2009 Tour of Israel: Caesarea

About halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the Mediterranean Coast, Caesarea was just one of the huge construction projects of Herod the Great (Masada was another).  Those familiar with the Christian testament would be correct to identify Herod the Great with the high Roman official responsible for the massacre of the innocents when he heard about the threatening birth of Jesus. But Herod the Great is not to be confused with his son, Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, a leading player in the beheading of John the Baptizer and the Roman official to whom Pontius Pilate handed Jesus over before his crucifixion (Herod sent him back to Pilate).

The photos here show some of the remains of Caesarea, originally a grand place named by Herod the Great after his “boss,” the emperor Caesar Augustus. The first is of Mary with a rather explicit Roman statue behind her and to the left, the second of a theater (possibly also the site of Roman chariot races), the third of the port called Caesar Maritima (with the Mediterranean in the background), and the last one Israel 379Israel 380Israel 390Israel 400of me sitting on a Roman toilet in Herod’s bathhouse .