This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.
Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of Palestine, contrary to accepted belief, is not a modern invention or one constructed in opposition to Israel, but rooted firmly in ancient past. Palestine represents the authoritative account of the country's history.
Professor Nur Masalha is a Palestinian writer, historian and academic. He is currently a member of the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS, University of London. He is editor of the Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies. His books include: Expulsion of the Palestinians (1992); A Land Without a People (1997); The Politics of Denial (2003); The Bible and Zionism (Zed 2007); The Palestine Nakba (Zed 2012); and An Oral History of the Palestinian Nakba (with Nahla Abdo, Zed 2018).
Introduction 1. The Philistines and Philistia as a Distinct Geo-political Entity: Late Bronze Age to 500 BC 2. The Conception of Palestine in Classical Antiquity and During the Hellenistic Empires (500-135 BC) 3. From Philistia to Provincia `Syria Palaestina' (135 AD-390 AD): The Administrative Province of Roman Palestine 4. The (Three in One) Provincia Palaestina: The Three Administrative Provinces of Byzantine Palestine (4th-Early 7th Centuries AD) 5. Arab Christian Palestine: The Pre-Islamic Arab Kings, Bishops and Poets and Tribes of Provincia Palaestina (3rd-Early 7th Centuries AD) 6. The Arab Province of Jund Filastin (638-1099 AD): Continuities, Adaption and Transformation of Palestine under Islam 7. Between Egypt and al-Sham: Palestine during the Ayyubid, Mamluk and Early Ottoman Periods 8. Palestinian Statehood in the 18th Century: Early Modernities and Practical Sovereignty in Palestine 9. Being Palestine, Becoming Palestine: Rediscovery and New Representations of Modern Palestine and their Impact on Palestinian National Identity 10. Settler-colonialism and Disinheriting the Palestinians: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State