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Embark for Acre-Features of the Coast-Apollonia-Antipatris-Kanah, or Brook of Reeds-Kaiserieb, the ancient Cæsarea-Tortura, the ancient Dora-Castel PellegrinoCaipha, the ancient Calamon-The River Kishon-Mount Carmel-Convent of the Carmelites-Arrival at AcreAbdallah Pacha-Panoramic View of the Town-Mode of constructing Terraces-Route to Nazareth-The River Belus-Halting Place-Total Eclipse of the Moon-Arrival at Nazareth.
JAFFA, Aug. 30.-We had engaged a vessel, an open boat of the country, to take us to Acre, and were to have embarked at sun-set; but, there not being sufficient wind to carry us out of the port, we remained on shore with our friends, till sent for. Towards midnight a land-breeze sprung up, and the reiss hastened on board to avail himself of it.
In sailing along the coast, we stood so close in land, that, with the aid of a brilliant moon, we could distinctly see the general features of the country,
which is flat and unenlivened by any variety of scenery, though the plain is bounded at a distance by a line of beautiful hills, no doubt the mountains of Israel (also called the mountains of Ephraim); which running north and south, divide the Holy Land into two nearly equal parts.
The whole of the coast, from the Nile to Mount Carmel, was anciently called the Plain of the Mediterranean Sea. That portion of it which lies between Gaza and Joppa was simply called the Plain. In this stood the five Philistian Satrapies. The tract from Joppa to Mount Carmel was called Saron, or Sharon. In this last interval was the city of Apollonia, on the coast; and in the interior Antipatris, a small town in the road from Jerusalem to Cæsarea. It was formerly called Caphor Selma, but being rebuilt and beautified by Herod the Great, it was by him named Antipatris, in honour of his father Antipater. Hither St. Paul was brought after his apprehension at Jerusalem. (Acts xxiii. 31.) Its ruins will perhaps be found on the banks of the
There are other valleys of the same name, and it is not known which of them was celebrated for the production of the rose. May not Sharon be taken for the common field?
ancient Kanah, or Brook of Reeds, which springs from the mountains of Judæa, and falls into the sea near Cæsarea. It formerly divided the tribe of Ephraim from that of Manasseh. There are several other streams which cross this district, descending from the mountains, but they only flow in the winter months. The whole of this country, formerly celebrated for its fertility, is now thinly inhabited, and but little cultivated.
Aug. 31.-At day-break, finding ourselves abreast of Kaiserieh, the ancient Cæsarea, and seeing a vast quantity of ruins on the site, we desired to be set on shore for a while. To this, as the wind had begun to fail us, the reiss readily assented, taking care at the same time that we should be accompanied by some of the crew, the place being apparently quite deserted.
This part of the coast being exposed to the fury of the western gales, and the port of Cæsarea not affording any natural shelter to vessels, a sort of breakwater was formed of immense blocks of stone, sunk to the depth of several fathoms into the sea. From what remains, it appears to have commenced on the south side, and winding round to the west,
formed a semicircular mole open to the north. At the extremity are the remains of an old castle. It must have been a work of considerable labour and expense, denoting a high state of civilization, and supposing an extended commerce. On landing, we wandered over a great extent of ground, covered with the remains of an ancient city. A low wall of grey stone encompasses these ruins, and without this a moat now dry; but what with the accumulation of rubbish, and the long grass which grows over them, it is difficult to distinguish their form and nature. At the same time, war and its ruthless consequences, seem to have had a greater share in their destruction, than the slow hand of time. Nevertheless, the remains of two aqueducts, running north and south, are still visible. The one next to the sea is carried on high arches; the lower one, to the eastward, carries its waters along a low wall in an arched channel five or six feet wide. The water is abundant, and of excellent quality, and I am told the small vessels of the country often put in here to take in their supplies. It is, apparently, never frequented for any other purpose; even the high road leaves it aside. The present tenants of
the ruins are snakes, scorpions, and lizards, in great quantities, and, we were told, wild boars.* We did not meet with a human creature to direct our steps, and yet this was at one time the metropolis of Palestine, and the residence of a Proconsul! It was built by Herod the Great twenty-two years before Christ, and called Cæsarea, in compliment to the reigning emperor, Augustus, who was his great patron. It was called Cæsarea of Palestine, to distinguish it from Cæsarea of Philippi, more anciently called Paneas. It was afterwards called Colonia Flavia, in consequence of privileges granted to it by Vespasian, who made it a Roman colony. Previous to its foundation by Herod, there was an obscure fortress here, called the "tower of Straton," after the Greek who built it. Here Peter converted Cornelius and his kinsman, the first fruits of the Gentiles (Acts x.); and here St. Paul so admirably defended himself against the Jews, and their orator Tertullius. (Acts xxiv.) He was imprisoned here two years, and at other times visited the place, in his
"The defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken and left like a wilderness; there shall the calf feed, and he shall lie down and consume the branches thereof."