Member of a group of Aegean origin that settled on the southern coast of Palestine. The Philistines first settled the region during the 12th century BC, about the time the Israelites arrived. They lived in five cities (the Pentapolis) that together made up Philistia, from which the Greeks derived the name Palestine. They first fought the Israelites in the 11th century BC. In the 10th century BC they were defeated by the Israelite king David. They were later ruled by Assyria, Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The group appears prominently in the Old Testamentfrom which much of the information about them is derivedthough they left no written records of their own. It is from these many and coloured biblical references that the term assumes its modern significance in the English language.