Historical Significance
  • Founded by Herod the Great in 22 BC
  • Herod named the city in honor of Augustus Caesar
  • Beginning in 6 AD, Caesarea was the seat of the Roman Government for over 500 years.
  • The Crusaders (11th-12th centuries AD) were the last to build monumental structures in Caesarea.
Political/Cultural Significance
  • Seat of the Roman Government for over 500 years
  • Home to Roman procurators, including Pontius Pilate (the ruler who sentenced Jesus to death)
  • Pilate’s name was discovered on an inscription here which identified him as the “prefect of Judea”
  • To supply water to the city’s population, Herod built an aqueduct system stretching from the springs of Mt. Carmel to Caesarea
  • Herod’s harbor at Caesarea was, at that time, the largest artificial harbor ever built in the open sea.
  • In the 3rd-5th centuries AD, Caesarea was an intellectual center for both Jews and Christians.
Biblical Significance
  • Most of the biblical significance of Caesarea comes from the period of the Early Church
  • Acts 8:40; 21:8-9 Philip (one of the 7 “deacons” in Jerusalem) was the first to preach in Caesarea
  • Acts 10 Peter came to Caesarea in response to a vision at Joppa and preached the gospel in Cornelius’s home
  • Acts 12:19-24 God struck down Herod Agrippa I in Caesarea for accepting the worship of others who called him a god and for persecuting the early church
  • Acts 9:30; 18:22; 21:8-16 Paul visited the city 3 times, and on the 3rd occasion he was warned that if he went to Jerusalem, he would be captured by the Jews and delivered to the Gentiles
  • Acts 23:23-27:2  Paul spent 2 years in prison in Caesarea