Necho, Magdolos, Migdol, Cadytis, and Gaza

According to Herodotus, “on land Necos engaged battle at Magdolos with the Syrians, and conquered them; and after this he took Cadytis, which is a great city of Syria; and the dress which he wore when he made these conquests he dedicated to Apollo, sending it to Branchidai of the Milesians”. So, where is Cadytis? According to Herodotus,

“Now by this way only is there a known entrance to Egypt: for from Phoenicia to the borders of the city of Cadytis belongs to the Syrians who are called of Palestine, and from Cadytis, which is a city I suppose not much less than Sardis, from this city the trading stations on the sea- coast as far as the city of Ienysos (Khan Yunis) belong to the king of Arabia, and then from Ienysos again the country belongs to the Syrians as far as the Serbonian lake, along the side of which Mount Casion extends towards the Sea.”

Since Herodotus is using Cadytis as a reference point for coastal cities, it is obvious Cadytis must be situated near the Southern Philistine coast. The only major city in South Philistia is Gaza. Therefore, Cadytis must be Gaza (31°30’17″N, 34°27’50″E). The Greeks might have pronounced Gaza’s Akkadian, Assyrian (and Persian) name Khazita, used by Sargon II (incorrectly called “Shalmaneser” by some 19th century scholars) or Hazzatu, used in the Amarna letters, as Cadyta, naturally adding an “is” as a masculine ending. The battle at Magdolos might refer to the encounter with Josiah at Megiddo, but most likely refers to the battle with the Chaldeans at Migdol (Jeremiah 44:1, 46:14, Ezekiel 29:10, 30:6)/Tell Kedua (30°58’60″N, 32°28’31″E) in December 601/January 600 BC. By Nebuchadnezzar II’s admission, the Chaldean army was catastrophically defeated. The conquest of Gaza/Cadytis after this victory by Pharaoh Necho II, also known as Necos or Nekau Wehemibre, is reflected in Jeremiah 47:1. The idea Cadytis is Jerusalem is totally disproven by the fact Persian Period Jerusalem, said by Herodotus to be the size of Sardis, was limited entirely to the hill of the City of David, east of the modern road, with no room for a connection between that poor settlement and the Temple Mount (no settlement was found at the Stepped Stone structure; this fact alone destroys Martin’s idea).

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

9 thoughts on “Necho, Magdolos, Migdol, Cadytis, and Gaza”

  1. Wow, and you criticize other people for being fringe.

    Cadytis is not even mystery, everyone knows it’s the Kadeshs in Syria.

    And the Migdol Jeremiah and Ezekiel were speaking of in those verses is a tower located in the South of Egypt, this Magdolos is definetly Megiddo. The etymology of Megiddo’s name is a mystery to scholars, it being related to the Hebrew word for Tower is very possible.

    1. Was Syrian Kadesh even known at the time? The book of Kings uses Riblah as a reference point for that region. Also, it does not make much sense to refer to northern Lebanon as Palestine. It does make sense to refer to the coastal region from South Lebanon to Gaza as Palestine. Likewise, it makes no sense to say all the coastal ports from Cadytis to Ienysos was controlled by the king of Arabia if Cadytis is Syrian Kadesh.

      “is a tower located in the South of Egypt”

      North of Egypt.

      You may be right that the Magdolos reference could be a garbled reference to the battle of Megiddo, but it would have to be a garbled reference.

      1. Herdotus didn’t use the word Palestine so I don’t see how that’s part of the debate. There is no dispute Necho reached the Eurphates does to that being where Carcemesh was.

        No, the Migdol of Egypt is in the South probably on Elaphantine or at Aswan, placing it in the North doesn’t work.

        It may be the Bible’s form of Megiddo/Meggidon is the garbled one, so no can agree what it’s etymology was, but form early on it had structures that could be described as Migdols.

          1. The quote you cited as Syria nor Palestine. Either way what The Bible claims belongs to Abraham extends to the Euphrates.

            I don’t remember which Blog posts I talked in depth about Migdol in Egypt on. I know one passage is using it idiomatically of the South of Egypt, alongside Syene (Translated in the KJV Tower of Syene, but I’ve come to disagree with those who want to make it a prophecy of the Aswan Dam), another seems to imply it’s on an island.

            I also believe Goshen was the land Egypt called Kush and the Red Sea Crossing was at Bab-El Mandeba. That is a theory I’d never convince you of though.

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