), a city of Palestine, placed by Strabo between Acre (Ἄκη
) and Caesareia Palaestinae (Στράτωνος πύργος
), the name of which alone remained in his time.
There were, he says, many such; of which he specifies this and Bucolon (Βουκόλων
) and Crocodeilon (Κροκοδείλων
). (Strab. xvi. p.758
It was here that Ptolemy Lathyrus, son of Cleopatra, landed the army of 30,000 men whom he had brought from Cyprus to besiege Ptolemais, which would imply that it was not far distant from Acre (Josephus, lib. 13.13.3). The Itinerary of Antoninus makes it xxiv. M. P. from Ptolemais, xx. M. P. from Caesareia; the Jerusalem Itinerary xv. M.P. from Ptolemais, xvi. from Caesareia. (Wesseling, pp. 149, 584.)
The last-named authority places it at Mount Carmel, thereby justifying its identification with the modern Kaipha
followed by Reichard, Mannert, and Kiepert, rather than with Atlĭt,
suggested by Lapie. Indeed the testimony of Eusebius would seem to be conclusive on this point, [p. 2.1054]
as he speaks of a village of this name (Συκαμίνων πόλις
) on the coast between Ptolemais and Caesareia, near Mount Carmel, called also Hepha (Ἡφὰ
) in his day. (Onomast. s. v. Ἰαφέθ.
) Dr. Wilson, however, thinks that the modern Haifa
“more probably occupies the site of the ‘Mutatio Calamon,’ given in the Jerusalem Itinerary as 12 Roman miles from Ptolemais, while the ‘Mansio Sicamenos’ of the same work was 3 miles farther on. Ruins have been discovered along the shore, about 2 Roman miles to the the W. of Haifa;
. . . these ruins may have been those of Sycaminos.” (Lands of the Bible,
vol. ii. p. 241.) Haifa
is a small walled town to the S. of the Bay of Acre,
at the northern base of the promontory of Mount Carmel, distant about 10 miles from Ptolemais (Acre
); a distance far too small to satisfy the statement of the Itinerary of Antoninus, or even that of the Jerusalem Itinerary.
But, notwithstanding this, its identity with Sycamina seems to be sufficiently established by the testimony of Eusebius, joined to the historical fact recorded by Josephus, which better suits this than any other place on the coast, being in fact the very place where Ibrahim Pasha, when engaged in a similar enterprise against Acre,
landed some of his troops and concentrated his army, in 1831, preparatory to forming the siege of the town. (Alderson, Notes on Acre,
pp. 23, 24.)