The Location of the Selucid Akra

The Akra was a Selucid fortress made to control Jerusalem. It was on the east (not west) side of the city and overlooked the Temple. According to 1 Maccabees 13:52, the Akra was “alongside” the then-square Temple Mount. The Akra was identified as the City of David (always identified as being to the south of the Temple Mount) in 1 Maccabees 1:33. Josephus implies, when he states that the Hasmoneans joined the third hill with the Akra when they wished to connect the city with the Temple, that the third hill was the city and the Akra connected in some way to the Temple. It then seems logical to seek the Akra in the area Leen Ritmeyer would place it-in the area part of the Herodian but not Hasmonean Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa mosque/Solomon’s Stables area). The Selucid Akra probably did not include the entire City of David because the entire city could not possibly have been a garrison(!)

Author: pithom

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

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