Caesarea Palaestina, also called Caesarea Maritima, a town built by Herod about 25 - 13 BC, on the sea-coast of Palestine, 30 miles north of Joppa, on the site of a place previously called Turns Stratonis. Caesarea Palaestina should not be confused with Caesarea Philippi, also in Palestine, or Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia.
Remains of all the principal buildings erected by Herod existed down to the end of the 19th century; the ruins were much damaged by a colony established here in 1884.
These buildings are a temple, dedicated to Caesar; a theatre; a hippodrome; two aqueducts; a boundary wall; and, chief of all, a gigantic mole, 200 ft. wide, built of stones 50 ft. long, in 20 fathoms of water, protecting the harbour on the south and west.
The harbour measures 180 yds. across. The massacre of Jews at this place led to the Jewish rebellion and to the Roman war. Vespasian made it a colony and called it Flavia: the old name persisted, however, and still survives as Kaisarieh.
After the revolt of Simon bar Kokhba, which end with the destruction of Jerusalem, Caesarea became the center of Christianity in Palestine. Eusebius was archbishop here (AD 315 - 318). It was captured by the Moslems in 638 and by the Crusaders in 1102, by Saladin in 1187, recaptured by the Crusaders in 1191, and finally lost by them in 1265, after which it has lain in ruins until its resettlement in the 19th century.
Remains of the medieval town are also visible, consisting of the walls (one-tenth the area of the Roman city), the castle, the cathedral (now covered by modern houses), and church.
This entry uses text from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.