Caesarea Maritima: architecture (2)


Concerning the development of Caesarea Maritima under Roman rule Leslie J. Hoppe tells us:

“The construction of the city took place between 22 and 9 BCE. It was designed to be a typical Hellenistic polis with a theater, a amphitheater, agora, a royal palace, a temple dedicated to the emperor, and streets arranged on a grid pattern. … The Greek-speaking population swelled under encouragement from Herod, who saw the new city as a balance to ancient and Jewish Jerusalem. He named his city Caesarea to honor his patron August Caesar. The name Caesarea Maritima, which is used today for Herod’s city, was unknown in antiquity.”

“A typical Hellenistic polis.” The evidence of this is seen everywhere as you walk in the garden along the southern side of the Herodian era city wall near Herod’s theater in Caesarea Maritime. You’ll encounter a variety of objects on display there, several of them being column capitals. An informative sign in the garden reads:

“In the Classical World, planning and aesthetic principles were clear and unambiguous. The Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders were elaborated by the Greeks and later, adopted by the Romans, with some variations. Each order bears its own rules and particular ornamental elements. Columns capitals express these different orders.”

A Corinthian capital in the garden there is pictured above and the sign beside it reads:

“The Corinthian capital first appeared in Greece in the fourth century BCE and is mostly found in Caesarea. This order was popular until the end of the Byzantine period.”

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