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Palaestina

(1,106 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. Name, geography, early history The Latin name P. originated from Greek Παλαιστίνη ( Palaistínē); the latter originated from Aramaic pelištaīn and Hebrew pelištīm, which was originally used to describe the settlement area of the Philistines in the south of the Near Eastern Mediterranean coast between Gaza and Carmel (likewise Egyptian prst/ pw-r-s-ṯ, 'foreign land of Philistaea', and Palaistínē in Hdt. 1,105; 3,5; 91; 7,89). P. was also mentioned as KUR pa-la-as-tú  in Neo-Assyrian sources since Adad-nirārī III (811-783 BC). The designation P. pa…

Gophna

(92 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Town c. 22 km north of Jerusalem on the Roman trade route to Neapolis, the modern Arabic Ǧifnā. At the time of  Herod, G. was the chief town of one of the eleven Jewish toparchies. In 44 BC,  Cassius sold the inhabitants of G. into slavery because they were not able to raise the tribute demanded. Mark Antony rescinded this measure shortly thereafter. Vespasian conquered the city in AD 69 during the course of the First Jewish War. Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography M. Avi-Yonah, E. Orni, s.v. Gofnah, Encyclopaedia Judaica 7, 691.

Bethlehem

(429 words)

Author(s): Köckert, Matthias (Berlin) | Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
This item can be found on the following maps: Pilgrimage [German version] A. Early history (Arab bait-laḥm; Βητλέεμ ( Bētléem; NT); Βαιτλεεμ ( Baitleem; LXX); Βητλέμα, Βηθλεέμη (Bētléma, Bēthleémē; Ios.); Hebrew bēt-leẹm ‘House of Bread’); located about 8 km south of Jerusalem on the important communication route between Jerusalem and Hebron on fertile land at the edge of the desert. The interpretation of the place name as a derivation from a goddess named Lachama is improbable [1]. Archaeologically attested from the Iron Ag…

Batanaea

(319 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] High plain, bordered to the west by the Golan Mountains (Γαυλανῖτις), to the north-west by Mount Hermon, to the north-east by the basalt desert of Laǧā (Τραχωνῖτις), to the south-east by the Ḥaurān Mountains (Αὐρανῖτις), and to the south by the river Yarmuk (Hieromykes) and its tributary wadis, thus occupying the same area as today's Nuqra. The name goes back to OT Bāšān (therefore Greek Βασάν; Basán and Βασανῖτις; Basanîtis). The dissolution of the Seleucid government in Syria and Palestine in the late 2nd cent. BC briefly brought B. under Nabataea…

Iambia

(115 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ἰαμβία κώμη; Iambía kṓmē). Port town on the western coast of the Arabian peninsula, according to Ptolemy belonging to the territory of the Arsae (Ἄρσαι, Ptol. 6,7,3). I. is probably also identical with the island of Iambe, which, according to Plin. HN 6,168, lies off Berenice but is otherwise unknown. While the history of I. during the Hellenistic and Roman-Byzantine periods is largely unknown, the town achieved some importance under the Arab name of Yanbuʿ al-baḥr as the port of Medina (Ἰάθριππα; láthrippa/Yaṯrib), especially for pilgrim traffic. …

Capernaum

(472 words)

Author(s): Pahlitzsch, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] City in  Galilaea on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee ( Tiberias). The Greek designation Καφαρναούμ ( Kapharnaoúm), in the NT in some variants also Καπερναούμ ( Kapernaoúm Mk 1,21), is derived from the Hebrew Kefar Naḥūm (village of Naḥūm) which appears in a Byzantine inscription found in the synagogue of Ḥammaṯ-Gāder. In later Jewish tradition, the name was changed to Kefar Tanḥūm or simply Tanḥūm, which in turn gave rise to the current Arab name Talḥūm (but not Tall Ḥūm as a derivation of Tall Naḥūm). Even though C. was inhabited from the 3rd millennium B…
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