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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.
Skinner then explores accounts of twelve real, or imaginary, peoples, among them Scythians, Ethiopians, "prehistoric" Pelasgians, the sensational Cyclopes, Arimaspians, and Amazons.
Herodotos' demolitionary examination of divine Herakles, or his intermittent attention to the Pelasgians.
in brief, protochronism may be presented as a mythic history of Romanians descending from the pre-Indo-European Pelasgians inhabiting the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic-Balcanic area, who invented writing (Tartaria-tablets), conquered and civilized Eurasia, reaching as far as Mongolia or Japan, later as Dacians-Getae, a tribe of Thrakians, gave the world the first monotheistic religion of the god Zalmoxis, forerunner of Christ.
The city of Cyzicus was probably founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly, according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later it received many colonies from Miletus, allegedly in 756 BC, but its importance began only after the Peloponnesian war, when the decay of Athens and Miletus set in.
In addition, he tries to apply what he knows about languages, and how they are related to one another, to formulate a hypothesis about what the original (now dead) "proto-" language of the Pelasgians was like.
Some say that the Pelasgians, having wandered most of the inhabitable earth and having conquered most of it, settled in that place, and they named the city thus because of their strength ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in arms.