Caesarea Mazaca (mod. Kaisarieh), chief town of a sanjak in the Angora vilayet of Asia Minor. Mazaca, the residence of the kings of Cappadocia, later called Eusebea (perhaps after Ariarathes Eusebes), and named Caesarea probably by Claudius, stood on a low spur on the north side of Erjies Dagh (M. Argaeus). The site, now called Eski-shehr, shows only a few traces of the old town. It was taken by Tigranes and destroyed by the Persian king Shapur (Sapor) I. after his defeat of Valerian in A.D. 260. At this time it is stated to have contained 400,000 inhabitants. In the 4th century Basil, when bishop, established an ecclesiastical centre on the plain, about 1 m. to the north-east, and this gradually supplanted the old town. A portion of Basil's new city was surrounded with strong walls and turned into a fortress by Justinian; and within the walls, rebuilt in the 13th and 16th centuries, lies the greater part of Kaisarieh, altitude 3500 ft. The town was captured by the Seljuk sultan, Alp Arslan, 1064, and by the Mongols, 1243, before passing to the Osmanli Turks. Its geographical situation has made it a place of commercial importance throughout history.
It lay on the ancient trade route from Sinope to the Euphrates, on the Persian "Royal Road" from Sardis to Susa, and on the great Roman highway from Ephesus to the East. It is still the most important trade centre in eastern Asia Minor. The town is noted for its fruit, especially its vines; and it exports tissues, carpets, hides, yellow berries and dried fruit. Kaisarieh is the headquarters of the American mission in Cappadocia, which has several churches and schools for boys and girls and does splendid medical work. It is the seat of a Greek bishop, an Armenian archbishop and a Roman Catholic bishop, and there is a Jesuit school. On the 30th of November 1895 there was a massacre of Armenians, in which several Gregorian priests and Protestant pastors lost their lives. Pop., according to Cuinet, 71,000 (of whom 26,000 are Christians). Sir C. Wilson gave it as 50,000 (23,000 Christians).
(C. W. W.; J. G. C. A.)