When many people hear the name “Caesarea”, their minds are immediately drawn to a Roman location. The name is indeed Roman; Herod the Great dedicated the city to Caesar Augustus some 2000 years ago. However, it is an Israeli city.
Caesarea Origins: Straton’s Tower
A man by the name of Straton is believed to have been the ruler of Sidon (now part of Israel) as far back as the 4th century BC, and what is now known as Caesarea was Straton’s Tower until about 90 BCE, when it was captured by Alexander Jannaeus. Jannaeus was interested in shipbuilding and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom, and as such, Straton’s Tower remained a Jewish settlement a number of years until the Romans came along in 63 BCE. The Romans declared it an autonomous city, and it underwent a number of significant changes during its pagan transition. Herod the Great renamed the city Caesarea after the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus.Continue Reading..