Cyprus History Of Conflic
annon

Cyprus, an island in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the cross-roads of three
continents - Europe, Asia and Africa - has one of the oldest histories
of the
world, dating back 9000 years.

Its strategic position, its wealth in forests and mineral deposits,
as well as its
skilled craftsmen, made it the prized possession of the powers of
the day.

Cultural influences came from all directions - all major regional
civilisations left
their mark on the island, contributing to the development of a very
rich and
diverse cultural heritage.

ANCIENT TIMES

The Stone Age

The first signs of human life on the island date back to c. 8500 BC
during the

Palaeolithic period. Evidence of human activity was found in cave dwellings
near

Liopetri, though it is not known whether they were just hunting parties
passing
through or permanent settlers.

The first undisputed settlements are believed to have been established
towards
the end of the 8th millennium BC. Vestiges of such early communities
are found
all over the island, such as at Khirokitia, Kalavasos-Tenta, Apostolos

Andreas-

Kastros, Phrenaros, Petra tou Limniti.

Neolithic Cypriots built circular houses
with small undressed stones for the
lower structures and sun-dried
mudbricks and clay for the middle and
superstructure. The Khirokitia neolithic
settlement in Larnaca district stands out
as a striking example of prehistoric
architecture.

The Neolithic settlement of Khirokitia

The Bronze/ Copper Age

Large copper deposits brought fame and wealth to the island and may
have even
given it its name. It has been documented that during the bronze age

Cyprus had
intense commercial relations with the main commercial and cultural
centres of that
time. During this period metallurgy and pottery flourished while close
relations
developed, particularly with Crete, which are also expressed in the

Cypro-Minoan script which appeared in Cyprus around 1500 BC.

Of special significance for the future of Cyprus was its colonisation
around 1200

BC by Mycenaean and Achaean Greeks, a migration process that lasted
for
more than a century. They brought with them to the island the Hellenic
language,
culture and religion. Legend has it that the first Hellenes who settled
in Cyprus
were heroes of the Trojan war. The arrival of the Achaeans greatly
influenced
town planning, architecture, and pottery. Since then Cyprus has remained
predominantly Greek in culture, language and population despite influences
resulting from successive occupations.

Iron Age

More and more people from the Greek world came to live in Cyprus.

They built
city along the lines of the Greek ones. There were about eleven city
kingdoms in
all: Kourion, Paphos, Soloi, Marion, Lapithos, Salamis, Kition, Kyrenia,

Amathus, and Idalion.

Although Cyprus was conquered by other peoples, these city kingdoms
mostly
ruled themselves, paying taxes to their conquerors. The island was
conquered in
succession by the Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Persians (800-332

BC).

The Classical Period

For more than a century, Cyprus was caught in the middle of the power
struggle
between Greece and Persia. In the 6th century BC Persia became the
dominant
power and the kings of Cyprus, while being allowed to retain their
autonomy,
were obliged to pay tribute to the Persian King and place their military
forces at
his disposal. Persia's domination, however, was not maintained easily
and there
were several attempts tooverthrow the Persian yoke, the most significant
being
the Ionian revolt and an attempt by King Evagoras I of Salamis to unite
all of

Cyprus' city-kingdoms under him. attempts failed.

The Hellenistic Period

Cyprus stayed in Persian hands until Alexander the Great defeated the

Persian

Empire when the island became part of his huge Empire. Upon Alexander's
death

Cyprus fell to one of his generals, Ptolemy I, the ruler of Egypt.
>From then on

Cyprus, under the Ptolemies, was an integral part of the Hellenistic

World until its
integration with the Roman Empire in 30 BC.

During this time Cyprus experienced significant cultural activity and
close contacts
with the city kingdoms of the Hellenic World. Cypriot athletes took
part in the

Olympic and Panathenian Games and the names of Cypriot sculptors are
referred
to at Delphi and Lemnos. The worship of Aphrodite was known throughout
the
region and the Temple of Goddess of Love and Beauty at Palaepaphos
gathered
pilgrims from all over the ancient world. The city-kingdoms of Salamis,

Amathus,

Paphos and others which were established at the time of Greek colonisation
flourished during this period and produced magnificent pieces of architecture
and
sculpture which survive till our days.

The Roman Period

As the Ptolemaic empire declined, Cyprus came under Roman domination
and
was a colony in 58 BC. Romans also left their legacy on the island
in the form of

Roman amphitheatres, public baths, mosaics and other architectural
edifices. One
of the most significant events during this period was