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Philistines Research Papers

Philistines research papers examine the history and settlement of these people as they scattered across the Middle East. Our history writers will custom write a project on the Philistines and focus on any period of time you need reviewed.

The Philistines are one of the most widely despised groups in human history, their very name synonymous with the boorish and uncouth. For instance, Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a philistine as “a person who is guided by materialism and is usually disdainful of intellectual or artistic values”. Likewise, according to dictionary.com, the adjective philistine is employed when describing individuals who are “smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values,” or who are otherwise “uninterested in intellectual pursuits.” Ironically, however, outside of certain potentially unreliable religious passages, very little solid historical or archaeological evidence exists about the people who lent their name to this pejorative term.

Scholars now widely agree that Philistine civilization endured for almost 600 years and that at the height of this civilization their homeland, Philistia, was comprised of five major urban settlements stretched across an expanse of coastal plain that encompassed modern-day Gaza and Tel Aviv:Philistines

  • Ashkelon
  • Ekron
  • Gaza
  • Ashdod
  • Gath

Beyond such basic details, however, little knowledge of the Philistines has been firmly established. The Judeo-Christian Bible often depicts the Philistines as a villainous people. For instance, the ogre Goliath—who was heroically assassinated by a young, heroic King David in one of the Bible’s most widely known stories—is described as a Philistine. In another popular Biblical account, the individuals who blinded the mighty Samson after his betrayal at the hands of Delilah were also Philistines.

Despite centuries of research, however, scientists have been unable to determine with certainty the origins of Philistines and to explain how they arrived on the Middle Eastern shores over three millennia ago. In fact, a variety of often-contradictory theories have been proposed to explain who these enigmas of human history actually were. For instance, Finkelstein appears to subscribe to the theory that the Philistines were Greek in origin. Finkelstein suggests that the existence of Aegean mercenaries in Philistia might have served as one of the critical important stimuli to the Greek renaissance that occurred there in the seventh century BCE. As such, the territorial boundaries between Judah and the Philistine city-states of the seventh-century BCE would also have served as crucial cultural frontiers between the deuteronomistic ideas of Judah and Greek (and Egyptian) renaissance sentiments in Philistia, facilitating the penetration of Greek ideas into Judah and Judahite texts and the transfer of deuteronomistic ideas to the west.

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