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A member of a people living in the region of the Aegean Sea before the coming of the Greeks.

[Middle English, from Latin Pelasgus, from Greek Pelasgos.]

Pe·las′gi·an, Pe·las′gic (-jĭk) adj.


(Historical Terms) a member of any of the pre-Hellenic peoples (the Pelasgi) who inhabited Greece and the islands and coasts of the Aegean Sea before the arrival of the Bronze Age Greeks
(Historical Terms) of or relating to these peoples


(pəˈlæz dʒi ən, -dʒən, -gi ən)

a member of a people inhabiting parts of the S Balkan Peninsula, Aegean islands, and the coast of Asia Minor prior to the Hellenic invasions of the 2nd millennium b.c.
[1480–90; « Greek Pelásgi(os) Pelasgian + -an1]
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References in classic literature ?
Hippothous led the tribes of Pelasgian spearsmen, who dwelt in fertile Larissa--Hippothous, and Pylaeus of the race of Mars, two sons of the Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus.
Pallottino writes that ancient and modern thinkers have tried to explain the question of origins with historically accepted stereotypical images of a maritime immigration into Italy from the East, taking place in an early heroic age by Arcadian, Pelasgian, Achaean, Trojan, Lydian, Cretan, and Iapygian peoples.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, arguably the "Vichian century" par excellence (Garin, "Vico" 70), many followed Vico's quest for an antiquissima italorum sapientia, or ancestral Italian wisdom, be it Pelasgian, Pythagorean, or Scholastic.
In the preface, Beekes emphasizes three aspects lacking in earlier works that have transformed Greek etymology: laryngeal theory, fuller knowledge of Mycenaean, and the abandoning of the Pelasgian theory.
Doris Myers also notices this and says that "Lewis probably chose those symbols to demonstrate the non-Olympian, primitive character of Glomian religion" since "Bird and egg are part of both the Pelasgian and the Homeric-Orphic creation myths" (208; Part II).