According to myth, they are named for the district of Doris in Greece. Their leaders were said to have been the Heracleidae, the sons of the legendary hero Heracles (also called 'Hercules'). However, there is no real evidence for this and their true origins are shrouded in mystery. Very few records are available from this period of history. The most famous of Dorian groups were the Spartans, whose austere and martial lifestyle was much admired and feared.
There was a Doric dialect of the Greek language, as well as a Doric column in architecture and a Dorian mode in music (see also guitar chord roots). The column was noted for its simplicity and strength, the music for its martial qualities. The Doric dialect was spoken early in Classical Greece. In later periods other dialects predominated, most notably the Attic.
The Doric column is still widely used today, particularly in government buildings and other large edifices. See the Doric order.