Definition of Mycenaean in English:


(also Mycenean)


  • Relating to or denoting a late Bronze Age civilization in Greece represented by finds at Mycenae and other ancient cities of the Peloponnese.

    • ‘The study of feasting on the Greek mainland during the Middle and Late Bronze Age provides insights into the nature of Mycenaean society.’
    • ‘It was during this period that Minoan civilization of Crete and the Mycenean civilization of mainland Greece flourished.’
    • ‘The occurrence of precious metal vessels suited to drinking appears to confirm that Mycenaean convivial habits favored exclusion rather than cohesion.’
    • ‘In contrast, Mycenaean feasting on the Greek mainland seems to have arisen from elite customs aimed at exclusion.’
    • ‘In contrast to practices associated with Minoan feasts, service and distribution in Mycenaean feasts had a completely different status.’


  • An inhabitant of Mycenae or member of the Mycenaean people.

    • ‘Feasting scenes appear in the frescoes of Crete and the islands, and the Mycenaeans adapt this tradition for representation in their palaces.’
    • ‘The Mycenaeans created the finest bronze weapons.’
    • ‘Other sources, of course, could have influenced the Mycenaeans, not least Egyptian painting, as has frequently been pointed out.’
    • ‘In her analysis we are confronted with the longstanding problem of whether we can use the epics to understand the Mycenaeans, and if so, how.’
    • ‘Whoever they were, the earliest inhabitants of mainland Greece (called Mycenaeans after excavations found at Mycenae) developed an advanced culture.’

The Mycenaeans controlled the Aegean after the fall of the Minoan civilization c.1400 BC, and built fortified citadels and impressive palaces. They spoke a form of Greek, written in a distinctive script (see Linear B), and their culture is identified with that portrayed in the Homeric poems. Their power declined during widespread upheavals at the end of the Mediterranean Bronze Age, around 1100 BC