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Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi (See also wiki article Caesarea_Philippi.)

CAESAREA PHILIPPI - A place near the scene of Jesus' charge to Peter (Mk.8.27, Mt.16.13-20). Here was a sanctuary of Pan and the city of Paneas (to-day still Baniyas), first mentioned in connexion with the victory of Antiochus III over the Egyptians in 198 BC When Herod the Great received the territory from Augustus in 20 BC, he erected a temple here. His son Philip re-founded the city, and changed its name from Paneas to Caesarea in honour of Augustus - adding his own name to distinguish the town from the similarly named city founded by his father on the sea-coast. (The common assumption that it was named in honour of Tiberius is based on a vague remark of Josephus; but the era of the city began 3-2 BC, under Augustus.) It was rebuilt by Herod Agrippa II and named Neronias in honour of Nero, but ultimately the old name came once more to the surface and ousted the others. Here Titus celebrated with gladiatorial shows the capture of Jerusalem. It was captured by the Crusaders in 1130, and finally lost by them to the Muslims in 1165. It lies 1150 ft. above the sea in a recess of the Hermon mountains, and is well watered. Under the ancient castle of the Crusaders a copious stream formerly issued from a cave, where was the shrine of Pan. The cave has collapsed in modern times. The modern village is small, and the remains of the Roman city meagre. [Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd Ed., T&T.Clark, 1963. - R.A.S.M. - E.G.K.]