Palestine Travel Guide

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Palestine Origin of Name

The name "Palestine" is the cognate of an ancient word meaning "Philistines" or "Land of the Philistines". The earliest known mention is thought to be in Ancient Egyptian texts of the temple at Medinet Habu which record a people called the P-r-s-t among the Sea Peoples who invaded Egypt in Ramesses III's reign. The Hebrew name usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible to denote the southern coastal region that was inhabited by the Philistines to the west of the ancient Kingdom of Judah.

The Assyrian emperor Sargon II called the same region Palashtu or Pilistu in his Annals. In the 5th century BCE, Herodotus wrote in Ancient Greek of a 'district of Syria, called Palaistinê".

According to Moshe Sharon, Palaestina was commonly used to refer to the coastal region, and shortly thereafter, the whole of the area inland to the west of the Jordan River. The latter extension occurred when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba rebellion in the 2nd century CE, renamed "Provincia Judea" to "Syria Palaestina", in order to complete the dissociation with Judaea.

During the Byzantine period, the entire region was named Palaestina, subdivided into Diocese I and II. The Byzantines also renamed an area of land including the Negev, Sinai, and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutoris, sometimes called Palaestina III.

The Arabic word for Palestine is Philistine. Moshe Sharon writes that when the Arabs took over Greater Syria in the 7th century, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration before them, generally continued to be used. Hence, he traces the emergence of the Arabic form Filastin to this adoption, with Arabic inflection, of Roman and Hebrew names. Jacob Lassner and Selwyn Ilan Troen offer a different view, writing that Jund Filastin, the full name for the administrative province under the rule of the Arab caliphates, was traced by Muslim geographers back to the Philistines of the Bible.

The use of the name "Palestine" in English became more common after the European renaissance. The name was officially revived and used after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and applied to the territory in this region that was placed under the British Mandate for Palestine.

Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Greater Israel, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Judea, Israel, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Land of Israel, Levant, Retenu, Southern Syria, and Syria Palestina.


Travel Quotes:

Rome - the city of visible history, where the past of a whole hemisphere seems moving in funeral procession with strange ancestral images and trophies gathered from afar. George Eliot

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world. John Muir


Palestine Travel Informations and Jordan Travel Guide
Palestine Origin of Name - Palestine Boundaries - Additional Extrabiblical References - Palestine Biblical Texts

Palestine History: Paleolithic & Neolithic Periods - Chalcolithic Period & Bronze Age - Iron Age
Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Period - Persian Rule
Classical Antiquity: Hellenistic Rule - Hasmonean Dynasty - Roman Rule - Byzantine Rule
Islamic Period - Arab Caliphate Rule - Umayyad Rule - A Bbasid Rule - Fatimid Rule - Crusader Rule - Mamluk Rule
Ottoman Rule - Egyptian Rule - Ottoman Rule (1841-1917) - 20th Century - British Mandate
Infrastructure and development
- 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine - World War II and Palestine
End of the British Mandate 1945-1948
- UN partition and the 1948 Palestine War - Current Status

Palestine Demographics: Early Demographics - Demographics in the late Ottoman & the British Mandate Periods
Official reports - Current Demographics

Palestine Tourism
Palestine Tourist Attractions: Tabriz - Jifna - Hebron glass - Odessa - Damascus - History of Haifa - Narrow Gauge Railway
Jezreel Valley railway - Khirbat Jiddin - Sea of Galilee - Kawkab al-Hawa - Palestinian Cuisine - Al-Khader - Jaffa
Natal, Rio Grande do Norte


Arab Cuisines, Arabic Names, Baghdad, Bahrain, Camels, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman
Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

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2018-06-18T03:43:16-04:00