THEODOSIA, or Kaffa, a seaport and district town of Russia, situated on the east coast of Crimea, 69 miles to the east-north-east of Simpheropol. Its roadstead, which has a width of 18 miles and is never frozen, is well protected from east and west winds, and partly also from the south, but its depth is small, ranging from 11 to 14 feet and reaching 35 feet only in the middle. The want of railway communication with the interior prevents it from gaining the commercial importance it might otherwise have possessed, so that its population was only 10,800 in 1881, a low figure when compared with the 20,000 it had in 1672 and still more with the figure returned in last century. Many remains of its former importance exist in the city and neighbourhood, the chief being a beautiful mosque formerly a Genoese cathedral synagogues several centuries old, old towers with inscriptions, baths, and a palace of Shah-Ghirei in the suburbs. Gardening is one of the leading industries; fishing, a few manufactures, agriculture, and trade are also carried on. The foreign trade, which in 1830-40 reached an average of 90,000 for exports and 66,500 for imports, afterwards fell off, but it has experienced a revival in the course of the last 15 years, the exports of corn, linseed, and wool having reached 167,853 in 1884. The imports are insignificant.

Theodosia, a Milesian colony, was in Strabo's day a flourishing seat of trade (especially in grain), with a harbour capable of accommodating a hundred ships; but before Arrian's time (c. 125 A.D.) it appears to have been destroyed. More than a thousand years later (1263 to 1267) the Genoese established here their colony Kafa or Kefa, which grew rapidly up notwithstanding the rivalry of the Venetians. It was fortified, and became the see of a bishop, as well as the chief centre for the Genoese colonies on the Black-Sea coasts. It remained nearly independent until 1475, when it was taken by the Turks, but it continued to prosper under their rule, under the name of Kutchuk-Stambul, or Kryon-Stambul (Stambul of Crimea). The Russians took it in 1771, and annexed it in 1774. From that date it began to decay, and had only 3200 inhabitants in 1829, the emigration of the Crimean Tartars and the competition of Odessa being obstacles to its further growth.