Circle of the rhetoric (Chasing one's tail)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Thu Jul 18 11:18:57 EDT 2002

>> >>Perhaps you mean the land of ISRAEL here.

>Then it was Canaan.
>However, Deutero-Isaiah referred to the God of Israel,
>and to the Land of Israel.
>If we're talking about Isaiah, and if we're talking about
>the *Biblical* writers, it should surely be called Israel.
>If you refer to particular areas, you could distinguish
>Judah and Samaria. If you refer to "Palestine" then you
>refer to the coastal areas, controlled by the Philistines
>during the 11th century.
>And if Lemche objects, he has not shown that Herodotus,
>writing in the 5th century, refers to more than the coast
>when he refers to Palestine. If you refer to the land under
>the Persians, you could refer to the province of Yehud,
>or the satrapy of Beyond the River. If under the Romans,
>you could refer to Coele-Syria (All or Greater Syria).
>However, if you refer to the *modern* state, then it is still
>Israel, it has not yet been partitioned.

What is so often sought after and consistently missed 
is a generic term such as that which we have for the 
area between and adjacent to the Tigris and Euphrates 
rivers, ie Mesopotamia. It is necessary to have such a 
generic term so as to avoid assumptions based on 
matters tangential to the archaeological and historical 

One can happily talk about Mesopotamia over a historical 
period of at least 3500 years and one doesn't have to 
pussy-foot over supersilious debates over the correct 
flaming name. It is one of the most stupid situations 
one is confronted with while trying to deal as 
objectively as possible with the study of the 
archaeology and history of the region between the Dead 
Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

We so often do this two-step in names for the region 
under investigation. 

If we can't simply use a term the individual prefers 
and of course accept reciprocally those use by others,
can we opt for something purely descriptive, such as 
Southern Levant? It seems to me to be devoid of the 
sorts of assumptions that get bandied about.


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