Battle of Panium
The Battle of Panium was fought in 200 BC near Paneas between Seleucid and Ptolemaic forces as part of the Fifth Syrian War. The Seleucids were led by Antiochus III the Great, while the Ptolemaic army was led by Scopas of Aetolia; the Seleucids achieved a complete victory, annihilating the Ptolemaic army and conquering the province of Coele-Syria. The Ptolemaic Kingdom never recovered from its defeat at Panium and ceased to be an independent great power. Antiochus secured his southern flank and began to concentrate on the looming conflict with the Roman Republic. In 202 BC, Ptolemy son of Thraseas, the Ptolemaic governor of Coele-Syria, defected to the side of Antiochus III the Great, the ruler of the Seleucid Empire. Antiochus invaded and occupied most of the province, including the city of Gaza, by the autumn of 201 BC, when he returned to winter quarters in Syria; the Ptolemaic commander Scopas of Aetolia reconquered parts of the province that winter. Antiochus gathered his army at Damascus and in the summer of 200 BC, he confronted the Ptolemaic army at the stream of Panium near Mount Hermon.
The Ptolemaic front line was four kilometers wide. The left wing was deployed on the plain below the Panium plateau, it consisted of the 25,000–32,000 strong Macedonian settler phalanx under the command of Ptolemy son of Aeropus, a Macedonian settler himself. These were the Kingdom's best troops; the supreme command was held by the Aetolian mercenary general Scopas of Aetolia, who brought with him 6,500 Aetolian mercenaries, including 6,000 infantry and 500 cavalry. Antiochus had around 70,000 soldiers, more than the 68,000 with him at the Battle of Raphia in 217 BC. Having re-conquered the Upper Satrapies in the previous years, he could draw upon a larger resource base than before. Polybius identifies the presence of cataphracts, the elite cavalry agema, Tarentine soldiers and more cavalry, hypaspists, war elephants, unidentified infantry and light skirmishers in the ranks of the Seleucid army at Panium. Antiochus the Younger, the firstborn son of Antiochus III, commanded the elite cataphracts of the Seleucid army and seized Tel Hamra, a foothill of Mount Hermon, in the night.
The cataphracts opened the battle by attacking and routing the hapless Ptolemaic cavalry under Ptolemy. In the center, the Ptolemaic phalanx forced back their Seleucid counterparts; the Seleucid elephants neutralized this Ptolemaic success by charging through the gaps in the Seleucid phalanx and halting their advance. The cataphracts under Antiochus the Younger ended their pursuit of the enemy cavalry and charged the rear of the Ptolemaic phalanx. Pressed from two sides by war elephants and cataphracts, the immobile Ptolemaic phalanx was annihilated in place. Scopas, situated on the right wing, fled the field. Scopas led 10,000 men to seek refuge at Sidon. All of them were forced to surrender by the end of 198 BC. Coele-Syria came under Seleucid control and the Ptolemies were compelled to sign a peace treaty with Antiochus in 195 BC; as one of the battle's results, the Ptolemaic state was forced to scale down the role of the Macedonian settler phalanx in the years that followed. Some biblical commentators see this battle as being the one referred to in Daniel 11:15, where it says, "Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city."
Based on the loss rates of the phalanxes at the battles of Magnesia in 190 BC and Pydna in 167 BC, the 25,000 Ptolemaic phalangites may have sustained 17,500–20,825 losses, killed or captured. Johnstono, Paul. ""No Strength To Stand": Defeat at Panium, the Macedonian Class, Ptolemaic Decline". In Clark, Jessica H.. Brills Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society. Leiden: Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-9004298583. Translation of Zeno's Account of the Battle of Panium
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great was a Hellenistic Greek king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire. He ruled over the region of Syria and large parts of the rest of western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BC. Rising to the throne at the age of eighteen in 222 BC, his early campaigns against the Ptolemaic Kingdom were unsuccessful, but in the following years Antiochus gained several military victories and expanded the empire's territory, his traditional designation, the Great, reflects an epithet. He assumed the title Basileus Megas, the traditional title of the Persian kings. A militarily active ruler, Antiochus restored much of the territory of the Seleucid Empire, before suffering a serious setback, towards the end of his reign, in his war against Rome. Declaring himself the "champion of Greek freedom against Roman domination", Antiochus III waged a four-year war against the Roman Republic beginning in mainland Greece in the autumn of 192 BC before being decisively defeated at the Battle of Magnesia.
He died three years on campaign in the east. Antiochus III was a member of the Hellenistic Greek Seleucid dynasty, he was the son of king Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II and was born around 242 BC near Susa in Persia. He may have borne a non-dynastic name, according to a Babylonian chronicle, he succeeded, under the name Antiochus, his brother Seleucus III Ceraunus, upon the latter's murder in Anatolia. Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Not only had Asia Minor become detached, but the easternmost provinces had broken away, Bactria under the Greek Diodotus of Bactria, Parthia under the rebel satrap Andragoras in 247–245 BC, himself vanquished by the nomad chieftain Arsaces. In 222 BC, soon after Antiochus's accession and Persis revolted under their governors, the brothers Molon and Alexander; the young king, under the influence of the minister Hermeias, headed an attack on Ptolemaic Syria instead of going in person to face the rebels. The attack against the Ptolemaic empire proved a fiasco, the generals sent against Molon and Alexander met with disaster.
Only in Asia Minor, where the king's cousin, represented the Seleucid cause, did its prestige recover, driving the Pergamene power back to its earlier limits. In 221 BC Antiochus at last went east, the rebellion of Molon and Alexander collapsed which Polybios attributes in part to his following the advice of Zeuxis rather than Hermeias; the submission of Lesser Media, which had asserted its independence under Artabazanes, followed. Antiochus returned to Syria. Meanwhile, Achaeus himself had assumed the title of king in Asia Minor. Since, his power was not well enough grounded to allow an attack on Syria, Antiochus considered that he might leave Achaeus for the present and renew his attempt on Ptolemaic Syria; the campaigns of 219 BC and 218 BC carried the Seleucid armies to the confines of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, but in 217 BC Ptolemy IV defeated Antiochus at the Battle of Raphia. This defeat compelled him to withdraw north of Lebanon. In 216 BC his army marched into western Anatolia to suppress the local rebellion led by Antiochus' own cousin Achaeus, had by 214 BC driven him from the field into Sardis.
Capturing Achaeus, Antiochus had him executed. The citadel managed to hold out until 213 BC under Achaeus' widow Laodice. Having thus recovered the central part of Asia Minor, Antiochus turned to recovering the outlying provinces of the north and east, he obliged Xerxes of Armenia to acknowledge his supremacy in 212 BC. In 209 BC Antiochus invaded Parthia, occupied the capital Hecatompylos and pushed forward into Hyrcania; the Parthian king Arsaces II successfully sued for peace. The year 209 BC saw Antiochus in Bactria, where the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus I had supplanted the original rebel. Antiochus again met with success. Euthydemus was defeated by Antiochus at the Battle of the Arius but after sustaining a famous siege in his capital Bactra, he obtained an honourable peace by which Antiochus promised Euthydemus' son Demetrius the hand of one of his daughters. Antiochus next, following in the steps of Alexander, crossed into the Kabul valley, reaching the realm of Indian king Sophagasenus and returned west by way of Seistan and Kerman.
According to Polybius: He crossed the Caucasus and descended into India, renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus, king of the Indians, received more elephants, raising their number to a total of one hundred and fifty, provisioned his army once more on the spot. He himself broke camp with his troops, leaving behind Androsthenes of Cyzicus to bring back the treasure which this king had agreed to give him. From Seleucia on the Tigris he led a short expedition down the Persian Gulf against the Gerrhaeans of the Arabian coast. Antiochus seemed to have restored the Seleucid empire in the east, which earned him the title of "the Great". In 205/204 BC the infant Ptolemy V Epiphanes succeeded to the Egyptian throne, Antiochus is said to have concluded a secret pact with Philip V of Macedon for the partition of the Ptolemaic possessions. Under the terms of this pact, Macedon was to receive the Ptolemaic possessions around the Aegean Sea and Cyrene, while Antiochus would annex Cyprus and Egypt. Once more Antiochus attacked the Ptolemaic province of Coele Syria and Phoenicia, by 199 BC he seems to
Seleucus IV Philopator
Seleucus IV Philopator, ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 187 BC to 175 BC over a realm consisting of Syria, Mesopotamia and Nearer Iran. He was the second son and successor of Antiochus III the Great and Laodice III. Seleucus IV wed his sister Laodice IV, by whom he had three children: two sons Antiochus, Demetrius I Soter and a daughter Laodice V, he was compelled by financial necessities, created in part by the heavy war-indemnity exacted by Rome, to pursue an ambitious policy. In an effort to collect money to pay the Romans, he sent his minister Heliodorus to Jerusalem to seize the Jewish temple treasury; the Bible tells of a prophecy given by a messenger angel in Daniel 11:20. The text states that Seleucus "will be remembered as the king who sent a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor." The deuterocanonical lends more to this in 2 Maccabees 3:2-3... "It came to pass that the kings themselves, the princes esteemed the place worthy of the highest honour, glorified the temple with great gifts: So that Seleucus king of Asia allowed out of his revenues all the charges belonging to the ministry of the sacrifices."
On his return from Jerusalem, Heliodorus assassinated Seleucus, seized the throne for himself. The true heir Demetrius, son of Seleucus, was now being retained in Rome as a hostage, the kingdom was seized by the younger brother of Seleucus, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Antiochus managed to oust Heliodorus and an infant son of Seleucus named Antiochus, was formal head of state for a few years until Epiphanes had him murdered. List of Syrian monarchs Timeline of Syrian history Seleucus IV Philopator entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
Antiochus I Soter
Antiochus I Soter, was a king of the Hellenic Seleucid Empire. He succeeded his father Seleucus I Nicator in 281 BC and reigned until his death on 2 June 261 BC. Antiochus I was half Sogdian, his mother Apama, daughter of Spitamenes, being one of the eastern princesses whom Alexander the Great had given as wives to his generals in 324 BC; the Seleucids fictitiously claimed that Apama was the alleged daughter of Darius III, in order to legitimise themselves as the inheritors of both the Achaemenids and Alexander, therefore the rightful lords of western and central Asia. In 294 BC, prior to the death of his father Seleucus I, Antiochus married his stepmother, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes, his elderly father instigated the marriage after discovering that his son was in danger of dying of lovesickness. Stratonice bore five children to Antiochus: Seleucus, Apama II, Stratonice of Macedon and Antiochus II Theos, who succeeded his father as king. On the assassination of his father in 281 BC, the task of holding together the empire was a formidable one.
A revolt in Syria broke out immediately. Antiochus was soon compelled to make peace with his father's murderer, Ptolemy Keraunos abandoning Macedonia and Thrace. In Anatolia he was unable to reduce the Persian dynasties that ruled in Cappadocia. In 278 BC the Gauls broke into Anatolia, a victory that Antiochus won over these Gauls by using Indian war elephants is said to have been the origin of his title of Soter. At the end of 275 BC the question of Coele-Syria, open between the houses of Seleucus and Ptolemy since the partition of 301 BC, led to hostilities, it had been continuously in Ptolemaic occupation. War did not materially change the outlines of the two kingdoms, though frontier cities like Damascus and the coast districts of Asia Minor might change hands. In 268 BC Antiochus I laid the foundation for the Ezida Temple in Borsippa, his eldest son Seleucus had ruled in the east as viceroy from c. 275 BC until 268/267 BC. Around 262 BC Antiochus tried to break the growing power of Pergamum by force of arms, but suffered defeat near Sardis and died soon afterwards.
He was succeeded in 261 BC by his second son Antiochus II Theos. Antiochus may be the Greek king mentioned in the Edicts of Ashoka, as one of the recipients of the Indian Emperor Ashoka's Buddhist proselytism: "And this conquest has been won by the Beloved of the Gods here and in all the borderlands, as far as six hundred yojanas away, where Antiochus, king of the Yavanas rules, beyond this Antiochus four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos and Alexander rule."Ashoka claims that he encouraged the development of herbal medicine, for men and animals, in the territories of the Hellenic kings: "Everywhere within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi's domain, among the people beyond the borders, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, the Keralaputras, as far as Tamraparni and where the Greek king Antiochus rules, among the kings who are neighbors of Antiochos, everywhere has Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, made provision for two types of medical treatment: medical treatment for humans and medical treatment for animals.
Wherever medical herbs suitable for humans or animals are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or fruits are not available I have had them grown. Along roads I have had wells dug and trees planted for the benefit of humans and animals."Alternatively, the Greek king mentioned in the Edict of Ashoka could be Antiochus's son and successor, Antiochus II Theos, although the proximity of Antiochus I with the East may makes him a better candidate. The love between Antiochus and his stepmother Stratonice was depicted in Neoclassical art, as in a painting by Jacques-Louis David. Mookerji, Radha Kumud, Chandragupta Maurya and his times, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0433-3 Traver, Andrew G.. From Polis to Empire, the Ancient World, c. 800 B. C.-A. D. 500: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313309427. Retrieved 7 September 2013. Media related to Antiochus I at Wikimedia Commons Appianus' Syriaka Antiochus I Soter: fact sheet at Livius.org Babylonian Chronicles of the Hellenic Period Antiochus I Soter entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith Hellenization of the Babylonian Culture?
Coins of Antiochus I
Coele-Syria, Coele Syria, Coelesyria rendered as Coelosyria and Celesyria, otherwise Hollow Syria, was a region of Syria in classical antiquity. It derived from the Aramaic for all of the region of Syria but more was applied to the Beqaa Valley between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges; the area now forms part of the modern nations of Syria. It is accepted that the term Coele is a transcription of Aramaic kul, meaning "all, the entire", such that the term identified all of Syria; the word "Coele", which means "hollow" in Koine Greek, is thought to have come about via a folk etymology referring to the "hollow" Beqaa Valley between Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. However, the term Coele-Syria was used in a wider sense to indicate "all Syria" or "all Syria except Phoenicia", by the writers; the first and only official use of the term was during the period of Seleucid rule of the region, between c. 200 BCE and 64 BCE. During this period, the term "Coele Syria and Phoenicia" or "Coele Syria" was used in a narrower sense to refer to the former Ptolemaic territory which the Seleucids now controlled, being the area south of the river Eleutherus.
This usage was adopted by the Books of the Maccabees. However, Greek writers such as Agatharchides and Polemon of Athens used the term Palestine to refer to the region during this period, a term given circa 450 BCE by Herodotus. During the Roman Period c.350 CE, Eunapius wrote that the capital of Coele-Syria was the Seleucid city of Antioch, north of the Eleutherus. According to Polybius, a former officer of the Ptolemaic Empire named Ptolemy Thrasea, having fought in the 217 BCE Battle of Raphia, defected to the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great. Antiochus gave him the title "Strategos and Archiereus of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia"; some scholars speculate that this title may have been used by the Ptolemies, but no direct evidence exists to support this. The region was disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty during the Syrian Wars. Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy first occupied Coele-Syria in 318 BC. However, when Ptolemy joined the coalition against Antigonus I Monophthalmus in 313 BC, he withdrew from Coele-Syria.
In 312 BC Seleucus I Nicator, defeated Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza which again allowed Ptolemy to occupy Coele-Syria. Though he was again to pull out after only a few months, after Demetrius had won a battle over his general and Antigonus entered Syria in force up to Antigonuses, this brief success had enabled Seleucus to make a dash for Babylonia which Seleucus secured. In 302 BC, Ptolemy joined a new coalition against Antigonus and reoccupied Coele-Syria, but withdrew on hearing a false report that Antigonus had won a victory, he was only to return when Antigonus had been defeated at Ipsus in 301 BC. Coele-Syria was assigned to Seleucus, by the victors of Ipsus, as Ptolemy had added nothing to the victory. Though, given Ptolemy's track record, he was unlikely to organize a serious defense of Coele-Syria, Seleucus acquiesced in Ptolemy's occupation because Seleucus remembered how it had been with Ptolemy's help he had reestablished himself in Babylonia; the Seleucids were not to be so understanding, resulting in the century of Syrian Wars between the Ptolemies and Seleucids.
The Battle of Panium in 200 BC, during the Fifth Syrian War, was the final decisive battle between the two sides in ending Ptolemaic control over the region. The 171–168 BC conflicts over Coele-Syria, between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Ptolemy VI Philometor, are discussed in Livy’s The History of Rome from its Foundation. Seleucid control over the area of Judea began diminishing with the eruption of the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BC. With Seleucid troops being involved in warfare on the Parthian front, Judea succeeded in securing its independence by 140 BC. Despite attempts of Seleucid rulers to regain territories, the conquests of Pompey in 64 BC were a decisive blow to them, Syria became part of the Roman Republic. Under the Macedonian kings, Upper Syria was divided into four parts which were named after their capitals. In the Roman Pompeian era, the province was divided into nine districts. Judging from Arrian and The Anabasis of Alexander, the historians of Alexander the Great, as well as more ancient authors, gave the name of Syria to all the country comprehended between the Tigris and the Mediterranean.
The part to the east of the Euphrates, afterwards named Mesopotamia was called "Syria between the rivers. Yet, it was comprehended as the whole country as far as Egypt. Circa 323 BCE Laomedon of Mytilene takes control of Coele-Syria. Circa 323 BCE The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax lists several cities on the Palestinian coast that are incorporated into Coele-Syria. In the Wars of the Diadochi, Coele-Syria came under the control of Antigonus I Monophthalmus. In 301 BCE, Ptolemy I Soter exploited events surrounding the Battle of Ipsus to take control of the region; the victors at Ipsus finalized the breakup of Alexander's empire. Coele-Syria was allocated to Ptolemy's former ally Seleucus I Nicator, who—having been aided by Ptolemy—took no military action to gai
The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele, found in 1799, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and Demotic script while the bottom is in Ancient Greek; as the decree has only minor differences between the three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, thereby opening a window into ancient Egyptian history. The stone, carved during the Hellenistic period, is believed to have been displayed within a temple at nearby Sais, it was moved during the early Christian or medieval period, was used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien near the town of Rashid in the Nile Delta. It was rediscovered there in July 1799 by a French soldier named Pierre-François Bouchard during the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt, it was the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text recovered in modern times, it aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher this untranslated hieroglyphic language.
Lithographic copies and plaster casts began circulating among European scholars. British troops having meanwhile defeated the French, under the Capitulation of Alexandria in 1801 the original stone came into British possession and was transported to London, it has been on public display at the British Museum continuously since 1802 and is the most-visited object there. Study of the decree was under way when the first full translation of the Greek text appeared in 1803, it was 20 years, before the transliteration of the Egyptian scripts was announced by Jean-François Champollion in Paris in 1822. Major advances in the decoding were recognition that the stone offered three versions of the same text. Since its rediscovery, the stone has been the focus of nationalist rivalries, including its transfer from French to British possession during the Napoleonic Wars, a long-running dispute over the relative value of Young and Champollion's contributions to the decipherment and, since 2003, demands for the stone's return to Egypt.
Two other fragmentary copies of the same decree were discovered and several similar Egyptian bilingual or trilingual inscriptions are now known, including two earlier Ptolemaic decrees. The Rosetta Stone is, therefore, no longer unique, but it was the essential key to modern understanding of Ancient Egyptian literature and civilisation; the term Rosetta Stone is now used in other contexts as the name for the essential clue to a new field of knowledge. The Rosetta Stone is listed as "a stone of black granodiorite, bearing three inscriptions... found at Rosetta" in a contemporary catalogue of the artefacts discovered by the French expedition and surrendered to British troops in 1801. At some period after its arrival in London, the inscriptions on the stone were coloured in white chalk to make them more legible, the remaining surface was covered with a layer of carnauba wax designed to protect the Rosetta Stone from visitors' fingers; this gave a dark colour to the stone. These additions were removed when the stone was cleaned in 1999, revealing the original dark grey tint of the rock, the sparkle of its crystalline structure, a pink vein running across the top left corner.
Comparisons with the Klemm collection of Egyptian rock samples showed a close resemblance to rock from a small granodiorite quarry at Gebel Tingar on the west bank of the Nile, west of Elephantine in the region of Aswan. The Rosetta Stone is 1,123 millimetres high at its highest point, 757 mm wide, 284 mm thick, it weighs 760 kilograms. It bears three inscriptions: the top register in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the second in the Egyptian Demotic script, the third in Ancient Greek; the front surface is polished and the inscriptions incised on it. The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of a larger stele. No additional fragments were found in searches of the Rosetta site. Owing to its damaged state, none of the three texts is complete; the top register, composed of Egyptian hieroglyphs, suffered the most damage. Only the last 14 lines of the hieroglyphic text can be seen; the following register of demotic text has survived best. The final register of Greek text contains 54 lines; the stele was erected after the coronation of King Ptolemy V and was inscribed with a decree that established the divine cult of the new ruler.
The decree was issued by a congress of priests. The date is given as "4 Xandicus" in the Macedonian calendar and "18 Meshir" in the Egyptian calendar, which corres
Rafah is a Palestinian city and refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. It is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate, located 30 kilometers south of Gaza City. Rafah's population of 152,950 is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan camp form separate localities; when Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, dividing families, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The core of the city was destroyed by Egypt to create a large buffer zone. Rafah is the site of the Rafah Border Crossing, the sole crossing point between Egypt and the State of Palestine. Gaza's only airport, Yasser Arafat International Airport, was located just south of the city; the airport operated from 1998 to 2001, until it was bombed and bulldozed by the Israeli military after the killing of Israeli soldiers by members of Hamas. Over the ages it has been known as "Robihwa" by the ancient Egyptians, "Rafihu" by the Assyrians, "Ῥαφία, Rhaphia" by the Greeks, "Raphia" by Romans, רפיח "Rafiaḥ" by the Israelites, "Rafh" by the Arab Caliphate.
The transliteration of the Hebrew name, "Rafiah", is used in modern English alongside "Rafah" The Ottoman–British agreement of 1 October 1906 established a boundary between Ottoman ruled Palestine and British ruled Egypt, from Taba to Rafah. After World War I Palestine was under British control, but the Egypt-Palestine Boundary was maintained to control movement of the local Bedouin. From the mid-1930s the British enhanced the border control and Rafah evolved as a small boundary town which functioned as a trade and services centre for the semi-settled Beduin population. During the Second World War it became an important British base. Following the Armistice Agreement of 24 February 1949, Rafah was located in Egypt-occupied Gaza and a Gaza–Egypt border did no longer exist. Rafah could grow without any consideration being taken of the old 1906 international boundary. In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel conquered the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt and all of the city now was under Israeli occupation.
In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty that returned the Sinai, which borders the Gaza Strip, to Egyptian control. In the Peace Treaty, the re-created Gaza–Egypt border was drawn across the city of Rafah. Rafah was divided into an Egyptian and a Palestinian part, splitting up families, separated by barbed-wire barriers. Families were separated, property was divided and many houses and orchards were cut across and destroyed by the new boundary, bulldozed for security reasons. Rafah became one of the three border points between Israel. In 1922, Rafah's population was 599, which increased to 2,220 in 1945. In 1982, the total population was 10,800. In the 1997 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics census and its adjacent camp had a combined population of 91,181, Tall as-Sultan was listed with a further 17,141. Refugees made up 80.3% of the entire population. In the 1997 census, Rafah's gender distribution was 49.5 % female. In the 2006 PCBS estimate, Rafah city had a population of 71,003, Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan form separate localities for census purposes, having populations of 59,983 and 24,418, respectively.
Rafah has a history stretching back thousands of years. It was first recorded in an inscription of Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I, from 1303 BCE as Rph, as the first stop on Pharaoh Shoshenq I's campaign to the Levant in 925 BC. In 720 BCE it was the site of the Assyrian king Sargon II's victory over the Egyptians, in 217 BC the Battle of Raphia was fought between the victorious Ptolemy IV and Antiochus III.. The town was conquered by Alexander Yannai and held by the Hasmoneans until it was rebuilt in the time of Pompey and Gabinius. Rafah is mentioned in Strabo, the Antonine Itinerary, is depicted on the Map of Madaba. During the Byzantine period, it was a diocese, Byzantine ceramics and coins have been found there, it was represented at the Council of Ephesus 431AD but remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church but a small Greek Orthodox presence exists. Rafah was an important trading city during the early Arab period, one of the towns captured by the Rashidun army under general'Amr ibn al-'As in 635 CE.
Under the Umayyads and Abbasids, Rafah was the southernmost border of Jund Filastin. According to Arab geographer al‑Ya'qubi, it was the last town in the Province of Syria and on the road from Ramla to Egypt. A Jewish community settled in the city in the 9th and 10th centuries and again in the 12th, although in the 11th century it suffered a decline and in 1080 they migrated to Ashkelon. A Samaritan community lived there during this period. Like most cities of southern Palestine, ancient Rafah had a landing place on the coast, while the main city was inland. In 1226, Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi writes of Rafah's former importance in the early Arab period, saying it was "of old a flourishing town, with a market, a mosque, hostelries". However, he goes on to say that in its current state, Rafah was in ruins, but was an Ayyubid postal station on the road to Egypt after nearby Deir al‑Balah. Rafah appeared in the 1596 Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Gaza of the Liwa of Gazza, it had a population of 15 households, all Muslim, who paid taxes on wheat, summer crops, occasional revenues, goats and/or bee hives.
In 1799, the Revolutionary Army of France commanded by Napoleon