The history of Cyprus

The history of Cyprus

The first settlers arrived on the island around 7000BC and were originally from the Near East. Over the next few centuries the fortunes of Cyprus fluctuated with the discovery of copper which brought new settlers from Anatolia which saw the island becoming prosperous followed by a catastrophic earthquake towards the end of the Bronze Age which left most of the settlements completely destroyed.

The aftermath of this earthquake was Cyprus's darkest hour with its population decreased to a very low level.
These bad times lasted for the next two centuries.

Around 700 BC a new power arrived on the island, the Assyrians.

The island was then known as Latnana and was separated into 7 kingdoms all of whom had to pay contributions to the king of Assyria who ruled all seven kingdoms.

Over the following centuries the island fell prey to several conquerors until the arrival of Alexander the Great who brought the Persian domination to an end.

When the Empire of Alexander the Great ended Cyprus became a province of the Roman Empire losing its distinctive identity with a mix of many different cultures.
After the division of the Roman Empire Cyprus came under the Eastern Roman Empire known as Byzantium. At this time Christianity came to Cyprus.

Isaac Comnenus was the last independent leader of the island. At this time Richard the Lionheart arrived on the island where he married Princess Berengaria.

After further rules by the Venetians and the Ottoman Empire Cyprus came under British administration under 1878 Cyprus convention although it still formally remained part of the Ottoman Empire.

When the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on the side of Germany, Britain annexed Cyprus in 1914.
Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960.

It is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement and more recently has become a member of the Eurpean Union.
Britain retains two sovereign bases on the island.

In 1974 Turkey invaded the island and subsequently 38% of Cyprus is under Turkish occupation.
The Southern part of the island became the republic of Cyprus and is a full member of the European union since 2004.

The Northern part which calls itself the Turkish Republic Of Cyprus is not recognised by the international community.

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