Recently, scholars have distinguished between different kinds of diaspora, based on its causes such as imperialism, trade or labor migrations, or by the kind of social coherence within the diaspora community and its ties to the ancestral lands. Some diaspora communities maintain strong political ties with their homeland. Other qualities that may be typical of many diasporas are thoughts of return, relationships with other communities in the diaspora, and lack of full integration into the host country.
The term is derived from the Greek verb διασπείρω (diaspeirō), "I scatter", "I spread about" and that from διά (dia), "between, through, across" and the verb σπείρω (speirō), "I sow, I scatter". In Ancient Greece the term διασπορά (diaspora) hence meant "scattering" and was inter alia used to refer to citizens of a dominant city-state who emigrated to a conquered land with the purpose of colonization, to assimilate the territory into the empire. An example of a diaspora from classical antiquity is the century-long exile of the Messenians under Spartan rule and the Ageanites as described by Thucydides in his "history of the Peloponnesian wars."
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So after the Bible's translation into Greek, the word diaspora would then have been used to refer to the Northern Kingdom exiled between 740–722 BC from Israel by the Assyrians, as well as Jews, Benjaminites, and Levites exiled from the Southern Kingdom in 587 BCE by the Babylonians, and from Roman Judea in 70 CE by the Roman Empire. 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 that population itself. In English when capitalized and without modifiers (that is simply, the Diaspora), the term refers specifically to the Jewish diaspora; when uncapitalized the word diaspora may be used to refer to refugee or immigrant populations of other origins or ethnicities living "away from an established or ancestral homeland". 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.