The Achaeans or Akhaians (əˈkiːənz; Akhaioí, "the Achaeans" or "of Achaea") is one of the names in Homer which is used to refer to the Greeks collectively.
The term "Achaean" is believed to be related to the Hittite term Ahhiyawa and the Egyptian term Ekwesh which appear in texts from the Late Bronze Age and are believed to refer to the Mycenaean civilization or some part of it.
In the historical period, the term fell into disuse as a general term for Greek people, and was generally reserved for inhabitants of the region of Achaea, a region in the north-central part of the Peloponnese. The city-states of this region later formed a confederation known as the Achaean League, which was influential during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
According to Margalit Finkelberg the name Ἀχαιοί (earlier Ἀχαιϝοί) is possibly derived, via an intermediate form *Ἀχαϝyοί, from a hypothetical older Greek form reflected in the Hittite form Aḫḫiyawā; the latter is attested in the Hit