The capital city of Roman imperial Palestine. It was built on the
site of an older town by Herod the Great as
a naval base and a port for Samaria.
In 6 BC, the new city was chosen as headquarters
of the Roman occupation; an inscription mentioning
Pontius Pilate is among the city's most famous antiquities.
St. Cornelius the
Centurion was based here, and the first gentile church
was organised in his home. After the destruction of Jerusalem,
Cæsarea was the largest city in Palestine and the undisputed
capital; its bishop had primacy over Jerusalem's until the Fourth
Ecumenical Council. The city had already begun to decline in importance
at the time of the Arab conquest, but it lasted until the XIII Century,
when it was razed and converted into a quarry for building
materials. The surviving ruins are an Israeli National Park.
Origen was exiled from Alexandria, he moved to Cæsarea and
founded a Christian college where he taught for the next fifty
years. The college's library, repeatedly expanded over the centuries,
among the best in the Empire, and famous scholars like
St. Jerome and the church
historian Eusebius conducted much
of their research in its collections.
Norman Hugh Redington
Return to St Pachomius Library.