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MALACA (Μάλακα, Strab.; Ptol. 2.4.7; Μαλάκη, Steph. B. sub voce: Eth. Μαλακιτανός: Malaga), an important town upon the coast of Hispania Baetica, east of Calpe, which was equidistant from Gadeira and Malaca. (Strab. iii. p.156.) According to the Antonine Itinerary (p. 405), the distance from Gadeira to Malaca was 145 miles; according to Strabo (iii. p.140) the distance from Gadeira to Calpe was 750 stadia. Malaca stood upon a river of the same name, now Guadalmedina. (Avien. Or. Mar. 426; Malaca cum fluvio, Plin. Nat. 3.1. s. 3.) Strabo says (l.c.) that Malaca was built in the Phoenician fashion, whence we may conclude that it was a Phoenician colony. Accordingly some modern writers have supposed that the name was derived from the Phoenician word malcha, “royal;” but Humboldt says that Malaca is a Basque word, signifying the “side of a mountain.” Under the Romans it was a foederata civitas (Plin. l.c.), and had extensive establishments for salting fish. (Strab. l.c.) Avienus says (l.c.) that Malaca was formerly called Maenaca; but Strabo had already noticed this error, and observed not only that Maenaca was further from Calpe, but that the ruins of the latter city were clearly Hellenic. Malaca is also mentioned in Strab. iii. pp. 158, 161, 163; Hirt. B. Alex. 46; Geogr. Rav. 4.42. There are still a few remains of Roman architecture in Malaya.

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.1
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.4
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