Hellas is the land of Hellenes, i.s the land of the Greeks.
But why we call Greece Hellas and who are the Hellenes?
Well, the question is wrong and should be reversed!
It should be as:
Why we call Hellas Greece and Who are the Hellenes?
Hellenes and Hellas
Note here that the name Hellen has nothing to do with Helen of Troy, but Hellen (written with two ll), who was the first son of Defkalion.
And the Flood of Defkalion was the start of the Hellenic civilization according to Hesiod’s cosmogony.
A common factor in almost all mythologies is the fact that they meddle myths with historic reality, you don’t know what is true and what’s fictional.
In the Cyclades, the Pelasgians created the first European civilization dated back to 3000 years BCE.
There are not many things known about them except that they had a written language using linear A script, a not decrypted script yet. Later they used Linear B, obviously an evolution of Linear A.
Linear B is decrypted and can be understood, it is a syllabic writing system revealing Greek words and Greek names when read.
We still don’t know the exact relation between Pelasgians and Greeks.
The same civilization on the island of Crete is known as the Minoans, from the name of their most famous king Minos. Minoans also used the Linear B writing system as the Mycaeneans also did.
The Flood of Defkalion
Here is the part of Cosmogony that describes the origin of the Greeks(Hellenes), hence the origin of the name of the Hellenes and Hellas.
Greek Cosmogony although a fairy tale is the part of Greek mythology that is more entertaining than the bible’s boring cosmogony.
The tales passed from generation to generation with a degree of skew or beautification each time.
Here we go!
After a terrible flood (not that of Noah), Hellenic civilization disappeared and only two survivors remained.
Defkalion and Pyrah.
Defkalion was the son of Titan Prometheus who created the human species and gave them the fire.
Pyrah was his wife, the daughter of Pandora, the first woman created by the gods.
How many of you know the name Pandora? many I’m sure.
Before the flood, Prometheus advised his son Defkalion, when he reigned in Thessaly, to build a large ark, to fill it with supplies, and to pray for the best.
Soon the heavens opened and the earth flooded. The ark with Defkalion and Pyrah rained for 9 days and nights until it ran aground on the top of Mount Parnassus. From here they had a good view of Delphi, where later the famous Oracle was.
Delphi considered the navel, the center of the earth, as the ancient Hellenes believed.
Does all this remind you of the biblical version of Noah’s ark? Sure it does, it’s the same myth.
The first Hellenes after the Flood
After rescued, the couple received an order from the God of Gods Dias(Jupiter). They should collect as many stones as they could and throw them behind their back.
The stones that Defkalion threw became men and stones threw by Pyrah became women.
They were the first Hellenes to repopulate Hellas.
The first stone of Defkalion became a man named Hellen or Hellenas, who in turn had many children. Among his children were Aeolus, Dorus, Xuthus, and Ion.
They became the ancestors of the Greek tribes of Aeolians, Dorians, Achaeans, and Ionians respectively.
They were all called Hellenes, and their land was Hellas.
Nice story, isn’t it?
Roman Imposition of Christianity
Hellenes were always a danger for the early Roman Empire because they were free minds. They didn’t believe in the lies of the new religion.
The emperors, used persecutions, massacres, and destruction of ancient monuments. They burned libraries where the ancient knowledge was and stopped Human progress. Oppression and many other atrocities used against the Hellenes.
The first historical destruction of the Parthenon took place in 4th-century CE by Christian fanatics. This is a historical fact that is shamelessly hidden by our educational system.
But the Greek culture prooven too strong to suppress and the Emperors had to do more to get rid of the danger of Hellenism. And they did. They changed our name.
A name used by the Romans for the Hellenes of Southern Italy was Graecus.
Hellas and the inhabitants named Graecia(Greece) and Graecus respectively after this name. In order to eliminate the word Hellas and minimize any danger to the new religion as the Hellenes identified as Pagans.
It is well known that the word Hellenes was strictly forbidden for several centuries in the Roman and later the Byzantine Empire.
Thus the Latin names Graecia and Graecus prevailed later on in Romance languages, for both the land and its inhabitants.
The correct name for Greece is Hellas
Therefore this is the correct name for the Greeks, they should be called Hellenes, and their land Hellas.
In 1827 the Greeks gained their freedom from the Ottomans. The European public opinion of the Philhellenes wished to name the new country Hellas. It would be easy, as Iran did with Persia, to have Greece changed to Hellas internationally.
But the Greek church totally opposed the international name Hellas for the new nation. It was a name reminiscent of the old Hellenic legacy and in the minds of the priests, the pagan religion.
So, Why it doesn’t happen now although the name Hellas is the only name in use inside the country among Hellenes?
Such a decision, the change of the international name of a country, is a very serious matter and has its pros and cons. By the time most people believe that it will be a very difficult task with contradictory results, and they agree that the gain will not be that big and therefore it is not worth the effort.
I just have a thought
If all of us who maintain websites change the word Greece, where it exists, with the word Hellas, what is going to happen?
It’s just a thought though, don’t take it seriously.