Neolithic Period (8200 - 3900 B.C.)
Chalcolithic Age (3900 - 2500 B.C.)
Bronze Age (2500 - 1050 B.C.)
Copper was more extensively exploited bringing wealth to Cyprus. Trade developed with the Near East, Egypt and the Aegean where Cyprus was known under the name of Alasia. After 1400 B.C., Mycenaeans from Greece began to come to the island as merchants. Around 1200 B.C., of Achaean Greeks came massively to settle on the island and established the first city-kingdoms of Paphos, Salamis, Kition and Kourion. The hellenisation of the island was in process.
Geometric Period (1050 - 750 B.C.)
Cyprus had ten Greek city-kingdoms. The cult of Aphrodite flourished, and Phoenicians settled at Kition in the ninth century B.C. The eighth century B.C. was a period of great prosperity.
Archaic and Classical Period (750 - 310 B.C.)
Despite being conquered by many invaders Cyprus continued to prosper. Cypriot kingdoms were ruled by a succession of foreign invaders: after the Assyrians came the Egyptians and then the Persians. King Evagoras of Salamis (who ruled from 411-374 B.C.) unified Cyprus and made the island one of the leading political and cultural centres of the Greek world. The city-kingdoms of Cyprus welcomed Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, and Cyprus became part of his empire.
Hellenistic Period (310 - 30 B.C.)
|After the rivalries for succession between Alexander's generals, Cyprus eventually came under the Hellenistic state of the Ptolemies of Egypt and from then on was part of the Greek Alexandrine world. The Ptolemies abolished the city-kingdoms and unified Cyprus. Pafos became the capital.|
Roman Period (30)(B.C. - 330 A.D.)
Byzantine Period (330 - 1191 A.D.)
After the division of the Roman Empire in two parts, Cyprus came under the Eastern Roman Empire, subsequently known as Byzantium, with Constantinople as its capital. Christianity became the official religion. New earthquakes during the fourth century A.D. completely destroyed the main cities of the Island. Once again, new cities arose. Constantia, built near the site of ancient Salamis, became the capital. In 488 Emperor Zeno granted the Church of Cyprus full autonomy and gave the archbishop the privileges of holding a scepter instead of a pastoral staff, wearing a purple mantle and signing in red ink. After an initial invasion by the Arabs in 647, the island was for three centuries under constant attacks by Arab invaders as well as pirates until 965, when Emperor Nicephoros Phocas expelled the Arabs from Asia Minor and Cyprus.
Richard the Lionheart and the Knights Templar (1191 - 1192)
Isaac Comnenus, a Byzantine governor and self-proclaimed emperor of Cyprus, behaved discourteously toward survivors of a shipwreck involving ships of King Richard's fleet on their way to the Holy Lands during the Third Crusade. Among the survivors were Richard's sister Joanna, Queen of Sicily, and his betrothed Berengaria of Navarre. Richard in revenge fought Isaac, defeated him, took possession of Cyprus and married Berengaria of Navarre at Kolossi Castle in Limassol, where she was crowned Queen of England. A year later, Richard sold the island for 100 000 dinars to the Knights Templar, a Frankish military order, who resold it at the same price to Guy de Lusignan, deposed King of Jerusalem.
Frankish (Lusignan) Period (1192 - 1489)
Venetian Period (1489 - 1571)
Ottoman Occupation (1571 - 1878)
In 1570 Ottoman troops attacked Cyprus, captured Nicosia, slaughtered twenty thousand people and laid siege to Famagusta for a year. After a brave defence by Venetian commander Marc Antonio Bragadino, Famagusta fell to Lala Mustafa Pasha, who at first allowed the besieged a peaceful exodus, but later ordered the flaying of Bragadino. On annexation to the Ottoman Empire, Lala Mustafa Pasha became the first governor. The Ottoman Turks, whose descendants together with the descendants converts from the Christian inhabitants of Cyprus form today the largest part of the Turkish Cypriot community, were to rule Cyprus until 1878. During the Ottoman period, the Muslim minority acquired a Cypriot identity. As the power of the Ottoman Turks declined, their rule became increasingly corrupt. In many instances Greek and Turkish Cypriots struggled together against oppressive of Ottoman rule.
British Rule (1878 - 1960)
After all peaceful means to achieve freedom had been exhausted, a national liberation struggle was launched in 1955 against colonial rule and for union with Greece. The liberation struggle ended in 1959 with the Zurich-London agreements signed by Britain, Greece and Turkey as well as representatives of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, leading to Cyprus' independence.