Ancient Greek history of Cyprus


Ancient Greek history of Cyprus

Greek historians have constructed a history of Cyprus that includes many mythological elements, but may contain valuable information on the early history of some local dynasties.The Greeks believed it to be history and showed the graves and ancestor temples of these people to visitors. All the kings of Cyprus could trace their ancestry back to Teucer, Agapenor and Kinyras and even the bible mentions one of the Kinyradae, Kethimus (Kittim).

From Pygmalion the chronology follows Ovid's Metamorphosis, Apollodorus Bibliothiki and Jerome's Chronicon. Prior to that it follows Plato (Symposium, Critias, Timaeus).

c.1700 BC Aphrodite Ourania comes to Cyprus.

c.1675 BC Aphrodite Zeia Kypris is born to Zeus-Kypros and Dione.

c.1500 Pygmalion Belis comes to the city of Amathus in Cyprus, marries Galatea and begets Paphos.

c.1460 BC Paphos Pygmaliotis is known in Cyprus.

c.1420 BC Adonis Phoenikides is known.

c.1405 BC Kinyras Paphitis founds the city of Paphos but is seduced by his own daughter Smyrna, and begets a son Adonis.

c.1385 BC Laodice, daughter of Kinyras marries Elatus Arcades of Arcadia and gives birth to five sons, Aepytus, Pereus, Cyllen, Ischys, and Stymphalus.

c.1355 BC Pygmalion (father unknown) rules at Paphos.

Sandocus Astynoudes marries Pharnace, daughter of Megassares, king of Hyria in Celixia and begets Kinyras.

c. 1310 BC Kinyras Sandocou, having married Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, becomes king of Cyprus and begets Oxyporus and Adonis, and the daughters, Orsedice, Laogore and Braesia.

c.1220 BC Kinyras (father unknown) rules at Paphos.

1201 BC Kinyras sends Agamemnon Atrides 50 ships, 49 of them made of clay.

1183 BC Agapenor Ancaeou, the king of Arcadia rebuilds Paphos and builds a sanctuary to Aphrodite at Palaepaphos.

c.1180 Teucer Telemonides marries a daughter of Kinyras, begets a daughter Asteria and founds Salamis.

c.1160-unknown time BC Laodice, a descendant of Agapenor sends a robe as a gift for Athena Alea in Tegea.

1150 BC Demophon Thesides, the king of Athens dies in Cyprus.

c.1000-600 BC Euclus foretells of the birth of Homer to Themisto, a native of Salamis.


=Greek Archaic period=

724 BC The Tyrian king Eleuleus’ attempt to invade Cyprus results in the Assyrians laying siege to Tyre after being called to assist the Cypriots.

c.680 BC Ten Cypriot kings, including Pylagoras king of Chytroi, Eteander king of Paphos and Damasus king of Kurion assist Esarhaddon, king of Assyria in his campaign against Egypt.

c.470 BC Amasis compels Cyprus to pay tribute to Egypt after becoming the first man to take it by force.

c.568-522 BC Evelthon is king of Salamis.

c.522-511 BC Siromas rules at Salamis.

c.511-500 BC Chersis Evelthonides rules at Salamis.

c.500-493 BC Gorgus Chersides rules at Salamis.

493-492 BC Onsilus the younger brother of Gorgus rules at Salamis and together with other Cypriot kingdoms revolts against the Persians.

492 BC Gorgus restored at Salamis.

480-465 BC Philaon rules at Salamis.

465-450 Nicodemus rules at Salamis.

c.450 Lacharidas rules at Salamis.

c.450 Evergetis rules at Salamis.

c.445 A Phoenician tyrant usurps the throne of Salamis.

c.420-411 BC Abdemon, the king of Tyre occupies Salamis.

411-374 Evagoras Teukrides takes back Salamis and then conquers Tyre and other parts of Phoenicia and then all of Cyprus.

374-368 BC Nicocles

368-351 Evagoras II

351-332 Pnythagoras fights at sea as an ally of Alexander in the siege of Tyre.

Bible and Jewish sources

Cyprus is mentioned by biblical historian Flavius Josephus as being settled by Kittim, son of Javan, grandson of Japheth. "Cethimus possessed the island Cethima: it is now called Cyprus; and from that it is that all islands, and the greatest part of the sea-coasts, are named Cethim by the Hebrews: and one city there is in Cyprus that has been able to preserve its denomination; it has been called Citius by those who use the language of the Greeks, and has not, by the use of that dialect, escaped the name of Cethim." AotJ I:6.

c.1560 BC Kethimus (Kinyras or Kypros) rules over Cyprus according to the Bible.


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