Caesarea (now Kaisariyeh). I. An ancient city of Judea, on the Mediterranean, 55 m. N. N. W. of Jerusalem. It was founded by Herod the Great, upon the site of a town called Turris Stratonis. He formed its harbor by the construction of a curved mole 200 ft. in length, built of blocks of stone 50 ft. long and 18 wide, which was one of the greatest works of antiquity. The city was built around the harbor, and was adorned with a temple to Augustus Caesar, after whom it was named, with a theatre, circus, and many other splendid edifices. It became the seat of the Roman procurators and of the titular kings of Judea. In this city Peter preached, Paul was imprisoned, and James was put to death. Eusebius the historian was bishop of Caesarea. The city was taken by the Saracens shortly after the death of Mohammed, and recaptured in 1101 by the crusaders, who built a cathedral upon the site of the ancient temple. It is now in ruins. II. An ancient city of the district of Cilicia in Cap-padocia, originally called Mazaca, afterward Eu-sebia, and the residence of the kings of Cappa-docia. It was taken by Tigranes, king of Armenia, who carried the people with other Cap-padocians to his new town Tigranocerta, but some of them returned after the Romans took Tigranocerta. When Tiberius made Cappa-docia a Roman province, he changed the name of Mazaca to Caesarea, and made it the capital.
In the reign of Valerian it was taken by Sapor, who slew many thousands of the inhabitants. At this time, about A. D. 255, it had a population of 400,000. In the reign of Justinian the walls were repaired, and when Cappadocia was divided into Prima and Secunda it was the capital of Cappadocia Prima. It was the birthplace of St. Basil the Great, who became bishop of Caesarea A. D. 370. (See Kaisa-riyeh).