Template talk:Campaignbox Syrian Wars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Regarding the number of elephants lost by Antiochus, this is what Polybius wrote:

Three of his (i.e. Antiochus') elephants perished in the battle and two died of their wounds. Ptolemy had lost about fifteen hundred foot and seven hundred horse, killed; sixteen of his elephants were killed and most of them captured

So Polybius is in fact stating that it was most of the Ptolemaic elephants that were captured, not the Seleucid ones. By using the word "most", Polibyus was probably reffering to the 40 ones on the left wing(Of the elephants forty were posted on the left where Ptolemy himself was about to fight), since it was this wing that had been totally broken by the Seleucids, whereas the 33 Ptolemaic elephants on the right wing (and the remaining thirty-three in front of the mercenary cavalry on the right wing) refused to engage the enemy (and their own elephants not even daring to approach those of the enemy).


Further support for the assertion that is was not the seleucid elephants that where captured is the fact that the Ptolemies intentionally avoided the Syrian elephants (avoided the onset of the animals (i.e. the Seleucid elephants) and speedily put to flight the cavalry of the enemy, charging them both in flank and rear.)

So, to sum up, the Seleucid elephants on their right wing were alive and well (since they where victorious in that sector), whereas the ones on the left where avoided by the Ptolemies and probably withdrew. Meanwhile, the Ptolemaic elephants on their right wing had not even engaged (and so couldn't have been captured), and the ones on the left where severely beaten and where probably mostly taken by the Seleucids. Thus, I would put the losses to

Antiochus: 5 elephants killed; Ptolemy: 16 elephants killed, almost 26 captured

Do you guys agree ?