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Cyprus History

 

7000-3900 BC NEOLITHIC AGE

 

The oldest remains that were found in Cyprus date back from this period. Pottery replaced the stone ware after 5000 BC

 

3900-2500 BC CHALCOLITHIC AGE

 

Proof of chalcolithic settlements and cult fertility were found on the Western coast. Copper is also discovered and exploited initially on small scale.

 

2500-1050 BC BRONZE AGE

 

Copper attracts prospectors to explore its Copper that is now exploited bringing prosperity and wealth to Cyprus.

Cyprus under it s known name ’Alasia’, trades with nearby countries including the Aegean.

After 1400 BC, Mycenaean Greeks visit the island as merchants. During the12th and 11th century, a wave of Achaean Greek settlers, bring the Greek Language, religion and customs. Cyprus is now entering a Hellenistic period and city-kingdoms are established.

 

1050-750 BC GEOMETRIC PERIOD

 

Cyprus has now ten cities, is very prosperous and the cult of goddess Aphrodite is now flourishing.

 

750-325 BC ARCHAIC AND CLASSICAL PERIOD

 

Prosperity continues, but the island is envied and attacked by Conquerors. King Evagoras of Salamis (who ruled from 411-374 BC) succeeds in unifying Cyprus and makes the island one of the leading political and cultural centers of the Greek world.

 

333-325 BC ALEXANDER THE GREAT

 

Alexander the Great , is welcomed by all city kingdoms and Cyprus becomes part of his Empire.

 

325-58 BC HELLENISTIC PERIOD

 

A conflict as to who will rule after Alexander the Great is unsettling Cyprus, but the island eventually falls into the Greek Alexandrine world of the Ptolemies of Egypt. They abolish the city-kingdoms and unify Cyprus with Paphos as the new capital.

 

58 BC - 330 AD ROMAN PERIOD

 

Cyprus is already part of the Roman Empire and is visited by Apostles Paul and Barnabas (the founder of the Church of Cyprus) during their missionary travels. The governor of Cyprus, Roman Sergius Paulus is converted to Christianity and Cyprus becomes the first country governed by a Christian

Between 1st Century BC and 1st Century AD, destructive earthquakes destroy cities.

 

330 -1191 AD BYZANTINE PERIOD

 

The Roman Empire is divided and Cyprus comes under the Eastern Roman Empire ruled by the city of Byzantium (later called Constantinople).It was a peaceful and prosperous province. Empress Helena visits Cyprus and founds the Stavrovouni Monastery.

More destructive earthquakes during the 4th century completely destroy the main cities. New cities are to be built.

Basilicas are built and after the tomb of St Barnabas is found in 488 AD, the Byzantine Emperor Zenon,  grants Cyprus full autonomy with special privileges.

For three centuries Cyprus is constantly attacked by Arabs and pirates. Prosperous cities are destroyed and the island is completely or at times occupied by the invaders.

In 965, the Byzantine Empire regained control again.

 

1191-1192 RICHARD THE LIONHEART AND THE TEMPLARS

 

During the Third Crusade, 1191c, King Richard the Lionheart of England fleet is shipwrecked near Cyprus. The self proclaimed ‘Emperor of Cyprus’ Isaac Comnenus is not in aid to the survivors and the King in revenge  takes possession of Cyprus .A year later he sells the island to Guy de Lusignan the Frankish crusade-king of Jerusalem.

 

1192-1489 FRANKISH (LUSIGNAN) PERIODS

 

Cyprus is ruled in a feudal system and the Catholic Church replaces the Greek Orthodox. The island manages to survive even though is under sever suppression. The era of the Lusignan dynasty ends when the last Queen of Cyprus Caterina Cornaro cedes Cyprus in 1489 to the Venetians to be used as a military base and trade center.

 

1489-1571 VENETIAN PERIOD

 

Venetians fortify the island by building impressive walls around Famagusta and fortify Nicosia. Cyprus is for them a bastion against Ottomans in the east Mediterranean.

 

1571-1878 OTTOMAN PERIOD

 

The Medieval period ends when in 1570 Ottomans attack Cyprus and capture Nicosia .Famagusta was under siege for a year. The Greek Orthodox Church is restored but when the Greek War of Independence breaks out in 1921, the Archbishop of Cyprus, Kyprianos, bishops and prominent Cypriots are executed. Catholics on the island were given the choice of conversion (either to Islam or Orthodoxy) or exile.

During these times, a number of soldiers, and craftsmen from various provinces of Turkey (Anatolia), were settling on the island. There was no plan for these immigrants even though the number reached 30,000. Muslim Turks settling in various areas all around the island.

 

1878-1960 BRITISH PERIOD

 

Under the 1878 Cyprus Convention, Britain is taking administration of the island. The island remains part of the Ottoman Empire until it is formally annexed and given the title of Crown Colony in 1925.

 

1960 REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS

 

On August 16th, 1960 Cyprus is proclaimed an Independent state. The Zurich-London Treaty is signed by Turkey, United Kingdom and Greece and a new constitution is drafted. Britain will keep two Sovereign Bases in Cyprus and all three mother states are to become the Guarantors.

Cyprus becomes a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Council of Europe

The government set up as well as the administration positions, parliament and all posts, are allocated by ethnic group percentage however minority Turkish Cypriots are granted a 30% Veto.

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The Constitution resulting from the Treaty was actually a very unreasonable and impractical one; it divided the people into ethnic communities and managing the state or any division of it was very expensive and impractical. Amending proposals by Archbishop Makarios III were violently rejected by the Turkish government.

 

Turkey threatens to invade Cyprus up until July 1974 when she actually invades the island. 40,000 Turkish soldiers landed in Cyprus violating all UN treaties and peace principles.40% of the Greek Cypriot population was evicted from their homes, became refugees, some were killed or some are still missing. App. 50,000 Turkish Cypriots were forced as well to dislocate in the North already under Turkish Forces control; they settled in the homes of the evicted Greek Cypriots.

 

Turkey established the illegal state of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognized by Turkey .It continues to occupy 40% of the island through force.

 

2004 Joining the EU

 

Following the signing of the EU Enlargement Treaty in Athens on April 16, 2003 and its subsequent ratification by

The Cypriot House of Representatives, Cyprus has officially joined the EU on May 01, 2004. Cyprus adopts the Euro in 2008