Chapter XVII.—The Signs at Paneas of the Great Might of our Saviour.
Among these is also the following wonder. At Cæsarea Philippi, which the Phœnicians call Paneas, 2294 springs are shown at the foot of the Mountain Panius, out of which the Jordan flows. They say that on a certain feast day, a victim was thrown in, 2295 and that through the power of the demon it marvelously disappeared and that which happened was a famous wonder to those who were present. Astyrius was once there when these things were done, and seeing the multitude astonished at the affair, he pitied their delusion; and looking up to heaven he supplicated the God over all through Christ, that he would rebuke the demon who deceived the people, and bring the mens delusion to an end. And they say that when he had prayed thus, immediately the sacrifice floated on the surface of the fountain. And thus the miracle departed; and no wonder was ever afterward performed at the place.
Cæsarea Philippi (to be distinguished from Cæsarea, the chief city of Palestine, mentioned in previous chapters) was originally called Paneas by the Greeks,—a name which it retained even after the name Cæsarea Philippi had been given it by Philip the Tetrarch, who enlarged and beautified it. The place, which is now a small village, is called Banias by the Arabs. It lies at the base of Mt. Hermon, and is noted for one of the principal sources of the Jordan, which issues from springs beneath the rocks of Mt. Hermon at this point. The spot is said to be remarkably beautiful. See Robinsons Biblical Researches in Palestine, Vol. III, p. 409 sq.304:2295
Valesius remarks that the heathen were accustomed to throw victims into their sacred wells and fountains, and that therefore Publicola asks Augustine, in Epistle 153, whether one ought to drink from a fountain or well whither a portion of sacrifice had been sent.