Korifaeus Magazine

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Etymology of ” Palestine”

Pale Stones
By Korifaeus


Now more than ever before there are disagreements between the smoking heads, arguing about the word Palestine, and if such an historic place or area ever existed in ancient times. The word Palestine could be an anglicized form of various places; there’s the term ” Philistine”, from which the name Palestine is believed to’ve been derived, though etymologically it’s a stretch. Philistines were a tribe of supposed warriors said to’ve lived in the region of modern day Israel, one of whom, the infamous Goliath, had, according to the Bible, been smitten by a stone thrown by David, who later became King of Israel.

But there’s a lingual root problem and that is that the words ” Philistine” and “Palestine” are two different words with two very different meanings. Philistines comes from Philisthaeas”, the people of Philisthaea” ( a region in southern Canaan, also spelled Chan’aan ( Latin) which was in ancient “Sinae” (Greek), what’s now modern day China. The Name China is derived from the ancient Greek word for China,which was Sinae. The root of the word Philisthaea is Greek , meaning ” Lovers of a female Divinity”. Philis is from the Greek word Philo, which means to love, and Thaea from the Greek Word Theos ( masculine) and Thea( feminine), which means God/Goddess.

Palestine, however, which may be derived from the Latin word Palaestina,( Classic/Modern Latin) means “Land of the Wrestlers” – a Palaestes ( Latin) being a wrestler.
Another possibility is Palatine, from the Latin word Palatinus, ( Classic/Modern Latin) which means “Of the Palace”

Then there’s the Palestine, specifically ” Palestina” ( Pre-Graeco Latin) a term the Latins, i.e., Romans, used to refer to the region surrounding modern day Jerusalem, and meant ” Pale Stone”, due to its native pale limestone, of which the Western Wall and other structures were built.

The term Pale-stines was also a term used by Moors and Judaic families to refer to little white stones, one used to keep in the pocket to occasionally drop them, so to never lose one’s way, when following the white stones, which could have been meant allegorically. Whenever one would see little white stones, one referred to them as Palestines, also Palesteins.

And finally there is the name Palestina some historians, specifically Greek Historians and Etyomologists, believed to’ve derived from the term ” Pallas’Athina”, – Pallas having been an epithet of the Greek Goddess Athena. With an enormous amount of Hellenists ( ancient Greeks) having inhabited the Region of Gallilee in ancient times, it is not inconceivable that some may’ve referred to part of the region as Pallas’Athina.

Only Britain itself, however, can explain why they chose to name their 1917/1920 to 1948 territory British Mandate of ” Palestine”.


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