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Not to be confused with Helen of Troy or Helenus.

Hellen (/ˈhɛlɪn/; Greek: Ἕλλην) was the mythological progenitor of the Hellenes (Ἕλληνες), the son of Deucalion (or sometimes Zeus) and Pyrrha, brother of Amphictyon and father of Aeolus, Xuthus, and Dorus. His name is also another name for Greek, meaning a person of Greek descent or pertaining to Greek culture, and the source of the adjective "Hellenic".

According to the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, his sons were themselves progenitors of primary tribes of Greece: Aeolus the Aeolians, Dorus the Dorians, and Xuthus the Achaeans and Ionians through his sons Achaeus and Ion.[1]

According to Thucydides,[2] they conquered the Greek area of Phthia and subsequently spread their rule to other Greek cities. The people of those areas came to be called Hellenes, after the name of their ancestor. The ethnonym Hellenes dates back to the time of Homer. In the Iliad, "Hellas" (Ἑλλάς) and "Hellenes" were names of the tribe (also called "Myrmidones") settled in Phthia, led by Achilles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hesiod, Catalogue of Women, frr. 9 and 10(a) OCT.
  2. ^ History of the Peloponnesian War, 1.3.2