Who built this City? Finding Akre Leuca, Hamiclar’s Lost City

Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

Wednesday May 25, 2022 1:00pm EST
Tom G Hamilton
Who built this City? Finding Akre Leuca, Hamiclar’s Lost City

Deep in the heart of the Portuguese arid interior lies a city, Castelo Branco, the regional capital of the lands known as Beira Baixa and it is strategically well-placed near the grand Tejo river, the superhighway of ancient times. The locals call it Castraleuca. Where does this name come from? Who built this city?

Historian Porfirio de Silva in 1853 quoted a contemporary document which was very specific about the origins of the city: “Seven hundred years before the time of Christ, in the time of the Carthaginians, Goths, Saracens, there existed on Cardoso hill the ancient Castraleuca, and from its ruins of Castelo Branco was built.”

A little-known historian Gaspar Alvares de Lousada said Castelo Branco had been rebuilt by the Knights Templars from the ruins of Castraleuca. He evidently had seen ‘cippos’ (marker stones) which identified Castelo Branco as being the ancient Castraleuca. This is confirmed by the city foral (a royal document) written by Knights Templar Pedro Alviti in 1213: Volumus restaurare atque populare castelbranco. Translated this gives “we wish to restore and populate Castelo Branco”.

Contemporary historian Herculano rejected the idea of Castelo Branco as being Castraleuca. His arguments were based upon the work of Ptolemy the Greek Geographer, who in the first centuries AD placed Castraleuca south of the Tejo. Ptolemy wrote from Alexandria in Egypt and had never placed foot on Lusitanian soil.


Become a member to read more OR login here


Ancient Origins Quotations