I was lucky – that was the rare day when it’s raining in Israel (My God, how I love this country!), that is why I was alone in Caesarea, at least the first half of the day. Later on some exclusively stubborn history enthusiasts at last burst to the grounds of the ancient city. Thank God there were clever people who constructed for them some kind of a chariot with stylized horses made of iron rods at the hippodrome, so that guides could direct tourists and give the command to make some pictures.
Herod I the Great built Caesarea in honor of Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus for his own money in 9-10 years B.C. Herod was keen on building and was rather good at it. Moreover, Roman Empire provided a great scope for building giving money for that. So, that is what he actually did.
Nowadays the municipal hippodrome is almost washed over with the sea, but there were times when Caesarea raised over demonstrating to the passing by ships its power and strength. Once it even became a capital of Palestine. Hippodrome, cathedral, court palace, theatre – even the ruins inspire respect and admiration. Look at the floors.
Could you even consider tiling the floor in your bathroom THIS WAY?! No. You set practical, but boring tile. The desire of beautiful life yielded to the pressure of practicability and functionality. Why using complicated and for over adorned mosaic when there is a great variety of ceramic tile! And here…
Nevertheless it all came from the Ancient Greece. Do you know how many philosophic schools are there in your city? And in Greece every more or less forward-minded philosopher grounded his own philosophic school and even had students! You might say – they’d better work. But this is the work indeed; however unlike the olives cultivation it exerted a great influence over the whole history of mankind. The main science for the Greeks was the geometry – the basis of all sciences, the science of gods. Where should we be without Euclidian geometry?
Generally, the impression is that with the sunset of Greek and Roman civilization all Gods retired, and Europe stopped and moved back, soaking into the gloom, absurdity and dementia of the Middle Ages, entailing the remnants of Graeco-Roman culture. But let’s go back to Caesarea.
Thermae. What was the first thing built by the Greeks upon the settling down at the new territory? Temple and thermae, or bathhouse.
The Greeks and the Romans of all estates took a steam-baths and spa-procedures with a desirable regularity, but only several hundred years afterwards European aristocrats did not wash themselves for months, if not years. Let alone the peasant class.
There are perfectly kept ruins of the public bathes in Caesarea, but of the late Byzantine period.
The tourists have already gathered up and occupied the iron chariot. Seriously, what is so appealing in the ruins of barn?
Or a toilet. Or a bathhouse… But it’s rather appealing for me!
I enjoy walking along the walls that have seen the great part of Israel history – looking at the frescos, scrupulously set by the old master day by day with his heart; master is long time gone, but his heart is still here – and… thinking.
Of what? Well, for example. Can you name at least one great merchant of the antiquity? Nevertheless merchants were those who bloodlessly raised the prosperity of themselves and their country, but still they received only the contempt on the part of the historians. But at the same time you can easily call a dozen of names of great generals and conquerors and probably even estimate the number of people they killed. History remembers such things. What a strange way of thinking.
And here is the Court Palace. It is drowned with water by half. A destinies of thousands people managed in here. Just think of the karma it has garnered?
This is the place where archeologists initially found a reference of the fifth procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate. And as long as some period of time the procurators based in Caesarea rather than Jerusalem, suppose just at this spot Pilate conversed with one of the numerous rioters, stormy petrel of the name of Jesus?!
I always admire with the antique aqueducts and the Caesarean is not an exception.
Beautiful theatre. This is the most ancient theatre of Israel. Seemingly it is the third building raised by the Greeks or Romans at the new territory.
Why should the king Herod break the traditions of the wise predecessors, elevating beautiful Caesarea? Bread and circuses! There are huge barns full of corns, and here is the hippodrome and the theatre. Enjoy your life, people! But if you feel dissatisfied, the court is a short distance away.
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