or Caesarea Philippi or Neronias (Banyas）
City on the NW slope of Mt. Hermon on
one of the tributaries of the Jordan. Its great god was
Pan, who was identified with Zeus and associated with
the Nymphs. The city was refounded under the name
Caesarea by Philip the Tetrarch, son of King Herod the
Great, in 2-1 B.C., and renamed Neronias under Agrippa II.
The site has not been excavated. Remains of ramparts
with towers were visible some time ago, as well as numbers of column shafts scattered in the orchards or incorporated in the mediaeval fortifications, and Doric frieze fragments reused in the parapet of the bridge
on the Nahr es-Saari.
The Sanctuary of Pan and the Nymphs was a grotto
from which the river emerged under an arched opening; it was set among plane trees and poplars. Niches with shells, framed by fluted pilasters to form little
chapels, were carved in the rock face. Dedicatory inscriptions in Greek indicate that two of the niches held statues of Hermes and the nymph Echo. Two columns
in front of the grotto may have supported a canopy.
Gratings or openwork metal gates protected these rustic
sanctuaries, which date from the Roman period.
V. Guérin, Description de la Palestine,
II (1880); L. Lortet, La Syrie d'aujourd'hui,
Voyages dans la Phénicie, le Liban et la Judée
R. Dussaud, Topographie historique de la Syrie antique