Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Acrae 1.

ACRAE (Άκραι, Thuc. et alii; Άκρα, Steph. B.; Άκραιαι Ptol.; Άκραιοί, Steph. B.; Acrenses, Plin.; Palazzolo), a city of Sicily, situated in the southern portion of the island, on a lofty hill, nearly due W. of Syracuse, from which it was distant, according to the Itineraries, 24 Roman miles (Itin. Ant. p. 87; Tab. Pent). It was a colony of Syracuse, founded, as we learn from Thucydides, 70 years after its parent city, i. e. 663 B.C. (Thuc. vi. 5), but it did not rise to any great importance, and continued almost always in a state of dependence on Syracuse. Its position must, however, have always given it some consequence in a military point of view; and we find Dion, when marching upon Syracuse, halting at Acrae to watch the effect of his proceedings. (Plut. Dion, 27, where we should certainly read Άκρας for Μακράς.) By the treaty concluded by the Romans with Hieron, king of Syracuse, Acrae was included in the dominions of that monarch (Diod., xxiii. Exc. p. 502), and this was probably the period of its greatest prosperity. During the Second Punic War it followed the fortunes of Syracuse, and afforded a place of refuge to Hippocrates, after his defeat by Marcellus at Acrillae, B.C. 214. (Liv. xxiv. 36.) This is the last mention of it in history, and its name is not once noticed by -Cicero. It was probably in his time a mere dependenqr of Syracuse, though it is found in Pliny's list of the ^' stipendiariiae dvitates, so that it must then have possessed a separate muni- dpal existence. (Plin. iii. 8; Ptol. iii. 4. § 14.) The dte of Acrae was correctly fixed by Fazello at ihe modern PalaezolOj the lof^ and bloik situation of which corresponds with the description of Silius Italicus (^'tomulis gladalibus Acrae," xiv. 206), and its distance from Syracuse with that assigned by the Itineraries. The summit of the hill occupied by the modern town is said to be still called Acremonte, Fazello speaks of the ruins visible there as *'cgregiuni urbis cadaver," and the recent researches and excava- tions carried on by ^e Baron Judica have brought to light andent remains of much interest. The most considerable of these are two theatres, both in very fair preservation, of which the largest is turned to- wards the N., while immediately adjacent to it on the W. is a much smaller one, hollowed out in great part from the rock, and supposed from some pecu- 1 liarities in its construction to have been intended to serve as an Odeum, or theatre for music. Numerous other architectural fragments, attesting the existence of temples and other buildings, have also been brought to light, as well as statues, pedestals, inscriptions, and other minor relics. On an adjoining hill are great numbers of tombs excavated in the rock, while on the hill of Acremonte itself are some monuments of a angular chancier; figures as largo as life, hewn in relief in shallow niches on the 8ur£ftoeof the native rock. As the principal figure in all these sculptures appears to be that of the goddess Isis, the j must belong to a late period. (Fazell. de Beb. Slc yqL i. p. 452 ; Serra di Faloo, Antkkiih di SidHa^ toL iv. p. 158, seq. ; Judica, AntichUa tUAcre.) [E.H.B.]