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One of the five Philistine principalities, situated towards the southern extremity of Canaan, about sixteen miles south of Ascalon, and a small distance from the Mediterranean. Its port was called Gazaeorum Portus. As the name of the city of Gaza appears in the first book of Moses (x. 18), Mela must of course be mistaken, who says it is of Persian origin, and states that Cambyses made this place his chief magazine in the expedition against Egypt (Mela, i. 11). It was, however, an important and strongly-fortified place, as being situated so near the borders of that country. Alexander took and pillaged it, after it had made a powerful resistance for the space of three months (Arrian, ii. 27; Quintus Curtius, iv. 6). Antiochus the Great sacked it, and it was several times taken from the Syrians by the Maccabees (Iosephus, Ant. Iud. xiii. 21). It was afterwards subjected to new losses, so that St. Luke states (Acts, viii. 26) that it was, in his time, a desert place. The town was subsequently called Constantia. It is now termed by the Arabs, Ghuzzeh. The ancient name in Hebrew signifies “strong.”


A city in the Persian province of Sogdiana. It was one of the seven cities that rebelled against Alexander the Great in B.C. 328.

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