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Cy′prus, an island of the Mediterranean, south of Asia Minor and west of Syria.  It is about 140 miles long and 60 miles wide, and covers 3,584 square miles.  There are two main ranges of mountains; the highest peak is Mt. Troödes, 6,352 feet above the sea.  There are no harbors, rivers or lakes worthy of the name.  It is governed by Great Britain by treaty (1878) with Turkey.  The capital and seat of government is Nicosia (population, 16,052); the two chief ports are Larnaca and Limasol.

Cyprus was colonized very early by the Phœnicians and afterward by the Greeks.  It came under the sway successively of the Egyptians, Persians, Macedonians and Romans.  The Cypriotes were one of the first Gentile people to become Christians, and were visited by St. Paul.  The island was afterward taken by the Saracens; by Richard I on his way to Syria during the third crusade; by Venice; and lastly by the Turks in 1570.  In 1878 Cyprus was occupied by the British, with the understanding that it is to keep it until Batum, Kars and Erzerum are restored by Russia to Turkey.

Cyprus produces wheat, barley, cotton, silk, flax, tobacco, wool, oranges, olives, grapes, etc. and great quantities of wine.  Cyprus was once noted for its copper-mines, and copper got its name from that of the island, but it is only mined now at one place.  The forests have mostly disappeared.  The great scourges of the country are locusts and goats.  The Cypriotes are peaceable, orderly and easily ruled.  They are healthy and well-grown; the men, as a rule, are handsome, but the women are rarely so.  Modern Greek and Turkish are spoken on the island.  Population, 274,108.