Acre, also known historically as Akka, is a historic coastal city in northern Israel, situated on the Mediterranean Sea.
Crusaders besieged the city between 1190 and 1191. Many of them were siezed by an illness. In Béroul’s Tristan, Tristan, disguised as a beggar as part of an elaborate ruse to vindicate Isolde, claims that his hands are “stiffened by the illness called Mal d’Acre.” This allusion has been taken by some critics to date the romance later than 1191.
Acre | 0 to the 9th century AD
Ancient Phoenician Settlement
Acre’s history dates back to antiquity when it was founded as a Phoenician settlement known as Akka. The Phoenicians were skilled seafarers and traders, and Acre’s location on the Mediterranean coast made it a valuable port for their maritime activities. The city was known for its strategic harbor, which was used for trade and as a naval base.
Roman and Byzantine Periods
During the Roman and Byzantine periods, Acre – then known as Ptolemais – continued to serve as a coastal city with fortifications. It was an important administrative and trading center under Roman rule.
Byzantine and Early Islamic Influence
In the early Islamic period, Acre remained significant. It was captured by the Muslim armies during the Arab expansion, and it continued to be a hub for trade and maritime activities. The city’s historical significance in the region persisted.
Early Medieval Period
During the early medieval period, up to the ninth century, Acre’s role as a coastal city and port likely continued. It would have been part of the broader regional history, which included interactions with various empires and dynasties in the Middle East.
Templars | The Legend of King Arthur
Tristan | Béroul, late 12th century
Claris et Laris | 1268