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Antiochus Advances To Raphia

Having marched to Pelusium Ptolemy made his first
Ptolemy enters Palestine.
halt in that town: and having been there joined by the stragglers, and having given out their rations of corn to his men, he got the army in motion, and led them by a line of march which goes through the waterless region skirting Mount Casius and the Marshes.1 On the fifth day's march he reached his destination, and pitched his camp a distance of fifty stades from Rhaphia, which is the first city of Coele-Syria towards Egypt.

While Ptolemy was effecting this movement Antiochus

Antiochus goes to meet him.
arrived with his army at Gaza, where he was joined by some reinforcements, and once more commenced his advance, proceeding at a leisurely pace. He passed Rhaphia and encamped about ten stades from the enemy. For a while the two armies preserved this distance, and remained encamped opposite each other. But after some few days, wishing to remove to more advantageous ground and to inspire confidence in his troops, Antiochus pushed forward his camp so much nearer Ptolemy, that the palisades of the two camps were not more than five stades from each other; and while in this position, there were frequent struggles at the watering-places and on forays, as well as infantry and cavalry skirmishes in the space between the camps.

1 Called Barathra. See Strabo, 17.1.21.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), RAPHIA
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