History on Cyprus

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Early History of Cyprus Timeline

The History of Cyprus Timeline: The first people in Cyprus were stone age farmers around 8,000 B.C. By 4,000 B.C. they were already making ceramics and copper tools. By 2,500 B.C. the people of Cyprus had learned to make bronze. Cypriot society gradually became more sophisticated from 1,600 B.C. A form of writing was invented. A highly civilized society emerged in Cyprus with many cities and palaces. Trade with other parts of the Mediterranean flourished and contact with other civilizations was common.

After 800 B.C. a number of great empires emerged in the Middle East. The first was the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians never conquered Cyprus, but forced their rulers to pay tribute for a short period, from 708 B.C. to 669 B.C.

The History Of Cyprus Timeline
The History Of Cyprus Timeline

Then, in 545 B.C., Cyprus was forced to submit to the rule of the Persians. The Persians, in turn, were overthrown by the Greeks led by Alexander the Great after 333 BC. When Alexander died in 323 his empire was divided among his generals. One of them, named Ptolemy, seized Egypt.

After a period of struggle, he and his successors came to rule Cyprus and Greek culture became dominant on the island. However, a new power emerged – Rome. The Romans took Cyprus in 58 BC and it was integrated into the Roman Empire.

History On Cyprus

  • Capital of Cyprus:  Nicosia
  • Total Area of Cyprus:  9,251 km (of which 5,896 km (2,276 sq mi) are under the control of the Republic of Cyprus and of which 3,355 km (1,295 sq mi) are under the administration of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) Land: 9,241 km Water: 10 km
  • Language of Cyprus:   Greek and second language is Turkish

Religion Ratio in Cyprus

Religious Beliefs In Cyprus

Rank Religion % of national population affiliated to the religion
1 Orthodox Christian 89.1%
2 Roman Catholic 2.9%
3 Protestant/Anglican 2.0%
4 Islam 1.8%
5 Other (includes Maronite, Armenian Church, Hindu) 1.4%
6 Unknown 1.1%
7 Buddhist 1.0%
8 None/Atheist 0.6%

 Prehistoric Cyprus Timeline

Cyprus was colonized by humans in the Paleolithic period (known as the Stone Age) who coexisted with several species of dwarf animals, such as dwarf elephants (Elephas cypriotes) and pygmy hippos (Hipopotamus minor) well into the Holocene. There are claims of an association of this fauna with artifacts from epipaleolithic collectors at Aetokremnos near Limassol on the southern coast of Cyprus. The first undisputed settlement occurred in the ninth (or perhaps tenth) millennium BC from the Levant. The first settlers were farmers of the era called PPNB (Neolithic B before ceramics), but they did not yet produce ceramics (Neolithic acebramic).

Dogs, sheep, goats and possibly cattle and pigs were introduced, as well as numerous wild animals such as foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) who were previously unknown on the island. PPNB settlers built round houses with burnt lime terrazzo floors (e.g. Kastros, Shillourokambos) and cultivated einkorn and emmer. Pigs, sheep, goats and cows were raised, but remained, for the most part, wildly. Evidence of cattle such as that attested at Shillourokambos is rare, and when they apparently became extinct over the course of the eighth millennium BC, they were not reintroduced until the ceramic Neolithic.

In the sixth millennium BC. C., the aceramic culture of Khirokitia was characterized by circular houses, stone vessels and an economy based on sheep, goats and pigs. Cattle were unknown and Persian fallow deer were hunted. This was followed by the Sotira ceramic phase. The Eneolithic era is characterized by stone figurines with outstretched arms.

The water wells discovered by archaeologists in western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dating back between 9,000 and 10,500 years, placing them in the Stone Age. They are said to show the sophistication of the early settlers and their greater appreciation for the environment.

In 2004, the remains of an 8-month-old cat buried with its human owner were discovered at a Neolithic archaeological site in Cyprus. The tomb is estimated to be 9,500 years old, predates Egyptian civilization, and significantly sets back the first known feline-human association.

Cyprus in Bronze Age

In the Bronze Age the first cities were built, such as Enkomi. Systematic copper mining began, and this resource was widely commercialized. Undoubtedly, the Mycenaean Greeks inhabited Cyprus since the last stage of the Bronze Age, while the Greek name of the island is already attested from the fifteenth century BC. C. in Linear writing B.

Where was Cyprus
Where was Cyprus

Cypriot syllabic writing was first used in the early phases of the Late Bronze Age (LCIB) and continued in use during ca. 500 years after the LC IIIB, perhaps until the second half of the eleventh century BC. Most scholars believe that it was used for a native Cypriot language (eteocpriote) that survived until the fourth century BC. C., but the actual evidence of this is scarce, as the tablets have not yet been completely deciphered.

The LCIIC (1300–1200 BC) was a time of local prosperity. Cities such as Enkomi were rebuilt in a rectangular grid plan, where the city gates correspond to the axes of the grid and numerous large buildings are located in front of the street system or newly founded. Large official buildings built in ashlar masonry point to greater hierarchy and social control. Some of these buildings contain facilities for processing and storing olive oil, such as Maroni-Vournes and Building X in Kalavassos-Ayios Dhimitrios. A shrine with a horned altar built with masonry has been found in Myrtou-Pigadhes, other temples have been located in Enkomi, Kition and Kouklia (Palaepaphos).

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Both the regular layout of the cities and the new masonry techniques find their closest parallels in Syria, especially in Ugarit (present-day Ras Shamra). The practice of writing sheets and tablets in Cypriot syllabic script has been found in Ras Shamra, which was the Phoenician city of Ugarit. The Ugaritic texts of Ras Shamra and Enkomi mention Ya, the Assyrian name of Cyprus, which seems to have been in use as early as the late Bronze Age.

Ox-skin-shaped copper ingots have been recovered from shipwrecks such as at Ulu Burun, Iria and Cape Gelidonya, attesting to the widespread trade in metals. The weights in the form of animals found in Enkomi and Kalavassos follow Syrian-Palestinian, Mesopotamian, Hittite and Aegean standards and therefore also attest to the widespread trade.

Late Bronze Age Cyprus was part of the Hittite empire, but it was a client state and as such was not invaded, but simply part of the empire by association and ruled by the ruling kings of Ugarit. As such, Cyprus was essentially left with “only little intervention in Cypriot affairs.” However, during tudhaliya’s reign, the island was briefly invaded by the Hittites for reasons of securing the copper resource or as a way to prevent piracy. Shortly afterwards the island was reconquered by his son around 1200 BC.

Although the Achaean Greeks lived in Cyprus since the fourteenth century, most of them inhabited the island after the Trojan War. The Achaeans colonized Cyprus from 1210 to 1000 BC. The Dorian Greeks arrived around 1100 BC. C. and, unlike the pattern on the Greek mainland, evidence suggests that they settled in Cyprus peacefully.

Another wave of Greek settlements is believed to have taken place in the following century (LCIIIB, 1100-1050), indicated, among other things, by a new type of tombs (long dromoi) and Mycenaean influences on the decoration of pottery.

Ceramics In Cyprus History Timeline

In the last phase of the Late Bronze Age (LCIIIA, 1200-1100 BC), large quantities of ‘Mycenaean’ pottery IIIC:1b were produced locally. New architectural features include cyclopean walls, which are located on the Greek mainland, as well as certain types of rectangular stepped capitals, endemic to Cyprus. Chamber tombs are abandoned in favor of well tombs. Large quantities of IIIC:1b pottery are also found in Palestine during this period.

While this was previously interpreted as evidence of an invasion (“Sea Peoples”), this is increasingly seen as an indigenous development, triggered by increased trade relations with Cyprus and Crete. Evidence of early trade with Crete is found in the archaeological recovery in Cyprus of pottery from Cydonia, a powerful urban center of ancient Crete.

Cypriot City Kingdoms

Most authors claim that the kingdoms of Cypriot cities, first described in written sources in the eighth century BC. Other scholars see a slow process of increasing social complexity between the twelfth and eighth centuries, based on a network of chiefdoms. In the eighth century (geometric period) the number of settlements increases considerably and monumental tombs appear for the first time, such as the ‘royal’ tombs of Salamis. This might be a better indication of the emergence of the Cypriot kingdoms.

History On Cyprus First Iron Age

The early Iron Age in Cyprus follows the Submicnic period (1125-1050 BC) of the Late Bronze Age. It is divided into the Geometric (1050–700) and Archaic (700–525) periods.

The myths of the foundations documented by classical authors connect the founding of numerous Cypriot cities with Greek immigrant heroes in the wake of the Trojan War. For example, Teucro, brother of Aias, was supposed to have founded Salamis, and that the Arcadian Agapenor of Tegea had replaced the native ruler Kinyras and founded Paphos. Some scholars see this as a reminder of a Greek colonization as early as the eleventh century. In the eleventh-century tomb 49 of Palaepaphos-Skales three bronze obeloi have been found with inscriptions in Cypriot syllabic script, one of which bears the name of Ofeltas. This is the first indication of the use of the Greek language on the island.

Cremation as a burial rite is also considered a Greek introduction. The first cremation burial in bronze vessels has been found in Kourion-Kaloriziki, tomb 40, dating from the first half of the eleventh century (LCIIIB). The pit tomb contained two bronze rod tripods, the remains of a shield and also a gold scepter. Formerly seen as the royal tomb of the early Argive founders of Kourion, it is now interpreted as the tomb of a native Cypriot or a Phoenician prince. The cloisonné enamel of the scepter’s head with the two falcons surpassing it is unparalleled in the Aegean, but shows a strong Egyptian influence.

Cyprus Phoenicians

Literary evidence suggests an early Phoenician presence at Kition, which was under the rule of Tyre in the early tenth century BC. Some Phoenician traders believed to have come from Tyre colonized the area and expanded Kition’s political influence. After c. 850 BC the shrines [at the site of Kathari] were rebuilt and reused by the Phoenicians.”

The oldest cemetery in Salamis has produced burials of children in Canaanite jars, an indication of Phoenician presence as early as the eleventh century LCIIIB. Burials in similar jars have been found in cemeteries in Kourion-Kaloriziki and Palaepaphos-Skales near Kouklia. In Skales many Levantine imports and Cypriot imitations of Levantine forms have been found that point to a Phoenician expansion even before the end of the eleventh century.

Old Cyprus History Timeline

The first written source shows Cyprus under Assyrian rule. A stele found at Kition in 1845 commemorates the victory of King Sargon II (721–705 BC) in 709 over the seven kings in the land of Ia’, in the district of Iadnana or Atnana. The first is supposedly the Assyrian name of the island, while some authors interpret the second to mean Greece (the danaoi islands). There are other inscriptions referring to Ia’ in Sargon’s palace in Khorsabad. The ten kingdoms listed by an inscription of Esarhaddon in 673/2 BC. C. have been identified as Salamis, Kition, Amathus, Kourion, Paphos and Soli on the coast and Tamassos, Ledra, Idalium and Chytri in the interior.

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History on Cyprus
History on Cyprus

Cyprus gained independence for some time around 669, but was conquered by Egypt under Amasis (570–526/525). The island was conquered by the Persians around 545 BC. A Persian palace has been excavated in the territory of Marion on the north coast near Soli. The inhabitants participated in the Ionian uprising. In the early fourth century BC, Euágoras I, king of Salamis, took control of the entire island and attempted independence from Persia. Another uprising took place in 350 but was crushed by Artaxerxes in 344.

During the siege of Tyre, the Cypriot kings passed to Alexander the Great. In 321, four Cypriot kings sided with Ptolemy I and defended the island against Antigonos. Ptolemy lost Cyprus to Demetrios Poliorketes in 306 and 294 BC. C., but after that it remained under Ptolemaic rule until 58 BC. It was ruled by a governor of Egypt and sometimes formed a minor Ptolemaic kingdom during the power struggles of the second and first centuries. Strong trade relations developed with Athens and Alexandria, two of the most important trading centers of antiquity.

Complete Hellenization only took place under Ptolemaic rule. The native Phoenician and Cypriot features disappeared, along with the ancient Cypriot syllabic script. Several cities were founded during this time, for example Arsinoe which was founded between the old and the new Paphos by Ptolemy II.

Cyprus became a Roman province in 58 BC. C., according to Strabo, because the Roman politician, Publius Clodius Pulcher, held a grudge against the king of Cyprus, Ptolemy, and sent Marcus Cato to conquer the island after becoming a tribune. Mark Antony gave the island to Cleopatra VII of Egypt and her sister Arsinoe IV, but it again became a Roman province after its defeat at the Battle of Actium (31 BC) in 30 BC. From 22 a. C. was a senatorial province. The island suffered heavy losses during the Jewish uprising of 115/116 AD.

After Diocletian’s reforms it came under the control of the Consularis Oriens and ruled by a proconsul. Several earthquakes led to the destruction of Salamis in the early fourth century, at the same time as drought and famine plagued the island.

The History of Medieval Cyprus

After the division of the Roman Empire into an eastern half and a western half, Cyprus came under the rule of Constantinople. At that time, its bishop, still subject to the Church, was declared autocephalous by the Council of Ephesus.

Arabs and Muslims invaded Cyprus with force in the 650s, but in 688, Emperor Justinian II and Caliph Abd al-Malik reached an unprecedented agreement. For the next 300 years, the Arabs and Byzantines jointly ruled Cyprus as a condominium, despite the almost constant war between the two parties on the continent. The Byzantines regained control of the island for brief periods thereafter, but the statu quo.

This period lasted until 965, when Niketas Chalkoutzes conquered the island for a resurgent Byzantium. In 1185, the last Byzantine governor of Cyprus, Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus of a minor line of the imperial house, rebelled and attempted to seize the throne. His coup attempt was unsuccessful, but Comnenus was able to retain control of the island.

Byzantine actions against Komnenos failed because he had the support of William II of Sicily. The emperor had an agreement with the Sultan of Egypt to close Cypriot ports to the Crusaders.

The Third Crusades

In the twelfth century AD the island became a target of the Crusaders. Richard the Lionheart landed in Limassol on June 1, 1191 in search of his sister and his girlfriend Berengar, whose ship had separated from the fleet in a storm. Richard’s army landed when Isaac refused to return the hostages (Richard’s sister, his girlfriend, and several shipwrecked soldiers) and forced Isaac to flee Limassol. He eventually surrendered and granted control of the island to the King of England. Richard married Berengaria in Limassol on 12 May 1192. She was crowned Queen of England by John Fitzluke, Bishop of Évreux. The Crusader fleet continued to St. Jean d’Acre (Syria) on 5 June.

Richard the Lionheart’s army continued to occupy Cyprus and increased taxes. He sold the island to the Knights Templar. Soon after, the French (Lusignans) occupied the island and established the Kingdom of Cyprus. They declared Latin an official language, later replacing it with French; much later, Greek was recognized as a second official language. In 1196, the Latin Church was established and the Cypriot Orthodox Church experienced a series of religious persecutions. The Maronites settled in Cyprus during the Crusades and still retain some villages in the north.

Kingdom of Cyprus

Amalric I of Cyprus (Aimery de Lusignan) received the royal crown and title from Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor. A small minority Roman Catholic population of the island was confined mainly to some coastal towns, such as Famagusta, as well as to the interior of Nicosia, the traditional capital. The Roman Catholics held the reins of power and control, while the Greek inhabitants lived in the countryside; this was much like the arrangement in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The independent Eastern Orthodox Church of Cyprus, with its own archbishop and without subjection to any patriarch, was allowed to remain on the island, but the Latin Church largely displaced it in stature and possession of property.

After the death of Amalric of Lusignan, the Kingdom continually passed to a number of young men who grew up as kings. The Ibelin family, who had had much power in Jerusalem before its fall, acted as regent during these early years. In 1229, one of the regents of Ibelin was ousted from power by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, who brought the struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines to the island.

Frederick’s supporters were defeated in this struggle in 1233, although it lasted longer in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and in the Holy Roman Empire. The descendants of Frederick’s Hohenstaufen continued to rule as kings of Jerusalem until 1268 when Hugh III of Cyprus (died 1284) of the Lusignan family claimed the title and his territory of Acre for himself following the death of Conrad III of Jerusalem, thus uniting the two kingdoms. The territory of Palestine was eventually lost while Henry II was king in 1291, but the kings of Cyprus continued to claim the title.

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Like Jerusalem, Cyprus had a Haute Cour (High Court), although it was less powerful than in Jerusalem. The island was richer and more feudal than Jerusalem, so the king had more personal wealth and could afford to ignore the Haute Cour. The most important vassal family was the Multi-Branched House of Ibelin. However, the king was often in conflict with Italian merchants, especially since Cyprus had become the center of European trade with Africa and Asia after the fall of Acre in 1291.

The kingdom eventually came to be increasingly dominated in the fourteenth century by Genoese merchants. Thus, Cyprus sided with the Avignon Papacy in the Western Schism, hoping that the French could expel the Italians. The Mamluks then turned the kingdom into a tributary state in 1426; the remaining monarchs gradually lost almost all independence, until 1489 when the last queen, Catherine Cornaro, was forced to sell the island to Venice. The Ottomans began storming Cyprus immediately afterwards and captured it in 1571.

This is the historical scenario of Otelo Of Shakespeare, the main character of the play is the commander of the Venetian garrison that defends Cyprus against the Ottomans.

Ottoman Cyprus

The Russo-Turkish War ended Ottoman control of Cyprus in 1878. Cyprus then came under the control of the British Empire with its conditions set out in the Cyprus Convention. However, the island’s sovereignty remained maintained by the Ottoman Empire until Britain annexed the island unilaterally in 1914, after declaring war on the Ottomans during World War I. After World War I, under the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey renounced all claims and rights over Cyprus.

Bajo el dominio británico, la isla comenzó a disfrutar de un período de mayor libertad de expresión, algo que permitió un mayor desarrollo de las ideas de enosis (unification with Greece) of the Greek Cypriots.

Modern Cyprus

In 1878, as a result of the Cyprus Convention, the United Kingdom assumed the government of Cyprus as a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire. In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, the Ottomans declared war on Britain, leading to the British annexation of Cyprus. In 1925, following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Cyprus became a Crown Colony. Between 1955 and 1959 the Greek Cypriots formed the EOKA organization, led by George Grivas, to achieve enosis (union of the island with Greece). However, the EOKA campaign did not result in union with Greece but in an independent republic, the Republic of Cyprus, in 1960.

Cyprus what country
Cyprus what country

The 1960 constitution established a form of power-sharing, or consociational government, in which concessions were made to the Turkish Cypriot minority, including the requirement that the vice president of Cyprus and at least 30% of the members of parliament be Turkish. Cypriot. Archbishop Makarios III would be the president and Dr. Fazıl Küçük would become vice president. One of the articles of the constitution was the creation of separate local municipalities so that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could administer their own municipalities in large cities.

Internal conflicts turned into full-blown armed struggles between the two communities on the island, leading the United Nations to send peacekeeping forces in 1964; these forces are still in place today. In 1974, Greek nationalists staged a military coup with the support of the military junta in Greece. Unable to secure multilateral support against the coup, Turkey invaded the northern part of the island. Turkish forces remained after a ceasefire, resulting in the partition of the island. Inter-communal violence, the coup and the ensuing invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots.


In 1955 a Greek Cypriot organization called EOKA began a series of bombings in Cyprus. In 1958 a Turkish organization called TMT was formed and intercommunal struggle began. Finally, in 1960, Cyprus gained independence. Archbishop Makarios was elected president.

However, in 1963 the Greeks proposed changes to the constitution. The Turks refused and there was more inter-communal fighting. In 1964 the United Nations sent a peacekeeping force to Cyprus. However, no solution was found and in April 1974 the hardline Greeks staged a coup.

Archbishop Makarios was overthrown and fled abroad. As a result, in July 1974, Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus. The island was divided. Refugees from both sides crossed the border between the two parts of Cyprus. Meanwhile, the hardliners fell from power and in December 1974 Archbishop Makarios returned from exile. He died in 1977.

In 1975, the Turkish section called itself the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus and it seemed that some kind of federation of the two sides would be possible. However, in 1983, the Turkish section of Cyprus declared its full independence. It called itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The State de facto Of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in 1975 under the name of Turkish Federated State of Cyprus. The name was changed to its current form, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on November 15, 1983. Recognized only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus.

In 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan initiated a new round of negotiations for the unification of the island. In 2004, after long negotiations between the two parties, a plan for the unification of the island emerged. The resulting plan was supported by the United Nations, the European Union and the United States. Nationalists on both sides campaigned for the rejection of the plan, and the result was that the Turkish Cypriots accepted the plan while the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected it.

After Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004, it adopted the euro as its currency on 1 January 2008, replacing the cypriot pound previously used; Northern Cyprus continued to use the Turkish lira.

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