Ancient history of Cyprus

Ancient History Of Cyprus

Ancient history of Cyprus

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This article treats the history of Cyprus during Classical Antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the Middle Ages. The earliest written records relating to Cyprus date to the Middle Bronze Age (c. 15th century BC), see Alasiya.

Assyrian Period

The first written source shows Cyprus under Assyrian rule. A stele found in 1845 in Kition commemorates the victory of King Sargon II (721-705 BC) in 709 over the seven kings in the land of Ia', in the district of Iadnana or Atnana. The former is supposedly the Assyrian name of the island, while some authors take the latter to mean Greece (the Islands of the Danaans). There are other inscriptions referring to Ia' in Sargon's palace at Khorsabad.The ten kingdoms listed by an inscription of Esarhaddon in 673/2 BC have been identified as Soloi, Salamis, Paphos, Kourion, Amathus and Kition on the coast, and Tamassos, Ledrai, Idalion and Chytroi in the interior. Later inscriptions add Marion, Lapithos and Kerynia (Kyrenia).The city-kingdoms began to strike their own coins around 500 BC, using the Persian weight system.

The City-Kingdoms

Cyprus gained independence around 669/663. Cemeteries of this period are chiefly rock-cut tombs. They have...
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