Sites & cities that bear the name of Irqata


Today in : Lebanon
First trace of activity : 1,350 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Arqa, ๐ค€๐ค“๐ค’โ€๐ค•, Irqata, ืขืจืงืช, 'Arqat, Caesarea , Arca Caesarea, Caesarea ad Libanum, Arca in Phoenicia

Description : Arqa (Arabic: ุนุฑู‚ุงโ€Ž; Phoenician: ๐ค€๐ค“๐ค’โ€๐ค•, romanized: Irqata) is a Sunni village near Miniara in Akkar Governorate, Lebanon, 22 km northeast of Tripoli, near the coast. The town was a notable city-state during the Iron Age. The city of Irqata sent 10,000 soldiers to the coalition against the Assyrian king in the Battle of Qarqar. The former bishopric became a double Catholic titular see (Latin and Maronite). The Roman Emperor Alexander Severus was born there. It is significant for the Tell Arqa, an archaeological site that goes back to Neolithic times, and during the Crusades there was a strategically significant castle. Arqa has the distinction of being a city-state that wrote one of the 382 Amarna letters to the Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. The city-state Irqata was the 3rd city of the Rib-Hadda letters, (68 letters), that were the last hold-outs against the (H)Apiru invasion. Sumur(u)-(Zemar) was the 2nd hold-out city besides Rib-Hadda's Byblos, (named Gubla). Eventually, the king of Irqata, Aduna was killed along with other city kings, and also the 'mayor' of Gubla, Rib-Hadda. Rib-Hadda's brother, Ili-Rapih, became the successor mayor of Gubla, and Gubla never fell to the Hapiru. During Rib-Hadda's lengthy opposition to the Habiru, even the city-state of Irqata and its elders, wrote to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten for assistance. (EA 100, EA for el Amarna). After the death of Alexander the Great Arca came under the control first of the Lagids then of the Seleucids. When the Romans gained control over this part of western Asia, they entrusted Arca as a client tetrarchy or vassal principality to a certain Sohaimos, who died in AD 48 or 49. It was then incorporated in the Roman province of Syria, but was soon entrusted to Herod Agrippa II. Pliny the Elder counts it among the tetrarchies of Syria. It was at this time that its name was changed to Caesarea, distinguished from other cities of that name by being called Caesarea ad Libanum or Arca Caesarea. Under Septimius Severus (193โ€“211) it was made part of the province of Syria Phoenicia and so became known as Arca in Phoenicia. Under his son Caracalla (198โ€“217) it became a colonia and in 208 Alexander Severus was born at Arca during a stay of his parents there. At the time of the First Crusade, Arca became an important strategic point of control over the roads from Tripoli to Tartus and Homs. Raymond of Toulouse unsuccessfully besieged it for three months in 1099. In 1108, his nephew William II Jordan conquered it and it became part of the County of Tripoli. It resisted an attack by Nur ad-Din, atabeg of Aleppo, in 1167 and another in 1171. It finally fell to Muslim forces of the Sultan Baibars in 1265 or 1266. When Tripoli itself fell in 1289 to the army of Sultan Qalawun and was razed to the ground, Arca lost its strategic importance and thereafter is mentioned only in ecclesiastical chronicles.

See on map ยป