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A diaspora (from Greek διασπορά, "scattering, dispersion"[1]) is the movement or migration of a group of people, such as those sharing a national and/or ethnic identity, away from an established or ancestral homeland.


Origins and development

The first mention of a diaspora created as a result of exile is found in the Septuagint in the phrase "esē diaspora en pasais basileias tēs gēs" translated to mean "thou shalt be a dispersion in all kingdoms of the earth". Its use began to develop from this original sense when the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek;[2] in Ancient Greece the term diaspora meant "the scattered" and was used to refer to citizens of a dominant city-state who immigrated to a conquered land with the purpose of colonisation, to assimilate the territory into the empire.[3] After the Bible's translation into Greek, the word Diaspora then was used to refer to the population of Jews exiled from Israel in 607 BCE by the Babylonians, and from Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire.[4] It subsequently came to be used to refer to the historical movements of the dispersed ethnic population of Israel, to the cultural development of that population or to the population itself.[5] When capitalized and without modifiers (that is, simply the Diaspora), the term refers specifically to the Jewish diaspora;[6] when uncapitalized the word diaspora may be used to refer to refugee populations of other origins or ethnicities.[7][8] The wider application of diaspora evolved from the Assyrian two-way mass deportation policy of conquered populations to deny future territorial claims on their part.[9]

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