721 — 332 BCE

721 — 332 BCE

Introduction

Palestine was brought under Mesopotamian hegemony, and was conquered in 721 BCE by the Assyrians and in 586 BCE by the Babylonians, who exiled much of the population. During this time, the name Palestine in the form of Plistu appeared for the first time in Assyrian documents.

The Persian emperor Cyrus conquered Palestine and allowed Hebrews to return from exile. Many of the characteristic ideas and institutions, including the term Jews, emerged during this time. Much of the Hebrew Bible was re-written and completed.

The name “Palestine” was mentioned by the Greek historian Herodotus and appeared later in the Old Testament in the Hebrew form “Pleshet”, originating from Pleshteem (Philistines).