Caesarea Maritima

Caesarea Maritima /ˌsɛsəˈriːə məˈrɪtɪmə/ (Greek: Παράλιος Καισάρεια Parálios Kaisáreia), also known as Caesarea Palestinae,[1] was an ancient city in the Sharon plain on the coast of the Mediterranean, now in ruins and included in an Israeli national park.

The city and harbour were built under Herod the Great during c. 22–10 BC near the site of a former Phoenician naval station known as Stratonos pyrgos (Στράτωνος πύργος, "Straton's Tower"), probably named after the 4th century BC king of Sidon Strato I.[2][3] It later became the provincial capital of Roman Judea, Roman Syria Palaestina and Byzantine Palaestina Prima provinces. The city was populated throughout the 1st to 6th centuries AD and became an important early center of Christianity during the Byzantine period, but was mostly abandoned following the Muslim conquest of 640. It was re-fortified by the Crusaders, and finally slighted by the Mamluks in 1265.

The name Caesarea (Καισάρεια) was adopted into Arabic as Qaysaria قيسارية‎. The location was all but abandoned in 1800. It was re-developed into a fishing village by Bosniak Muslim immigrants after 1884, and into a modern town after 1940, incorporated in 1977 as the municipality of Caesarea (Hebrew Kesariya קיסריה‎) within Israel's Haifa District, about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa.[4]

The ruins of the ancient city, on the coast about 2 km south of modern Caesarea, were excavated in the 1950s and 1960s and the site was incorporated into the new Caesarea National Park in 2011.

Caesarea Maritima
Παράλιος Καισάρεια
Caesarea maritima (DerHexer) 2011-08-02 098
The ruins of Caesarea Maritima
Caesarea Maritima is located in Israel
Caesarea Maritima
Shown within Israel
LocationCaesarea, Israel
RegionRoman Judea, Syria Palaestina
Coordinates32°30′0″N 34°53′30″E / 32.50000°N 34.89167°ECoordinates: 32°30′0″N 34°53′30″E / 32.50000°N 34.89167°E
BuilderHerod the Great
Founded10 BC
PeriodsRoman Empire to High Middle Ages
CulturesRoman/Byzantine; Crusader fortress
Site notes
ManagementIsrael Nature and Parks Authority
Public accessyes
WebsiteCaesarea National Park

Classical era


Aerial photo
Caesarea Maritima aqueduct
Remains of the ancient Roman aqueduct
אמפי קיסריה
The theatre
ISR-2016-Caesarea-Caesarea Maritima-Columns
Caesarea Maritima-Columns

The site of the former Phoenician naval station was awarded to Herod the Great in 30 BC. Herod built his palace on a promontory jutting out into the sea, with a decorative pool surrounded by stoas. He went on to build a large port and a city, which he named in honour of his patron Caesar Augustus.[1][5]

In the year AD 6, Caesarea became the civilian and military capital of Iudaea Province and the official residence of the Roman procurator Antonius Felix, and prefect Pontius Pilatus.[6]

This city is the location of the 1961 discovery of the Pilate Stone, the only archaeological item that mentions the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, by whose order Jesus was crucified.[7] It is likely that Pilate used it as a base, and only went to Jerusalem when needed.[8]

Roman Judea

The city was described in detail by the 1st-century Roman Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.[9] Josephus describes the harbor as being as large as the one at Piraeus, the major harbor of Athens.[10] Remains of the principal buildings erected by Herod and the medieval town are still visible today, including the city walls, the castle and a Crusader cathedral and church. Caesarea grew rapidly, becoming the largest city in Judea, with an estimated population of 125,000 over an urban area of 3.7 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi).

According to Josephus, Caesarea was the scene in AD 26 of a major act of civil disobedience to protest against Pilate's order to plant eagle standards on the Temple Mount of Jerusalem.[11]

The emperor Vespasian raised its status to that of a Colonia, with the name Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea.

According to Josephus, the outbreak of the Jewish revolt of AD 66 was provoked by Greeks of a certain merchant house in Caesarea sacrificing birds in front of a local synagogue.[12] In AD 70, after the Jewish revolt was suppressed, games were held here to celebrate the victory of Titus. Many Jewish captives were brought to Caesarea Maritima; Kasher (1990) claims that 2,500 captives were "slaughtered in gladiatorial games".[13]

After the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, Caesarea became the provincial capital of the Judaea Province, before the change of name to Syria Palaestina in 135, in the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba revolt.[14] Caesarea was one of four Roman colonies for veterans in the Syria-Phoenicia region.[15]

Caesarea is mentioned in the 3rd century Mosaic of Rehob, with respect to its non-Jewish population.

Sebastos harbor

Caesarea Maritima BW 2010-09-23 09-26-26 stitch
Caesarea hippodrome

When it was built in the 1st century BC, Sebastos Harbor ranked as the largest artificial harbor built in the open sea, enclosing around 100,000 m2.[16][17][18] King Herod built the two jetties of the harbor between 22 and 15 BC,[19] and in 10/9 BC he dedicated the city and harbor to Caesar (sebastos is Greek for Augustus).[20] The pace of construction was impressive considering size and complexity. The breakwaters were made of lime and pozzolana, a type of volcanic ash, set into an underwater concrete. Herod imported over 24,000 m3 pozzolana from Pozzuoli, Italy, to construct the two breakwaters: the 500 meter long on the south and the 275 meter long on the north.[21] A shipment of this size would have required at least 44 shiploads of 400 tons each.[19] Herod also had 12,000 m3 of kurkar quarried to make rubble and 12,000 m3 of slaked lime mixed with the pozzolana.

Architects had to devise a way to lay the wooden forms for the placement of concrete underwater. One technique was to drive stakes into the ground to make a box and then fill it with pozzolana concrete bit by bit.[17] However, this method required many divers to hammer the planks to the stakes underwater and large quantities of pozzolana were necessary. Another technique was a double planking method used in the northern breakwater. On land, carpenters would construct a box with beams and frames on the inside and a watertight, double-planked wall on the outside. This double wall was built with a 23 cm (9 in) gap between the inner and outer layer.[22] Although the box had no bottom, it was buoyant enough to float out to sea because of the watertight space between the inner and outer walls. Once it was floated into position, pozzolana was poured into the gap between the walls and the box would sink into place on the seafloor and be staked down in the corners. The flooded inside area was then filled by divers bit by bit with pozzolana-lime mortar and kurkar rubble until it rose above sea level.[22]

On the southern breakwater, barge construction was used. The southern side of Sebastos was much more exposed than the northern side, requiring sturdier breakwaters. Instead of using the double planked method filled with rubble, the architects sank barges filled with layers of pozzolana concrete and lime sand mortar. The barges were similar to boxes without lids, and were constructed using mortise and tenon joints, the same technique used in ancient boats, to ensure they remained watertight. The barges were ballasted with 0.5 meters of pozzolana concrete and floated out to their position. With alternating layers, pozzolana based and lime based concretes were hand placed inside the barge to sink it and fill it up to the surface.[22]

At its height, Sebastos was one of the most impressive harbors of its time. It had been constructed on a coast that had no natural harbors and served as an important commercial harbor in antiquity, rivaling Cleopatra’s harbor at Alexandria. Josephus wrote: “Although the location was generally unfavorable, [Herod] contended with the difficulties so well that the solidity of the construction could not be overcome by the sea, and its beauty seemed finished off without impediment.”[23] However, there were underlying problems that led to its demise. Studies of the concrete cores of the moles have shown that the concrete was much weaker than similar pozzolana hydraulic concrete used in ancient Italian ports. For unknown reasons, the pozzolana mortar did not adhere as well to the kurkar rubble as it did to other rubble types used in Italian harbors.[21] Small but numerous holes in some of the cores also indicate that the lime was of poor quality and stripped out of the mixture by strong waves before it could set.[21] Also, large lumps of lime were found in all five of the cores studied at Caesarea, which shows that the mixture was not mixed thoroughly.[21] However, stability would not have been seriously affected if the harbor had not been constructed over a geological fault line that runs along the coast. Seismic action gradually took its toll on the breakwaters, causing them to tilt down and settle into the seabed.[23] Also, studies of seabed deposits at Caesarea have shown that a tsunami struck the area sometime during the 1st or 2nd century.[24] Although it is unknown if this tsunami simply damaged or completely destroyed the harbor, it is known that by the 6th century the harbor was unusable and today the jetties lie more than 5 meters underwater.[25]

Early Christian center

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Caesarea was first introduced to Christianity by Philip the Deacon,[26] who later had a house there in which he gave hospitality to Paul the Apostle.[27] It was there that Peter the Apostle came and baptized Cornelius the Centurion and his household, the first time Christian baptism was conferred on Gentiles.[28] When newly converted Paul the Apostle was in danger in Jerusalem, the Christians there accompanied him to Caesarea and sent him off to his native Tarsus.[29] He visited Caesarea between his second and third missionary journeys,[30] and later, as mentioned, stayed several days there with Philip the Deacon. Later still, he was a prisoner there for two years before being sent to Rome.[31]

In the 3rd century, Origen wrote his Hexapla and other exegetical and theological works while living in Caesarea. The Nicene Creed may have originated in Caesarea.

The Apostolic Constitutions says that the first Bishop of Caesarea was Zacchaeus the Publican, followed by Cornelius (possibly Cornelius the Centurion) and Theophilus (possibly the address of the Gospel of Luke).[32] The first bishops considered historically attested are those mentioned by the early church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, himself a bishop of the see in the 4th century. He speaks of a Theophilus who was bishop in the 10th year of Commodus (c. 189),[33] of a Theoctistus (216–258), a short-lived Domnus and a Theotecnus,[34] and an Agapius (?–306). Among the participants in the Synod of Ancyra in 314 was a bishop of Caesarea named Agricolaus, who may have been the immediate predecessor of Eusebius, who does not mention him, or who may have been bishop of a different Caesarea. The immediate successors of Eusebius were Acacius (340–366) and Gelasius of Caesarea (367–372, 380–395). The latter was ousted by the semi-Arian Euzoius between 373 and 379. Lequien gives much information about all of these and about later bishops of Caesarea.[35]

Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem still has a metropolitan see in Caesarea, currently occupied by metropolitan Basilios Blatsos, since 1975.

The Latin archbishopric of Caesarea in Palestina was made a Roman Catholic titular see in 1432 (Zweder van Culemborg).[36]

Melkite Catholic Church[37] also consider Caesarea a titular see.

Theological library

Through Origen and especially the scholarly presbyter Pamphilus of Caesarea, an avid collector of books of Scripture, the theological school of Caesarea won a reputation for having the most extensive ecclesiastical library of the time, containing more than 30,000 manuscripts: Gregory Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Jerome and others came to study there. The Caesarean text-type is recognized by scholars as one of the earliest New Testament types. The collections of the library suffered during the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian, but were repaired subsequently by bishops of Caesarea.[38] The library was mentioned in 6th century manuscripts but it may not have survived the capture of Caesarea in 640.[39]

Byzantine period

Caesarea became the capital of the new province of Palaestina Prima in 390.

As the capital of the province, Caesarea was also the metropolitan see, with ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Jerusalem, when rebuilt after the destruction in the year 70. In 451, however, the Council of Chalcedon established Jerusalem as a patriarchate, with Caesarea as the first of its three subordinate metropolitan sees.

Caesarea remained the provincial capital throughout the 5th and 6th centuries. It fell to Sassanid Persia in the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, in 614, and was re-conquered by Byzantium in 625, but was lost for good to the Muslim conquest in 640.

The fall of the city was allegedly the result of the betrayal of a certain Yusef, who conducted a party of troops of Muawiyah into the city.[40] The city appears to have been partially destroyed upon its conquest. The 7th-century Coptic bishop John of Nikiû, claims "the horrors committed in the city of Caesarea in Palestine", while the 9th-century historian Al-Baladhuri merely states that the city was "reduced".[41]

Later history

Arab rule

The former Palaestina Prima was now administered as Jund Filastin, with the capital first at Ludd and then at Ramla. Al-Baladhuri (d. 892) mentions Qaysaria as one of ten cities captured in the conquest of Palestine.

The city likely remained inhabited for some time under Arab rule, during the 7th and 8th century, albeit with much reduced population. Archaeological evidence shows a clear destruction layer identified with the conquest of 640, followed by some evidence of renewed settlement in the early Umayyad period.[42] It appears that the harbour remained in use for some time, but it was allowed to silt up and it was unusable by the 9th century.

By the 11th century, it appears that the town had once again been developed into a fortified city. Writing in 1047, Nasir-i-Khusraw describes it as "a fine city, with running waters, and palm-gardens, and orange and citron trees. Its walls are strong, and it has an iron gate. There are fountains that gush out within the city".[43] This is in agreement with William of Tyre's description of the Crusaders' siege in 1101, mentioning catapults and siege engines used against the city fortifications.[44]


Crusader Walls and Moat in Caesarea
Remnants of the walls and moat built by Louis IX of France in 1251

Caesarea was re-taken by Baldwin I in the wake First Crusade, in 1101. Michael the Syrian records that the city was "devastated upon its capture",[45]

William of Tyre (10.15) describes the use of catapults and siege towers, and states that the city was taken in an assault after fifteen days of siege and given over to looting and pillaging. He also mentions (10.16) the discovery of a "vessel of the most green colour, in the shape of a serving dish" (vas coloris viridissimi, in modum parapsidis formatum) which the Genuese thought to be made of emerald, and accepted as their share of the spoils. This refers to the hexagonal bowl known as the Sacro Catino in Italian, which was brought to Genoa by Guglielmo Embriaco and was later identified as the Holy Chalice.[46]

Caesarea was incorporated as a lordship (dominion) within the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the Latin See of Caesarea was established, with ten archbishops listed for the period 1101–1266 (treated as titular see from 1432–1967). Archbishop Heraclius attended the Third Lateran Council in 1179.

Saladin retook the city in 1187; it was recaptured by the Crusaders in 1191. In 1251, Louis IX of France fortified the city, ordering the construction of high walls (parts of which are still standing) and a deep moat. The city was finally lost in 1265, when it fell to the Mamluks, who destroyed it completely to prevent its re-emergence as a fortress, in line with their practice in other formerly-Crusader coastal cities.

Modern period

Caesarea maritima (DerHexer) 2011-08-02 038
Minaret of the 19th-century Bosnian mosque

Caesarea lay in ruins until the late nineteenth century, when the village of Qisarya (Arabic: قيسارية‎, the Arabic name for Caesarea) was established in 1884 by Bushnaks (Bosniaks) – immigrants from Bosnia, who built a small fishing village on the ruins of the Crusader fortress on the coast.[47][48]

In February 1948 the village was conquered by a Palmach unit commanded by Yitzhak Rabin, its people already having fled following an attack by the Lehi. In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea was established near the ruins of the old city, which were made into the national park of Caesarea Maritima.

Archaeology and reconstruction

Archaeological excavations in the 1950s and 1960s uncovered remains from many periods, in particular, a complex of Crusader fortifications and a Roman theatre. Other buildings include a temple dedicated to Caesar; a hippodrome rebuilt in the 2nd century as a more conventional theater; the Tiberieum, which has a limestone block with a dedicatory inscription.[7] This is the only archaeological find with an inscription mentioning the name "Pontius Pilatus"; a double aqueduct that brought water from springs at the foot of Mount Carmel; a boundary wall; and a 200 ft (60 m) wide moat protecting the harbour to the south and west. The harbor was the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast.

The main church, an octagonal martyrion, was built in the 6th century and sited directly upon the podium that had supported a Roman temple, as was a widespread Christian practice. The Martyrion was richly paved and surrounded by small radiating enclosures. Archaeologists have recovered some foliate capitals that included representations of the Cross. The site, used by Herod for his pagan temple, then reconsecrated as a church, would in time be re-occupied, this time by a mosque.

An elaborate government structure contained a basilica with an apse, where magistrates would have sat, for the structure was used as a hall of justice, as fragments of inscriptions detailing the fees that court clerks might claim attest. A well-preserved 6th-century mosaic gold and colored glass table patterned with crosses and rosettes was found in 2005.[49][50]

In 1962, a team of Israeli and American archaeologists discovered in the sand of Caesarea Maritima three small fragments of one Hebrew stone inscription bearing the partial names of places associated with the priestly courses (the rest of which had been reconstructed), dated to the third-fourth centuries. The uniqueness of this discovery is that it shows the places of residence in Galilee of the priestly courses, places presumably resettled by Jews after the Great Jewish Revolt under Hadrian.[51][52][53][54]

Since 2000 the site of Caesarea Maritima is included in the "Tentative List of World Heritage Places" of the UNESCO.[5]

In 2010, archaeological surveys-excavations of the site were conducted by Dani Vaynberger and Carmit Gur on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA),[55] and others by Peter Gendelman and Jacob Sharvit on behalf of the IAA, Yosef Porath, Beverly Goodman, and Michal Artzi on behalf of Haifa University's Recanati Center for Maritime Studies.[56] The site continued to be excavated as late as 2013.[57]

A rare, colorful mosaic bearing an inscription in Greek, dating from the 2nd-3rd century CE was uncovered at 2018, in the Caesarea National Park. It is one of the few extant examples of mosaics from the time period in Israel. According to the archaeologists, the mosaic measures 3.5 x 8 meters and is “of a rare high quality” comparable to that of Israel’s finest examples.[58]


  1. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Cæsarea Palestinæ" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  2. ^ "Founded in the years 22-10 or 9 B.C. by Herod the Great, close to the ruins of a small Phoenician naval station named Strato's Tower (Stratonos Pyrgos, Turns Stratonis), which flourished during the 3d to 1st c. B.C. This small harbor was situated on the N part of the site. Herod dedicated the new town and its port (limen Sebastos) to Caesar Augustus. During the Early Roman period Caesarea was the seat of the Roman procurators of the province of Judea. Vespasian, proclaimed emperor at Caesarea, raised it to the rank of Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta, and later Alexander Severus raised it to the rank of Metropolis Provinciae Syriae Palestinae." A. Negev, "CAESAREA MARITIMA Palestine, Israel" in: Richard Stillwell et al. (eds.), The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1976).
  3. ^ Isaac, B.H., The Near East Under Roman Rule: Selected Papers (Brill, 1997), p. 15
  4. ^ Raban and Holum, 1996, p. 54
  5. ^ a b "In the year 30 BCE the (Phoenician) village was awarded to Herod, who built a large port city at the site, and called it "Caesarea" in honor of his patron Octavian Augustus Caesar....The city transformed rapidly into a great commercial center, and by the year 6 BCE became the headquarters of the Roman government in Palestine. Since Caesarea had no rivers or springs, drinking water for the prospering Roman and Byzantine city was brought via a unique high-level aqueduct, originating at the nearby Shuni springs, some 7.5 km northeast of Caesarea. [...] Caesarea served as a base for the Roman legions who quelled the Great Revolt that erupted in 66 BCE [sic], and it was here that their commanding general Vespasian was declared Caesar. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Caesarea became the most important city in the country: Pagans, Samaritans, Jews and Christians lived here in the third and fourth centuries CE.UNESCO tentative list:Caesarea
  6. ^ A History of the Jewish People, H.H. Ben-Sasson editor, 1976, page 247: "When Judea was converted into a Roman province [in 6 CE, page 246], the Romans moved the governmental residence and military headquarters from Jerusalem to Caesarea.
  7. ^ a b Reed, Jonathan L. (2002). Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus: a re-examination of the evidence. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-56338-394-6. p. 18. Studying the historical Jesus: evaluations of the state of current research by Bruce Chilton, Craig A. Evans 1998 ISBN 90-04-11142-5 page 465
  8. ^ Historical Dictionary of Jesus by Daniel J. Harrington 2010 ISBN 0-8108-7667-1 page 32
  9. ^ Jewish Antiquities XV.331ff; The Jewish War I.408ff
  10. ^ George Menachery, 1987 in Kodungallur, City of St. Thomas, Azhikode, 1987 ChapterII note 19 quotes the National Geographic article: Robert L. Hohifelder, "Caesarea Maritima, Herod the Great’s City on the Sea". The National Geographic, 171/2, Feb., 1987, pp.260-279. 2000 years ago, Caesarea Maritima welcomed ships to its harbour called Sebastos. Featuring innovative design and hydraulic concrete, this building feat set a standard for harbours to come. A monumental work, city and harbour were constructed on an unstable storm-battered shore, at a site lacking a protective cape or bay. The project challenged Rome’s most skilled engineers. Hydraulic concrete blocks, some weighing 50 short tons (45 t) anchored the north breakwater of the artificial harbour...Caesarea Maritima, rival to Alexandria in the Eastern trade, a city worthy to be named for Herod’s patron, Caesar Augustus, master of the Roman world, in view of its opulence and magnificence.
  11. ^ Antiquities of the Jews XVII:III:1,2,3. The Jewish War II:IX:3.
  12. ^ Josephus. BJ. 2.14.5., Perseus Project BJ2.14.5, .
  13. ^ Kasher, Aryeh (1990) Jews and Hellenistic Cities in Eretz-Israel: Relations of the Jews in Eretz-Israel with the Hellenistic Cities During the Second Temple Period (332 BCE-70CE), Mohr Siebeck, ISBN 3-16-145241-0, p 311
  14. ^ Shimon Applebaum (1989) Judaea in Hellenistic and Roman Times: Historical and Archaeological Essays, Brill Archive, ISBN 90-04-08821-0 p 123
  15. ^ Butcher, Kevin (2003). Roman Syria and the Near East. Getty Publications. ISBN 978-08-92-36715-3. p. 230
  16. ^ name="George Menachery, 1987 in Kodungallur, City of St. Thomas, Azhikode, 1987 quotes the National Geographic article: Robert L. Hohifelder, "Caesarea Maritima, Herod the Great’s City on the Sea". The National Geographic, 171/2, Feb., 1987, pp.260-279. 2000 years ago, Caesarea Maritima welcomed ships to its harbour called Sebastos. Featuring innovative design and hydraulic concrete, this building feat set a standard for harbours to come. A monumental work, city and harbour were constructed on an unstable storm-battered shore, at a site lacking a protective cape or bay. The project challenged Rome’s most skilled engineers. Hydraulic concrete blocks, some weighing 50 tons anchored the north breakwater of the artificial harbour...Caesarea Maritima, rival to Alexandria in the Eastern trade, a city worthy to be named for Herod’s patron, Caesar Augustus, master of the Roman world, in view of its opulence and magnificence.
  17. ^ a b Hohfelder, R. 2007. “Constructing the Harbour of Caesarea Palaestina, Israel: New Evidence from ROMACONS Field Campaign of October 2005.” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36:409-415
  18. ^ Votruba, G. 2007. “Imported Building Materials of Sebastos Harbour, Israel.” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36:325-335.
  19. ^ a b Votruba, G., 2007, Imported building materials of Sebastos Harbour, Israel, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36: 325-335.
  20. ^ Raban, A., 1992. Sebastos: the royal harbour at Caesarea Maritima - a short-lived giant, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 21: 111-124.
  21. ^ a b c d Hohfelder, R. 2007. “Constructing the Harbour of Caesarea Palaestina, Israel: New Evidence from ROMACONS Field Campaign of October 2005.” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36:409-415.
  22. ^ a b c Brandon, C., 1996, Cements, Concrete, and Settling Barges at Sebastos: Comparisons with Other Roman Harbor Examples and the Descriptions of Vitruvius, Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia, 25-40.
  23. ^ a b Holum, K. 1988. King Herod’s Dream: Caesarea on the Sea. New York: Norton.
  24. ^ Reinhardt, E., Goodman, B., Boyce, J., Lopez, G., Hengstum, P., Rink, W., Mart, Y., Raban, A. 2006. “The Tsunami of 13 December A.D. 115 and the Destruction of Herod the Great’s Harbor at Caesarea Maritima, Israel.” Geology 34:1061-1064.
  25. ^ Raban, A., 1992, Sebastos: the royal harbour at Caesarea Maritima - a short-lived giant, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 21: 111-124
  26. ^ Acts 8:40
  27. ^ Acts 21:8–10
  28. ^ Acts 10:1-11:18
  29. ^ Acts 9:30
  30. ^ 18:22
  31. ^ Acts 23:23, 25:1-13
  32. ^'s Apostolic Constitutions Book VII, 46
  33. ^ Church History V,22
  34. ^ Church History VII,14
  35. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. III, coll. 529-574, 1285-1290
  36. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 867
  37. ^ Since 1965, the holder of the titular see within the Melkite Catholic Church is Hilarion Capucci. Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 867.
  38. ^ Jerome, "Epistles" xxxiv
  39. ^ Swete, Henry Barclay. Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, pp 74-75.
  40. ^ Meyers, Eric M. (1999). ""The Fall of Caesarea Maritima"". Galilee Through the Centuries. Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1575060408. 380ff.
  41. ^ Meyers, 1999, p. 381. (The origins of the Islamic state trans. Philip Khuri Hitti, 1916). The archaeological stratum representing the destruction is analyzed in Cherie Joyce Lentzen, The Byzantine/Islamic Occupation of Caesarea Maritima as Evidenced Through the Pottery (Drew University 1983), noted by Meyer 1999:381 note 23. See also: Al-Baladhuri, 1916, pp. 216-219.
  42. ^ Archaeological literature in the 1970s seemed to favour complete abandonment in the 7th century, but this view has been corrected with further excavations in the 1980s. See Inge Lyse Hansen, Chris Wickham, The Long Eighth Century (2000), p. 292 (fn 49).
  43. ^ le Strange, 1890, p. 474. Pringle, 1993, p. 170 -72
  44. ^ William of Tyre, Historia 10.15.
  45. ^ Meyers (1999:381).
  46. ^ Marica, Patrizia, Museo del Tesoro Genoa, Italy (2007), 7–12. The Sacro Catino is a hexagonal bowl made from Roma-era green glass, some 9 cm high and 33 cm across. It was seized and taken to Paris by Napoleon in 1805, and it was damaged when it was returned to Genoa in 1816. The object was not immediately identified as the Holy Grail. William of Tyre states that was still claimed to be made of emerald by the Genoese in his day, some 70 years later, the implication being that emerald was thought to have miraculous properties of their own in medieval lore (Unde et usque hodie transeuntibus per eos magnatibus, vas idem quasi pro miraculo solent ostendere, persuadentes quod vere sit, id quod color esse indicat, smaragdus.) The first explicit claim identifying the bowl with the Holy Grail (the vessel used in the Last Supper) is found in the Chronicon by Jacobus de Voragine, written in the 1290s. Juliette Wood, The Holy Grail: History and Legend (2012).
  47. ^ Oliphant, 1887, p. 182
  48. ^ "Caesarea". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 22 October 2007.
  49. ^ Unique glass mosaic unveiled after restoration in Caesarea
  50. ^ [1]
  51. ^ Avi-Yonah, Michael (1962). "A List of Priestly Courses from Caesarea". Israel Exploration Journal. 12 (2): 137–139. JSTOR 27924896.
  52. ^ Avi-Yonah, Michael (1964). "The Caesarea Inscription of the Twenty-Four Priestly Courses". Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies. L.A. Mayer Memorial Volume (1895-1959): 24–28. JSTOR 23614642. (Hebrew)
  53. ^ Samuel Klein, Barajta der vierundzwanzig Priester Abteilungen (Baraitta of the Twenty-Four Priestly Divisions), in: Beiträge zur Geographie und Geschichte Galiläas, Leipzig 1909
  54. ^ Vardaman, E. Jerry and Garrett, J.L., The Teacher's Yoke, Waco TX 1964
  55. ^ Israel Antiquities Authority, Excavators and Excavations Permit for Year 2010, Survey Permit # A-5817
  56. ^ Israel Antiquities Authority, Excavators and Excavations Permit for Year 2010, Survey Permit # A-5949, Survey Permit # G-10, and Survey Permit # G-25
  57. ^ Israel Antiquities Authority, Excavators and Excavations Permit for Year 2013, Survey Permit # A-6743
  58. ^ Rare Greek inscription and colorful 1,800-year-old mosaic uncovered at Caesarea

External links

115 Antioch earthquake

The 115 Antioch earthquake occurred on 13 December 115 AD. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.5 on the surface wave magnitude scale and an estimated maximum intensity of XI (Extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale. Antioch and surrounding areas were devastated with a great loss of life and property. It triggered a local tsunami that badly damaged the harbour at Caesarea Maritima. The Roman Emperor Trajan was caught in the earthquake, as was his successor Hadrian. Although the consul Marcus Pedo Vergilianus was killed, they escaped with only slight injuries and later began a program to rebuild the city.

Agapius of Caesarea

Agapius of Caesarea was bishop of Caesarea Maritima from 303 to c. 312. He may have baptized and trained Eusebius, who was to become his successor.


Antipatris (Hebrew: אנטיפטריס, Ancient Greek: Αντιπατρίς) was a city built during the first century BC by Herod the Great, who named it in honour of his father, Antipater. The site, now a national park in central Israel, was inhabited from the Chalcolithic Period to the late Roman Period. The remains of Antipatris are known today as Tel Afek (תל אפק), although formerly as Kŭlat Râs el 'Ain. It has been identified as either the tower of Aphek mentioned by Josephus, or the biblical Aphek, best known from the story of the Battle of Aphek. During the Crusader Period the site was known as Surdi fontes, "Silent springs". The Ottoman fortress known as Binar Bashi was built there in the 16th century.

Antipatris/Tel Afek lies at the strong perennial springs of the Yarkon River, which throughout history has created an obstacle between the hill country to the east and the Mediterranean to the west, forcing travellers and armies to pass through the narrow pass between the springs and the foothills of Samaria. This gave the location of Antipatris/Tel Afek its strategic importance.

Antipatris was situated on the Roman road from Caesarea Maritima to Jerusalem, north of the town of Lydda where the road turned eastwards towards Jerusalem. During the British Mandate, a water pumping station was built there to channel water from the Yarkon to Jerusalem.Today the remains of Antipatris are located east of Petah Tikva, near the old Arab village Kafr Saba, and west of Kafr Qasim and Rosh HaAyin.


Saint Aphian (Apphian, Apian, Appian, Amphianus, Amphian; (in Spanish) and (in Italian) Amfiano) is venerated as a martyr by the Catholic Church and by the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is said to have died during the persecutions of the Emperor Galerius, on April 2, ca. 305.

In the Eastern Orthodox calendar, his feast thus falls on April 2, along with Edesius (Aedisius), who is sometimes called his brother.

He was from Lycia, and his wealthy and distinguished parents gave him the best education possible in rhetoric, law, and philosophy in the famous school of Berytus, Phoenicia. While he was away at school, he became a Christian. Aphian withdrew to Cappadocia because his parents resisted his efforts to convert them to Christianity.

St. Pamphilus was at Caesarea Maritima at the time of Aphian's martydom, expounding Holy Scripture, and the young Aphian was one of his disciples. He lived at the house of Eusebius of Caesarea, but gave no intimation of his purpose to make the public protest which ended in his martyrdom.

According to his legend, he was only eighteen when he entered the temple at Caesarea Maritima, where the prefect Urbanus was offering sacrifice. Seizing the outstretched hand that was presenting the incense, he reproached the magistrate with the idolatrous act. The guards fell upon him furiously and, after cruelly torturing him, flung him into a dungeon.

The next day he was brought before the Prefect, torn with iron claws, beaten with clubs, and burned over a slow fire, and then sent back to confinement.

After three days he was again taken from prison and thrown into the sea with stones tied to his feet. Eusebius, an eyewitness, declares that an earthquake simultaneously shook the city, and that the sea flung up his corpse on the shore.

In the old martyrologies his feast was on 5 April, but the Bollandists give 2 April as the correct date.


Caesarea (Hebrew: קֵיסָרְיָה, Keysariya or Qesarya; Arabic: قيسارية‎, Qaysaria; ) is a town in north-central Israel, which inherits its name and much of its territory from the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima (Greek: Καισάρεια). Located midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the coastal plain near the city of Hadera, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. With a population of 5,127, it is the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation, and also one of the most populous localities not recognized as a local council.

The modern Israeli Jewish town of Caesarea was established in 1952 near the ruins of the ancient city, which received protection within the national park of Caesarea Maritima.

Caesarea (disambiguation)

Caesarea in Israel is the modern town built on the site of ancient Caesarea Maritima.

Caesarea (or Cesarea, as in Italian), a city name derived from the first Roman imperial family, which later became a title "Caesar", was given to numerous cities and locations in the Roman Empire proper and/or Byzantine Empire :

in the LevantCaesarea Maritima, also known as "Caesarea Palaestinae", an ancient Roman city near the modern Israeli town

Caesarea in Palaestina (diocese)

Caesarea, the modern Israeli town near ancient Caesarea Maritima

Caesarea Philippi, also known as "Caesarea Paneas", an ancient Roman city in the Golan Heights, Syria

Caesarea Magna, formerly Larissa in Syria, modern Shaizar, an ancient Roman city and modern Syrian townin TurkeyCaesarea in Bithynia, alias Germanicopolis (in Bithynia), former bishopric and present Latin Catholic titular see

Caesarea in Cappadocia, modern Kayseri, an ancient Roman and modern Anatolian city

Caesarea in Cilicia, renamed Anazarbus, an ancient Cilician and Roman city in modern Turkey

Caesarea Antiochia, also known as "Antioch of Pisidia", an ancient Pisidian and Roman city

Caesarea Germanica, modern Kahramanmaraş in southern Turkey, an ancient Roman and Byzantine town

Caesarea, in southwest Anatolia, also named KibyraElsewhereCaesarea Mauretaniae, capital Mauretania Caesariensis, an ancient Roman-Berber city, now Cherchell, in Algeria

Caesarea in Numidia, now Henchir-El-Hammam (Youks-les-Bains) in Algeria and a Latin Catholic titular see

The island of Caesarea, modern Jersey, in the Channel Islands

Derived from the above, Nova Caesarea - the Latin name applied to the colony of New Jersey (now as US State)

Caesarea in Palaestina (diocese)

The archiepiscopal see of Caesarea in Palaestina, also known as Caesarea Maritima, is now a metropolitan see of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and also a titular see of the Catholic Church.

It was one of the earliest Christian bishoprics, and was a metropolitan see at the time of the First Council of Nicaea, but was later subjected to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The city remained largely Christian until the Crusades, its bishop maintaining close ties to the Byzantine Empire. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, the see was transformed into a Latin archdiocese, subordinate to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Herod's Palace

Herod’s Palace may refer to any of several palace-fortresses built (or rebuilt from previous fortresses) during the reign of Herod I the Great, King of Judea from 37 BC to 4 BC. Mostly in ruins today, several have been excavated.

Herod’s Palace (Jerusalem), in the northwest corner of the city walls of the Upper City

Herod’s Palace (Herodium), winter palace at Herodium in the Judean desert 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem

Masada, on a small mountain

Caesarea Maritima, on a promontory in the sea

Three winter palaces at Jericho

Machaerus, Hasmonean fortress rebuilt by Herod in 30 BC

Cypros Palace near Jericho, named by Herod in memory of his mother, Cypros

Alexandrium, a Hasmonean palace which Herod rebuilt lavishly.


Kanah (ka'-na: Ishish.Manish.reedy; brook of reeds) is a stream referred to in the Hebrew Bible forming the boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh, from the Mediterranean Sea eastward to Tappuah (Joshua 16:8). It has been identified with the sedgy streams that constitute the Wady Talaik, which enters the sea between Joppa and Caesarea Maritima. The stream rises in the Southwest of Shechem, flows through Wady Ishkar and joining the Aujeh, reaches the sea not far to the north of Jaffa. Others identify it with the river Aujeh.The book of Joshua also refers to a town named Kanah in the north of the territory of the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:28). It has been identified with 'Ain-Kana, a village on the brow of a valley some 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Tyre. About a mile north of this place are many colossal ruins strown about, and in the side of a neighbouring ravine are figures of men, women, and children cut in the face of the rock and supposed to be of Phoenician origin.


Maritima may refer to:

912 Maritima, an asteroid

Alba Maritima (titular see), a Catholic titular see

Caesarea Maritima, a city and harbor built by Herod

CD Orientación Marítima, a football team in Arrecife, Canary Islands

Cupra Maritima, a town on the Adriatic coast

Ora Maritima, the sea coasts, a poem

Secil Maritima, a flagship in Angolan shipping

Beta vulgaris, subsp. maritima, see sea beet

New Testament places associated with Jesus

The New Testament narrative of the life of Jesus refers to a number of locations in the Holy Land and a Flight into Egypt. In these accounts the principal locations for the ministry of Jesus were Galilee and Judea, with activities also taking place in surrounding areas such as Perea and Samaria.Other places of interest to scholars include locations such as Caesarea Maritima where in 1961 the Pilate Stone was discovered as the only archaeological item that mentions the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, by whose order Jesus was crucified.The narrative of the ministry of Jesus in the gospels is usually separated into sections that have a geographical nature: his Galilean ministry follows his baptism, and continues in Galilee and surrounding areas until the death of John the Baptist. This phase of activities in the Galilee area draws to an end approximately in Matthew 17 and Mark 9.

After the death of the Baptist, and Jesus' proclamation as Christ by Peter his ministry continues along his final journey towards Jerusalem through Perea and Judea. The journey ends with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem in Matthew 21 and Mark 11. The final part of Jesus' ministry then takes place during the his last week in Jerusalem which ends in his crucifixion.

Philip the Evangelist

Saint Philip the Evangelist (Greek: Φίλιππος, Philippos) appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 6). He preached and reportedly performed miracles in Samaria, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, a eunuch, in Gaza, traditionally marking the start of the Ethiopian Church (Acts 8). Later, Philip lived in Caesarea Maritima with his four daughters who foretold, where he was visited by Paul the Apostle (Acts 21).

Pilate stone

The Pilate stone is a damaged block (82 cm x 65 cm) of carved limestone with a partially intact inscription attributed to, and mentioning, Pontius Pilate, a prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26 to 36. It was discovered at the archaeological site of Caesarea Maritima in 1961. The artifact is particularly significant because it is an archaeological find of an authentic 1st-century Roman inscription mentioning the name "Pontius Pilatus". It is contemporary to Pilate's lifetime, and accords with what is known of his reported career. In effect, the writing constitutes the earliest surviving record and a contemporaneous evidence for the historical existence of this person; otherwise known from the New Testament, Jewish literature and brief mentions in retrospective Roman histories, which have themselves survived in still-later copies.

It is likely that Pontius Pilate made his base at Caesarea Maritima, a city that had replaced Jerusalem since AD 6 as the administrative capital and military headquarters of the province, and the site where the stone was discovered. Pilate probably travelled to Jerusalem, the central city of the province's Jewish population, only as often as necessary.The Pilate stone is currently located at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Replica castings can be found at the Archaeological Museum in Milan, Italy, and on display in Caesarea Maritima itself.

Procopius of Scythopolis

Procopius of Scythopolis (died 7 July AD 303) is venerated as a martyr and saint. He was a famous ascetic and erudite theologian and philosopher. Eusebius of Caesarea wrote of his martyrdom, which occurred during the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian, and stated that "he was born at Jerusalem, but had gone to live in Scythopolis, where he held three ecclesiastical offices. He was reader and interpreter in the Syriac language, and cured those possessed of evil spirits." Eusebius wrote that Procopius was sent with his companions from Scythopolis to Caesarea Maritima, where he was decapitated.

Siege of Caesarea Maritima (614)

The Siege of Caesarea relates to the siege and conquest of Caesarea Maritima of the Byzantine Empire's Palaestina Prima province by the Sasanian Persians in 614 CE.

Temple of Augustus

Numerous temples of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, were built in the territories of the Roman Empire; sixteen are known in Italia alone. They included the following:

Temple of Divus Augustus, Rome - the principal temple of the Augustan imperial cult

Temple of Divus Augustus, Nola, Italy

Monumentum Ancyranum, or the Temple of Augustus and Rome in Ancyra (modern Ankara, Turkey)

Temple of Augustus, Caesarea Maritima, Israel

Temple of Augustus, Ephesus, Turkey

Temple of Augustus, Pula, Croatia

Temple of Augustus, Tarragona, Spain

Temple of Augustus, Barcelona

Temple of Augustus, Muziris (near Cochin), India

Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima

The Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima, or simply the Library of Caesarea, was the library of the Christians of Caesarea Maritima in Palestine in ancient times.

Theophilus, bishop of Caesarea

Saint Theophilus (Greek: Θεόφιλος; died 195) was a bishop of Caesarea Maritima and teacher of Clement of Alexandria. He is known for his opposition to the Quartodecimans. He is commemorated on 5 March and his name means "Love of God".


Theotecnus was bishop of Caesarea Maritima in the late 3rd century.

Journeys of Paul the Apostle
First journey
Second journey
Third journey
Journeys of Paul the Apostle
First journey
Second journey
Third journey
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