The Mamluk Period

1291-1516 C.E. – The Mamluk Period

1291 – As a consequence of the Mamluk conquest, Acre harbor is filled in and ships arriving there must anchor outside it 97. The buildings of the Frankish Crusader city are systematically destroyed, including those outside of today’s walls, with the goal of preventing the Crusaders, as Christians, from setting foot in the Holy Land. Vilnay 99a notes that a Moslem geographer who stayed in Acre at the time of the conquest in 1291 describes the destruction of the city.

1296 – Lo Compasso de Navegare (“the Compleat Navigation”) is published in Italian by an unidentified author. It includes detailed description of the Port of Acre 98.

1300 – Acre appears on a map under the names Ptholomaida, Acri, and Achon, beside the Belus River (what is now called the Na’aman River) 99.

1304 – The Venetians return to Acre in order to continue the trade in cotton.

1320 – A map of Acre drafted by the Franciscan monk Paulinus di Pozzuoli is published by Pietro Vesconte.

1321 – The Map of Marino Sanuto: Marino Sanuto of Torcello (the Elder) pays two visits to the country and to Acre in particular, in 1285 and in 1306. According to Sanuto’s instructions after these visits, Pietro Vesconte (who also sojourned in Acre) drafts the “Map of the Holy Land.” Acre appears under the name Acon and its location on a peninsula north of the bay is particularly noted 100. On another of Sanuto’s maps, Acre appears under the name Acry. Abu al-Fida, a Moslem, reminisces about the great beauty of Acre on the eve of its conquest by the Mamluks, in which he claims he claims to have participated 101.

1326 – The Moslem traveler Ibn Battuta visits Acre and describes its greatness before the Mamluk conquest 102.

1335 – Giacobbe of Verona, an Augustine monk and preacher. He describes Acre following the Mamluk conquest as a city of towers and palaces but empty of inhabitants 103,104.

1336-1341 – The German priest Ludolf of Suchem visits Acre and describes some of the large buildings in the city that remained whole even after the Saracen (Mamluk) conquest 105.

1348 –The Black Death (epidemic of bubonic plague) that spread throughout Europe and the East also reaches Acre 106.

1355 – The Moslem traveler Ibn Battuta dissents from the description of Acre as a port city in the Crusader period and equates its importance with that of Constantinople 107,108.

1378 – Al-Uthmani, a jurist from Safed, visits Acre and notes the registered dedications (Waqfs) there 109.

The 14th Century – Acre (by this name) and Acre Bay appear on the map drafted by Abraham Crescas and his son Yehuda in the Catalan Atlas 110.

1421 – The German traveler Johann Poloner visits Acre 111.

1422 –Flemish traveler Guillebert de Lannoy visits Acre and describes its strong fortifications 112.

1432 – The French pilgrim Bertrandon de la Broquière visits Acre 113.

1458 – The Italian pilgrim Roberto da Sanseverino, an expert in the art of war, visits the ruins of Acre 114.

1486 – On a “modern” map drafted by Pietro Vesconte at the beginning of the 14th century, published in Ulm, Germany, Acre appears as Akon, in the lands of the Tribe of Asher 115.

The 16th Century – Giovanni Francesco de la Gatta drafts a map of the Holy Land, apparently according to a listing of settlements made by Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), as they appear on the 1532 map by Jacob Ziegler and the 1538 map byWiesenberg. Acre appears under the name Ptolemais 116.

1500 (approx.) – I. Picart drafts a map of Acre.

1506 – Peutinger Map (Tabula Peutingeriana) – the map, from about the year 1200 and discovered in this year, depicts the roads and districts of the Roman Empire according to information that appeared in notations by Ptolemaeus from approximately 365. Ptolemaeus’ account notes, among the others, the cities and districts of the Land of Israel. In the map, written in Greek, there is a description of stations and the roads between them, and the distances in miles. Acre is listed as Ptolomaida. The map is named for Konrad Peutinger, a German town clerk and antiquarian, to whom it was bequeathed in 1508 by its discoverer, Conrad Celtes. Peutinger initiates the map’s large-scale publication 117.

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