Biblical Archaeology Review 19:3, May/June 1993

Uncovering Herod’s Seaside Palace

By Barbara BurrellKathryn GleasonEhud Netzer

The great port city of Caesarea was born out of the genius of one man: Herod the Great (c. 73–4 B.C.E.). This Idumean politician, with the support of the rulers at Rome, rose to become king of Judea. On the site of a dilapidated town, he built a glorious new city, splendid in every detail—from its chief temple down to its sewer system. The effort took over a decade (from 22 to 10/9 B.C.E.), but Herod spared no expense in materials or in construction. He named the new city Caesarea as a politic compliment to the emperor under whose aegis he rose, Caesar Augustus. The ancient historian Josephus gives us the closest to a contemporary account:

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