Israel - Acre - the tower of Flies

Shulie1

Ottawa, Canada

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Artist's Description

On the east side of the modern port, deep in the water, is the western side of the ancient Phoenician breakwater. It was called the “tower of flies” by the Crusaders, who mistook Acre as the biblical Ekron (as per Kings 2: 1 " Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?…"). Since zebub means in Hebrew “fly”, this tower got its name from this misinterpretation.

During the continuous skirmishing of the Genoese and Venetians 1260s, who were fighting for control of the Holy land, both sides employed Muslim soldiers, mostly Turcopoles, against their Christian foes.[In 1266, the Genoese had made an alliance with Baybars, who was to outfit some troops for an expedition against Acre, but the Genoese’ promised fleet never got underway.In 1267, Genoa managed to capture the Tower of Flies and blockade the harbour of Acre for twelve days before being evicted by a Venetian flotilla. The ongoing warfare between Genoa and Venice had a major negative impact on the Kingdom’s ability to withstand external threats to its existence. Save for the religious buildings, most of the fortified and defended edifices in Acre had been destroyed at one point or other (and Acre looked as as if it had been ravaged by a Muslim army) . 20,000 men in total had lost their lives. The War of Saint Sabas was settled in 1270 with a pact to cease the hostilities between the Venetians and the Genoese. In 1288, Genoa finally received their quarter in Acre back. (Wikipedia)

Artwork Comments

  • Klaus Bohn
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  • Klaus Bohn
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  • vigor
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  • Olitto
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  • Photos - Pauline Wherrell
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  • Leila A. Fortier
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  • cdcantrell
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  • RC deWinter
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  • Christine Lake
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  • Jurmale
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