Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Acanthus

ACANTHUS (Άκανθος: Eth. Άκάνθιος: Erisso), a town on the E. side of the isthmus, which connects the peninsula of Acte with Chalcidice, and about 1½ mile above the canal of Xerxes. [Athos.] It was founded by a colony from Andros, and became a place of considerable importance. Xerxes stopped here on his march into Greece (B. C. 480) and praised the inhabitants for the zeal which they displayed in his service. Acanthus surrendered to Brasidas B.C. 424, and its independence was shortly afterwards guaranteed in the treaty of peace made between Athens and Sparta. The Acanthians maintained their independence against the Olynthians, but eventually became subject to the kings of Macedonia. In the war between the Romans and Philip (B.C. 200) Acanthus was taken and plundered by the fleet of the republic. Strabo and Ptolemy erroneously place Acanthus on the Singitic gulf, but there can be no doubt that the town was on the Strymiric gulf as is stated by Herodotus and other authorities: the error may have perhaps arisen from the territory of Acanthus having stretched as far as the Singitic gulf. At Erisso, the site of Acanthus, there are the ruins of a large ancient mole, advancing in a curve into the sea, and also, on the N. side of the hill upon which the village stands, some remains of an ancient wall, constructed of square blocks of grey granite. On the coin of Acanthus figured below is a lion killing a bull, which confirms the account of Herodotus (vii. 135), that on the march of Xerxes from Acanthus to Therme, lions killed the camels which carried the provisions. (Herod. vii. Seq. 121; Thnc. iv. 84, seq. i. 18 OmM. Greece. 30; Strab. p. 330; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iii. p. 147.)

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Coin of Acathus

2. (Dashour), a city of Egypt, on the western bank of the Nile, 120 stadia S. of Memphis. It was in the Memphite None, and, therefore, in the Heptanomis. It was celebrated for a temple of Osiris and received its name from a sacred enclosure compound of the Acanthus. (Strab. p. 809; Du i. 197; Steph. B. s. v.; Ptol. iv. 5. § 55, who calls the town Άκανθών Πόλις)