Around 22 BCE, Herod the Great began building the city of Caesarea in honor primarily
to himself, but also in honor of his patron and benefactor Caesar Augustus, the first
Emperor of Rome. The city boasted of its man-made harbor which protected sea vessels
from the high winds and waves which often lashed that part of the Mediterranean coast
The city was the Roman capital of Palestine, and it was the official residence of
Pontius Pilate. The city also boasted of its amphitheater, baths, aqueduct, and of
its temple for the worship of Caesar.
Thus did the rulers of the land take thought concerning that prophet who proclaimed
in the wilderness the coming of the Lord; from Caesarea to Tiberius by the sea, even
unto Jerusalem did many conspire against the man night and day, hoping that by some
means they might be rid of him.
There lived in Caesarea a certain steward which commanded all of Pilate’s house whose
name was Arius, who went daily to the house of Asclepius to be healed;
To Caesarea did Judas of Kerioth come seeking, and when it was evening tide, he found
the Lord sitting alone in a garden which was by the sea; for thereunto did he go
forth to pray daily.