Battle of Gaza (312 BC)

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Battle of Gaza
Part of the Third war of the Diadochi
Date 312 BC
Location Gaza
Result Ptolemaic victory
Ptolemy I Soter Demetrius I of Macedon
Commanders and leaders
Ptolemy I Soter
Seleucus I Nicator
Berenice I of Egypt
Demetrius I of Macedon
18,000 infantry,
4,000 cavalry
12,500 infantry,
4,400 cavalry,
43 war elephants
Casualties and losses
Unknown 500 killed,
8,000 captured,
43 war elephants

The Battle of Gaza was a battle of the Third war of the Diadochi between Ptolemy (satrap of Egypt) and Demetrius (son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus).

Ptolemy launched an invasion of Syria. With 18,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry he arrived to Gaza in early 312 BC.

Demetrius decided to offer him battle, but was routed; losing 500 men killed, a further 8,000 taken prisoner, and losing all his elephants. He retreated to Tripolis in Phoenicia.


  • left wing: 2,900 cavalry, 1,500 light infantry and 30 war elephants under Demetrius command
  • center: 11,000 infantry phalanx and 13 elephants
  • right wing: 1,500 cavalry


  • left wing: 3,000 cavalry
  • center: 18,000 phalanx
  • right wing: 1,000 cavalry

Popular culture[edit]

Alfred Duggan's novel on the life of Demetrius, Elephants and Castles, covers the battle.

The third novel in Christian Cameron's Tyrant series, Funeral Games features the Battle of Gaza.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°31′N 34°27′E / 31.517°N 34.450°E / 31.517; 34.450