following the crushing Bar Kochba's revolt in 132-135
in an attempt to suppress Jewish national feelings.
In the Bible, the area inhabited bythePhilistineswas known as
Genesis,X.13. The Philistines were a seafaring people wholived in cities along the coast. During the Late Bronze Age,Philistiawas located approximatelywhere theGaza Stripand the cities of AshkelonandAshdodare situated today in modern Israel.
Philistia was a confederation of five city states:Gaza,AshkelonandAshdodon the coast, and
The ethnic affiliation of the Philistines is not clear. The Philistine names preserved oninscriptions appear to "contradict the notion that they were Greek-speakers."
Some scholarsargue however that they were a non-Semitic group, with roots in SouthernGreecedating back tothe period of earlyMycenaeancivilization.
A hypothetical link to the Anatolian people, basedupon mere phonological similitude to thePalaic language,seems tenuous but not impossible.
was subdivided into threeregions and the southern region,
Early archeological textual reference to the territory of Palestine is found in theMerneptah Stele,dated c. 1200 BCE, containing a recount of Egyptian kingMerneptah's victories in the land of Canaan, mentioning place-names such asGezer, Ashkelonand Yanoam, along with Israel, which
is mentioned using a hieroglyphic determinative that indicates a nomad people, rather than astate.
Egyptian texts of the temple atMedinet Habu, record a people called the
)usually translated as
in English, is used in theBibleto denote "the coastal region northand south of Gaza which was occupied and settled by Philistine invaders from across the sea".
The Assyrian emperor Sargon IIcalled the region the
in his Annals. By the time of Assyrianrule in 722 BCE, the Philistines had become 'part and parcel of the local population',
and prospered under Assyrian rule during the seventh century despiteoccasional rebellions against their overlords.
In 604 BCE, when Assyrian troops commanded by theBabylonianempire carried off significant numbers of the population into slavery, thedistinctly Philistine character of the coastal cities dwindled away,
and the history of thePhilistine people effectively ended.
In the 5th century BCE, the Greek historian and geographer Herodotuswrote in Greek of a"district of Syria, called
Syria, at that time, referred rather