Cæsarea, historisk stad i utvikling

Promontory Palace, Caesarea
Promontory Palace / Oddepalasset, Cæsarea. Foto: Arne Berge 2015

Cæsarea ved havet (Caesarea Maritima) er ein viktig og svært interessant historisk stad i Israel. Nå melder Haaretz at det er store prosjekt på gang for vidareutvikling av staden.

Det er 700.000 besøkande i Caesarea National Park i løpet av året, og talet er veksande. Eg satsar på å bli med i den statistikken før året er omme, – og neste år satsar eg på å ha staden med på programmet for ein av turane som Inger og eg er reiseleiarar for.

På Jesu tid var dette hovudstaden der Pontius Pilatus budde. Byen var hovudstad i Palestina heilt fram til 600-talet, altså i romersk og bysantinsk tid. Det var under Herodes den store byen fekk si tyding. Han bygde opp den opp i løpet av bare 12 år, frå 22 til 10 f. Kr., med teater, amfiteater, tempel, palass og ikkje minst ei viktig hamn.

I forrige veke (16.08.2018) hadde Haaretz eit stort oppslag om vidareutvikling av den historiske staden:

Can Caesarea Become the Acropolis of Israeli Tourism?
In one of Israel’s most expensive restoration projects ever, the city’s ancient theater will be revealed, together with about 90 percent of the old city and the port.

(…)

Sarig explains the process: The Antiquities Authority has done mapping in the 500-dunam historical space. There are 26 focal points that are worthy of restoration. Seven of them are phenomenal — such as the aqueduct, the Herodian wall, the arches in the port and the towers along the Crusader wall. The current major project is development of the huge arches, which were used as storehouses 2,000 years ago; 87 million shekels (about $23.5 million) are now being invested in this project. It’s hard to find a precedent in Israel for a similar project on an ancient site.

(…)

As part of the restoration of the arches, impressive remains of the Temple of Rome and Augustus were exposed. This is part of the temple platform built by Herod in the first century CE, which overlooked the entire city.

(…)

In addition to restoration of the arches, the wall promenade, a vestige from the Crusader period, is now being developed. On the wall, which is eight meters tall and three meters wide, there were 16 towers. At the northern end of the site the ancient synagogue from the period of the Great Revolt, which is mentioned in the Talmud and the writings of Josephus Flavius, is now being excavated.

Les meir

(Artikkelen er i utgangspunktet bak ein betalingsmur. Men ein kan, ved å registrera seg, få gratis tilgang til nokre artiklar pr månad.)

Som det kjem fram i utdraget av artikkelen, har byen vore viktig i fleire ulike tidsepokar.

Kyrkjehistorisk hadde byen si store tyding i oldkyrkja ved at Origenes flytte hit på 230-talet. Han bygde opp eit bibliotek som blei det nest største i verda etter Alexandria. Hans elev Eusebius blei biskop i Cæsarea i 314. Han er kjent som den første kyrkjehistorikaren og den første som arbeidde systematisk med bibelsk geografi.

Byen fekk ny tyding i korsfarartida, og det er store og imponerande restar av korsfararbyen på staden.

Men Cæsarea har ein viktig plass allereie i Det nye testamentet. Her blei Kornelius døypt, som den første ikkje-jøden (Apg 10). Her var hamna Paulus brukte under misjonsreisene sine (Apg 18,22). Her sat Paulus i fengsel (Oddepalasset, bildet) og her heldt han den store forsvarstalen sin for kong Agrippa (Apg 23,23 til 27,1).

Sjå også notatet Kor døydde Herodes Agrippa? (2010).

Les meir om Cæsarea:

National Geographic om Herodes

National Geographic History Magazine har lagt ut ein omfattande og flott illustrert artikkel om Herodes den store:

How King Herod Transformed the Holy Land

In the New Testament King Herod I is a villain, but the Herod of history was more complex, a consummate politician, ambitious builder, and master organizer who was able to balance the needs of the Judaean populace and the rulers of Rome.

Artikkelen er skriven av professor Antonio Piñero, Madrid.

(via PaleoJudaica)

Oppdatering:

Det ser dessverre ut for at artikkelen ligg bak ein betalingsmur. Eg fekk den opp ved første forsøk, men ikkje når eg vil gå inn og lesa den på ny. 

Artikkelen finst i papirformat i National Geographic History Magazine November/December 2016.

Golvfliser frå tempelplassen

Restar av farga golvfliser frå tempelplassen i Jerusalem er nå sett saman til fascinerande eksempel på koss eit flislagt golv i eller ved tempelet på Jesu tid, kan ha sett ut.

Herodes sitt tempel og tempelplassen i Jerusalem var eit av dei største praktbygg i Romarriket. Staden er også sentral i Det nye testamentet. Eg syns at alt som kan kasta lys over koss det såg ut der, er av stor interesse.

Dei farga flisene med geometriske mønster blei presenterte på ein konferanse i forrige veke. Her er eit utdrag frå pressemeldinga som blei sendt ut i forkant av konferansen:

For the First Time, Archeologists Restore Flooring from Second Temple Courtyard in Jerusalem

Tiles uncovered during sifting of earth originating on Temple Mount (…)

To date, approximately 600 colored stone floor tile segments have been uncovered, with more than 100 of them definitively dated to the Herodian Second Temple period. This style of flooring is consistent with those found in Herod’s palaces at Masada, Herodian, and Jericho among others, as well as in majestic palaces and villas in Italy, also attributed to the time of Herod. The tile segments, mostly imported from Asia Minor, Greece, Tunisia and Egypt, were created from polished multicolored stones cut in a variety of geometric shapes. A key characteristic of the Herodian tiles is their size, which corresponds to the Roman foot, approximately 29.6 cm.

Nå skriv Dr. Leen Ritmeyer ei vurdering og viser interessante bilde på bloggen sin:

Flooring from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

(…)

The question that remains unanswered is, where on the Temple Mount were such floors laid? The description of Josephus in War 5.193 was quoted: “The open court was from end to end variegated with paving of all manner of stones.” Does this refer to these opus sectile floors?

(…)

All the known opus sectile floors were laid indoors and not outdoors. These delicately constructed floors would not have survived long outside in the sometimes harsh Mediterranean climate. We suggest therefore that they came from the interior of some of the many buildings that surrounded the Temple and/or from under the colonnades around the smaller courts.

 

Nytt funn på Herodion 2014

Credit: The Herodium Expedition at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Credit: The Herodium Expedition at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Det er gjort nye og interessante funn etter Herodes den store si byggeverksemd på Herodion. Funna er offentleggjort i dag i ei pressemelding frå den arkeologiske avdelinga ved The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Det dreier seg om eit portrom eller ein passasje med 20 meters høgde i borga og palasset Herodes bygde som eit kunstig fjell ute i ørkenen ved Betlehem. Herodion er også kjent som Herodes´ gravstad.

Les om saka her:

Unique entry complex discovered at Herodian Hilltop Palace

(…) The main feature of the entryway is an impressive corridor with a complex system of arches spanning its width on three separate levels. These arches buttressed the corridor’s massive side-walls, allowing the King and his entourage direct passage into the Palace Courtyard. Thanks to the supporting arches, the 20-meter long and 6-meter wide corridor has been preserved to a height of 20 meters.

(…)

Surprisingly, during the course of the excavations, it became evident that the arched corridor was never actually in use, as prior to its completion it became redundant. This appears to have happened when Herod, aware of his impending death, decided to convert the whole hilltop complex into a massive memorial mound, a royal burial monument on an epic scale.

Les meir

Les tidlegare notat om Herodion her.

Herodes-utstilling 2013

Herodiansk mur, tempelplassen. Foto: Arne Berge 2013
Herodiansk mur, tempelplassen.
Foto: Arne Berge 2013

Israel Museum opnar i dag ei stor utstilling om Herodes den store. Utstillinga er open 13. februar – 5. oktober 2013.

Eg har dessverre ikkje planlagt nokon besøk i Jerusalem i denne perioden, og satsar derfor på at utstillinga blir grundig dokumentert på nettet og i bokform.

Bildet viser herodiansk mur i vestmuren på tempelplassen i Jerusalem, nær det sørvestre hjørnet. Steinane i forgrunnen har lege der sidan dei raste ned då romarane tok staden i år 70.

Her er museets informasjon om utstillinga:

Herod the Great: The King`s Final Journey

We are pleased to announce that the exhibition will be open to the public from
February 13, 2013-October 5, 2013
Location: Bella and Harry Wexner Gallery
Curator: Dudi Mevorach and Silvia Rozenberg

The first exhibition entirely dedicated to Herod the Great, Israel’s greatest builder and one of the most controversial figures in Jewish history. Large reconstructions and new finds from Herod’s palaces in Herodium, Jericho, and other sites are on display. Exhibited to the public for the very first time, these artifacts shed new light on the political, architectural, and aesthetic influence of Herod’s rule (37–4 BCE). Herod’s tomb – discovered at Herodium after a 40-year search by the late Prof. Ehud Netzer of the Hebrew University – holds pride of place. The exhibition is held in memory of Prof. Netzer, who fell to his death in 2010 on the site of his discovery.

Jerusalem Post skriv om utstillinga:

Monumental enough for Herod the Great?
The Israel Museum’s exhibit on the life and legacy of the controversial king opens this week.

World history has anointed few with the epithet “the Great.” He masterminded and engineered the Jerusalem Temple – among the most magnificent temples in the ancient world; the fortress-complex at Masada – the most-visited site in Israel; Caesarea – in its day, the largest all-weather harbor built in the open sea; imposing cities, aqueducts and, finally, Herodium – the most spacious palace known to us in the Greco-Roman world before the common era.

A giant who moved mountains, Herod was respected, feared and despised. Reckoning with Herod is indispensable to interpreting the historical and material landscape of Israel.

Les meir

Oppdatering:

14.02.2013: Sjå bilder frå utstillinga hos Shmuel Browns (via BiblePlaces Blog)

Netzer om Herodes» grav

Herodes den store døydde i år 4 f. Kr. og blei gravlagt på Herodion. Grava blei først funnen i 2007 (her).

Arkeologen bak dette funnet, Ehud Netzer, døydde dessverre etter ei fallulukke på Herodion i oktober 2010 (her).

Nå har eit nytt nummer av Biblical Archaeology Review (januar/februar 2011) kome bl a med ein artikkel der Netzer fortel om Herodion og grava.

In Search of Herod’s Tomb

During the 38 years since I began working at Herodium, Herod’s luxurious desert retreat, this architectural masterpiece has yielded many treasures, but none more exciting than the 2007 discovery of Herod’s elusive tomb. Some still question this identification, but more recent discoveries confirm my initial conclusion. Today, I have no doubt of it.

Les meir

Herodes, den store?

Er det rett å kalla Herodes for den store? Skulle han heller vore kalla Herodes den grufulle?

Geza Vermes har skrive ein lengre biografisk artikkel om Herodes i Standpoint Magazine januar/februar 2011. Han skriv om blant anna om politikk, familiefeidar og byggjeprosjekt som blir knytt til Herodes.

(Oppdatering: Merk at eg til slutt her i notatet siterer ein kommentator som meiner at Vermes forsøkjer å omskriva historia og gjera Herodes mindre grufull enn han var).

Her er nokre avsnitt frå Geza Vermes» artikkel:

Herod the Terrible or Herod the Great?

The Christian world has inherited a wholly negative image of king Herod (74/72-4 BCE), during whose reign Jesus was born (Matthew 2:1, Luke, 1:5). Matthew’s legendary account, Nativity plays and Christian imagination have turned Herod into the Ivan the Terrible of antiquity. When the three wise kings, or rather oriental magicians (magoi in the Greek Gospel), arrived at the royal palace in Jerusalem and asked about the recently born king of the Jews, Herod pretended to be helpful and directed them to Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of the Messiah, on condition that they promised to let him know the whereabouts of the babe. He, too, wished to greet him, he lied, when in fact he planned to murder the potential rival. So when the magi failed to return, he let loose his soldiers on the infants of Bethlehem.

The extensive secular chronicles provide a more nuanced biography, one that is almost as detailed as those of Roman emperors. Our chief informant is the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-c.100CE), who devoted most of Book I of his Jewish War and Books XIV to XVII of Jewish Antiquities to the life and times of Herod. Josephus uses as his main source the universal history of Nicolaus of Damascus, the well-informed teacher, adviser and ambassador of Herod. The fact that Josephus often criticises the king suggests that beside the court historian’s pro-Herod chronicle, he had also at his disposal another account sympathetic to the Hasmoneans, the Jewish priest-kings, who from 152 BCE ruled the Holy Land, first independently and after 63 BCE under the aegis of Rome, until Herod took their throne in 37 BCE.

(…)

Her er nokre avsnitt som handlar om tempelet i Jerusalem:

The jewel in the crown of his exclusively Jewish creative activity was the construction of the Second Temple. It started in 19 BCE and was financed by him. The Western Wall of Herod’s Temple still stands and is the holiest site in Judaism. The size of the building was substantially larger and higher than the Temple erected at the end of the sixth century BCE. To reassure the inhabitants of the city, Herod assembled in advance all the building materials, and hired and trained the stonemasons and carpenters.

To allay religious worries, he associated the Jewish clergy with the project, and to please them he ordered sumptuous robes for 1,000 priests. The main sanctuary, completed in 18 months, was inaugurated in a grandiose ceremony entailing the sacrifice of 300 oxen. The Temple was one of the marvels of the ancient world. According to a Jewish saying, «He who has not seen the Temple of Herod, has not seen a beautiful building in his life.» Work continued long after Herod’s death and did not end until the procuratorship of Albinus in 62-64 CE, a few years before its destruction in the first rebellion against Rome in 70 CE.

As far as the Jewish religion was concerned, the enlarged and embellished Temple added extra attractiveness to cultic worship and thus increased the number of pilgrims who came from the four corners of the ancient world to worship in Jerusalem. Just over three decades after Herod’s death, Jewish pilgrims present in Jerusalem for the feast of Shavuot or Pentecost included, according to the Acts of the Apostles (2:9-11), people from Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, Egypt, Cyrene, Rome, Crete and Arabia. Moreover, Herod’s liking for the learned Pharisees, who endorsed him when he was most in need of support, and his fondness of the Essenes, whose prophet Menachem predicted that one day Herod would become king, further contributed to the active promotion of the intellectual and spiritual life of Judaism.

(…)

Her er det konkluderande avsnittet hans, der han kjem tilbake til omtalen av Herodes den store:

In short, both Jewish and Christian traditions treat him as Herod the Terrible. The historian, however, is fully aware, despite Herod’s grave shortcomings, of his unparalleled political and cultural accomplishments. In particular, his long friendship with Augustus was highly beneficial to the inhabitants of Judea and the Jewish religion. Moreover, while Herod enjoyed the enviable status of a «client king, friend of the Roman people», none of his descendants, if the short reign of Agrippa I (41-44 CE) is discarded, was sufficiently esteemed by Augustus and his successors to receive the title «king of the Jews». All in all, in view of these unquestionable achievements Herod deserves to be known as the one and only Herod the Great.

Les heile artikkelen her.

(via PaleoJudaica)

Oppdatering 30.12.2010:

Todd Bolen på BiblePlaces Blog kommenterer artikkelen her og hevdar at Vermes prøver å omskriva historia for å gjera Herodes mindre grufull enn han var!

Geza Vermes tries to rewrite history in a lengthy article on Herod the Great, arguing in part that Herod was the victim of nasty old St. Matthew who “transformed him into a monster.”  I thought it was interesting how the author preferred the passive voice when describing the deaths of the people that Herod murdered.  For instance, “Augustus with a heavy heart allowed Herod to try his two sons, who were found guilty and executed by strangulation in Sebaste/Samaria.”  Josephus provides the only surviving account of the episode. He writes of Herod, “He also sent his sons to Sebaste, a city not far from Cesarea, and ordered them to be there strangled” (Wars 1.551; 1.27.6).