Discover History CYPRUS IN ANTIQUITY - 480 BC – 330 AD

CYPRUS IN ANTIQUITY – 480 BC – 330 AD

Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Periods During the Classical period (480-310 BC) Cyprus found itself in the middle of the Greco-Persian Wars.The Greek strategy was to drive the Persians off all Greek lands, including Cyprus,where they succeeded just for a short period, between 450 and 449 BC, when the Athenian fleet led by Kimon took over Marion, liberated Soloi and besieged Kition.

Despite this, Cyprus did eventually become part of the Persian Empire, though still maintaining its independence to a large degree. During the rule of Evagoras of Salamis (411-374 BC) Cyprus developed into one of the most important political and cultural centres of the Hellenic world. Evagoras rebelled against the Persians, but after a lengthy war he was forced to sign a peace treaty with Persia. Throughout Persian rule, Greek influences on Cyprus were very strong.

Deities of the Greek pantheon were introduced and Greek artists were assigned to create the seals of the coins to be minted for use by the Cypriot city-kingdoms. Persian rule came to an end during the Hellenistic period (310-30 BC) during Alexander the Great’s campaign to the East. After Alexander’s death, Ptolemy, one of his successors, became ruler of the island. Strong influences of Alexandria, the capital of the new Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, are evident in all areas of art, such as sculpture, ceramics and statuette making. During the Ptolemaic period Cyprus was mainly used as a military base. The Ptolemies exploited the island’s natural resources, such as copper, timber for the construction of ships, olives and wheat.

The Romans,who took control of Cyprus after the Ptolemies, mainly exploited its copper mines. Although the Roman period proper is said to have begun in 58 BC, Cyprus did not come under Roman rule until 30 BC. During the Roman period (30 BC-330 AD), the name of Cyprus became synonymous with the Latin equivalent name for copper (cuprum). Under Roman rule, as a result of trade Cyprus enjoyed a three hundred year period of economic growth.

One of the main exports at the time was decorative Cypriot pottery. Cypriot jewellery and glassware copied the decorative styles of Roman craft shops. At the start of the Roman period burial tombs were particularly rich, often containing exquisite golden jewellery and crafted glassware. A landmark in the history of Cyprus during the Roman period was the conversion of the island to Christianity by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, starting in 45 AD.

Top Stories

Drop in new covid cases and hospitalised, 202 and one death

  Cyprus recorded one covid-19 death over the past 24 hours, raising the number of victims to 167, 111 men and 56 women with an...

Rapid test locations on Sunday

  Here are the rapid test locations for Sunday January 17 Limassol Tassos Papadopoulos Building-Technical University Limassol (corner of Ifigeneias and Themidos) 8.30-04.30 Ayia Varvara Church Zakaki 9.00-04.30 Ayios Stylianos Church,...

Low visibility on highways as bad weather continues

  Visibility is very low on the Larnaca-Nicosia and Nicosia-Limassol highways, with the network near the Mosfiloti area becoming waterlogged. Police are calling on drivers to...

Explainer: Can Trump pardon himself? Would the courts reject the move?

  As he prepares to end a tumultuous four years as U.S. president facing potential legal jeopardy, Donald Trump has discussed the possibility of pardoning...

U.S. state capitals on edge for armed protests as Trump presidency nears end

  U.S. law enforcement officials are gearing up for pro-Trump marches in all 50 state capitals this weekend, erecting barriers and calling in their National...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...