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date: 04 December 2022



  • Eric William Gray,
  • Jean-François Salles
  •  and J. F. Healey


Gaza, an ancient city of the Philistines and one-time stronghold of the pharaohs (late bronze age). Located in a fertile region and in a key position on the via maris, the route from Egypt to Asia, it was the Mediterranean outlet of the Arabian *trade. For long an ally of the Assyrians, it was later a Babylonian, then a Persian, garrison town. In the Persian period its ‘Philisto-Arab’ coins were based on the Attic standard and reflect connections with Greece, although its main economic links remained with *Arabia and the Minaeans of the south. In 448 bce Herodotus considered the city as one of the largest *markets in the east (3. 5); its wealth came from Nabataean trade. Stormed by *Alexander (3) the Great after a lengthy siege in 332 bce, it became an important city of the Ptolemies (see ptolemy (1)) until 198 bce, when *Antiochus III made it Seleucid.


  • Near East

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