Caesarea Maritima

Leslie J. Hoppe

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:
Caesarea Maritima


Caesarea Maritima was a port city built by Herod the Great in 22 bce on the site of the Hellenistic period anchorage known as Strato’s Tower. Herod named the city and its harbor (Sebastos) in honor of Augustus Caesar, his patron. The city flourished during the Roman and Byzantine periods. Following its capture by a Muslim army led by the Arab general Muawiya in 641, the city lost much of its population and its harbors fell into disuse. By the 10th century Caesarea was again a prosperous town. The Crusaders established a principality at Caesarea in 1101. In 1251, Louis IX of France built a castle on the site. It was destroyed by Mamluks in 1291 and the site was abandoned except for occasional squatters. The site covers 235 acres and is located along Israel’s Mediterranean coast twenty-five miles north of Tel Aviv. Caesarea Maritima has been under large-scale excavation almost continuously for fifty years by Italian, American, and Israeli archaeological teams. Most recently an international team (the Combined Caesarea Expeditions) continues excavations at this important site. The remains of the city’s harbors lie beneath the sea and have been the subject of intense underwater survey and excavation by the Caesarea Ancient Harbor Excavation Project.

Article.  7356 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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