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The Battle of Panion (200 BC)

A client of Rome, Ptolemy V Epiphanes assumed the throne of Ptolemaic Egypt in 205 BC at the tender age of 5, only to see his dominion wracked by civil war and reduced by the invading armies of Antiochus III of Persian and Philip V of Macedonia, who had plotted a secret alliance to divide the Ptolemaic kingdom between them. In 201 BC, an attempt by Antiochus to seize Palestine and Gaza was rebuffed by the Ptolemaic army. In 200 BC, Antiochus again struck out from Syria with an army of invasion. The Ptolemiac army under Scopas (Skopes) marched north to block their route at the head of the Jordan valley. But Antiochus had already reached the high ground at Mt. Hermon and made his camp there to await the Ptolemiac approach.

Forcing the battle, Scopas advanced from the south with the Wadi Bani'as on his right flank, with his pike phalanxes in the center and his cavalry on the left. The Seleucids advanced aggressively to meet them, crossing the Wadi with their pikes in the lead and elephants in support. As the armies closed, Antiochos the Younger led the Seleucid cavalry down from the slopes of Mt. Hermon to fall on Scopas's left flank, driving away the Ptolemiac horse.

In the infantry battle, Scopas' pike phalanxes were driving the Seleucid pike back, only to be brought up short by the Seleucid elephants. Meanwhile, Antiochus the Younger directed his cavalry back into the fray, falling on Scopas' center phalanx from the rear and destroying it. With his left and center gone, Scopas lead his 10,000 survivors south to Sidon, where they were subsequently besieged until famine forced their surrender. Ptolemy V conceded control of Coel-Syria and Palestine, marrying Cleopatra, the daughter of Antiochus, in order to seal the peace.

The Armies

Skopas - Ptolemaic (II/20b), modified by substituting 1x 2Ps for El.

Seleucid (II/9) as modified. The army is fielded in two commands - Antiochus the Elder (1x4Kn (Gen), 4x4Pk, 1x El, 1x 2Ps or 4Wb, 2x2Ps) and Antiochus the Younger (1x 3Kn, 2x 3Cv).

Battle Map

Panion map

The map is plain good going except for the wadis and the slopes of Mt. Hermon. The lower slope is treated as gentle hill, the upper (darker) slope is bad going.

Special Rules

Skopas (Ptolemiac) is the attacker.

Armies deploy normally on the base edges indicated by placement of the camps, except Antiochus the Younger deploys in the area indicated on the slopes of Mt. Hermon.

The wadis are dry, but affect movement and their banks can aid defense. Treat movement as if crossing a 3, 4, 5 river. Elements in a wadi are treated as if in bad going.

Although there is only one Seleucid general, Antiochus the Younger (3Kn) is treated as a general for purposes of command and control of his detached command only. Both Seleucid commands share a single pip die.

Victory Conditions


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Last Updated: Jan. 26, 2004

Scenario by Chris Brantley. Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome. Sent them to my attention at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.