Caesarea, an Early Center of Christianity
Photo and Commentary ©2017 by Bev Riter
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Caesarea, built under Herod the Great during the years 25-13 BC and named in honor of the Roman Caesar, Augustus, was one of the early centers of Christianity. Those following our Bible Reading Plan will have read several texts in the Book of Acts about early Christian leaders being in Caesarea. Peter baptized the centurion Cornelius and his household here. Being in danger in Jerusalem, Paul traveled to Caesarea on his way to his hometown of Tarsus. He also spent time here between his second and third missions. Paul stayed at the house of Philip and was later imprisoned here for two years before he was sent to Rome.
The first photo shows the Roman aqueduct which would have been in use during this time period, providing water to the early church leaders among others. The first raised canal brought water from Mount Carmel. In the second century AD, a second aqueduct was built with the same design and materials alongside the first one, doubling the water supply to the city. These twin aqueducts provided water to Caesarea for over 1200 years.
By closely looking at this second image with people in our group, you can see the seam between the two periods of construction. Pure water was important to the people of Caesarea as it is to us today.