Caesarea Maritima was a first century Roman capital and seaport. The gospel was first preached to the Gentiles here when Peter came from Joppa to Caesarea to tell Cornelius words by which he could be saved (Acts 10, 11).
Herod the Great built a city on the site of Strato’s Tower and named it Caesarea in honor of Caesar Augustus. It became a center of Roman provincial government in Judea. The city had a harbor and was located on the main caravan route between Tyre and Egypt. This city is called Caesarea Maritima (on the sea) to distinguish it from Caesarea Philippi.
The theater, now restored, was built originally by Herod the Great. Others added to and modified the theater in later centuries. The seating capacity is about 4000. Between the theater and the Mediterranean Sea is an open area in which numerous building fragments are displayed in a park-like environment. In the foreground we see the base of a column.
An inscription with the name of Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator, was found during the reconstruction of the theater June 15, 1961.
The Apostle Paul used the harbor at Caesarea several times. He was imprisoned here for two years before departing for Rome (Acts 24:27; 27:1).
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