Monday, 20 March 2017

Caesarea Maritima

Caesarea Maritima (by the Sea) is located on the shore in the centre of Israel, in the middle between Haifa and Tel-Aviv.  In the Roman period, King Herod made Caesarea Maritima into one of the largest cities in the Roman World, and named it after his patron, Augustus Caesar. 

There are remains of the original buildings at the site, including the hippodrome, a Roman theatre and Herod's palace.  This is a site of Christian significance because Peter traveled here.  This area was Gentile land and it would Jewish travelers to the area unclean.

Cornelius, a centurion, was an upright and God-fearing man.  God spoke to him and asked him to send for Peter to heal an ill servant.  The disciples had been living according to Jewish laws.  Peter knew that to travel into Pagan lands would make him unclean, but he traveled there anyway.  

While Peter was there, he baptised Cornelius and his whole family.  The process of evangelisation had begun.  This was the type of discipleship that Jesus had prepared them for.

Near the amphitheater, a stone tablet was found with an inscription of the name Pontius Pilate, and dedicated to Tiberius Caesar. This tablet leads us to believe that Pilate consecrated a temple of Tiberius in Caesarea.  This is important evidence of the existence of Pontius in Caesarea.

During King Herod's reign, many infrastructure projects such as the aqueduct pictured above, were designed and built under his watchful eye,  He ensured food and water security for the people and strengthened trade routes and facilities which built their economy.  King Herod was also quite paranoid and didn't think twice about sentencing people to death.  Do your feelings ever stop you from thinking logically?

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