85778 - Transcription: Historical foundations regarding Gaza

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Athina Kehagias

Because during this period we are talking a lot about Gaza, it is wise to found our knowledge. One thing that’s of importance is that there is already a reference to Gaza in the Thutmose III era, who was a Pharaoh in Egypt during the 18th dynasty and this takes us back to 1500 BC. We are more or less in the same period as the Minoan epoch as far as our own are concerned. And this matters, because then on, there will be an inhibition by the so called Philistines, this will actually occur after two centuries, almost three.  Therefore, what is important is to understand that the Philistines are coming to the region in order to attack the Egyptians and eventually they will end up in Gaza and they will stay in this port – city which is of strategic importance since it is on route between Egypt and Syria, via Lebanon, as we now say. We ought to also understand that because it is of strategic importance there will also be a siege by Alexander the Great, in -332, and the city will be captured and taken by Alexander the Great, because it was a semantic city for the region, when he will be later on in Egypt. It is interesting therefore, that Gaza also appears in the biblical texts, it exists as something which is different and we know it, because it does not relate to the region of Judea, nor with the region of Galilee. So, if we have these foundations, we can objectively deal with some discussions which are however unspecific upon this subject because they do not actually highlight a fact. The Arab element will actually merely come in the 7th century, which is around 630, and then is when it will be established. So one is one thing and one is another, that is, the Philistines, who will also name Palestine through Strabo, therefore it derives from a Greek source which will be used by the Romans as well. Thereon the Arabs will come in the 7th century in actual fact, and afterwards we will enter the Muslim context that we are aware of. Therefore it is important to separate what happened before the Philistines, what happened with the Philistines, what happened when the Arabs came around and of course the Islamic element came as well, so that we know clearly that this city, which is in fact ancient and is very important for the region, has its own history which we should not falsify or alter, or else we follow other ideas that are more related to ideology than to history.