On the north coast of modern Israel, Caesarea Maritima flourished as a provincial capital, commercial center, and hotbed of religious conflict from the time of King Herod the Great to the time of King Louis IX. The eminent port city on the eastern Mediterranean seaboard between Alexandria and Antioch from the early Roman Empire to the Crusades. In his lecture, Prof. Rife will explore the archaeology and history of this uniquely important urban community. The story of this one city encapsulates the broader historical evolution of the region, from the negotiation between regional sovereignty and Roman imperialism to the advent and growth of Christianity and the eventual prosperity of the Islamic caliphates.
Dr. Rife received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is a member of the Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. He is a historian and archaeologist of the eastern Mediterranean world during the Roman Empire through Late Antiquity. For 25 years, he has conducted archaeological research in the Mediterranean basin and currently directs major excavations in southern Greece and northern Israel. In addition, Prof. Rife has held fellowships and endowed positions at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard, Cornell University, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.