"Ptolemais" (which is also called Acon) "is a city of Galilee on the sea-coast, situate in a great champaign, but it is compassed with hills; on the east, sixty furlongs off, with the hill-country of Galilee; on the south with Carmel, distant a hundred and twenty furlongs; on the north, with a very high mountain which is called Climax" (or the ladder), "belonging to the Tyrians, and is a hundred furlongs distant. Two miles off of that city the river Beleus flows, a very small one, near which is the sepulchre of Memnon; having about it the space of a hundred cubits, but well worthy admiration. For it is in the form of a round valley, affording glassy sand, which when many ships coming thither have gathered, the place is again replenished."
"From Acon onwards to the north" (is heathen land), and Acon itself is reckoned for the north (that is, for heathen land).
"In Acon the land of Israel is, and is not." And therefore, "R. Josi Ben Hananiah kissed the arch of Acon, and said, Hitherto is the land of Israel."
"R. Simeon Ben Gamaliel said, I saw Simeon Ben Cahna drinking wine in Acon, &c. But was it within the bounds of the land or not?" See the author of Juchasin disputing largely of this matter, in the place of the margin.
There was the bath of Venus in Acon: Where R. Gamaliel washing, was asked by a certain heathen (whose name in the Babylonian 'Proculus, the son of the philosopher'), "What have you to do with the bath of Venus,--Then it is written in your law, 'There shall not cleave to thy hand any of the accursed thing?' He answered, I must not answer you in the bath" (because you must not speak of the law when you stand naked). "When he came out therefore he said, I went not into her bounds, but she came into mine." (The Gloss is, 'The bath was before she was.') "And we say not, Let us make a fair bath for Venus,--but, Let us make a fair Venus for the bath," &c.
A story, done at Acon before R. Judah, is related, not unworthy to be mentioned. "Rabbi came to a certain place, and saw the men of that place baking their dough in uncleanness. When he inquired of them, Why they did so, they answered, A certain scholar came hither, and taught us, the waters are not of those waters (that bring pollution). He spake of the waters of eggs; but they thought that he spake of the waters of the marshes." These things we have the more willingly produced, that the reader may see that the letter ain was no sound with these; examples like to which we bring elsewhere. Now hear the Glosser; "Rabbi saw this (saith he) in Acon, in which is Israelitic land and heathen land:--now he saw them standing within the limits of Israelitic land, and baking their dough in uncleanness, and wondered, until they told him, A certain scholar came hither," &c.
Caphar Acon, is very frequently mentioned by the Talmudists.
"A city which produceth fifteen hundred footmen, as Caphar Acon, if nine dead persons be carried out thence in three days successively, behold! it is the plague: but if in one day, or in four days, then it is not the plague. And a city which produceth five hundred foot, as Caphar Amiku," &c.
Hence are the names of some Acon Rabbins; as,
"R. Tanchum, the son of R. Chaia of Caphar Acon."
"R. Simeon Ben Judah, A man of Caphar Acon."
"R. Abba of Acon": and others.
Weigh this story: "One brought a bill of divorce to R. Ismael; who said to him, Whence are you? He answered, From Caphar Samai, which is in the confines of Acon.--Then it is needful, saith he, that you say, It was written, I being present,--and sealed, I being present. When he went out, R. Illai said unto him, Is not Caphar Samai of the land of Israel, being nearer to Zippor than Acon?" And a little after: "The cities which are in the borders of Zippor near to Acon, and which are in the borders of Acon near to Zippor, what will you do concerning them? As Acon is, so is Zippor."