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What is the meaning of "far to the east"?

It was only ofter a day and a night's delay that the emperor, by detaching troops under Victor to make a long circuit, cross the canal far to the east, recall Lucilianus with the vanguard, and then attack the Surena's troops in the rear, was able to overcome the resistance in his front.

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  • I’m voting to close this question because it's a duplicate cross-post of the same question at ELL, where it has an accepted answer. – Jason Bassford Jun 22 '20 at 14:36
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There was some reason that they could not cross the canal near where they were standing. Thus they had to move far (a long distance) in an Easterly direction before they could cross.

Note: There is another possible interpretation in terms of grammar. However it wouldn't make sense in real life. This would be that the canal itself was a long distance away in an easterly direction. But, in order to complete a circuit, that would involve crossing the canal twice!! (I suppose this is possible, depending on the geography, but it seems unlikely)

Does that help?

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    Probably they had to conceal the crossing of the canal to be in a position to attack from the rear. “Far to the east” might be a few miles or a few more than that—hard to tell “how far” is “far” when there are no distances given. – Xanne Jun 22 '20 at 7:16
  • @Xanne - Yes I thought that. – chasly - supports Monica Jun 22 '20 at 7:19

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