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Acra (fortress)

The Acra (or Akra, , ) was a fortified compound in Jerusalem built by Antiochus Epiphanes, ruler of the Seleucid Empire, following his sack of the city in 168 BCE. The fortress played a significant role in the events surrounding the Maccabean Revolt and the formation of the Hasmonean Kingdom. It was destroyed by Simon Maccabeus during this struggle.

The exact location of the Acra, critical to understanding Hellenistic Jerusalem, had been a matter of lengthy discussions. Historians and archaeologists had proposed various sites around Jerusalem, relying mainly on conclusions drawn from literary evidence. This approach began to change in the light of excavations which commenced in the late 1960s. New discoveries had prompted reassessments of the ancient literary sources, Jerusalem's geography and previously discovered artifacts. Yoram Tsafrir had interpreted a masonry joint in the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount platform as a clue to the Acra's possible position. During Benjamin Mazar's 1968 and 1978 excavations adjacent to the south wall of the Mount, features were uncovered which may have been connected with the Acra, including barrack-like rooms and a huge cistern. In November 2015 the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the likely discovery of the Acra in a different location, south-west of the Temple Mount and north-west of the City of David.

The ancient Greek term acra was used to describe other fortified structures during the Hellenistic period. The Acra is often called the Seleucid Acra to distinguish it from references to the Ptolemaic Baris as an acra and from the later quarter in Jerusalem which inherited the name Acra.


Acra or ACRA may refer to:

  • Application Crash Reports for Android,
  • Acra (fortress), a fortified compound in Jerusalem of the 2nd century BC
  • Ptolemaic Acra or Ptolemaic Baris, a citadel maintained by Ptolemaic Egypt during its rule of Jerusalem in the 3rd century BC
  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore
  • All-Channel Receiver Act
  • American Car Rental Association
  • Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association
  • Association of Canadian Radio Artists, predecessor of ACTRA
  • ACRA, an Australian Commercial Radio Award, presented each yeah in Australia at an annual ceremony
  • Australian Cultivar Registration Authority
  • Reem Acra, Lebanese fashion designer
  • Akra, a hamlet in Greene County (see Cairo, New York) where Jack "Legs" Diamond is rumored to have had a home at one time.