“Palestine” – Translation of the Word
It is commonly believed that the Romans named Palestine after the ancient Philistine tribe, as an afront to the Jews who they forcibly removed from Judah after 70 C.E. This cannot be true because… …”As a result of consultation with a 95 year old lexicographer and language interpreter from Eastern Europe who has mastered 20 languages from the region and Middle East; the information is as follows. His conclusions are that the misinterpretations of the term “Palestine” used today need to be corrected since the use of the term is to identify a country or nation of peoples that never existed in the history of the region other than the nation of Hebrews/ Israel.
The word “Palestine” has not been found in the vocabulary of Middle Eastern languages other than early Christianity such as the Byzantines.. however after the Christian Crusades of the Holy Land numerous words for “Palestine” suddenly came about throughout the known world. The word used by the Roman Empire was Palaestina and was also used by some early Christians which held connotations of the Jews as being clans of Hebrew shepherds who sacrificed goats and sheep at their Jerusalem Temple in honor of their god.
According to historical text 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” (Iudaea Province; originally derived from the name “Judah”) to “Syria Palaestina” (Syria Palaestina), in order to complete the dissociation with Judea.
The term Palaestina has been used in references made in Roman Greek Christian literature from the latter part of the first century of the common era, hence the word is a Christian term or word. The word would have been used by Christians in references to the Kingdom of Israel. See example reference to the Italian Map (1759) found in the Maps and Borders of Israel posting on this site.
During the Roman Byzantine period, the entire region (Syria Palaestina, Samaria, and the Galilee) was named Palaestina, subdivided into provinces Palaestina 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 Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III. The Byzantine borders of Palaestina (I and II, also known as Palaestina Prima, “First Palestine”, and Palaestina Secunda, “Second Palestine”), have served as a name for the geographic area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Medieval Arab Palestine Map - 7th century AD Filastin (or Jund Filastin) was used administratively to refer to what was under the Byzantines Palaestina Secunda (comprising Judaea and Samaria), while Palaestina Prima (comprising the Galilee region) was renamed Urdunn (“Jordan” or Jund al-Urdunn). 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 such as Palaestina. The emergence of the Arabic form Filastin to this adoption, with Arabic inflection, of Roman and Hebrew (Semitic) names.
The word “Palestine” is a Christian Anglo/European translation derived from the Greco Roman language. The term Palastina was used by the Romans to reference first the Jerusalem Temple Mount as (a god’s palace) and the Kingdom of the God of the Israelites and the nation of the same peoples; which was relative to the political ethos and terminology used during those times. Gods familiar to the Romans and Greeks during the first century of the common era were Jupiter and Zeus.
All the words in the following list of languages mean palace or temple (a god’s palace). The term “Palestine” therefore in all likelihood is a English/Anglo derivative from Greco Roman languages with reference to Mons Palatinus, Etruscan Pales, Palatine etc.
Also see reference to Palaestina used in the Roman Byzantine Empire article on this web site.
The Latin word for palace came from Mons Palatinus, one of the seven hills of Rome.
- from Mons Palatinus “the Palatine Hill,” one of the seven hills of ancient Rome, where Emperor Augustus Caesar’s house stood (the original “palace”), later the site of the splendid residence built by Nero.
- Palaestina - palace, temple (god’s palace)
- Palatine (from Lat. palatium, a palace,)
- Palace (Lat. Palatium, the name given by Augustus to his residence on the Palatine Hill
- Palazzo (cf. Sp. palacio, It. palazzo),
- late 13c., “official residence of an emperor, king, archbishop, imperial residence etc.,”
- from O.Fr. palais,
- from M.L. palacium “a palace,”
- from L. palatium “palace”
- The hill name probably from palus “stake,” on the notion of “enclosure.”
- from Etruscan and connected with Pales, supposed name of an Italic goddess of shepherds and cattle.
- Etruscan – The general sense of “splendid dwelling place”
- [Middle English, from Old French palais,
- from Palatium, Palatine Hill, Rome (from it being the site where emperors built their homes)
- Podesta (lat.potestas, power)
- Pallati - Albania
- Byzantine palaces - Of Romanesque work
- porta - door
- palati - palace
- spiti - house
Most of the phonological and grammatical developments that separate present-day Greek from the Koine occurred during this period of the Greco- Roman influence. Thus, in the phonology the two high front vowels [i] and [ü] were merged, simplifying the six-vowel system to the five-vowel system [a,e,i o, u] of Modern Greek. In the morphology the frequent misuse of the dative case of nouns shows that it went out of use in the spoken language, and the infinitive was replaced by various periphrastic constructions.
The later period is characterized by the richness of its compound words, usually from native roots. Some of these, such as the compounds in which a modifying noun precedes its head noun, continued ancient patterns (thalassóvrakhi ‘sea rock,’ vunópulo ‘mountain lad’); coordinative compounds of the type common in Modern Greek, though rare in earlier periods, are also found (aristódhipnon ‘lunch and dinner,’ compare Modern Greek andróyino ‘man and wife,’ makheropíruna ‘knives and forks’).
Semantic shift was another source of innovation: álogho ‘horse,’ previously meant ‘irrational’; skiázome ‘I fear,’ earlier meant ‘I am in shadow’; and (u)dhén ‘not,’ meant, in Classical Greek, ‘nothing.
Perhaps this culture word [palace] has a more limited linguistic and geographic range than some we have seen.
Nearly every Aramaic dialect from Imperial Aramaic to Late Syrian has this lexeme in it’s vocabulary. Mankowski, 51, notes the form άειχάλας on an inscription dated October 15, 245 CE from Admedera, Syria.
There can be no reasonable doubt that this lexeme came into the ancient Semitic languages from Sumerian e.gal. The Sumerian means palace (é, house, + gal, great or big).
When written syllabically, not all that common, the Akkadian generally reads e-kal-lu. There is no evidence for the lengthening of the /e/ in Akkadian.
Both the Hebrew and the Aramaic forms are not native unless one wants to take them to be some strange ה formative nouns as was sometimes thought by earlier scholars. Ugaritic hkl makes this all but impossible.
According to Blau, 49-50, who thinks the West Semitic forms came from the Akkadian, Aramaic hêkəlâ etc., Ugaritic hkl, Hebrew hêkhâl Akkadian ekallum, stemming ultimately from Sumerian e-gal may exhibit hyper-correction (false regression);
Since Akkadian ê could, in these languages, correspond to hê, it was, by over self-assertion, also employed in this case. Nevertheless, one wonders why h occurs in all these languages, though it is possible that it was introduced to one of them and spread to the others. But account must be taken of the possibility that the initial onset of Sumerian and Akkadian vowels contained laryngeals or pharyngeals.
“Akkadian ê could, in these languages, correspond to hê.” ; no cognate pairs exhibit such a phenomenon. And as already noted there is no evidence that the Akkadian e was long in ekallu. It seems unlikely that Semitic could have adopted the Akkadian much later than the Old Akkadian period. The reason “that the Sumerogram é could have the OAkk value of ’à, often continuing Semitic *ḥa, and, presumably, representing a comparable laryngeal or pharyngeal articulation in Sumerian.” Sumerian é.gal, Akkadian ekallu and its Aramaic and Hebrew counterparts.
The use of the word “Palestine” today to identify a region is an adoption of the Christian concept of the Holy Land.
NOTE: Ads are automatically served – if you see one that is objectionable, please copy the URL and send it to us.