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Updated: 2022.07.31 

Herodotus' "Palestine"

Παλαιστίνη In Ἡρόδοτος Histories

Herodotus' Description of the East Mediterranean Coast (Rainey 2001)
Click to enlargeBCE 5th Century, Herodotus' Description of Eastern Mediterranean coastlands from Syria in the North to Egypt; including the 4 Pulossian (Philistine/​Palestina;) colonies

Herodotos Carian, which were Aegaean/Cretan (The Histories, Book I Section 171.) "Halicarnassus became a satrapy, or province, of the Persian Empire and was ruled by the tyrant Lygdamis. Herodotus’ family opposed Lygdamis’ rule and was sent into exile on the island of Samos. When he was a young man, Herodotus returned briefly to Halicarnassus to take part in an abortive anti-Persian rebellion. After that, however, the writer never returned to his home city again." https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/herodotus, update: 2019.10.24. Accessed 2022.08.02.
Mycenaean, Cretan-{Minoan}-Aegaean (wiki Thucydides, 1.4; Herodotus 3.122 ) Tribes: Pulossians Dorians, Carians, Ionians,

When reading Æ•röꞋdöt•ös ("Herodotos"), one must keep in mind his POV: a Classic Greek, whose Carian-Greek hometown (Halicarnassus; now Bodrum, Turkey) was located on a small isthmus on the western coast of what is today Turkey (i.e. Anatolia)—within the 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 (Neo-Persian Iranian Empire). His hometown was one of the last Greek holdouts to reject Greek incursion and remain loyal to the 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 (Neo-Persian Iranian Empire). Æ•röꞋdöt•ös writes from his personal, Greek, knowledge-perspective (and Greek language); not of a Persian (or Semitic) authority but as he saw it through his Classic Greek lens. Due to his foreign (Greek) background, he gave particular emphasis to pro-Persian aspects; especially, as best he could, when describing his own Greek people (Παλαιστίνη, Φοίνιξ , et al.)—and particularly illustrating his personal, Greek pro-Persian, loyalty— to 𐏋 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 (Neo-Persian Iranian Empire), while down-playing, as best he reasonably could, any aspects that would be perceived negatively by Persians. Some of his descriptions, since verified, were garbled in Persian-Greek translation (e.g., large "ants" that mine gold dust and "Atlantis" (probably Kal•lisꞋtæ).

Παλαιστίνη was the Classical Greek name of the (pre LBAC  Greek "Dark Age") Mycenaean Greek Pūlossians, including subgroupings Phoenicians , "Sea Peoples" and "Minoans" (q.v. Pūlossians). Prior to the Kal•lisꞋtæ eruption, the Mycenaean Pūlossians (Æ•röꞋdöt•ös' Classical Παλαιστίνη) controlled the Mediterranean Sea as a maritime superpower cartel during the Early Bronze Age from its eastern coastlands to Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean (q.v. Pūlossians).

The Παλαιστίνη Maritime Superpower was shattered by the eruption in at their Aegaean hub, Kal•lisꞋtæ, c  . The greatest explosion the civilization had ever witnessed triggered a chain of cataclysms that devastated their heart and core at Crete as well as the entire LBAC  Mediterranean world, collapsing economies and empires with consequent famines and plagues resulting in a half-millennium of climate apocalypse—the "Greek Dark Age"! The Παλαιστίνη maritime empire was done. This cataclysm in the heart of their maritime empire orphaned them of their maritime protection and support. No longer able to support their seacoast colonies, the Παλαιστίνη colonies withered and assimilated into the surrounding peoples—with the notable exception, as corroborated by Greek DNA analyses, of the Παλαιστίνη colony in what is now Lebanon.

With the exception of occasional Παλαιστίνη DNA echos of their Phoenician colony among modern Lebanese, the last Παλαιστίνη colony known to history was in Ashᵊqᵊlōn. In BCE 604 (as a result of their miscalculation in siding with nearby Mi•tzᵊr•ayꞋim against Nabû-kudurri-utzur (English: Nebuchadnezzar) (Nabû-kud•urri-utzur Jr.)), they abandoned their last stronghold, assimilating into the surrounding peoples, and disappearingforever from history.  With the exception of elements in Phoenicia, Παλαιστίνη were extinct. No longer a distinct people, all of there former colonies (even in Phoenicia) reverted back to the control of their Near East peoples.


By the time of Herodotus  wrote Histories, , Yi•sᵊr•ã•eilꞋ (i.e. The 10 Northern Tribes) had been deracinated 3½ centuries earlier and were extinct. 𐎧𐏁𐎠𐎹𐎰𐎡𐎹 (Khᵊsha•a•ya•th•i•yah) Nabû-kudurri-utzur (English: Nebuchadnezzar) (Nabû-kud•urri-utzur Jr.)had decapitated YᵊhūdꞋãh (exiling the kingdom's government and priestly leaders), razed Yᵊrū•shã•laꞋyim, destroyed the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdãshꞋ and a 𒆳𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠  (Kaldean  Neo-Babylonian Empire) SãꞋtrap•y more than a century earlier in BCE 586. Shãh 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁 had wrested the empire 89 years before ,

A scan of the full English translation of M.I.T.'s The Internet Classics Archive of Herodotus' Histories for "Palestine" demonstrates that there are exactly 5 instances of "Palestine" in Histories

I'm including interlinear texts that provide the English translation by George Rawlinson published @ The Internet Classics Archive of M.I.T., with my emendations, beside the Greek as published by The Internet Sacred Text Archive 

Click to enlargeMap of Herodotus' Travels, cBCE 440  in the 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 (Neo-Persian Iranian Empire) of 𐏋 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠.

Book 2 2.104.3
Sacred-Texts 2.104.3: the Colchians, Egyptians, and Ethiopians alone of all the races of men have practised circumcision from the first. The Phenicians and the Syrians who dwell in Palestine Κόλχοι καὶ Αἰγύπτιοι καὶ Αἰθίοπες περιτάμνονται ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς τὰ αἰδοῖα. [3] Φοίνικες δὲ καὶ Σύροι οἱ ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh2100.htm 2022.07.29 Perseus.Tufts.edu 2.104.2-3: " the Colchians and Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only nations that have from the first practised circumcision. [3] The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they learned the custom from the Egyptians, and the Syrians of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Parthenius, as well as their neighbors the Macrones, say that they learned it lately from the Colchians. These are the only nations that circumcise, and it is seen that they do just as the Egyptians. [4] But as to the Egyptians and Ethiopians themselves, I cannot say which nation learned it from the other; for it is evidently a very ancient custom. That the others learned it through traffic with Egypt, I consider clearly proved by this: that Phoenicians who traffic with Hellas https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0126%3Abook%3D2&force=y 2.106
Sacred-exts: 2.106.1 "106. The pillars which Sesostris of Egypt set up in the various countries are for the most part no longer to be seen extant; but in Syria Palestine I myself saw them existing with the inscription upon them which I have mentioned and the emblem" 106. [1] αἱ δὲ στῆλαι τὰς ἵστα κατὰ τὰς χώρας ὁ Αἰγύπτου βασιλεὺς Σέσωστρις, αἱ μὲν πλεῦνες οὐκέτι φαίνονται περιεοῦσαι, ἐν δὲ τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ Συρίῃ αὐτὸς ὥρων ἐούσας καὶ τὰ γράμματα τὰ εἰρημένα ἐνεόντα καὶ γυναικὸς αἰδοῖα. https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh2100.htm 2022.07.29 in Lebanon, just north of Beirut—in what was Syrian-Παλαιστίνη! The opinion of Edward Robinson,  is corroborated by archaeology having found the stallae ("pillars") at Nahr al-Kalb (River of the Dog), Lebanon that Herodootus confused Par•ōhꞋ Sesostris with Ra-moses Jr. "the Great" (≈BCE 1292-52 Chron) Book 3
3.5.1 Now by this way only is there a known entrance to Egypt: for from Phenicia to the borders of the city of Cadytis belongs to the Syrians who are called of Palestine, and from Cadytis, which is a city I suppose not much less than Sardis, 3"5. [1] μούνῃ δὲ ταύτῃ εἰσὶ φανεραὶ ἐσβολαὶ ἐς Αἴγυπτον. ἀπὸ γὰρ Φοινίκης μέχρι οὔρων τῶν Καδύτιος πόλιος ἐστὶ Σύρων τῶν Παλαιστίνων καλεομένων· [2] ἀπὸ δὲ Καδύτιος ἐούσης πόλιος, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκέει, Σαρδίων" https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh3000.htm 2022.07.29 3.5.1 "Now the only apparent way of entry into Egypt is this. The road runs from Phoenicia as far as the borders of the city of Cadytis,2 which belongs to the so-called Syrians of Palestine." https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Hdt.+3&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0126#note2 2022.07.29 3 "5. Now by this way only is there a known entrance to Egypt: for from Phenicia to the borders of the city of Cadytis belongs to the Syrians who are called of Palestine, and from Cadytis, which is a city I suppose not much less than Sardis,…" https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh3000.htm 2022.07.29 [Cadytis Καδύτιος Kadutios i.e. Qodesh, i.e. Yerushalayim, https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0064:entry=jerusalem-geo 2022.07.29] 3.91 "91. From that division which begins with the city of Posideion,  founded by Amphilochos the son of Amphiaraos on the borders of the Kilikians and the Syrians, and extends as far as Egypt, not including the territory of the Arabians (for this was free from payment), the amount was three hundred and fifty talents; and in this division are the whole of Phenicia and Syria which is called Palestine and Cyprus: this is the fifth division." https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh3090.htm 2022.07.29 3 "91. [1] ἀπὸ δὲ Ποσιδηίου πόλιος, τὴν Ἀμφίλοχος ὁ Ἀμφιάρεω οἴκισε ἐπ᾽ οὔροισι τοῖσι Κιλίκων τε καὶ Σύρων, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ ταύτης μέχρι Αἰγύπτου, πλὴν μοίρης τῆς Ἀραβίων (ταῦτα γὰρ ἦν ἀτελέα), πεντήκοντα καὶ τριηκόσια τάλαντα φόρος ἦν. ἔστι δὲ ἐν τῷ νομῷ τούτῳ Φοινίκη τε πᾶσα καὶ Συρίη ἡ Παλαιστίνη καλεομένη καὶ Κύπρος· νομὸς πέμπτος οὗτος." https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh3090.htm 2022.07.29 3.91 "The country reaching from the city of Posideium(built by Amphilochus, son of Amphiaraus, on the confines of Syria and Cilicia) to the borders of Egypt, excluding therefrom a district which belonged to Arabia and was free from tax, paid a tribute of three hundred and fifty talents. All Phoenicia, Palestine Syria, and Cyprus, were herein contained. This was the fifth satrapy."  Book 4.39.1-2
39. This then is one of the peninsulas, and the other beginning from the land of the Persians stretches along to the Erythraian Sea, including Persia and next after it Assyria, and Arabia after Assyria: and this ends, or rather is commonly supposed to end, at the Arabian gulf, into which Dareios conducted a channel from the Nile. Now in the line stretching to Phenicia from the land of the Persians the land is broad and the space abundant, but after Phenicia this peninsula goes by the shore of our Sea along Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, where it ends; and in it there are three nations only. 39. [1] αὕτη μέν νυν ἡ ἑτέρη τῶν ἀκτέων, ἡ δὲ δὴ ἑτέρη ἀπὸ Περσέων ἀρξαμένη παρατέταται ἐς τὴν Ἐρυθρὴν θάλασσαν, ἥ τε Περσικὴ καὶ ἀπὸ ταύτης ἐκδεκομένη ἡ Ἀσσυρίη καὶ ἀπὸ Ἀσσυρίης ἡ Ἀραβίη· λήγει δὲ αὕτη, οὐ λήγουσα εἰ μὴ νόμῳ, ἐς τὸν κόλπον τὸν Ἀράβιον, ἐς τὸν Δαρεῖος ἐκ τοῦ Νείλου διώρυχα ἐσήγαγε. [2] μέχρι μέν νυν Φοινίκης ἀπὸ Περσέων χῶρος πλατὺς καὶ πολλός ἐστι· τὸ δὲ ἀπὸ Φοινίκης παρήκει διὰ τῆσδε τῆς θαλάσσης ἡ ἀκτὴ αὕτη παρά τε Συρίην τὴν Παλαιστίνην καὶ Αἴγυπτον, ἐς τὴν τελευτᾷ· ἐν τῇ ἔθνεα ἐστὶ τρία μοῦνα. https://sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh4030.htm 2022.07.29 "West of these nations there project into the sea two tracts which I will now describe; one, beginning at the river Phasis on the north, stretches along the Euxine and the Hellespont to Sigeum in the Troas; while on the south it reaches from the Myriandrian gulf, which adjoins Phoenicia, to the Triopic promontory. This is one of the tracts, and is inhabited by thirty different nations.

"The other starts from the country of the Persians, and stretches into the Erythraean sea, containing first Persia, then Assyria, and after Assyria, Arabia. It ends, that is to say, it is considered to end, though it does not really come to a termination, at the Arabian gulf- the gulf whereinto Darius conducted the canal which he made from the Nile. Between Persia and Phoenicia lies a broad and ample tract of country, after which the region I am describing skirts our sea, stretching from Phoenicia along the coast of Palestine-Syria till it comes to Egypt, where it terminates. This entire tract contains but three nations. The whole of Asia west of the country of the Persians is comprised in these two regions."  cBCE 445 (>4 Centuries After The LBAC  "Dark Age" ► Koine-Greek Greek Dark Age): Herodotus' Syrian-Παλαιστίνη ("Palestine")

Herodotus' Description of the East Mediterranean Coast (Rainey 2001)
Click to enlargeBCE 5th Century, Herodotus' Description of Μυριανδικοῦ Κόλπου (Mū•ri•an•di•köꞋū Köl•p öꞋū) Mediterranean West-Turkish Peninsula Coastlands-Pulossia ("Palestina";)

Herodotus (cBCE 484–425) travels followed 102 years that YᵊhūdꞋãh had been nationally orphaned of its royal and religious cental government (Bã•vëlꞋ having "cut the head off" of the nation of YᵊhūdꞋãh). Consequently, in the time of Herodotus' travels, YᵊhūdꞋãh had been a leaderless people ("without a shepherd"), first absorbed into the 𒆳𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠  (Kaldean  Neo-Babylonian Empire) SãꞋtrap•y, then absorbed into the 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 (Neo-Persian Iranian Empire) as a SãꞋtrap•y.

Thus, when Herodotus was in Persia looking west toward Φοινίκης, describing the extent of Persia, he wrote (Histories, Book 4.38):

Herodotus (cBCE 484–425) lived more than 4 centuries after the Greek Dark Ages had ended; in Halicarnassus, an Ionian Greek city on the SW coast of Anatolia (now Bodrum, Turkey), a SãꞋtrap•y of 𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶 (Neo-Persian Iranian Empire). Herodotus was a travel-writer, explicitly describes, exclusively, what he saw and heard on location, from local authorities, in his travels (not latest oral stories from sailors and merchants after he returned home). Thus, the description ascribed to Herodotus referred, inter alia, not to what Herodotus personally saw (which would have been Iran’s Fifth (Maritime) Tax SãꞋtrap•y—prior even to the decree of Iranian Shãh Artakhshast-Artaxerxes to authorize rebuilding the walls of Yᵊrū•shã•laꞋyim).

Accordingly, at the time Ἡρόδοτος wrote Ἱστορίαι chronicling the Greco-Persian Wars, Yᵊrū•shã•laꞋyim (as well as the entire nation of YᵊhūdꞋãh) was only 8 years into rebuilding after its nadir.

Herodotus: Syria-Παλαιστίνη "Palestine"

From cBCE 445 until Hadrian—who actually exiled all of the Yᵊhūd•imꞋ upon pain of death and reformed YᵊhūdꞋãh for the first time as a Roman province Hadrian renamed from YᵊhūdꞋãh to "Syria-Palestina" (135 CE) the only thing that existed that Herodotus could have referred to was the non-contiguous string of Pulossians coastal colonies between Egypt and—wait for it—Phoenicians (maritime cousins, but distinct)!

Most critically, nothing Herodotus recounted can be definitively dated later than BCE 430. Before Hadrian, 135 CE, the Palestina Province was strictly in Syria—separated from YᵊhūdꞋãh by the Shō•mᵊr•ōnꞋ, the Gã•lilꞋ and Phoenicia (Lebanon)! Before 135 CE, there had never been any connection between the Roman "Palestina" province—i.e. Phoenicia, located in Syria (or the other coastal Philistine (Palestinian) colony-clusters, Gaza Strip) and YᵊhūdꞋãh. It wasn't until after Hadrian crushed the Bar-KōkhꞋvã Rebellion in 135 CE, that he was able to Romanize YᵊhūdꞋãh, erase its name and redraw the southern border of the existing Roman Province of Palestina, located in Syrai, extending its border south to swallow YᵊhūdꞋãh.

Those who argue that Herodotus labeled any area of Israel as "Palestine" ignore the fact that Herodotus traveled almost exclusively by boat. Even inland he traveled down the Nile or Euphrates rivers. Herodotus saw "Palestine" during his travels 1. only from his ship sailing along the coast from Egypt to Syria, and 2. identifying the only only possible Syrian Palestina during his lifetime was located north of modern Lebanon—Syrian Palestina (which is also why he doesn't describe places in-between)!

This is corroborated as Herodotus described “Carian“ Turks (a maritime people of the Ægean Sea from the SW coast of modern Turkey), who developed maritime shipping lanes and colonized the Syrian (and modern Lebanese) coast before being gradually pushed inland. “Carian“ appears to be yet another synonym, in yet another language, for "foreign colonists"; this referring to a Turkish (Anatolian) Ægean coastal colony of the Phoenicians (Myce­naean-Greek, not Arab, "Philistines"). This is corroborated by the distinctive Pulossian headdress. Plutarch (46-120 CE) mentions the "Carians" as being referred to by the Persians as "cocks" on account of their wearing (apparently Phoenix dyed feather, or simulated feather) Phoenician Firebird crests on their helmets.

Further, other researchers have also noted that the writings of Herodotus explicitly and repeatedly specify Παλαιστίνη to refer exclusively to the coastal strip—not the interior—of the Eastern Mediterranean; i.e. DërꞋëkh ha-Yãm (The Coastal Road, Seaway) Trade Route; the only area that most major powers, seeking tax income, perpetually fought over. As Herodotus’ passage below explicitly specifies, the continuance of YᵊhūdꞋãh in the interior was never severed—even under foreign rule.

E.g., qq0727 Herodotus’ Histories 4:39 — "…Between Persia and Phoenicia lies a broad and ample tract of country, after which the region I am describing skirts our sea, stretching from Phoenicia along the coast of Palestine-Syria till it comes to Egypt, where it terminates. This entire tract contains but three nations. The whole of Asia west of the country of the Persians is comprised in these two regions."  (Book 7): "[The maritime Minoan Lebanese and Syrians of Palestine], according to their own account, dwelt anciently upon [islands of] the Mediterranean Sea, but sailing thenceforth, moored on the seacoast of Syria, where they still inhabit—this [seacoast] part of Syria, and all the [coastal] strip extending from hence to Egypt [i.e., DërꞋëkh ha-Yãm (The Coastal Road, Seaway) Trade Route], which is known by the name of Παλαιστίνη.”

The Pūlossian controlled and colonized a number of major ports and nearby coastlands around the Mediterranean Basin.

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