there is nothing of mysterious about Herodot´s description of the 5th nome and/or of Syria/Palestine.
As according to Rollinger´s study from 2006, "The terms "Assyria" and "Syria" again", JNES, based mainly on the bilingual from Cineköy, is the Greek name “Syria” just derived from “Assyria” and it thus denotes the region formerly belonging to the Neo-Assyrian empire. Aphaeresis is a frequent phenomenon in Luwian and the Greek heard the name Assyria over this channel (creating Syria) and at the same time by direct contact with the Assyrians (among else as Assyrian mercenaries in the 7th century) – thus leading to both names in Greek: Assyria and Syria.
Thus if we read in Herodot about the border of the 5th nome stretching from Cilicia to Egypt, we read nothing else than about the stretch of the former Assyrian empire in its last period along the Mediterranean. Else formulated: the Persian nomes corresponded roughly to the borders of the annexed former independent countries or to the border of the independent countries formerly annexed by the Neobabylonian empire. There is thus little of a surprise to learn about the part of Syria named Palestine.
Would have Herodot bothered to describe the inland geography behind Phoenicia and Palestine, he would have coined for them the terms: the parts of Syria named Judea and Aram.
There is thus little of an argument to create concerning Judea or Israel on this basis.
Oberursel/Warmbronn - independent scholar.
] Im Auftrag von Frank Polak
Gesendet: Samstag, 2. März 2013 14:31
Betreff: Re: SV: SV: [ANE-2] Re: "his seed is not"
Dear Niels Peter,
My apologies for the partial text that passed the Cyber Pass.
Hopefully this time at last the entire message.
Let me try a little construction. Herodotus (I 104-105) describes the
Scythian advance from Anatolia ('Asiè' in his terms) to Egypt. In #105
he recounts how
Psammetichos approached (’antiaw) the Scythians and persuaded them
with entreaties and gifts not to continue their advance. The next
sentence states that they went back on their traces and
entered (eginonto) in Ascalon, a town of Syria ('tès suriès en
askalwni poli'), where some of them plundered the sanctuary of
Aphrodite of heaven (tès ouraniès aphroditès to hiron).
Not too much inland, I would say.
In II 104 the Phoenicians are also mentioned as agreeing that they
learned circumcision from the Egyptians. In this connection he also
mentions the 'Syrians living around the Thermadon
river, northeast Turkey, pouring into the Black Sea) and the
Parthenios (in Eastern Turney, the Bartin river) have learned it from
the Colchians (Southeast of the Black Sea).
What, then, is the meaning of 'Surios' in Hdt?
In III 5 Hdt describes the region Cambyses had to pass through to
Egypt, from Phoenicia to 'Kadutios polios' (the city of Gaza), and
from there he describes the northern way through Sinai.
All in all, the issue seems quite clear: the region Hdt calls Suriè
Palaistinè is the the country along the Mediterranean coast to the
south of the Phoenician
region. Two cities are mentioned by name: Gaza and Ascalon.
Apparently Hdt (or the Greek merchants/sailors/inhabitnants of Gaza
giving him the information), was not too well acquainted with the
situation in the inland parts of this region, although according to II
5 he had visited Gaza and according to II 44 Tyre as well (turèn tès
Hdt doesn't mention Damascus, Emesa or Palmyra, and may not have seen
the inland region. Moreover, his notion of Suriè seems rather wide (II
I am not sure there would be a name for the entire country, for
politically there were different areas: part of the coast area
belonged to Tyre. Part of it belonged to Gaza-Ashkalon-Ashdod, part of
it to Samaria, part of it to Idumaea, and the position of Ye/ahud at
this junctiure is unclear.
For Hdt Phoinikè is a coast region.
With best wishes,
Tel Aviv University
On Mar 2, 2013, at 9:56 AM, Niels Peter Lemche wrote:
> Herodotus’ use of the term Palestine and Palestinians is
> particularly revealing, as he seems always to use the term in
> connection with Syria: I 105: (about Psammeticus meeting the
> Scythians in the Palestinian Syria); II 106: ἐν δὲ τῇ
> Παλαιστίνῃ Συρίῃ (about Stelas erected by Pharaohs
> Sesostris in the Palestinian Syria; cf. immediately before this II
> 104: Φοίνικες δὲ καὶ Σύροι οἱ ἐν τῇ
> Παλαιστίνῃ (about Phoenicians and Syrians living in
> Palestine who are tracing the habit of circumcision back to Egypt);
> III 91: Φοινίκη τε πᾶσα καὶ Συρίη ἡ
> Παλαιστίνη καλεομένη ... (‘Phoenicia and that
> part of Syria which is called Palestine’); IV 39: παρά τε
> Συρίην τὴν Παλαιστίνην (part of a geographical
> description of the Levant); VII 89: τῆς δὲ Συρίης
> τοῦτο τὸ χωρίον καὶ τὸ μέχρι
> Αἰγύπτου πᾶν Παλαιστίνη καλέεται
> (in A. de Sélincourt’s translation [Penguin]: ‘This part of
> Syria, together with the country which extends southward to Egypt,
> is all known as Palestine’), and in the same passage the expression
> Σύροισι τοῖσι ἐν τῇ Παλαιστίνῃ as
> (saying that the Syrians living in Palestine contributed 300
> triremes to Xerxes’ fleet). Cf., finally, also III 5: ἀπὸ δε
> Καδύτιος πόλιος ἥ ἐστι Συρίων τῶν
> Παλαιστίνων καλεομένων (‘From Phoenicia to the
> boundaries of Gaza the country belongs to the Syrians known as
> (Clio is Also Among the Muses. Keith W. Whitelam and the History of
> Palestine: A Review and a Commentary, Scandinavian Journal of the
> Old Testament 10 (1996), 88-114).
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