Antonia Fortress Camp



Most archaeologists agree that the Antonia Fortress stood above the rock scarps that are still visible near the northwest corner of the Temple Mount. In War 5:244 Josephus wrote that “a Roman cohort was permanently quartered there.” As a cohort usually consists of 500 soldiers and their horses, it would be a mistake to limit the boundaries of the Antonia to the rocky plateau only. The Strouthion Pool, for example, provided water for the Roman soldiers encamped here. At a distance of about 60m to the north is a rock scarp that enclosed a large area that was later occupied by the eastern Roman Forum. It is reasonable to suggest that the common soldiers were quartered here, while the officers and commanders stayed in the more luxurious accommodation on top of the Antonia rock scarp.

The 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen and 200 spearmen that brought Paul to Caesarea were stationed here (Acts 23:23-33).