Diaspora Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

Posted By on January 7, 2022

Origin of diasporaFirst recorded in 16901700; from Greek diaspor scattering, dispersion; see origin at dia-, sporehistorical usage of diaspora

The history of the term diaspora shows how a word's meaning can spread from a very specific sense to encompass much broader ones. Diaspora first entered English in the late 17th century to describe the communities of urban, observant Jews who lived in the larger cities of the Roman Empire (e.g., Rome, Alexandria, Antioch) and were proselytized by the first generation of Christians (i.e., the Apostles and their disciples) in the mid-first century a.d. The Jewish Diaspora (often capitalized) began with the deportation of Israelites by the Assyrian and Babylonian kings in the 8th, 7th, and 5th centuries b.c. The term originates from Greek diaspor, meaning a dispersion or scattering, found in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible (Deuteronomy 28:25, Psalms 146 or 147:2) and in the New Testament (Gospel of St. John 7:35). While this specific historical sense is still used, especially in scholarly writing, modern-day definitions of the Jewish Diaspora can refer to the displacement of Jews at other times during their history, especially after the Holocaust in the 20th century. The term can also refer generally to Jews living today outside of Israel. Diaspora also has been applied to the similar experiences of other peoples who have been forced from their homelands: for example, to the trans-Atlantic passage of Africans under the slave trade of the 17th through 19th centuries, which has been called the African Diaspora. More recently, we find a scattering of the meaning of diaspora, which can now be used to refer not only to a group of people, but also to some aspect of their culture, as in the global diaspora of American-style capitalism.

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Diaspora Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

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