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Our History

7000-3900 BC NEOLITHIC AGE:

Choirokitia and Kalavassos include the remains of Cyprus’s earliest known settlement. The civilisation populating Cyprus during this time period was dispersed throughout the island’s whole coastline. Before the fifth century B.C., only stone vessels were used; after that, pottery was invented.

3900-2500 BC CHALCOLITHIC AGE:

The majority of Chalcolithic settlements are located in western Cyprus. During this time, the island’s abundant copper reserves are exploited and utilised.

2500-1050 BC BRONZE AGE:

Copper, which was abundant in Cyprus, was being utilised more extensively and was now the island’s primary source of wealth. With Egypt, the Near East, and the Agean, trade flourishes. The island was settled by Mycenaeans from Greece after the 14th century.

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Between the 12th and 11th centuries before Christ Many Achaean Greeks are continually relocating to Cyprus. They carry their culture, religion, and the Greek language with them. They construct new cities, including Kition, Paphos, Salamis, and Kourion. From this point forward, the island of Cyprus will become increasingly Hellenized.

1050-750 BC GEOMETRIC PERIOD:

Currently, there are ten kingdoms on the island. The Phoenicians settle in the city-state of the Kingdom of Kition (now Larnaca). During the eighth century B.C., notable wealth was prevalent.

750-325 BC ARCHAIC AND CLASSICAL PERIOD:

Despite the continuation of the prosperity that began to flourish during the Geometric Period, the island falls victim to multiple conquerors. During these invasions, the Cypriot kingdoms attempt to maintain their independence, but ultimately succumb to Egypt, Assyria, and Persia. 

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During his reign (411-374 B.C. ), King Evagoras of Salamis rebels against Persia and briefly unifies the island. After a long siege, however, they are compelled to make peace with Persia and consequently lose control of the island.

333-325 BC:

Alexander the Great incorporates Cyprus into his empire when he conquers Persia.

325-58 BC HELLENISTIC PERIOD:

After a series of internal conflicts between Alexander the Great’s generals, Cyprus eventually falls under the control of Ptolemy of Egypt’s Hellenic empire and is subsequently incorporated into Greek Alexandrine. During this period, Paphos becomes the capital and Cyprus prospers.

58 BC – 330 AD ROMAN PERIOD:

Cyprus is incorporated into the Roman Empire. It is first a part of the Syrian Province before becoming a separate province governed by a proconsul. During their missionary missions, Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas convert the proconsul Sergius Paulus to Christianity, resulting in Cyprus becoming the first country in the world to be governed by a Christian.

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Between the 1st century B.C. to the 1st century A.D., devastating earthquakes necessitate the reconstruction of cities. Both the revolt of the Jews who occupied Salamis in 116 A.D. and the plague that occurred in 164 A.D. resulted in significant death tolls. The Edict of Milan allows Christians freedom of religion in 313 A.D. In 325 A.D., Saint Constantine the Great convenes the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea, which is attended by bishops from Cyprus.

330-1191 AD BYZANTINE PERIOD:

The Roman Empire is divided into two distinct halves. Cyprus is ruled by the Byzantine Empire, which was the Eastern Roman Empire with its centre in Constantinople, Greece. St. Helen, the mother of St. Constantine the Great, allegedly erected the Monastery of Stavrovouni on Cyprus while travelling from the Holy Land with fragments of the Holy Cross (which still stands today and which has a piece of the Holy cross in shrine for the public to venerate).

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During the fourth century, a number of earthquakes decimate the major cities. This destruction spawns new cities, and Constantia is now the island’s capital. In the 4th and 5th centuries, huge basilicas are constructed. The Emperor Zeno grants the Archbishop of Cyprus full autonomy and privileges, such as wearing a purple mantle, holding a sceptre instead of a pastoral staff, and signing in red ink, after the tomb of Saint Barnabas is discovered in 488. Thus, the Church in Cyprus is now autocephalous. In 647, the Arabs, led by Muawiya, overrun the island. Emperor Justinian II and Caliph Malik sign a pact in 688 declaring Cyprus to be neutral, despite documented violations of this agreement. Pirates frequently assaulted Cyprus before to 965, when Emperor Nicephoros Fokas expelled the Arabs from Asia Minor and Cyprus.

1191-1192 AD RICHARD THE LIONHEART AND THE TEMPLARS:

The self-proclaimed governor of Cyprus, Isaac Comnenus, is impolite to shipwreck survivors. On its route to the Third Crusade, this ship was a component of Richard I’s fleet. Richard overthrows Isaac, seizing control of Cyprus, and marries Berengaria of Navarree in Limassol, where she is subsequently anointed queen of England.  

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Then, Richard sells Cyprus to the Templar Knights for one hundred thousand dinars. They then sell the island for the same sum to one of the Crusaders, Guy de Lusignan.

1192- 1489 AD FRANKISH (LUSIGNAN) PERIOD:

The Greek Orthodox Church is officially replaced by the Catholic Church, although it continues to exist. Cyprus is currently ruled by a feudal system. During this period, many magnificent gothic structures were constructed, notably Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Famagusta, Bellapais Abbey, and the spectacular Agia Sophia Cathedral in Nicosia. Famagusta becomes one of the most prosperous cities in the Near East. Nicosia becomes the island’s new capital and the seat of the Lusignan kings. In 1489, Catherine Cornaro, the last queen of the Lusignan dynasty, cedes Cyprus to Venice, bringing an end to the Lusignan dynasty.

1489-1571 AD VENETIAN PERIOD:

The Venetians consider Cyprus as the final defensive bastion against the Ottomans in the Mediterranean. They fortify the island by demolishing a number of Nicosia’s buildings in order to contain the city inside a narrow area protected by fortifications and a moat. The Venetians’ efforts can still be seen standing today. In addition, they constructed formidable fortifications around the city of Famagusta, which may still be seen today.

1571-1878 AD OTTOMAN PERIOD:

In 1570, the Ottoman army raids Cyprus, seizes the city, and slaughters the island’s 20,000 inhabitants. They place Famagusta under a year-long siege. The Venetian commander, Marc Antonio Bragadin, mounts a valiant defence, but ultimately surrenders to the Ottoman leader, Lala Mustafa. The ottoman commander initially releases them, but then orders the beating, drawing, and quartering of Venetian leader Bragadin and the execution of the rest.

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Upon the Ottoman Empire’s takeover of Cyprus, the Latin clergy are either banished or convert to Islam. The Greek Orthodox faith is astonishingly revived. As the leader of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, the Archbishop represents the church at the Porte. During the Greek independence war against the Ottomans, which begins in 1821, the then-archbishop of Cyprus, Kyprianos, three bishops, and hundreds of civic leaders are executed.

1878-1960 BRITISH PERIOD:

In accordance with the Cyprus Convention of 1878, the United Kingdom assumed administration of the island, which remains a part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1914, however, following the Ottoman Empire’s alliance with Germany in the First World War, Britain annexes Cyprus. Under the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey relinquishes all claims to Cyprus in 1923, and the island is recognised a British colony in 1925. During World War II, volunteers from Cyprus serve in the British Armed Forces.

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After the war, despite extending this right to other countries, the British do not grant Cyprus the right to self-determination, despite granting this right to other countries. After all attempts at a peaceful resolution had failed, between 1955 and 1959 the Cypriots engaged in the Armed Liberation Struggle for independence.

1960 REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS:

On August 16, 1960, as a result of the Zurich-London Treaty, Cyprus becomes an independent republic. It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe. The Zurich-London Treaty stipulates that the United Kingdom will maintain two Sovereign Bases on the island at Dhekelia and Akrotiri-Episkopi. In the majority of its articles, the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus is not feasible. 

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In 1963, President of the Republic Archbishop Makarios suggested various modifications to facilitate the state’s effective operation, but the Turkish community responded with a rebellion (December 1963). Consequently, the Turkish ministers resigned from the government, the Turkish civil servants stopped working, and Turkey threatened to invade Cyprus. Since then, the goal of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, acting on directions from the Turkish Government, has been the partitioning and annexation of Cyprus by Turkey. In July 1974, the military junta in authority in Greece stages a coup in Cyprus for the purpose of removing President Makarios. On the 20th of July in 1974, Turkey invades helpless and unprepared Cyprus with 40,000 men. Since 1974, 37% of the island has been occupied by the Turkish military. Overnight, 200,000 Greek Cypriots (40 percent of the Greek Cypriot population) were compelled to abandon their homes in the seized northern region and became refugees. The United Nations General Assembly, the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe, and the Non-Aligned Movement have all condemned the Turkish invasion, the occupation of 37 percent of the island’s territory, and the ongoing violation of the fundamental human rights of the Cypriot people.

MODERN ERA:

Cyprus is part of the European Union, having become a member in 2004. It adopted the Euro on January 1st 2008 as its currency, replacing the Cypriot pound that was in use for decades.
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