The New International Encyclopædia/Cæsarea Philippi

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CÆSAREA PHILIP'PI. An ancient town of Palestine, near the foot of the southern slope of Mount Hermon. On its site is the modern village of Banias, formerly Paneas. Close by the place is a cavern whence issues one of the main sources of the river Jordan. In the Greek period this spring was consecrated to the god Pan. About B.C. 20 the Emperor Augustus gave this region to Herod the Great, who built a beautiful temple of white stone near the old Greek sanctuary, dedicating it to Augustus. On Herod's death the place became a part of the tetrarchy of his son Philip, who built here a town, calling it Cæsarea. It became known as the Cæsarea of Philip (Cæsarea Philippi) (Josephus, Ant. xv. 10-3, xviii. 2-1; Wars of the Jews, i. 21-3, ii. 9-1). Jesus visited the neighborhood for a short period of rest, at which time he more fully disclosed his Messiahship to the disciples (Matt. xvi. 13ff. and parallels). The name of the town was later changed to Neronias in honor of Nero. But the old name Paneas persisted, and outlived the others, since the modern Banias is but a corruption of Paneas.