The majestic promontory of Mount Carmel, which creates the Bay of Haifa, is known in the Egyptian texts of the C15 BC as the ‘Holy Headland’. This tradition of sanctity, inaugurated by the Phoenicians, is its dominant characteristic. An author of the C4 BC calls it ‘the holy mountain of Zeus’. The Roman general Vespasian came there to make a sacrifice at the end of the C1 AD, enabling the historian Tacitus to comment ‘Carmel lies between Judea and Syria; the same name is given to the mountain and a god. This god has neither statue nor temple; so willed the ancients; there is only an altar and worship’ (Hist. 2:78). In the C4 AD Jamblicus, the biographer of Pythagoras, thought it appropriate to have his hero visit Carmel, ‘a mountain holy above all and regarded as inaccessible to the vulgar’ (Life 3:14); the fact that he wrote 800 years later makes the accuracy of his information suspect, but it underlines the reputation of Mount Carmel.
Source: The Holy Land by Jerome Murphy- O’Connor