1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cyprus

CYPRUS, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, nominally in the dominion of Turkey, but under British administration, situated in the easternmost basin of that sea, at roughly equal distance from the coasts of Asia Minor to the north and of Syria to the east. The headland of Cape Kormakiti in Cyprus is distant 44 m. from Cape Anamur in Asia Minor, and its north-east point, Cape St Andrea, is 69 m. from Latakieh in Syria. It lies between 34° 33′ and 35° 41′ N., and between 32° 20′ and 34° 35′ E., so that it is situated in almost exactly the same latitude as Crete. Its greatest length is about 141 m., from Cape Drepano in the west to Cape St Andrea in the north-east, and its greatest breadth, from Cape Gata in the south to Cape Kormakiti in the north, reaches 60 m.; while it retains an average width of from 35 to 50 m. through the greater part of its extent, but narrows suddenly to less than 10 m. about 34° E., and from thence sends out a long narrow tongue of land towards the E.N.E. for a distance of 46 m., terminating in Cape St Andrea. The coast-line measures 486 m. Cyprus is the largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. In 1885 a trigonometrical survey and a map on the scale of 1 in. to 1 m. were made by Captain (afterwards Lord) Kitchener, R.E., who worked out the area of the island at 3584 sq. m., or a little more than the area of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Mountains.—Great part of the island is occupied by two mountain ranges, both of which have a general direction from west to east. Of these the most extensive, as well as the most lofty, is that which fills up almost the whole southern portion of the island, and is generally designated by modern geographers as Mount Olympus, though that name appears to have been applied by the ancients only to one particular peak. The highest summit is known at the present day as Mount Troödos, and attains an elevation of 6406 ft. It sends down subordinate ranges or spurs, of considerable altitude, on all sides, one of which extends to Cape Arnauti (the ancient Acamas), which forms the north-west extremity of the island, while others descend on both sides quite to the northern and southern coasts. On the south-eastern slope are governmental and military summer quarters. The main range is continued eastward by the lofty summits known as Mount Adelphi (5305 ft.), Papoutsa (5124) and Machaira or Chionia (4674), until it ends in the somewhat isolated peak called Santa Croce (Stavrovouni or Oros Stavro), the Hill of the Holy Cross (2260 ft.). This mountain, designated by Strabo Mount Olympus, is a conspicuous object from Larnaca, from which it is only 12 m. distant, and is well known from being frequented as a place of pilgrimage. The northern range of mountains begins at Cape Kormakiti (the ancient Crommyon) and is continued from thence in an unbroken ridge to the eastern extremity of the island, Cape St Andrea, a distance of more than 100 m. It is not known by any collective name; its western part is called the Kyrenia mountains, while the remainder has the name of Carpas. It is inferior in elevation to the southern range, its highest summit (Buffavento) attaining only 3135 ft., while in the eastern portion the elevation rarely exceeds 2000 ft. But it is remarkable for its continuous and unbroken character—consisting throughout of a narrow but rugged and rocky ridge, descending abruptly to the south into the great plain of Lefkosia, and to the north to a narrow plain bordering the coast.

EB1911 - Map of Cyprus.jpg

The Mesaoria.—Between the two mountain ranges lies a broad plain, extending across the island from the bay of Famagusta to that of Morphou on the west, a distance of nearly 60 m., with a breadth varying from 10 to 20 m. It is known by the name of the Mesaoria or Messaria, and is watered by a number of intermittent streams from the mountains on either hand. The chief streams are the Pedias and the Yalias, which follow roughly parallel courses eastward. The greater part of the plain is open and uncultivated, and presents nothing but barren downs; but corn is grown in considerable quantities in the northern portions of it, and there is no doubt that the whole is readily susceptible of cultivation. It is remarkable that Cyprus was celebrated in antiquity for its forests, which not only clothed the whole of its mountain ranges, but covered the entire central plain with a dense mass, so that it was with difficulty that the land could be cleared for cultivation. At the present day the whole plain of the Mesaoria is naturally bare and treeless, and it is only the loftiest and central summits of Mount Olympus that still retain their covering of pine woods. The disappearance of the forests (which has in a measure been artificially remedied) naturally affected the rivers, which are mostly mere torrents, dry in summer. Even the Pedias (ancient Pediaeus) does not reach the sea in summer, and its stagnant waters form unhealthy marshes. In the marshy localities malarial fever occurs but is rarely (in modern times) of a severe type. The mean annual temperature in Cyprus is about 69° F. (mean maximum 78°, and minimum 57°). The mean annual rainfall is about 19 ins. October to March is the cool, wet season. Earthquakes are not uncommon.

Geology.—Cyprus lies in the continuation of the folded belt of the Anti-taurus. The northern coast range is formed by the oldest rocks in the island, consisting chiefly of limestones and marbles with occasional masses of igneous rock. These are supposed to be of Cretaceous age, but no fossils have been found in them. On both sides the range is flanked by sandstones and shales (the Kythraean series), supposed to be of Upper Eocene age; and similar rocks occur around the southern mountain mass. The Oligocene consists of grey and white marls (known as the Idalian series), which are distributed all over the island and attain their greatest development on the south side of the Troödos. All these rocks have been folded, and take part in the formation of the mountains. The great igneous masses of Troödos, &c., consisting of diabase, basalt and serpentine, are of later date. Pliocene and later beds cover the central plain and occur at intervals along the coast. The Pliocene is of marine origin, and rests unconformably upon all the older beds, including the Post-oligocene igneous rocks, thus proving that the final folding and the last volcanic outbursts were approximately of Miocene age. The caves of the Kyrenian range contain a Pleistocene mammalian fauna.

Population.—The population of Cyprus in 1901 was 237,022, an increase of 27,736 since 1891 and of 51,392 since 1881. The people are mainly Greeks and Turks. About 22% of the population are Moslems; nearly all the remainder are Christians of the Orthodox Greek Church. The Moslem religious courts, presided over by cadis, are strictly confined to jurisdiction in religious cases affecting the Mahommedan population. The island is divided into the six districts of Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limasol, Nicosia and Papho. The chief towns are Nicosia (pop. 14,752), the capital, in the north central part of the island, Limasol (8298) and Larnaca (7964) on the south-eastern coast. The other capitals of districts are Famagusta on the east coast, Kyrenia on the north, and Ktima, capital of Papho, on the south-west. Kyrenia, a small port, has a castle built about the beginning of the 13th century, and notable, through the troubled history of the island, as never having been captured.

Agriculture, &c.—The most important species of the few trees that remain in the island are the Aleppo pine, the Pinus laricio, cypress, cedar, carob, olive and Quercus alnifolia. Recent additions are the eucalyptus, casuarina, Pinus pinea and ailanthus. Some protection has been afforded to existing plantations, and some attempt made to extend their area; but the progress in both directions is slow. Agriculture is the chief industry in the island, in spite of various disabilities. The soil is extremely fertile, and, with a fair rainfall, say 13 in., between November and April, yields magnificent crops, but the improvements in agriculture are scarcely satisfactory. The methods and appliances used are extremely primitive, and inveterate prejudice debars the average peasant from the use of new implements, fresh seed, or manure; he generally cares nothing for the rotation of crops, or for the cleanliness of his land. Modern improvements and the use of imported machinery have, however, been adopted by some. A director of agriculture was appointed in 1896, and leaflets are issued pointing out improvements within the means of the villager, and how to deal with plant diseases and insect pests. The products of the soil include grain, fruit, including carob, olive, mulberry, cotton, vegetables and oil seeds. Vineyards occupy a considerable area, and the native wines are pure and strong, but not always palatable. The native practice of conveying wine in tarred skins was deleterious to its flavour, and is now for the most part abolished. A company has exploited and improved the industry. Large sums have been expended on the destruction of locusts; they are now practically harmless, but live locusts are diligently collected every year, a reward being paid by the government for their destruction. Under the superintendence of an officer lent by the government of Madras, two great works of irrigation, from the lack of which agriculture had seriously suffered, were undertaken in 1898 and 1899. The smaller includes a reservoir at Syncrasi (Famagusta), with a catchment of 27 sq. m. and a capacity of 70,000,000 cub. ft. It reclaims 360 acres, and was estimated to irrigate 4320. The larger scheme includes three large reservoirs in the Mesaoria to hold up and temporarily store the flood waters of the Pedias and Yalias rivers. The estimate premised a cost of £50,000, the irrigation of 42,000 acres, and the reclamation of 10,000. These works were completed respectively in 1899 and 1901.

The rearing of live stock is of no little importance. A committee exists “for the improvement of the breeds of Cyprus stock”; stallions of Arab blood have been imported, and prizes are offered for the best donkeys. Cattle, sheep, mules and donkeys are sent in large numbers to Egypt. Cyprus mules have found favour in war in the Crimea, India, Uganda, Eritrea and Egypt. The sea fisheries are not important, with the exception of the sponge fishery, which is under the protection of the administration. The manufactures of the island are insignificant.

Minerals.—Next to its forests, which long supplied the Greek monarchs of Egypt with timber for their fleets, Cyprus was celebrated among the ancients for its mineral wealth, especially for its mines of copper, which were worked from a very early period, and continued to enjoy such reputation among both Greeks and Romans that the modern name for the metal is derived from the term of Aes Cyprium or Cuprium by which it was known to the latter. According to Strabo the most valuable mines were worked at a place called Tamasus, in the centre of the island, on the northern slopes of Mount Olympus, but their exact site has not been identified. An attempt to work copper towards the close of the 19th century was a failure, but some prospecting was subsequently carried on. Besides copper, according to Strabo, the island produced considerable quantities of silver; and Pliny records it as producing various kinds of precious stones, among which he mentions diamonds and emeralds, but these were doubtless nothing more than rock crystal and beryl. Salt, which was in ancient times one of the productions for which the island was noted, is still made in large quantities, and there are extensive salt works in the neighbourhood of Larnaca and Limasol, where there are practically inexhaustible salt lakes. Rock crystal and asbestos are still found in the district of Paphos. Gypsum is exported unburnt from the Carpas, and as plaster of Paris from Limasol and Larnaca. Statuary marble has been found on the slopes of Buffavento in the northern range. Excellent building stone exists throughout the island.

Commerce.—A disability against the trade of Cyprus has been the want of natural harbours, the ports possessing only open roadsteads; though early in the 20th century the construction of a satisfactory commercial harbour was undertaken at Famagusta, and there is a small harbour at Kyrenia. Trade is carried on principally from the ports already indicated among the chief towns. The various agricultural products, cattle and mules, cheese, wines and spirits, silk cocoons and gypsum make up the bulk of the exports. Barley and wheat, carobs and raisins may be specially indicated among the agricultural exports. The annual value of exports and of imports (which are of a general character) may be set down as about £300,000 each. Good roads are maintained connecting the more important towns, and when the harbour at Famagusta was undertaken the construction of a railway from that port to Nicosia was also put in hand. The Eastern Telegraph Co. maintains a cable from Alexandria (Egypt) to Larnaca, and the greater part of the lines on the island. The Imperial Ottoman Telegraph Co. has also some lines. The British sovereign is the current gold coin, the unit of the bronze and silver coinage being the piastre (11/3 penny). Turkish weights and measures are used. The oke, equalling 2.8 ℔ avoirdupois, and the donum, about 1/4 of an acre, are the chief units.

Constitution and Government.—Under a convention signed at Constantinople on the 4th of June 1878, Great Britain engaged to join the sultan of Turkey in defending his Asiatic possessions (in certain contingencies) against Russia, and the sultan, “in order to enable England to make necessary provision for executing her engagement,” consented to assign the island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England. The British flag was hoisted on the 12th of June, and the conditions of the occupation were explained in an annex to the convention, dated the 1st of July. An order in council of the 14th of September, modified so far as related to legislation by another of the 30th of November, regulated the government of the island. The administration was placed in the hands of a high commissioner with the usual powers of a colonial governor. Executive and legislative councils were established; and in each of the six districts into which, for administrative and legal purposes, the island was divided, a commissioner was appointed to represent the government. The executive council consists of the high commissioner, the chief secretary, the king’s advocate, the senior officer in charge of the troops, and the receiver-general, with, as “additional” members, two Christians and one Mussulman. The legislative council consists of six non-elected members, being office-holders, and twelve elected members, three being chosen by the Moslems and nine by the non-Moslem inhabitants. British subjects and foreigners, who have resided five years in Cyprus, can exercise the franchise as well as Ottoman subjects. The qualification otherwise is the payment of any of the taxes classed as Vergi Taxes (see below). The courts in existence at the time of the occupation were superseded by the following, constituted by an order in council dated the 30th of November 1882:—(1) a supreme court of criminal and civil appeal; (2) six assize courts; (3) six district courts; (4) six magistrates’ courts; and (5) village courts. Actions are divided, according to the nationality of the defendant, into “Ottoman” and “Foreign”; in the latter, the president of the court alone exercises jurisdiction as a rule, so also in criminal cases against foreigners. The law administered is that contained in the Ottoman codes, modified by ordinances passed by the legislative council.

Finance.—The principal sources of revenue are:—

(1) Vergi taxes, or taxes on house and land property, and trade profits and incomes (not including salaries); (2) military exemption tax, payable by Moslems and Christians alike, but not by foreigners, of 2s. 6d. a head on males between 18 and 60 years of age; (3) tithes. All tithes have been abolished, except those on cereals, carobs, silk cocoons, and, in the form of 10% ad valorem export duties, those on cotton, linseed, aniseed and raisins (all other export duties and a fishing tax have been abolished); (4) sheep, goat, and pig tax; (5) an excise on wine, spirits and tobacco; (6) import duties; (7) stamps, court fees, royalties, licenses, &c.; (8) salt monopoly. Foreigners are liable to all the above taxes except the military exemption tax. The annual sum of £92,800, payable to Turkey as the average excess (according to the years 1873–1878) of revenue over expenditure, but really appropriated to the interest on the British guaranteed loan of 1855, is a heavy burden. But if not lightened, taxation is at least better apportioned than formerly.

Instruction.—A general system of grants in aid of elementary schools was established in 1882. There are some 300 connected with the Greek Orthodox Church, and 160 elementary Moslem schools. Aid is also given to a few Armenian and Maronite schools. Among other schools are a Moslem high school (maintained entirely by government), a training college at Nicosia for teachers in the Orthodox Church schools, Greek high schools at Larnaca and Limasol, an English school for boys and a girls’ school at Nicosia. By a law of 1895 separate boards of education for Moslem and Greek Christian schools were established, and in each district there are separate committees, presided over by the commissioner. An institution worthy of special notice is the home and farm for lepers near Nicosia, accommodating over a hundred inmates.

History and Archaeology down to the Roman Occupation

The Stone Age has left but few traces in Cyprus; no sites have been found and even single implements are very rare. The “megalithic” monuments of Agia Phaneromeni[1] and Halá Sultán Teké near Larnaca may perhaps be early, like the Palestinian cromlechs; but the vaulted chamber of Agia Katrína near Enkomi seems to be Mycenaean or later; and the perforated monoliths at Ktima seem to belong to oil presses of uncertain but probably not prehistoric date.

The Bronze Age, on the other hand, is of peculiar importance in an area which, like Cyprus, was one of the chief early sources of copper. Its remains have been carefully studied both on settlement sites at Leondári Vounò and Kalopsída, and in tombs in more than thirty places, notably at Agia Paraskevì, Psemmatisméno, Alámbra, Episkopì and Enkomi. Throughout this period, which began probably before 3000 B.C. and ended about 1000 B.C., Cyprus evidently maintained a large population, and an art and culture distinct from those of Egypt, Syria and Cilicia. The Cypriote temper, however, lacks originality; at all periods it has accepted foreign innovations slowly, and discarded them even more reluctantly. The island owes its importance, therefore, mainly to its copious supply of a few raw materials, notably copper and timber. Objects of Cypriote manufacture are found but rarely on sites abroad; in the later Bronze Age, however, they occur in Egypt and South Palestine, and as far afield as Thera (Santorin), Athens and Troy (Hissarlik).

The Bronze Age culture of Cyprus falls into three main stages. In the first, the implements are rather of copper than of bronze, tin being absent or in small quantities (2 to 3%); the types are common to Syria and Asia Minor as far as the Hellespont, and resemble also the earliest forms in the Aegean and in central Europe; the pottery is all hand-made, with a red burnished surface, gourd-like and often fantastic forms, and simple geometrical patterns incised; zoomorphic art is very rare, and imported objects are unknown. In the second stage, implements of true bronze (9 to 10% tin) become common; painted pottery of buff clay with dull black geometrical patterns appears alongside the red-ware; and foreign imports occur, such as Egyptian blue-glazed beads (XIIth-XIIIth Dynasty, 2500–2000 B.C.),[2] and cylindrical Asiatic seals (one of Sargon I., 2000 B.C.).[3]

In the third stage, Aegean colonists introduced the Mycenaean (late Minoan) culture and industries; with new types of weapons, wheel-made pottery, and a naturalistic art which rapidly becomes conventional; gold and ivory are abundant, and glass and enamels are known. Extended intercourse with Syria, Palestine and Egypt brought other types of pottery, jewelry, &c. (especially scarabs of XVIIIth and XIXth Dynasties, 1600–1200 B.C.), which were freely copied on the spot. There is, however, nothing in this period which can be ascribed to specifically “Phoenician” influence; the only traces of writing are in a variety of the Aegean script. The magnificent tombs from Enkomi and Episkopì illustrate the wealth and advancement of Cyprus at this time.[4]

It is in this third stage that Cyprus first appears in history, under the name Asi, as a conquest of Tethmosis (Thothmes) III. of Egypt (XVIIIth Dynasty, c. 1500 B.C.),[5] yielding tribute of chariots, horses, copper, blue-stone and other products. It was still in Egyptian hands under Seti I., and under Rameses III. a list of Cypriote towns seems to include among others the names of Salamis, Citium, Soli, Idalium, Cerynia (Kyrenia), and Curium. Another Egyptian dependency, Alašia, has by some been identified with Cyprus or a part of it (but may perhaps be in North Syria). It sent copper, oil, horses and cattle, ivory and timber; under Amenophis (Amenhotep) III. it exported timber and imported silver; it included a town Şiķra, traded with Byblus in North Syria, and was exposed to piratical raids of Lykki (? Lycians).

The decline of Egypt under the XXth Dynasty, and the contemporary fall of the Aegean sea-power, left Cyprus isolated and defenceless, and the Early Iron Age which succeeds is a period of obscurity and relapse. Iron, which occurs rarely, and almost exclusively for ornaments, in a few tombs at Enkomi, suddenly superseded bronze for tools and weapons, and its introduction was accompanied, as in the Aegean, by economic, and probably by political changes, which broke up the high civilization of the Mycenaean colonies, and reduced them to poverty, isolation and comparative barbarism. It is significant that the first iron swords in Cyprus are of a type characteristic of the lands bordering the Adriatic. Gold and even silver become rare;[6] foreign imports almost cease; engraved cylinders and scarabs are replaced by conical and pyramidal seals like those of Asia Minor, and dress-pins by brooches (fibulae) like those of south-eastern Europe. Representative art languishes, except a few childish terra-cottas; decorative art becomes once more purely geometrical, but shows only slight affinity with the contemporary geometrical art of the Aegean.

Lingering thus in Cyprus (as also in some islands of the Aegean) Mycenaean traditions came into contact with new oriental influences from the Syrian coast; and these were felt in Cyprus somewhat earlier than in the West. But there is at present no clear proof of Phoenician or other Semitic activity in Cyprus until the last years of the 8th century.

No reference to Cyprus has been found in Babylonian or Assyrian records before the reign of Sargon II. (end of 8th century B.C.), and the occasional discovery of Mesopotamian cylinders of early date in Cyprus is no proof of direct intercourse.[7] Isaiah (xxiii. 1, 12), writing about this time, describes Kittim (a name derived from Citium, q.v.) as a port of call for merchantmen homeward bound for Tyre, and as a shelter for Tyrian refugees; but the Hebrew geographers of this and the next century classify Kittim, together with other coast-lands and islands, under the heading Javan, “Ionian” (q.v.), and consequently reckoned it as predominantly Greek.

Sargon’s campaigns in north Syria, Cilicia and south-east Asia Minor (721–711) provoked first attacks, then an embassy and submission in 709, from seven kings of Yatnana (the Assyrian name for Cyprus); and an inscription of Sargon himself, found at Citium, proves an Assyrian protectorate, and records tribute of gold, silver and various timbers. These kings probably represent that “sea-power of Cyprus” which precedes that of Phoenicia in the Greek “List of Thalassocracies” preserved by Eusebius. Under Sennacherib’s rule, Yatnana figures (as in Isaiah) as the refuge of a disloyal Sidonian in 702; but in 668 ten kings of Cypriote cities joined Assur-bani-pal’s expedition to Egypt; most of them bear recognizable Greek names, e.g. Pylagoras of Chytroi, Eteandros of Paphos, Onasagoras of Ledroi. They are gazetted with twelve other “kings of the Hatti” (S.E. Asia Minor). Citium, the principal Phoenician state, does not appear by name; but is usually recognized in the list under its Phoenician title Karṭi–ḥadasti, “new town.”

Thus before the middle of the 7th century Cyprus reappears in history divided among at least ten cities, of which some are certainly Greek, and one at least certainly Phoenician: with this, Greek tradition agrees.[8] The Greek colonists traced their descent, at Curium, from Argos; at Lapathus, from Laconia; at Paphos, from Arcadia; at Salamis, from the Attic island of that name; and at Soli, also from Attica. The settlements at Paphos and Salamis, and probably at Curium, were believed to date from the period of the Trojan War, i.e. from the 13th century, and the latter part of the Mycenaean age; the name of Teucer, the legendary founder of Salamis, probably is a reminiscence of the piratical Tikkara who harried the Egyptian coast under Rameses III. (c. 1200 B.C.), and the discovery of late Mycenaean settlements on these sites, and also at Lapathus, suggests that these legends rest upon history. The Greek dialect of Cyprus points in the same direction; it shows marked resemblances with that of Arcadia, and forms with it a “South Achaean” or “South Aeolic” group, related to the “Northern Aeolic” of Thessaly and other parts of north Greece.[9] Further evidence of continuity comes from the peculiar Cypriote script, a syllabary related to the linear scripts of Crete and the south Aegean, and traceable in Cyprus to the Mycenaean age.[10] It remained in regular use until the 4th century; before that time the Greek alphabet occurs in Cyprus only in a few inscriptions erected for visitors.[11] In Citium and Idalium, on the other hand, a Phoenician dialect and alphabet were in use from the time of Sargon onward.[12] Sargon’s inscription at Citium is cuneiform.[13]

The culture and art of Cyprus in this Graeco-Phoenician period are well represented by remains from Citium, Idalium, Tamassus, Amathus and Curium; the earlier phases are best represented round Lapathus, Soli, Paphos and Citium; the later Hellenization, at Amathus and Marion-Arsinoë. Three distinct foreign influences may be distinguished: they originate in Egypt, in Assyria, and in the Aegean. The first two predominate earlier, and gradually recede before the last-named. Their effects are best seen in sculpture and in metal work, though it remains doubtful whether the best examples of the latter were made in Cyprus or on the mainland. Among a great series of engraved silver bowls,[14] found mostly in Cyprus, but also as far off as Nineveh, Olympia, Caere and Praeneste, some examples show almost unmixed imitation of Egyptian scenes and devices; in others, Assyrian types are introduced among the Egyptian in senseless confusion; in others, both traditions are merged in a mixed art, which betrays a return to naturalism and a new sense of style, like that of the Idaean bronzes in Crete.[15] From its intermediate position between the art of Phoenicia and its western colonies (so far as this is known) and the earliest Hellenic art in the Aegean, this style has been called Graeco-Phoenician. The same sequence of phases is represented in sculpture by the votive statues from the sanctuaries of Aphrodite at Dali and of Apollo at Vóni and Frángissa; and by examples from other sites in the Cesnola collection; in painting by a rare class of naïvely polychromic vases; and in both by the elaborately coloured terra-cotta figures from the “Toumba” site at Salamis. Gem-engraving and jewelry follow similar lines; pottery-painting for the most part remains geometrical throughout, with crude survivals of Mycenaean curvilinear forms. Those Aegean influences, however, which had been predominant in the later Bronze Age, and had never wholly ceased, revived, as Hellenism matured and spread, and slowly repelled the mixed Phoenician orientalism. Imported vases from the Aegean, of the “Dipylon,” “proto-Corinthian” and “Rhodian” fabrics, occur rarely, and were imitated by the native potters; and early in the 6th century appears the specific influence of Ionia, and still more of Naucratis in the Egyptian delta. For the failure of Assyria in Egypt in 668–664, and the revival of Egypt as a phil-Hellene state under the XXVIth Dynasty, admitted strong Graeco-Egyptian influences in industry and art, and led about 560 B.C. to the political conquest of Cyprus by Amasis (Ahmosi) II.;[16] once again Cypriote timber maintained a foreign sea-power in the Levant.

The annexation of Egypt by Cambyses of Persia in 525 B.C. was preceded by the voluntary surrender of Cyprus, which formed part of Darius’s “fifth satrapy.”[17] The Greek cities, faring ill under Persia, and organized by Onesilaus of Salamis, joined the Ionic revolt in 500 B.C.;[18] but the Phoenician states, Citium and Amathus, remained loyal to Persia; the rising was soon put down; in 480 Cyprus furnished no less than 150 ships to the fleet of Xerxes;[19] and in spite of the repeated attempts of the Delian League to “liberate” the island, it remained subject to Persia during the 5th century.[20] The occasion of the siege of Idalium by Persians (which is commemorated in an important Cypriote inscription) is unknown.[21] Throughout this period, however, Athens and other Greek states maintained a brisk trade in copper, sending vases and other manufactures in return, and bringing Cyprus at last into full contact with Hellenism. But the Greek cities retained monarchical government throughout, and both the domestic art and the principal religious cults remained almost unaltered. The coins of the Greek dynasts and autonomous towns are struck on a variable standard with a stater of 170 to 180 grs.[22] The principal Greek cities were now Salamis, Curium, Paphos, Marion, Soli, Kyrenia and Khytri. Phoenicians held Citium and Amathus on the south coast between Salamis and Curium, also Tamassus and Idalium in the interior; but the last named was little more than a sanctuary town, like Paphos. At the end of the 5th century a fresh Salaminian League was formed by Evagoras (q.v.), who became king in 410, aided the Athenian Conon after the fall of Athens in 404, and revolted openly from Persia in 386, after the peace of Antalcidas.[23] Athens again sent help, but as before the Phoenician states supported Persia; the Greeks were divided by feuds, and in 380 the attempt failed; Evagoras was assassinated in 374, and his son Nicocles died soon after. After the victory of Alexander the Great at Issus in 333 B.C. all the states of Cyprus welcomed him, and sent timber and ships for his siege of Tyre in 332.

After Alexander’s death in 323 B.C. Cyprus, coveted still for its copper and timber, passed, after several rapid changes, to Ptolemy I., king of Egypt. Then in 306 B.C. Demetrius Poliorcetes of Macedon overran the whole island, besieged Salamis, and utterly defeated there the Egyptian fleet. Ptolemy, however, recovered it in 295 B.C. Under Ptolemaic rule Cyprus has little history. Usually it was governed by a viceroy of the royal line, but it gained a brief independence under Ptolemy Lathyrus (107-89 B.C.), and under a brother of Ptolemy Auletes in 58 B.C. The great sanctuaries of Paphos and Idalium, and the public buildings of Salamis, which were wholly remodelled in this period, have produced but few works of art; the sculpture from local shrines at Vóni and Vitsáda, and the frescoed tombstones from Amathus, only show how incapable the Cypriotes still were of utilizing Hellenistic models; a rare and beautiful class of terra-cottas like those of Myrina may be of Cypriote fabric, but their style is wholly of the Aegean. It is in this period that we first hear of Jewish settlements,[24] which later become very populous.

In 58 B.C. Rome, which had made large unsecured loans to Ptolemy Auletes, sent M. Porcius Cato to annex the island, nominally because its king had connived at piracy, really because its revenues and the treasures of Paphos were coveted to finance a corn law of P. Clodius.[25] Under Rome Cyprus was at first appended to the province of Cilicia; after Actium (31 B.C.) it became a separate province, which remained in the hands of Augustus and was governed by a legatus Caesaris pro praetore as long as danger was feared from the East.[26] No monuments remain of this period. In 22 B.C., however, it was transferred to the senate,[27] so that Sergius Paulus, who was governor in A.D. 46, is rightly called ἀνθύπατος(proconsul).[28] Of Paulus no coins are known, but an inscription exists.[29] Other proconsuls are Julius Cordus and L. Annius Bassus who succeeded him in A.D. 52.[30] The copper mines, which were still of great importance, were farmed at one time by Herod the Great.[31] The persecution of Christians on the mainland after the death of Stephen drove converts as far as Cyprus; and soon after converted Cypriote Jews, such as Mnason (an “original convert” ) and Joses the Levite (better known as Barnabas), were preaching in Antioch. The latter revisited Cyprus twice, first with Paul on his “first journey” in A.D. 46, and later with Mark.[32] In 116–117 the Jews of Cyprus, with those of Egypt and Cyrene, revolted, massacred 240,000 persons, and destroyed a large part of Salamis. Hadrian, afterwards emperor, suppressed them, and expelled all Jews from Cyprus.

For the culture of the Roman period there is abundant evidence from Salamis and Paphos, and from tombs everywhere, for the glass vessels which almost wholly supersede pottery are much sought for their (quite accidental) iridescence; not much else is found that is either characteristic or noteworthy; and little attention has been paid to the sequence of style.

The Christian church of Cyprus was divided into thirteen bishoprics. It was made autonomous in the 5th century, in recognition of the supposed discovery of the original of St Matthew’s Gospel in a “tomb of Barnabas” which is still shown at Salamis. The patriarch has therefore the title μακαριώτατος and the right to sign his name in red ink. A council of Cyprus, summoned by Theophilus of Alexandria in A.D. 401, prohibited the reading of the works of Origen (see Cyprus, Church of).

Of the Byzantine period little remains but the ruins of the castles of St Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantára; and a magnificent series of gold ornaments and silver plate, found near Kyrenia in 1883 and 1897 respectively. Christian tombs usually contain nothing of value.

The Frank conquest is represented by the “Crusaders’ Tower” at Kolossi, and the church of St Nicholas at Nicosia; and, later, by masterpieces of a French Gothic style, such as the church (mosque) of St Sophia, and other churches at Nicosia; the cathedral (mosque) and others at Famagusta (q.v.), and the monastery at Bella Pais; as well as by domestic architecture at Nicosia; and by forts at Kyrenia, Limasol and elsewhere.

The Turks and British have added little, and destroyed much, converting churches into mosques and grain-stores, and quarrying walls and buildings at Famagusta.

History of Excavation.—Practically all the archaeological discoveries above detailed have been made since 1877. A few chance finds of vases, inscriptions and coins; of a hoard of silver bowls at Dali (anc. Idalium)[33] in 1851; and of a bronze tablet with Phoenician and Cypriote bilingual inscriptions,[34] also at Dali, and about the same time, had raised questions of great interest as to the art and the language of the ancient inhabitants. T. B. Sandwith, British consul 1865–1869, had laid the foundations of a sound knowledge of Cypriote pottery;[35] his successor R. H. Lang (1870–1872) had excavated a sanctuary of Aphrodite at Dali;[36] and at the time of the publication of the 9th ed. of the Ency. Brit.,[37] General Louis P. di Cesnola (q.v.), American consul, was already exploring ancient sites, and opening tombs, in all parts of the island, though his results were not published till 1877.[38] But though his vast collection, now in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, remains the largest series of Cypriote antiquities in the world, the accounts which have been given of its origin are so inadequate, and have provoked so much controversy,[39] that its scientific value is small, and a large part of subsequent excavation has necessarily been directed to solving the problems suggested by its practically isolated specimens. From 1876 to 1878 Major Alexander P. di Cesnola continued his brother’s work, but the large collection which he exhibited in London in 1880 was dispersed soon afterwards.[40]

On the British occupation of Cyprus in 1878, the Ottoman law of 1874 in regard to antiquities was retained in force. Excavation is permitted under government supervision, and the finds are apportioned in thirds, between the excavator, the landowner (who is usually bought out by the former), and the government. The government thirds lie neglected in a “Cyprus Museum” maintained at Nicosia by voluntary subscription. There is no staff, and no effective supervision of ancient sites or monuments. A catalogue of the collections was published by the Oxford University Press in 1899.[41]

Since 1878 more than seventy distinct excavations have been made in Cyprus, of which the following are the most important. In 1879 the British government used the acropolis of Citium (Larnaca) to fill up the ancient harbour; and from the destruction a few Phoenician inscriptions and a proto-Ionic capital were saved. In 1882 tombs were opened by G. Hake at Salamis and Curium for the South Kensington Museum, but no scientific record was made. In 1883 the Cyprus Museum was founded by private enterprise, and on its behalf Max Ohnefalsch-Richter, who had already made trial diggings for Sir Charles Newton and the British Museum, excavated sanctuaries at Vóni and Kythréa (Chytri), and opened tombs on some other sites.[42]

In 1885 Dr F. Dümmler opened tombs at Dali, Alámbra and elsewhere, and laid the foundations of knowledge of the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age;[43] and Richter, on behalf of officials and private individuals, excavated parts of Frángissa (Tamassus), Episkopì and Dali.[44]

In the same year, 1885, and in 1886, a syndicate opened many tombs at Póli-tis-Khrýsochou (Marium, Arsinoë), and sold the contents by auction in Paris. From Richter’s notes of this excavation, Dr P. Herrmann compiled the first scientific account of Graeco-Phoenician and Hellenistic Cyprus.[45] In 1886 also M. le vicomte E. de Castillon de St Victor opened rich Graeco-Phoenician tombs at Episkopì, the contents of which are in the Louvre.[46]

The successes of 1885–1886 led to the foundation of the Cyprus Exploration Fund, on behalf of which (1) in 1888 the sanctuary of Aphrodite at Paphos (Kouklia) was excavated by Messrs E. Gardner, M. R. James, D. G. Hogarth and R. Elsey Smith;[47] (2) in 1889–1890 more tombs were opened at Póli by Messrs J. A. R. Munro and H. A. Tubbs;[48] (3) in 1890–1891 extensive trials were made at Salamis, by the same;[49] (4) minor sites were examined at Leondári Vounò (1888),[50] Amargetti (1888),[51] and Limniti (1889);[52] (5) in 1888 Hogarth made a surface-survey of the Karpass promontory;[53] and finally, (6) in 1894 the balance was expended by J. L. Myres in a series of trials, to settle special points, at Agia Paraskevì, Kalopsída and Larnaca.[54] In 1894 also Dr Richter excavated round Idalium and Tamassus for the Prussian government: the results, unpublished up to 1902, are in the Berlin Museum.[55] Finally, a legacy from Miss Emma T. Turner enabled the British Museum to open numerous tombs, by contract, of the Graeco-Phoenician age, in 1894, at Palaeò-Lemessò (Amathus); and of the Mycenaean age, in 1894–1895 at Episkopì, in 1895–1896 at Enkomi (near Salamis), and in 1897–1899 on small sites between Larnaca and Limasol.[56]

For ancient Oriental references to Cyprus see E. Oberhummer, Die Insel Cypern, i. (Munich, 1903); for classical references, W. H. Engel, Kypros (2 vols., Berlin, 1841); for culture and art, G. Perrot and C. Chipiez, Histoire de l’art dans l’antiquité, vol. iii. “Phénicie et Cypre” (Paris, 1885); L. P. di Cesnola, A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypr. Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (3 vols., Boston, U.S.A., 1884–1886); M. Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, the Bible and Homer (2 vols., London and Berlin, 1893); J. L. Myres and M. Ohnefalsch-Richter, Cyprus Museum Catalogue (Oxford, 1899). The principal publications on special topics are given in the footnotes. For Cypriote coins see also Numismatics. See further the general bibliography below. (J. L. M.) 

Modern History

After the division of the Roman empire Cyprus naturally passed, with all the neighbouring countries, into the hands of the Eastern or Byzantine emperors, to whom it continued subject, with brief intervals, for more than seven centuries. Until 644 the island was exceedingly prosperous, but in that year began the period of Arab invasions, which continued intermittently until 975. At the outset the Arabs under the caliph Othman made themselves masters of the island, and destroyed the city of Salamis, which until that time had continued to be the capital. The island was recovered by the Greek emperors and, though again conquered by the Arabs in the reign of Harun al-Rashid (802), it was finally restored to the Byzantine empire under Nicephorus Phocas. Its princes became practically independent, and tyrannized the island, until in 1191 Isaac Comnenus provoked the wrath of Richard I., king of England, by wantonly ill-treating his crusaders. He thereupon wrested the island from Isaac, whom he took captive. He then sold Cyprus to the Knights Templars, who presently resold it to Guy de Lusignan, titular king of Jerusalem.

Guy ruled from 1192 till his death in 1194; his brother Amaury took the title of king, and from this time Cyprus was governed for nearly three centuries by a succession of kings of the same dynasty, who introduced into the island the feudal system and other institutions of western Europe. During the later part of this period, indeed, the Genoese made themselves masters of Famagusta—which had risen in place of Salamis to be the chief commercial city in the island—and retained possession of it for a considerable time (1376–1464); but it was recovered by King James II., and the whole island was reunited under his rule. His marriage with Caterina Cornaro, a Venetian lady of rank, was designed to secure the support of the powerful republic of Venice, but had the effect after a few years, in consequence of his own death and that of his son James III., of transferring the sovereignty of the island to his new allies. Caterina, feeling herself unable to contend alone with the increasing power of the Turks, was induced to abdicate the sovereign power in favour of the Venetian republic, which at once entered into full possession of the island (1489).

The Venetians retained their acquisition for eighty-two years, notwithstanding the neighbourhood of the Turks. Cyprus was now harshly governed by a lieutenant, and the condition of the natives, who had been much oppressed under the Lusignan dynasty, became worse. In 1570 the Turks, under Selim II., made a serious attempt to conquer the island, in which they landed an army of 60,000 men. The greater part of the island was reduced with little difficulty; Nicosia, the capital, was taken after a siege of 45 days, and 20,000 of its inhabitants put to the sword. Famagusta alone made a gallant and protracted resistance, and did not capitulate till after a siege of nearly a year’s duration (August 1571). The terms of the capitulation were shamefully violated by the Turks, who put to death the governor Marcantonio Bragadino with cruel torments. From that time Cyprus was under Turkish administration until the agreement with Great Britain in 1878. Its history during that period is almost a blank. A serious insurrection broke out in 1764, but was speedily suppressed; and a few similar incidents are the only evidence of the Turkish oppression of the Christian population of the island, and the consequent stagnation of its trade.

Authorities.An Attempt at a Bibliography of Cyprus, by C. D. Cobham (4th ed., Nicosia, 1900), registers over 700 works which deal with Cyprus. A Handbook of Cyprus, by Sir J. T. Hutchinson and C. D. Cobham (London), treats the island briefly from every standpoint. See also E. Oberhummer, Die Insel Cypern (Munich, 1903 et seq.), a comprehensive work. The most interesting travels may be found under the names of Felix Faber, Evagatorium (Stuttgart, 1843); de Villamont, Voyages (Arras, 1598); van Kootwyck, Cotovici itinerarium (Antwerp, 1619); R. Pococke, Description of the East (London, 1743); A. Drummond, Travels (London, 1754); E. D. Clarke, Travels (London, 1812); Sir S. Baker, Cyprus in 1879 (London, 1879); W. H. Mallock, In an Enchanted Island (London, 1879). The geology of the island has been handled by A. Gaudry, Géologie de l’île de Chypre (Paris, 1862); C. V. Bellamy, Notes on the Geology of Cyprus, to accompany a Geological Map of Cyprus (London, 1905); C. V. Bellamy and A. J. Jukes-Brown, Geology of Cyprus (Plymouth, 1905). Its natural history by F. Unger and T. Kotschy, Die Insel Cypern (Wien, 1865). Numismatics by the Duc de Luynes, Numismatique et inscriptions cypriotes (Paris, 1852); R. H. Lang, Numism. Chronicle, vol. xi. (1871); J. P. Six, Rev. num. pp. 249–374 (Paris, 1883); and E. Babelon, Monnaies grecques (Paris, 1893). The coins of medieval date have been described by P. Lambros, Monnaies inédites (Athens, 1876); and G. Schlumberger, Num. de l’orient latin (Paris, 1878). Inscriptions in the Cypriote character have been collected by M. Schmidt, Sammlung (Jena, 1876); and W. Deecke, Die griechisch-kyprischen Inschriften (Göttingen, 1883); in Phoenician in the C.I.P. (Paris, 1881). J. Meursius, Cyprus (Amsterdam, 1675), marshals the classical authorities; and W. Engel, Kypros (Berlin, 1841), gives a good summary of the ancient history of the island. For the Phoenician element, see F. Movers, Die Phönizier (Bonn and Berlin, 1841–1856). L. Comte de Mas Latrie published between 1852 and 1861 one volume of History (1191–1291), and two of most precious documents in illustration of the reigns of the Lusignan kings. Fra Stefano Lusignano, Chorograffia di Cipro (Bologna, 1573), and Bp. Stubbs, Two Lectures (Oxford, 1878), are useful for the same period; and perhaps a score of contemporary pamphlets—the best of them by N. Martinengo, Relatione di tutto il successo di Famagosta (Venezia, 1572), and A. Calepio (in Lusignan’s Chorograffia)—preserve details of the famous sieges of Nicosia and Famagusta. G. Mariti, Viaggi (Lucca, 1769; Eng. trans. C. D. Cobham, 2nd ed., 1909), and Cyprianos, History (Venice, 1768), are the best authorities of Cyprus under Turkish rule. Medieval tombs and their inscriptions are recorded and illustrated in T. J. Chamberlayne, Lacrimae nicossienses (Paris, 1894); and C. Enlart’s volumes, L’Art gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre (Paris, 1899), deal with medieval architecture. For Cypriote pottery in Athens and Constantinople, see G. Nicole, Bulletin de l’Institut Genevois, xxxvii.

  1. M. Ohnefalsch-Richter, Arch. Zeitung (1881), p. 311, pl. xviii. The principal publications respecting this and all sites and phases of culture mentioned in this section are collected in Myres and Ohnefalsch-Richter, Cyprus Museum Catalogue (Oxford, 1899), pp. 1-35.
  2. Myres, Journ. Hellenic Studies, xvii. p. 146.
  3. Sayce, Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch. v. pp. 441–444. The exact provenance of these cylinders is not known, but there is every reason to believe that they were found in Cyprus.
  4. British Museum, Excavations in Cyprus (London, 1900). The official publication stands alone in referring these tombs to the Hellenic period (800–600 B.C.).
  5. E. Oberhummer, Die Insel Cypern (Munich, 1903), i. pp. 1-3 (all the Egyptian evidence).
  6. A. J. Evans, Journ. Anthrop. Inst. xxx. p. 199 ff.; J. Naue, Die vorrömischen Schwerter (Munich, 1903), p. 25.
  7. E. Oberhummer, l.c. p. 5 ff. (all the Assyrian and biblical
  8. W. H. Engel, Kypros (Berlin, 1841) (all the Greek traditions).
  9. Moriz Schmidt, Z. f. vergl. Sprachw. (1860), p. 290 ff., 361 ff.; H. W. Smith, Trans. Amer. Philol. Assoc. xviii. (1887); R. Meister, Zum eleischen, arkadischen u. kyprischen Dialekte (Leipzig, 1890); O. Hoffmann, Die griechischen Dialekte, i. (Göttingen, 1891); C. D. Cobham, Bibliography of Cyprus, pp. 40-45.
  10. G. Smith, Tr. Soc. Bibl. Arch. i. 129 ff.; Moritz Schmidt, Monatsb. k. Ak. Wiss. (Berlin, 1874), pp. 614–615; Sammlung kypr. Inschriften (Jena, 1876); W. Deecke, Ursprung der kypr. Sylbenschrift (Strassburg, 1877); cf. Deecke-Collitz, Samml. d. gr. Dialektinschriften, i. (Göttingen, 1884); cf. C. D. Cobham, l.c. On its Aegean origin, A. J. Evans, “Cretan Pictographs” (1895), Journ. Hell. Studies, xiv., cf. xvii.; British Museum, Exc. in Cypr. (London, 1900), p. 27.
  11. British Museum, Exc. in Cypr. (London, 1900), p. 95 (Ionic inscriptions of 5th century from Amathus).
  12. M. de Voguë, Mélanges d’archéologie orientale (Paris, 1869); J. Euting, Sitzb. k. preuss. Ak. Wiss. (1887), pp. 115 ff.; Ph. Berger, C. R. Acad. Inscr. (1887), pp. 155 ff., 187 ff., 203 ff. Cf. Corpus Inscr. Semit. (Paris, 1881), ii. 35 ff.
  13. E. Schrader, Abh. d. k. preuss. Ak. Wiss. (1881).
  14. G. Perrot and C. Chipiez, Histoire de l’art dans l’antiquité, iii. (Paris, 1885), interpret these and most other Cypriote materials without reserve as “Phoenician.”
  15. F. Halbherr and P. Orsi, Antichità dell’ antro di Zeus Ideo in Creta (Rome, 1888). Cf. H. Brunn, Griechische Kunstgeschichte (Munich, 1893), i. 90 ff.
  16. Herod. ii. 182; see also Egypt: History (Dyn. XXVI.).
  17. Herod. iii. 19. 91; see also Persia: History.
  18. Herod. v. 108, 113, 115.
  19. Herod. vii. 90.
  20. Thuc. i. 94, 112.
  21. M. Schmidt, Die Inschrift von Idalion (Jena, 1874).
  22. G. F. Hill, Brit. Mus. Cat. Coins of Cyprus (London, 1904). Earlier literature in Cobham, l.c. p. 39.
  23. H. F. Talbot, Tr. Soc. Bibl. Arch. v. 447 ff. (translation). For Evagoras and the place of Cyprus in later Greek history, see G. Grote, History of Greece (Index, s.v.), and W. H. Engel, Kypros (Berlin, 1841).
  24. 1 Macc. xv. 23.
  25. Livy, Epit. 104; Cic. pro Sestio, 26, 57.
  26. Dio Cass. liii. 12; Strabo 683, 840.
  27. 27
  28. Acts xiii. 7.
  29. D. G. Hogarth, Devia Cypria, pp. 114 ff. and app.
  30. Corp. Inscr. Lat. 2631-2632.
  31. Jos. Ant. 16. 4, 5; 19. 26, 28.
  32. Acts iv. 36, xi. 19, 20, xiii. 4-13, xv. 39, xxi. 16.
  33. De Longpérier, Athenæum français (1853), pp. 413 ff.; Musée Napoléon, pls. x. xi.
  34. De Luynes, Numismatique et inscriptions chypriotes (1852).
  35. Archaeologia, xlv. (1877), pp. 127-142.
  36. Trans. Roy. Soc. Literature, 2nd ser. xi. (1878), pp. 30 ff.
  37. Article “Cyprus” ad. fin.
  38. Cyprus: its Cities, Tombs and Temples (London, 1877).
  39. See Cobham, An Attempt at a Bibliography of Cyprus (4th ed., Nicosia, 1900), Appendix, “Cesnola Controversy,” p. 54.
  40. The Lawrence-Cesnola Collection (London, 1881); Salaminia, id. 1882.
  41. Myres and Ohnefalsch-Richter, A Catalogue of the Cyprus Museum, with a Chronicle of Excavations since the British Occupation, and Introductory Notes on Cypriote Archaeology (Oxford, 1899).
  42. Mitt. d. arch. Inst. ii. (Athens, 1881).
  43. Mitt. d. arch. Inst. vi. (Athens, 1886); Bemerkungen z. ält Kunsthandwerk, &c., ii. “Der kypr. geometrische Stil” (Halle, 1888).
  44. Summarized in Cyprus, the Bible and Homer (London and Berlin, 1893).
  45. Das Gräberfeld von Marion (Berlin, 1888).
  46. Archives des missions scientifiques, xvii. (Paris, 1891).
  47. Journal of Hellenic Studies, ix. (London, 1888).
  48. Id. xi. (1890); xii. (1891).
  49. Id. xii. (1891).
  50. Id. ix. (1888).
  51. Id. ix. (1888).
  52. Id. xi. (1890).
  53. Devia Cypria (Oxford, 1889).
  54. J.H.S. xvii. (1897).
  55. Summarized in Cyprus Museum Catalogue (Oxford, 1899).
  56. Excavations in Cyprus (London, 1900).