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Ancient Caesarea Maritima in King Herod's Roman Province of Judea (Israel)

Founded by King Herod between 22 and 10 BC; it served as the main port and administrative capital of his kingdom in Israel. Headquarters then of the Roman administration of the Province of Judaea, later Palestine, it was the place where Pontius Pilate governed, where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned and where the great Jewish revolts began in 66 and 132 AD (AHSFC).

One of the most majestic of ancient Israel's sites, Caesarea Maritima covers a vast area of 235 acres on the Mediterranean coast between Tel Aviv and Haifa. Occupied from the third or fourth century B.C. through the Crusader Period, Caesarea first became a city under Roman rule but it reached its apogee during the Byzantine period. According to Josephus Herod built the city between 22 and 10 B.C. on the site of an earlier Phoenician and Hellenistic trading station known as Strato's Tower and named it in honor of his patron Caesar Augustus. The city became a major port thanks to the large artificial harbor Herod built there -- the only all-weather port on his kingdom's coast. The harbor could hold the entire Roman fleet and was noted in antiquity as an engineering marvel. Caesarea continued to serve as a port for a thousand years.

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium