name of Rafa is still preserved near a well in the desert, at six hours march to the southward of Gaza, where among many remains of of ancient buildings, two erect granite columns are supposed by the natives to mark the division between Africa and Asia. Polybius remarks (l.5,c.80), that Raphia was the first town of Syria, coming from Rhinocolura, which was considered an Egyptian town. Between Raphia and the easternmost inundations of the Nile, the only two places at which there is moisture sufficient to produce a degree of vegetation useful to man, are El Arish and Katieh. The whole tract between these places, except where it has been encroached upon by moving sands, is a plain strongly impregnated with salt, terminatig towards the sea in a lagoon or irruption of the sea anciently called Sirbonis. As the name of Katieh, and its distance from Tineh or Pelusium, leave no doubt of its being the ancient Casium, the only remaining question is, whether El Arish is Rhinocolura, or Ostracine? A commentary of St. Jer
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