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Philistines (fĭlˈĭstēnz, fĭlĭsˈ–) [key], inhabitants of Philistia, a non-Semitic people who came to Palestine from the Aegean (probably Crete), in the 12th cent. B.C. Their control of iron supplies and their tight political organization of cities made them a rival of the people of Israel for centuries. Philistine has come to mean an uncultured, materialistic person.

See studies by T. Dothan (1982) and B. F. Griffin (1983).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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