Caesarea (Mazaca) (Europe)
|Location||Kayseri, Kayseri Province, Turkey|
|Type||Ancient Greek settlement|
|Builder||Romans, Byzantines, Greeks|
Caesarea (/ˌsɛzəˈriːə, ˌsɛsəˈriːə, ˌsiːzəˈriːə/; Greek: Καισάρεια, romanized: Kaisareia) also known historically as Mazaca (Greek: Μάζακα) was an ancient city in what is now Kayseri, Turkey. In Hellenistic and Roman times, the city was an important stop over for Merchants headed to Europe on the ancient Silk Road. The city was the capital of Cappadocia, and Armenian and Cappadocian kings regularly fought over control of the strategic city. The city was renowned for its Bishops of both the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic faith. After the Battle of Manzikert where the Byzantine Empire lost to the incoming Seljuk Empire, the city was later taken over by the Sultanate of Rum and became reconfigured over time with the influences of both Islamic and later, Ottoman architecture.
Superseded trading town
An earlier Silk Road, trading town or city can be traced to 3000 BCE, in ruined Kültepe, 20 km (12 mi) north-east. Findings there have included numerous baked-clay tablets, some of which were enclosed in clay envelopes stamped with cylinder seals. The documents record common activities, such as trade between the Assyrian colony and the city-state of Assur and between Assyrian merchants and local people. The trade was run by families rather than the state. The Kültepe texts are the oldest documents of Anatolia. Although they are written in Old Assyrian, the Hittite loanwords and names in the texts are the oldest record of any Indo-European language (see also Ishara). Most of the archaeological evidence is typical of Anatolia rather than of Assyria, but the use of both cuneiform and the dialect is the best indication of Assyrian presence.
Importance and economy
Caesarea remained as its precessor was a firmly inland trading centre firstly for many nearby city states, secondly due to links far beyond to east and west giving it, among regional comparators in size, enhanced trade.
The city was the centre of a satrapy under Persian rule until it was conquered by
Roman and Byzantine rule
The city passed under formal Roman rule in 17 AD.
Caesarea was destroyed by the
A portion of Basil's new city was surrounded with strong walls, and it was turned into a fortress by
Coin of Ariobarzanes, minted at Mazaca in 83 or 82 BC
Half-drachma from Caesarea (Mazaca) of Nero (reigned 37 to 68 CE)
The foundations of this building, Kayseri Castle / Fortress of Kayseri retains some city walls, both date to the Roman era
This sarcophagus of the Twelve Labors of Hercules at Kayseri Archaeology Museum dates to 150-160 CE
Cappadocian Greeks in Kayseri
House in Kayseri from an earlier period
Coin from Kayseri Archaeological Museum
Surp Kirkor Lusavoric Armenian Church dome and ceiling
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