italy and opened up the Black Sea from с 700 BC. Their contributions to Greek culture included the epics of Homer and the earliest elegiac and iambic poetry. They began the study of geography, philosophy, and historiography in the 6th century. After Alexander the Great their literary language was the basis of Koine, or "common speech," the language of practically all Greek writing to the present day.
II
(as used in expressions)

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people
      any member of an important eastern division of the ancient Greek people, who gave their name to a district on the western coast of Anatolia (now Turkey). The Ionian dialect of Greek was closely related to Attic and was spoken in Ionia and on many of the Aegean islands.

      The Ionians are said to have migrated to western Anatolia from Attica and other central Greek territories following the Dorian immigration (c. 1000 BC) that upset the Achaean kingdoms on the mainland. This is confirmed by the fact that the same four “tribes” (phylai) found among the Athenians reappear in the inhabitants of Miletus and other Ionian cities. Homer in his epics gives the Ionians but a passing mention, but in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, roughly corresponding in time to the first certain written reference to the Ionians by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (reigned 704–681 BC), they are noted as the great and wealthy people who frequent the festival of Apollo at Delos.

      By the time of Herodotus (c. 450 BC), Greek thinkers had worked out a detailed ethnological theory, identifying the Ionians with the aboriginal element in Greece (Pelasgoi) and the Dorians (Dorian) with the immigrant northern Hellenes proper. This hypothesis introduced an element of racialism into Greek interstate polemics. The Ionians of Asia, because of their exposed position, had been subjected by Persia and came to be despised as “soft” in comparison to the military, disciplined cadres of the Peloponnesian Dorians.

      From about 700 BC, expansion and accompanying colonization brought the Ionians of Euboea to eastern Sicily and Cumae near Naples, and Samians to Nagidus and Celenderis in Pamphylia. Among the Ionian cities, Miletus, which was said to have founded 90 colonies, was instrumental in opening up the Black Sea, while Phocaea was active in the Mediterranean, establishing a colony at Massilia (Marseille). “Ionians” (Homeric: Iawones; Persian: Yauna; Hebrew: Yewanim; Turkish and Arabic: Yunani) became and remained the Oriental term for all Greeks.

      The contribution of Ionians to Greek culture was of major importance, including the Homeric epics and the earliest elegiac and iambic poetry. In the 6th century, Ionic rational thought dominated intellectual life, fostering the study of geography and nature and research into matter and the universe. Ionians at home and overseas also laid the foundation of Greek philosophy and historiography. In the age after Alexander the Great, Attic Ionic, the literary language, became the basis of Koine, or “common speech,” the language of practically all later Greek writing, including the New Testament, down to the present day. Ionians were also substantial artists in the areas of architecture, sculpture, and cast-bronze statuary. See also Ionia.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ionian — IONIÁN, Ă, ionieni, e, s.m. şi f., adj. 1. s.m. şi f. Persoană care făcea parte din populaţia de bază a Ioniei sau care era originară din Ionia. 2. adj. Care aparţinea Ioniei sau populaţiei ei, privitor la Ionia sau la populaţia ei. ♢ Şcoala… …   Dicționar Român

  • Ionian — of Ionia, the districts of ancient Greece inhabited by the Ionians (including Attica and the north coast of the Peloponnesus, but especially the coastal strip of Asia Minor, including the islands of Samos and Chios). The name (which Herodotus… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ionian — [ī ō′nē ən] adj. 1. of Ionia or its people or culture 2. of an ancient Greek people that settled in eastern Greece and in Ionia n. an Ionian Greek …   English World dictionary

  • Ionian — I*o ni*an, a. [L. Ionius. See {Ionic}.] Of or pertaining to Ionia or the Ionians; Ionic. n. A native or citizen of Ionia. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ionian — 1. adjective a) Relating to the Hellenic people of that name. b) Ionic, of Ionia, the ancient (ca 1100 BC) region including western Asia Minor and the adjacent Aegean Islands occupied by the Ionian people. See Also …   Wiktionary

  • Ionian — noun 1》 a member of an ancient Hellenic people inhabiting Attica, parts of western Asia Minor, and the Aegean islands in pre classical times. 2》 a native or inhabitant of the Ionian Islands, a chain of islands off the western coast of mainland… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Ionian — noun Etymology: Ionia, Asia Minor Date: 1550 1. a member of any of the Greek peoples who settled on the islands of the Aegean Sea and the western shore of Asia Minor toward the end of the second millennium B.C. 2. a native or inhabitant of Ionia… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Ionian — /aɪˈoʊniən/ (say uy ohneeuhn) adjective 1. relating to Ionia. 2. relating to the inhabitants of Ionia who were named after Ion, the legendary founder. –noun 3. an Ionian Greek …   Australian English dictionary

  • Ionian — n. & adj. n. a native or inhabitant of ancient Ionia in W. Asia Minor. adj. of or relating to Ionia or the Ionians. Phrases and idioms: Ionian mode Mus. the mode represented by the natural diatonic scale C C. Etymology: L Ionius f. Gk Ionios …   Useful english dictionary

  • ionian — io·ni·an …   English syllables


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