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ARCA

ARCA (Ἄρκη, Ἄρκαι, Steph. B. sub voce Ptol. 5.15: Arca, Plin. Nat. 5.16: Eth. Ἀρκαῖος, Eth. Arcenus: Arkite, Gen. 10.17; 1 Chron. 1.15: LXX. Ἀρουκαῖος), a town of Phoenicia, situated between Tripolis and Antaradus, at the NW. foot of Libanus. (J. AJ 1.6.2; Hieronym. in Gen. 10.15) It lay a parasang from the sea (Abulf. Tab. Syr. p. 11), and is often mentioned by the Arabic writers. (Michaelis, Spicil. 2.23; Schultens, Vita Saladini.) It became famous for the worship paid by its inhabitants to Aphrodite or Astarte. (Macrob. Satiwn. 1.21.) After the Macedonian conquest a temple was erected to Alexander the Great. The emperor Alexander Severus was born in this temple, to which his parents had repaired during a festival, A.D. 205. (Aurel. Vict. de Caes. 24.1.) In consequence of this event its name was changed to Caesarea (Lamprid. Alex. Sev.). It was fortified by the Arabs after their conquest of Syria. In A.D. 1099 it sustained a long siege from the first Crusaders (Wilken, die Koreuzz. vol. ii. p. 259), but was not taken. Nor was it captured till the reign of Baldwin I., second king of Jerusalem, by William Count of Sartanges. (Albert. Aquens. 11.1; Wilken, ii. p. 673.) The Memlooks, when they drove the Christians out of Syria, destroyed it. Burkhardt (Syria, p. 162) fixes the site at a hill called Tel-Arka, 4 miles S. of the Nakhr-El-Kebir (Eleutherus). (Comp. Shaw, Observat. p. 270; for present condition see Bibliotheca Sacra (American), vol. v. p. 15.)

[E.B.J]

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