In the late 330s BCE, Alexander the Great occupied Palestine and the area which is now Israel, during his campaigns against the Persians. The landscape during this period was markedly changed by extensive growth and development that included urban planning and the establishment of well-built fortified cities. Hellenistic pottery, trade and commerce flourished, particularly in the most Hellenized areas, such as Ashkelon, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Gaza, and ancient Nablus (Tell Balatah).
When the area of Palestine fell into the hands of the Roman Empire, the area remained under the influence of the Greek language and culture. Especially when the Byzantine Empire took the position of the Romans, the Palestine reached its greatest prosperity in antiquity. Urbanization increased, large new areas were put under cultivation, monasteries proliferated and synagogues were restored. The cities of Palestine, such as Caesarea Maritima, Jerusalem, Scythopolis, Neapolis, and Gaza reached their peak population, and the population west of the Jordan may have reached as many as one million.