Known formerly as Mazaca, it was capital of the kingdom of Cappadocia, situated in the strategia of Cilicia immediately N of the holy mountain Argaeus (Erciyes Dag), which appeared on many of its coins. Renamed Eusebeia by Argaeus in honor of the Hellenizing king Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopater, 163-130 B.C., it became Caesarea under Archelaus 12-9 B.C. The city was reputed to be marshy and unsuitable as a capital. It was sacked by Tigranes in 77 B.C. and the inhabitants were deported to Tigranocerta until freed by Lucullus in 69 B.C. (Strab. 12.2.7-9). It was eventually rebuilt by Pompey. Under Tiberius it became capital of the newly formed province of Cappadocia in A.D. 17. By the reforms of Diocletian the E parts of the province became part of Armenia Minor. Valens in A.D. 371-72 cut off the W cities and Caesarea remained capital of Cappadocia Prima, being the only city amid the vast imperial estates administered by the comes domorum per Cappadociam. With the decline in its importance there was apparently a decline in population, for Justinian found it necessary to replace the walls with a shorter circuit (Procop., Buildings 5.4. 7-14). Little of the ancient city remained visible, but it is now being excavated. The citadel is Turkish and other surviving walls perhaps originally Justinianic. On the N side, towards Argaeus, is a ruin field with lumps of perhaps a gymnasium or baths. Chance finds are displayed in the Kayseri Museum
R. P. Harper, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Total results on 24/2001: 101
Caesarea ad Argaeum, the capital of Cappadocia, called by this name in the reign of Tiberius, previously Mazaca. It was situate at the foot of Mount Argaeus, as its name indicates, and was a place of great antiquity, its foundation having even been ascribed by some writers to Mesech, the son of Japhet. The modern name is Kaisarieh.
This extract is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Caesareia (Kaisareia: Eth. Kaisareus), (Kaisariyeh), a city of the
district Cilicia in Cappadocia, at the base of the mountain Argaeus. It was originally
called Mazaca, afterwards Eusebeia. (Steph. s. v. Kaisareia, quoting Strab. p.
537.) The site in the volcanic country at the foot of Argaeus exposed the people
to many inconveniences. It was, however, the residence of the kings of Cappadocia.
Tigranes, the ally of Mithridates the Great, took the town (Strab. p. 539; Appian,
Mithrid. c. 67), and carried off the people with other Cappadocians to his new
town Tigranocerta; but some of them returned after the Romans took Tigranocerta.
Strabo has a story that the people of Mazaca used the code of Charondas and kept
a law-man (nomodos) to explain the law; his functions corresponded to those of
a Roman jurisconsultus (nomikos). The Roman emperor Tiberius, after the death
of Archelaus, made Cappadocia a Roman province, and changed the name of Mazaca
to Caesareia (Eutrop. vii. 11; Suidas, s. v. Tiberios). The change of name was
made after Strabo wrote his description of Cappadocia. The first writer who mentions
Mazaca under the name of Caesareia is Pliny (vi. 3): the name Caesareia also occurs
in Ptolemy. It was an important place under the later empire. In the reign of
Valerian it was taken by Sapor, who put to death many thousands of the citizens;
at this time it was said to have a population of 400,000 (Zonar. xii. p. 630).
Justinian afterwards repaired the walls of Caesareia (Procop. Aed. v. 4). Caesareia
was the metropolis of Cappadocia from the time of Tiberius; and in the later division
of Cappadocia into Prima and Secunda, it was the metropolis of Cappadocia Prima.
It was the birth-place of Basilius the Great, who became bishop of Caesareia,
There are many ruins, and much rubbish of ancient constructions about Kaisaryeh. No coins with the epigraph Mazaca are known, but there are numerous medals with the epigraph Eusebeia, and Kaisareia, and Kais. pros Argaio.
Strabo, who is very particular in his description of the position of Mazaca, places it about 800 stadia from the Pontus, which must mean the province Pontus; somewhat less than twice this distance from the Euphrates, and six days' journey from the Pylae Ciliciae. He mentions a river Melas, about 40 stadia from the city, which flows into the Euphrates, which is manifestly a mistake.
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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