What is the Thalassic Age? What exactly happened during that time? This came from reading that Greeks during Hellenistic period conquered some areas in Phoenicia, Mesopotamia and Egypt and developed a lot of mathematics.

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    – MCW
    Feb 5, 2021 at 13:37
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    Please provide the term in context - the quote and the citation. The answer probably depends on the credibility and scholarship of the source, but I suspect that the answer is based on thalassocracy - the era when the Greeks ruled through sea supremacy. The term appears here and (loosely)here
    – MCW
    Feb 5, 2021 at 13:39
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    Can you add in more context around where you heard this term? Author and title would be good, a link would be wonderful. I tried a quick search, and other than that being Greek for "inland sea", I came up with squat. My guess is its someone's personal term, but now I'm curious.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 5, 2021 at 15:13
  • I will do it in the next posts. Thank you both. I found it here page 40
    – Gio
    Feb 5, 2021 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


I found something, but I don't know how it jibes with the context you saw it in.

I came across a presentation by Chaogui Zhang titled History of Mathematics: Hellenic Traditions that actually defines the period as 800BC to 800 CE. If I'm reading their slides right, they seem to be implying a shift of historical focus from river valley civilizations (Egypt and Mesopotamia) to sea-going ones (Phoenicians and Greeks).

"Thalassic" appears to be a Greek term meaning roughly "having to do with inland seas".

This is not a common term. In fact I'd never heard of it before reading your question, and finding it on a web search was quite challenging. However, I'm not plugged into academic circles enough to say how common it is there. I suspect its quite niche. The author appears to have been associated with their university Math department, not its History department.

  • I read it too. I was looking for more than just that, but I could not find anything else in the web. Anyway, thank you for your effort :)
    – Gio
    Feb 5, 2021 at 15:48
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    This would ideally stretch farther back into the Bronze Age because of Canaanite, Minoan, and Mycenean sea trading networks.
    – Spencer
    Feb 5, 2021 at 17:02
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    θάλασσα (Thalassa) (1) Ancient - Greek goddess of the sea (2) Present - the sea
    – Fred
    Feb 5, 2021 at 20:53
  • @Fred - Ah, thank you! What I was able to dig up seemed to imply that there was a distinction between Thalassic for inland seas and pelagic for wider seas. They do both have roots in Greek words, so I'd assumed the distinction existed in Greek too, but now you've got me wondering if that's correct.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 5, 2021 at 21:07

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