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PANEAS or Caesarea Philippi or Neronias (Banyas) Syria.

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, La Galilée II (1880); L. Lortet, La Syrie d'aujourd'hui, Voyages dans la Phénicie, le Liban et la Judée (1884); R. Dussaud, Topographie historique de la Syrie antique et médiévale (1927).


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