CAS'ARE'A (Gk.Katatipeta,Kaisareia) PALc ESTrN/E. An ancient seacoast town of Pales tine, on the site of which is the modern El Kaisariyeh, 32 miles north of Jaffa (Map: Pales tine, B 2). It was built by Herod the Great and named in honor of Augustus Caesar. The site was originally called Strato's Tower. Herod made here a magnificent harbor by construct ing a strong breakwater (the ruins of which still remain) on which he lavished vast sums of motley. The town was built at great ex pense, with an amphitheatre, temples, and other like structures (Josephus, Ant. xv. 3-5; 9-6; xvi. 5-1). Its water-supply and drainage system were of unusual excellence. It became the mili tary capital of Palestine, where the Roman pro curators had their headquarters. It is noted in New Testament history as the place where Peter preached the Gospel to Cornelius, the first Gentile convert to Christianity (Acts x.), and as the scene of Paul's two years' imprisonment (Acts xxiii. 33, xxvi. 32). In the great war with Rome, A.D. 66-70, Caesarea suffered the almost
total extermination of its Jewish inhabitants. Here Vespasian had his headquarters and was proclaimed Emperor, A.D. 69. Soon after he con stituted it a Roman colony. After the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) it became the metropolis of Palestine. During the early Christian cen turies Caesarea continued to be a p]aee of impor tance. Pamphihis, pupil and friend of Origen, had here a famous library (Third Century). Eusebius, the father of Chinch history, was Bishop of the p]aee 315-31S. The town was con quered by the in the Seventh Century. The Crusaders captured and plundered it in 1101. Among the booty they found, it was claimed, the Holy Grail. (See GRAIL, TILE HOLY.) After va rious fortunes at the hands of the Crusaders, who rebui]t it on a smaller scale, it was finally de stroyed by the Sultan Bibars in 1265. The modern place is only a village on the ancient site.