Antiochus III Raphia

The Seleucid King, Antiochus III

The Battle of Raphia (also known as the Battle of Gaza) is a battle that occurred near modern Rafah in June 217 BC. It features in Rome: Total War as a historical battle. You play as the Seleucids as you try to defeat an Egyptian army.


Antiochus III (Seleucids)Edit

Raphia Seleucid
The Seleucid army is composed mainly of silver shielded pikemen supported by several units of cavalry and elephants. They also have a few skirmishers.

Ptolemy IV (Egypt)Edit

Raphia Egypt
The Egyptian army is composed mainly of cavalry and archers, with several phalanx units and heavy infantry units, and a unit of camel archers and chariots.

In HistoryEdit

More than a century after the death of Alexander the Great, and his succesors were still struggling for dominance over his fragmented empire. Antiochus III of the Seleucids had designs on regaining control of Coele-Syria, which had been recently annexed by Egypt. Antiochus could do little about the situation immediately, but his opportunity came when the new king of Egypt, Ptolemy IV came to the throne. As he was not an atractive character, there were defections to the Seleucids among the Egyptian generals and governors, and war loomed.

Seleucid pikemen

Seleucid pikemen advancing towards their egyptian enemies.

By spring 217 BC both sides had completed their preparations. Egyptian diplomacy had delayed the fighting long enough. The two armies advanced, and clashed near the small town of Raphia, with the sea protecting one flank for each army. Both kings chose to make this flank their strongest, and lead the battle from there.