This PowerPoint presentation was created to accompany a lecture on the division of ancient Israel into two kingdoms (Israel and Judah) and the subsequent conquest of these kingdoms by the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires. The fall of Israel and Judah resulted in a diaspora (scattering) of peoples across the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. After Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered the Babylonian Empire, he allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. In the centuries that followed, a messianic tradition developed, which promised a deliverer who would restore the Kingdom of Judah. Zionism emerged in the late 19th century with a similar goal of restoring a sovereign Jewish homeland. The modern nation of Israel, founded in 1948, represents the realization of the goals of the Zionist movement. To this day, modern Israelis contest over this land with its neighbors much like their ancestors did three thousand years ago.