Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Ace

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ACE (Άκη: Eth. Άκαίος), the Accho (Άκχω) of the Old Testament (Judg. i. 31), the Akka of the Arabs, a celebrated town and harbour on the shores of Phoenicia, in lat. 32° 54', long. 35° 6' E. It is situated on the point of a small promontory, the northern extremity of a circular bay, of which the opposite or southern shore is formed by one of the ridges of Mount Carmel. During the period that Ptolemy Soter was in possession of Coele-Syria, it received the name of Ptolemais (Πτολεμαίς: Eth, Πτολεμαίτης, Πτολεμαιεύς), by which it was long distinguished. In the reign of the emperor Claudius it became a Roman colony, and was styled Colonia Claudii Caesaris Ptolemais, or simply Colonia Ptolemais; but from the time when it was occupied by the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, it has been generally known all over Christendom as St Jean d'Acre, or simply Acre.

The advantages offered by the position of Acre were recognised from an early period by those who dewed te hecp the cnmmand of the Syrian coast, ha it £d not liae to enunooce until after the decay rf1>R and SMon. When Strabo wrote (p. 758), it «« ahaady a great city; and although it has under- pm vmaj Hciaatades, it has always maintained a eotn degree of impoctanoe. It originally be- kaced te the Pboenidans, and, though nominally iadaded within the territory of the tribe of Asher, WM sever eonqpered by the Israelites. It afterwards pMnd into the hands of the Babylonians, and from than te the Peraiana. According to the first dis- df the dominions of Alexander it was to Ptolemy Soter, but subsequently fell under the Seleuddae, and after changing bands repeatedly eventually fell under the dominion of Rome. It is said at present to contain from 15,000 to 30,000 inhabitants. [ W. R. ]