Acra (Fortress)

The Acra, also spelled or Akra, was a fortified compound in Jerusalem built by Antiochus Epiphanes, ruler of the Seleucid Empire, following his sack of the city in 168 BCE. The fortress played a significant role in the events surrounding the Maccabean Revolt and the formation of the Hasmonean Kingdom. It was destroyed by Simon Thassi during this struggle. To consolidate his hold on the city, monitor events on the Temple Mount and safeguard the Hellenized faction in Jerusalem, Antiochus stationed a Seleucid garrison in the city.

circa 150 CE

Building remains in Ophel, tentatively identified with Acra. The Acra is often called the Seleucid Acra to distinguish it from references to the Ptolemaic Baris as an acra and from the later quarter in Jerusalem which inherited the name Acra. The available sources do indicate the Acra stood south of the temple, and because 1 Maccabees is a contemporaneous account of the Maccabean revolt, its account of the Acra (1:35–38) is considered the most reliable.

circa 150 CE

Looking towards Jewish Cemetery on the western slopes of Mount of Olives.

circa 150 CE

Pool unearthed during the Mazar excavations in the Ophel, at the foot of Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Either Hellenistic or Hasmonean, it may be a remnant of the Seleucid Acra.

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