Caesarea is a city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, about 33 miles north of modern day Tel Aviv. It was the capitol of the Roman province of Judea for many years. In the middle of the 3rd century BC, the Phoenicians built a small port here, and called it Stratos Tower. It was captured by Alexander Janneus in 96 BC, and became a Jewish community.
When general Pompey conquered Israel in 66 BC, Stratos Tower became a non Jewish city. Emperor Agustus gave the city to King Herod, who built an entirely new city between 22 and 10 BC, and called it Caesarea to honor the emperor. Peter baptized the Roman Centurion, Cornelius here, and Philip the Evangelist lived in Caesarea.
Paul passed through Caesarea and was imprisoned here 2 years, before being sent to Rome for trial. Jerome states he saw the Hebrew origional of the Gospel of Matthew in Caesarea. Excavations starting in the 1950's have uncovered a large Roman theater, statues, the temple of Augustus, the city wall, and the first known inscription of the name Pontus Pilate. There is also a Crusader fort near by.
Today its a tourist attraction and known as Horbat Qesari.
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