For the article relating to town north of this ancient port, see Caesarea.
For other places with the same name, see Caesarea (disambiguation).
Caesarea Maritima (Greek: Parálios Kaisáreia,
Παράλιος Καισάρεια) was one of four Roman colonies for veterans in the Syria-Phoenicia region created by the Roman Empire. The ancient Caesarea Maritima (or Caesarea Palestinae) city and harbor was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BC. The city had been populated through the late Roman and Byzantine era. Its ruins lie on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos (“Straton’s Tower”).
1 Historical characteristics
CaesareaMaritimawasnamedinhonorofAugustusCae-sar The city was described in detail by the 1st-century Roman Jewish historian Josephus. The city became the seat of the Roman prefect soon after its foundation. Caesarea was the “administrative capital” beginning in 6
AD. This city is the location of the 1961 discovery of the Pilate Stone, the only archaeological item that men-tions the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, by whose order Jesus was cruciﬁed.
The emperor Vespasian raised its status to that of a Colonia, with the name Colonia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, Caesarea was the provincial capital of the Judaea
Province, before the change of name to Syria Palaestina in 134 AD, shortly before the Bar Kokhba revolt. In
Byzantine times, Caesarea remained the capital, with briefinterruptionofPersianandJewishconquestbetween 614 and 625. In the 630s, Arab Muslim armies had taken control of the region, keeping Caesarea as its administra-tive center. In the early 8th century, the Umayyad caliph Suleiman transferred the seat of government of the Jund Filastin from Caesarea to Ramla.
2 Roman era
Herod built his palace on a promontory jutting out into the sea, with a decorative pool surrounded by stoas. In the year 6 BC, Caesarea became the civilian and mili
tary capital of Iudaea Province and the oﬃcial residence of the Roman procurators and governors, Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix.
In the year 30 BCE the (Phoenician) vil-lage was awarded to Herod, who built a large
port city at the site, and called it “Caesarea” in honor of his patron Octavian Augustus Cae-sar….The city transformed rapidly into a great commercial center, and by the year 6 BCE be-came the headquarters of the Roman govern-ment 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 thateruptedin66BCE,anditwasherethattheir commanding general Vespasian was declared Caesar. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Caesarea became the most important city in the country: Pagans, Samaritans, Jews and Chris-tians lived here in the third and fourth centuries CE.
Josephus describes the harbor as being as large as the one at Piraeus, the major harbor of Athens. Remains of theprincipalbuildingserectedbyHerodandthemedieval 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). In 66, the desecra-tion of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt.
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. It is likely that Pilate used it as a base, and only went to Jerusalem when needed.
In69,VespasiandeclareditacolonyandrenameditColo-nia Prima Flavia Augusta Caesarea. In 70, after the Jew-ish revolt was suppressed, games were held here to cel-ebrate the victory of Titus. Many Jewish captives were brought to Caesarea Maritima and 2,500 were slaugh-tered in gladiatorial games.
After the revolt of Simon bar Kokhba in 132 AD, which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem and expulsion of Jews, Caesarea became the capital of the new Roman province of Palaestina Prima.
2.1 Christian hub
See also: Early centers of Christianity § Caesarea and Bishop of Caesarea
According to the Acts of the Apostles, Caesarea was ﬁrst introduced to Christianity by Philip the Deacon, who laterhadahousethereinwhichhegavehospitalitytoPaul the Apostle. It was there that Peter the Apostle came and baptized Cornelius the Centurion and his house-hold, the ﬁrst time Christian baptism was conferred on Gentiles. Paul’s ﬁrst missionary journey. 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. He visited Caesarea betweenhissecondandthirdmissionaryjourneys, 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.
In the 3rd century, Origen wrote his Hexapla and other exegeticalandtheologicalworkswhilelivinginCaesarea. The Nicene Creed may have originated in Caesarea.
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 estab-lished Jerusalem as a patriarchate, with Caesarea as the ﬁrst of its three subordinate metropolitan sees.
The Apostolic Constitutions says that the ﬁrst Bishop of Caesarea was Zacchaeus the Publican, followed by Cor-nelius (possibly Cornelius the Centurion) and Theophilus (possibly the address of the Gospel of Luke). The ﬁrst bishops considered historically attested are those men-tioned by the early church historian Eusebius of Cae-sarea, 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), of a Theoctistus (216–258), a short-livedDomnusandaTheotecnus, andanAgapius
(?–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 ofadiﬀerentCaesarea. TheimmediatesuccessorsofEu-sebius were Acacius (340–366) and Gelasius of Caesarea (367–372, 380–395). The latter was ousted by the semi-ArianEuzoiusbetween373and379. Lequiengivesmuch information about all of these and about later bishops of
2.2 Buildings from 6th century
The main church, a martyrion (martyr’s shrine) was built in the 6th century and sited directly upon the podium that had supported a Roman temple, as was a widespread Christian practice. Throughout the Empire, prominently-sited pagan temples were rarely left unconsecrated to Christianity: intimetheMartyrion’ssitewasre-occupied, this time by a mosque. The Martyrion was an octagon, richly re-paved and surrounded by small radiating en-closures. Archaeologists have recovered some foliate capitals that included representations of the Cross.
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 in-scriptions detailing the fees that court clerks might claim attest. Awell-preserved6th-centurymosaicgoldandcol-ored glass table patterned with crosses and rosettes was found in 2005.
2.3 Theological library
Main article: Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima
Through Origen and especially the scholarly presbyter Pamphilus of Caesarea, an avid collector of books of Scripture, the theological school of Caesarea won a repu-tation 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 recog-nized 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 re-paired subsequently by bishops of Caesarea. It was noted in the 6th century, but Henry Barclay Swete was of the opinion that it probably did not long survive the capture of Caesarea by the Saracens in 638, though a modern historian would attribute more destruction to its previous capture by the Sassanid Persians (in 614).
2.4 Roman Sebastos harbor When it was built in the 1st century BC, Sebastos Harbor rankedasthelargestartiﬁcialharborbuiltintheopensea, enclosing around 100,000 m2. King Herod built
the two jetties of the harbor between 22 and 15 BC, andin10/9BChededicatedthecityandharbortoCaesar (sebastosisGreekforAugustus). Thepaceofconstruc-tionwasimpressiveconsideringsizeandcomplexity. The breakwaters were made of lime and pozzolana, a type of volcanic ash, set into an underwater concrete. Herod im-ported over 24,000 m3 pozzolana from Pozzuoli, Italy, to construct the two breakwaters: the 500 meter long on the southandthe275meterlongonthenorth. Ashipment of this size would have required at least 44 shiploads of 400 tons each. 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 fortheplacementofconcreteunderwater. Onetechnique wastodrivestakesintothegroundtomakeaboxandthen ﬁll it with pozzolana concrete bit by bit. 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 plank-ing method used in the northern breakwater. On land, carpenters would construct a box with beams and frames ontheinside anda watertight, double-plankedwallon the outside. This double wall was built with a 23 cm (9 in) gap between the inner and outer layer. Although the box had no bottom, it was buoyant enough to ﬂoat out to seabecauseofthewatertightspacebetweentheinnerand 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.
Onthesouthernbreakwater,bargeconstructionwasused. The southern side of Sebastos was much more exposed thanthenorthernside,requiringsturdierbreakwaters. In-stead of using the double planked method ﬁlled with rub-ble, the architects sank barges ﬁlled with layers of poz-zolana concrete and lime sand mortar. The barges were similar to boxes without lids, and were constructed us-ing 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 con-crete 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.
At its height, Sebastos was one of the most impressive harborsofitstime. Ithadbeenconstructedonacoastthat had no natural harbors and served as an important com-mercial harbor in antiquity, rivaling Cleopatra’s harbor at Alexandria. Josephus wrote: “Although the location was generally unfavorable, [Herod] contended with the diﬃ-culties so well that the solidity of the construction could not be overcome by the sea, and its beauty seemed ﬁn-ished oﬀ without impediment.” However, there were underlying problems that led to its demise. Studies of
the concrete cores of the moles have shown that the con-crete was much weaker than similar pozzolana hydraulic concrete used in ancient Italian ports. For unknown rea-sons, the pozzolana mortar did not adhere as well to the kurkar rubble as it did to other rubble types used in Ital-ian harbors. Small but numerous holes in some of the cores also indicate that the lime was of poor quality and strippedoutofthemixturebystrongwavesbeforeitcould set. 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. 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. Also, studies of seabed deposits at Cae-sarea have shown that a tsunami struck the area some-time during the 1st or 2nd century CE. 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.
3 Arab conquest
The Byzantine Empire declined in the 7th century and Caesarea was raided by the Sassanid Persians early in that century. Then, in 638, the city, still the capital of Byzantine Palestine and an important commercial and maritime center, was taken by the Muslims, allegedly through the betrayal of a certain Yusef, who conducted a party of troops of Muawiyah through a “secret tun-nel”, perhaps the extensive Byzantine sewers, into the city. The Persian historian al-Baladhuri, who oﬀers the earliest Muslim account, merely states that the city was “reduced”. The 7th-century Coptic bishop
John of Nikiû, mentions “the horrors committed in the city of Caesarea in Palestine”.
4 Crusader era
Under Arab rule, the city walls remained, but within them the population dwindled and agriculture crept in among the ruins. By the 9th century there was a substan-tial colony of Frankish settlers established by Emperor Charlemagne to facilitate Latin pilgrimages. When Baldwin I took the city in 1101/2, during the First Cru-sade, it was still very rich. A legend grew up that in this city was discovered the Holy Grail around which so much lore accrued in the next two centuries. The city was strongly refortiﬁed and rebuilt by the Crusaders. A lordship was created there, as was one of the four arch-bishoprics in the kingdom. A list of thirty-six Latin bish-ops, from 1101 to 1496 has been reassembled by 19th century historians; the most famous of these is proba-bly Heraclius. Saladin retook the city in 1187; it was recaptured by the Crusaders in 1191, and ﬁnally lost by them in 1265, this time to the Mamluks, who en-sured that there would be no more battling over the site— where the harbor has silted in anyway—by razing the for-tiﬁcations, in line with their practice in other formerly-Crusader coastal cities. The Latin archbishopric of Cae-sarea in Palestina, no longer a residential bishopric, is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.
The Orthodox Church of Antioch likewise consider Cae-sarea a titular see, to which Ignatius Samaan, Auxiliary Bishop in Venezuela of the Archdiocese of Mexico, was appointed in 2011. Since 1965, the holder of the tit-ular see within the Melkite Catholic Church is Hilarion Capucci.
5 Archaeology and reconstruction
Archaeological excavations in the 1950s and 1960s un-covered 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 con-ventional theater; the Tiberieum, which has a limestone block with a dedicatory inscription. This is the only ar-chaeologicalﬁndwithaninscriptionmentioningthename “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 har-bour to the south and west. The harbor was the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast. Work directed by Robert Bull of Drew University is still in the process of publicationwhilemorerecentworkintheharbordirected by Robert Hohlfelder *U of Colorado, John Oleson of the U of Victoria, and the late Avner Raban has been largely published. Caesarea has recently become the site ofwhatbillsitselfastheworld’sﬁrstunderwatermuseum, where 36 points of interest on four marked underwater trailsthroughtheancientharborcanbeexploredbydivers equipped with waterproof maps.
Since 2000 the site of Caesarea Maritima is included in the “Tentative List of World Heritage Places” of the
6 See also
• List of megalithic sites
 Butcher, 2003, p. 230
 “Cæsarea Palestinæ”. New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
 Raban and Holum, 1996, p. 54
 Jewish Antiquities XV.331ﬀ; The Jewish War I.408ﬀ
 A History of the Jewish People, H.H. Ben-Sasson editor, 1976, page 247: “When Judea was converted into a Ro-man province [in6 CE, page246], the Romans movedthe governmental residence and military headquarters from Jerusalem to Caesarea.
 Reed, 2002, p. 18
 Shimon Applebaum (1989) Judaea in Hellenistic and Ro-man Times: Historical and Archaeological Essays Brill Archive, ISBN 90-04-08821-0 p 123
 UNESCO tentative list:Caesarea
 name=”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”. TheNationalGeographic,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 chal-lenged Rome’s most skilled engineers. Hydraulic con-crete 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.
 http://www.indianchristianity.com/html/Books12.htm accessed August 31,2015
 http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/ caesarea-history.htm accessed September 17, 2007
 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
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70CE) Mohr Siebeck, ISBN 3-16-145241-0, p 311
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 Acts 21:8–10
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 Unique glass mosaic unveiled after restoration in Caesarea
 Jerome, “Epistles” xxxiv
 Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, pp 74-75.
 name=”George Menachery, 1987 in Kodungallur, City of St. Thomas, Azhikode, 1987 quotes the National Ge-ographic article: Robert L. Hohifelder, “Caesarea Mar-itima, Herod the Great’s City on the Sea”. The Na-tional Geographic, 171/2, Feb., 1987, pp.260-279. 2000 years ago, Caesarea Maritima welcomed ships to its har-bour called Sebastos. Featuring innovative design and hy-draulic concrete, this building feat set a standard for har-bours 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 chal-lengedRome’smostskilledengineers. Hydraulicconcrete blocks, some weighing 50 tons anchored the north break-water of the artiﬁcial harbour…Caesarea Maritima, rival to Alexandria in the Eastern trade, a city worthy to be namedforHerod’spatron, CaesarAugustus, masterofthe Roman world, in view of its opulence and magniﬁcence.
 Hohfelder, R. 2007. “Constructing the Harbour of Cae-sarea Palaestina, Israel: New Evidence from ROMA-CONS Field Campaign of October 2005.” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36:409-415
 Votruba, G. 2007. “Imported Building Materials of Se-bastos Harbour, Israel.” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36:325-335.
 Votruba, G., 2007, Imported building materials of Sebas-tos Harbour, Israel, International Journal of Nautical Ar-chaeology 36: 325-335.
 Raban, A., 1992. Sebastos: the royal harbour at Cae-sarea Maritima – a short-lived giant, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 21: 111-124.
 Hohfelder, R. 2007. “Constructing the Harbour of Cae-sarea Palaestina, Israel: New Evidence from ROMA-CONS Field Campaign of October 2005.” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 36:409-415.
 Brandon, C., 1996, Cements, Concrete, and Settling Barges at Sebastos: Comparisons with Other Roman Har-borExamplesandtheDescriptionsofVitruvius, Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millennia, 25-40.
 Holum, K. 1988. King Herod’s Dream: Caesarea on the Sea. New York: Norton.
 Reinhardt,E.,Goodman,B.,Boyce,J.,Lopez,G.,Hengs-tum, P., Rink, W., Mart, Y., Raban, A. 2006. “The Tsunamiof13DecemberA.D.115andtheDestructionof Herod the Great’s Harbor at Caesarea Maritima, Israel.” Geology 34:1061-1064.
 Raban, A., 1992, Sebastos: the royal harbour at Caesarea Maritima – a short-lived giant, International Journal of
Nautical Archaeology 21: 111-124
 Meyers,1999, p. 380ﬀ
 The archaeological stratum representing the destruction is analyzed in the PhD dissertation of Cherie Joyce Lentzen, The Byzantine/Islamic Occupation of Caesarea Maritima asEvidencedThroughthePottery(DrewUniversity1983), noted by Meyer 1999:381 note 23.
 Al-Baladhuri, 1916, pp. 216−219
 Meyers, 1999, p 380
 Quoted in Meyers, 1999, p. 381
 AnnuarioPontiﬁcio2013(LibreriaEditriceVaticana2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 867