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The Philistines: Their History and Civilization

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Victoria Liss
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« on: October 02, 2009, 01:08:24 pm »

The Philistines
Their History and Civilization
by R.A.S. Macalister
[1913]


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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2009, 01:08:47 pm »

This short monograph on the Philistines is one of the few on these mysterious people. The Philistines may have been emmigrants from Mycenean Greece, part of the 'Sea People' migrations of the 12th century BCE. The Philistines occupied an area on the Mediterranian coast approximately corresponding to the current Gaza strip. Note that the ancient Philistines have no connection with the modern Palestinians: the Philistines disappeared in the 5th century BCE.


We have no written texts in the original Philistine words except for a few Hebrew loan-words. There is evidence that Philistine was an Indo-European language. Later, they adopted Aramaic, a Semitic language.
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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 01:09:01 pm »

The Philistines pop up in some of the most dramatic tales of the Bible. Who can forget Samson tearing down the Philistine temple with his bare hands? Or the ultimate long-odds battle: young David versus the Philistine Goliath.

Macalister covers in some detail Philistine religion. The Philistines fit into an ancient Near Eastern polytheistic religious complex. They worshipped Canaanite deities such as Baal-zebub ('Lord of the Flies'), the high Goddess Astarte, and Dagon, a merman fish-god who was also a culture hero. When the Philistines stole the Ark of the Covenant, they reputedly stashed it in the temple of Dagon at Ashod.

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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2009, 01:09:30 pm »

One of the more controversial parts of Macalister's thesis is that the mysterious Phaistos disk was of Philistine origin. The provenance of the disk has been established firmly in the basement of the Hagia Triada site in southern Crete. Although this would be a tough sell today, it is nice to have good line-reproductions of both sides of the disk, along with an attempt to make a simple concordance of each sign. Macalister does also include source texts for some of the classical mentions of the Philistines.

J.B. Hare, October 1st, 2009.

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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2009, 01:09:59 pm »

  The Philistines
Their History and Civilization
By
R. A. Stewart Macalister, MA., FṢ.A.

(Professor of Celtic Archaeology, University College, Dublin)
The Schweich Lectures
London: Published for the British Academy by Humphrey Milford
[1913]

Welche Ironie der Weltgeschichte, dass die so wenig 'philisterhafte' Nation in mehreren Sprachen Europas jetzt ihren Namen zur Bezeichnung des feigen und langweiligen Spiessbürgers hergeben muss!

W. Max Müller

'Philistinism', after all, stands for two great habits, decency and order.

The Quarterly Review, 1899
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2009, 01:11:12 pm »

PREFACE

Among the Nations that came within the purview of the Old Testament Writers—nations seldom mentioned without stricture, whether for idolatry, immorality, or cruelty—perhaps none were the object of so concentrated an aversion as were the Philistines. The licentiousness of the Amorites, the hard-heartedness of the Egyptian taskmasters, the fiendish savagery of the Assyrian warriors, each of these in turn receives its due share of condemnation. But the scornful judgement passed by the Hebrews on the Philistines has made a much deeper impression on the Bible-reading West than have their fulminations against other races and communities with which they had to do. In English, from at least the time of Dekker, 1 the word 'Philistine' has been used in one or other of the senses of the modern colloquialism 'outsider'; and, especially since the publication of the essays of Mr. Matthew Arnold, it has become almost a technical term for a person boorish or bucolic of mind, impervious to the higher influences of art or of civilization. In French and German—probably, indeed, in most of the languages of Europe—the word is used in familiar speech with a greater or less approximation to the same meaning.

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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 01:11:19 pm »

The following little book is an attempt to collect in a convenient form the information so far available about the Philistine people. It is an expansion of a course of three lectures, delivered in 1911 before the British Academy under the Schweich Fund. In preparing it for publication, the matter has been revised and re-written throughout; and the division into lectures—primarily imposed by the exigencies of time-allowance—has been abandoned for a more systematic and convenient division into chapters and sections.

It is hoped that the perusal of these pages will at least suggest


p. xvi

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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2009, 01:11:31 pm »

a doubt as to the justice of the colloquial use of the name of this ancient people.

As it may be well to preserve a record of the syllabus of the original lectures, a copy of it is subjoined.

Lecture I (15 December, 1911). The evil reputation of the Philistines. Recent researches and discoveries. A sketch of the development of Cretan civilization. The Keftiu in the Egyptian records. The sack of Cnossos and subsequent developments. The 'Peoples of the Sea'. Their raid on Egypt. Its repulse. Recovery of the 'Peoples of the Sea' from their reverse. The adventures of Wen-Amon. The earliest reference to the Philistines in the Old Testament. The Abraham and Isaac stories. The references in the history of the Exodus. Shamgar. Samson.

Lecture II (18 December, 1911). The domination of the Philistines. The capture of the Ark and the outbreak of plague. Samuel and Saul. Relative culture of Philistines and Hebrews during the reign of Saul. The incidents of David's outlawry. Achish, king of Gath. Gilboa. The Philistine domination broken by David. The various versions of the story of Goliath. The Philistines under the later monarchy. The Philistines in the Assyrian records. Nehemiah. The Maccabees. Traditions of the Philistines among the modern peasants of Palestine. Theories of the origin of the Philistines. Caphtor and the Cherethites.

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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2009, 01:11:44 pm »

Lecture III (22 December, 1911). The Organization of the Philistines. Their country and cities. The problem of the site of Ekron. The language of the Philistines. Alleged traces of it in Hebrew. Their religion and deities. Their art. Recent discoveries. The place of the Philistines in History and civilization.

I have to express my acknowledgements to my friends and colleagues, the Rev. P. Boylan, Maynooth, and the Rev. Prof. Henry Browne, S. J.; also to the Very Rev. Principal G. A. Smith, Aberdeen, and Mr. E. H. Alton, of Dublin University, for allowing me to consult them on various points that arose in the course of this work. The first and last named have most kindly read through proof-sheets of the work and have made many valuable suggestions, but they have no responsibility for any errors that the discerning critic may detect.

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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2009, 01:11:55 pm »

The figures on pp. 118, 119 are inserted by permission of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

R. A. S. M.

    Dublin,
New Year, 1913.


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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2009, 01:12:13 pm »

Footnotes

xv:1 The New English Dictionary quotes, inter alia, 'Silke and satten, you mad Philistines, silke and satten' (Dekker, 1600): 'They say, you went to Court last Night very drunk; nay, I'm told for certain you had been among Philistines' (Swift, 1738): 'The obtuseness of a mere English Philistine we trust is pardonable' (The Examiner, 1827): 'Philistinism! we have not the expression in English. Perhaps we have not the word because we have so much of the thing' (M. Arnold. 1863): and the quotation from the Quarterly Review, which is printed on the title-page.



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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2009, 01:12:28 pm »

p. xvii

CONTENTS
CHAPTER I
 
 
 
 PAGE
 
The Origin of the Philistines
 1
 

CHAPTER II
 
 
The History of the Philistines
 29
 
    1. The Adventures of Wen-Amon among them
 29
 
    2. Their Struggle with the Hebrews
 38
 
    3. Their Decline and Disappearance
 62
 

CHAPTER III
 
 
The Land of the Philistines
 68
 

CHAPTER IV
 
 
The Culture of the Philistines
 79
 
    1. Their Language
 79
 
    2. Their Organization: (A) Political, (B) Military, (C) Domestic.
 87
 
    3. Their Religion
 90
 
    4. Their Place in History and Civilization
 114
 

p. xviii p. xix

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
FIG.
 
 PAGE:
 
1.
 A Keftian from the Tomb of Rekhmara and a Cretan from Knossos
 9
 
2.
 Sketch-neap to illustrate the Battle of Geba
 50
 
3.
 Sketch-map of Philistia
 77
 
4.
 The Phaestos Disk
 84, 85
 
5.
 Coins of Gaza and Ashkelon
 112
 
6.
 The Characters on the Phaestos Disk
 116
 
7.
 Wagons of the Pulasati
 118
 
8.
 The Head-dress of the Pulasati
 118
 
9.
 The Sea-fight between Ramessu III and the Allies
 119
 
10.
 A Bird, as painted on an Amorite and a Philistine Vase respectively
 121
 
11.
 Sketch-plans and Elevations of the Marneion at Gaza and of Solomon's Temple
 124
 



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Victoria Liss
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2009, 01:13:08 pm »

p. 1

THE PHILISTINES
THEIR HISTORY AND CIVILIZATION
CHAPTER I
THE ORIGIN OF THE PHILISTINES

The Old Testament history is almost exclusively occupied with Semitic tribes. Babylonians, Assyrians, Canaanites, Hebrews, Aramaeans—all these, however much they might war among themselves, were bound by close linguistic and other ties, bespeaking a common origin in the dim, remote recesses of the past. Even the Egyptians show evident signs of having been at least crossed with a Semitic strain at some period early in their long and wonderful history. One people alone, among those brought conspicuously to our notice in the Hebrew Scriptures, impresses the reader as offering indications of alien origin. This is the people whom we call 'Philistines'.

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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 01:13:23 pm »

If we had any clear idea of what the word 'Philistine' meant, or to what language it originally belonged, it might throw such definite light upon the beginnings of the Philistine people that further investigation would be unnecessary. The answer to this question is, however, a mere matter of guess-work. In the Old Testament the word is regularly written Pelištīm (‏פְּלִשְׁתִּים‎), singular Pelištī (‏פְּלִשְׁתִּי‎), twice 1 Pelištīyim (‏פְּלִשְׁתִּיִים‎), The territory which they inhabited during the time of their struggles with the Hebrews is known as ’ereṣ Pelištim (‏אֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים‎) 'the Land of Philistines', or in poetical passages, simply Pelešeth (‏פֶּלֶשֶׁת‎) 'Philistia'. Josephus regularly calls them Παλαιστινοί, except once, in his version of the Table of Nations in Genesis x (Ant. I. vi. 2) where we have the genitive singular Φυλιστίνου.


p. 2

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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 01:13:36 pm »

Various conjectures as to the etymology of this name have been put forward from time to time. One of the oldest, that apparently due to Fourmont, 1 connects it with the traditional Greek name Πελασγοί; an equation which, however, does no more than move the problem of origin one step further back. This theory was adopted by Hitzig, the author of the first book in modern times on the Philistines, 2 Who connected the word with Sanskrit valakṣa 'white', and made other similar comparisons, as for instance between the name of the deity of Gaza, Marna, and the Indian Varuna. On the other hand a Semitic etymology was sought by Gesenius, 3 Movers, 4 and others, who quoted an Ethiopic verb falasa, 'to wander, roam,' whence comes the substantive fallási, 'a stranger.'
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