ACCHO (Sk'ko), (Ileb. ak-ko, Sept. 'A/90), Ak-khoh), a town and haven within the nominal ter ritory of the tribe of Asher, which, however, never acquired possession of it ( Judg. The Greek and Roman writers call it Ace (Strab. xvi:877; Diod. Sic. xix :93 ; C. Nep. xiv :5) ; hut it was eventually better known as PTOLEM A IS ( Plin. lust. Nat. v :19), which name it received from the first Ptolemy, king of Egypt. In. whom it was much improved. By this name it is mentioned in the Apocrypha (t Nlace. x :56 ; xi :22, 2q; q8; 2 Nlacc. xiii :14 ), in the New Testament (Acts xxi :7), and by Josephus (Antig. 2, seq.). It was also called Catania Claudit Caesaris, in consequence of its receiving the privi leges of a Roman city front the Emperor Claudius ( Plin. v:17 ; xxxvi :65). But the names thus im posed or altered by foreigners never took with the natives, and the place is still known in the country by the name of Akka. It continued to be called Ptolemais by the Greeks of the lower emptre, as well as by Latin authors, while the Orientals adhered to the original designation.
(1) Situation. This famous city and haven is situated in N. lat. 32 deg. 55 min.. and E. long 35 deg. 5 min., and occupies the northwestern point of a commodious bay, called the Bay of Acre, the opposite or southwestern point of which is formed by the promontory of Mount Carmel.
The city lies on the plain to which it gives its name. Its western side is washed by the waves of the Mediterranean, and on the south lies the bay, beyond which may be seen the town of Caipha, on the site of the ancient Calamos, and, rising high above both the shrubby heights of Carmel. The mountains belonging to the chain of Anti-Libanus are seen at the distance of about four leagues to the north, while to the east the view is bounded by the fruitful hills of the Lower Galilee. The bay, from the town of Acre to
the promontory of Mount Carmel, is three leagues wide and two in depth. The port, on account of its shallowness, can only be entered by vessels of small burden ; but there is excellent anchorage on the other side of the bay, before Caipha, which is, in fact, the roadstead of Acre.
(2) History. In the course of time emais was absorbed, with all the country, into the Roman empire ; and the rest of its ancient history is obscure and of little note. It is only mentioned in the New Testament from St. Paul having spent a day there on his voyage to Cxsarea (Acts xxi :7). It continued a place of importance, and was the seat of a bishopric in the first ages of the Christian Church. The see was filled sometimes by orthodox and sometimes by Arian bishops ; and it has the equivocal dis tinction of having been the birthplace of the Sabellian heresy. Accho, as we may now again call it, was an imperial garrison town when the Saracens invaded Syria, and was one of those that held out until Cxsarea was taken by Amru in A. D. 638.
(3) Medals. There are several medals of Accho or Ptolemais extant, both Greek and Latin. Most of the former have also the Pheni c.an name of the city,PY, AK or Accho.
Of the to,000 or 12,000 inhabitants, two-thirds are Moslems, the remainder being Greek and Catholic Christians, with a few Jews and Persians. It is the seat of a provincial governor, under whom are the districts of Haifa, Nazareth, Tiberias and Safed. The chief trade is the export of grain brought by camels from Hazerdn. About 1,000 tons of oil from the olive groves of Galilee are also annually exported.