(ὁ Ἀμπρακικός κόλπος
, Thuc. 1.55
; ὁ Ἀμβρακικὸς κόλπος
, Pol. 4.63, Strab. p. 325, et al.; ἡ θάλασσα ἡ Ἀμπρακική
, D. C. 1.12
: Sinus Ambracius, Liv. 38.4
; Mel. 2.3: Gulf of Arta
), an arm of the Ionian sea, lying between Epirus and Acarnania, so called from the town of Ambracia. Polybius (l.c.
) describes the bay as 300 stadia in length, and 100 stadia in breadth: Strabo (l.c.
) gives 300 stadia as its circumference, which is absurdly too small. Its real length is 25 miles, and its breadth 10.
The entrance of the gulf, one side of which was formed by the promontory of Actium, is described under ACTIUM.
In consequence of the victory which Augustus gained over Antony at the entrance to this gulf, Statius (Stat. Silv. 2.2. 8
) gives the name of Ambraciae frondes
to the crowns of laurel bestowed upon the victors in the Actian games. The Ambracius Sinus is also frequently mentioned in Greek history. On it were the towns of Argos Amphilochicum, and Anactorium, and the sea-port of Ambracia.
The rivers Charadra and Arachthus flowed into it from the N.
It was celebrated in antiquity for its excellent fish, and particularly for a species called κάπρος.
(Ath. iii. p. 92d., vii. pp. 305, e., 311, a., 326, d.)
The modern gulf still maintains its character in this respect.
The red and grey mullet are most abundant, and there are also plenty of soles and eels. (Wolfe, Observations on the Gulf of Arta,
in Journal of Geographical Society,