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ARKITE(S):

Ancient people of northwestern Palestine. In Gen. x. 17, I Chron. i. 15, the Arkite () is mentioned as a son of Canaan and opensthe series of the chief Phenician cities. The city of Arka, from which the name is derived, is the modern ruin Tell 'Arḳa in the Lebanon, northeast of Tripolis, on a brook called River of 'Arḳa (not the Sabbatical River of Josephus!). The city occurs in Egyptian inscriptions, about 1500 B.C., as '(I)rḳan(a)tu (W. M. Müller, "Asien und Europa," p. 247); in the Amarna Letters (122 et seq.) as Irgata, Irganatu. The Assyrians mention Irḳanat as hostile under Shalmaneser II.; Tiglath-pileser III. subjected Arḳa (Delitzsch, "Paradies," pp. 272, 284; Schrader, "Cuneiform Inscriptions and the Old Testament," i. 87, 246). In Roman times Arka (Arkē, etc.) was an important town, called Cæsarea Libani. It was a Roman colony and famous for the cult of Venus Arcitis (Macrobius). As a fortress it played a prominent part in the Crusades.

The strange form Ariḳi in the Septuagint, in Josephus, and in the Samaritan text is not intelligible.

J. Jr. W. M. M.
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