Prehistoric Cyprus (10,000 BC - 2300 BC)
Cyprus was first inhabited by hunter-gatherers during the Neolithic period. The island saw the introduction of farming and pottery, as well as the establishment of small communities.
Bronze Age and Mycenaean Influence (2300 BC - 1050 BC)
The Bronze Age in Cyprus was marked by the development of copper mining and trade. Mycenaean Greeks began to settle on the island around 1400 BC, influencing the local culture.
Geometric and Archaic Periods (1050 BC - 475 BC)
During this time, Cyprus was divided into several city-states, each with its own king. The island was a significant player in regional politics and trade, particularly with the Phoenicians and Egyptians.
Classical and Hellenistic Periods (475 BC - 30 BC)
Cyprus came under the influence of various empires, including the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians. Alexander the Great's conquests led to Hellenistic rule, which continued under the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.
Roman Rule (30 BC - 395 AD)
Cyprus became a Roman province in 30 BC. The island prospered under Roman rule, with the construction of public buildings, roads, and harbours. Christianity also began to take root, with St. Paul and St. Barnabas visiting the island.
Byzantine Era (395 AD - 1191 AD)
After the division of the Roman Empire, Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire. The island was an important Christian centre, with the establishment of numerous churches and monasteries.
Frankish and Venetian Rule (1191 AD - 1571 AD)
Richard the Lionheart of England captured Cyprus during the Third Crusade. The island was then sold to the Knights Templar and eventually passed to the Frankish Lusignan dynasty. In 1489, Venice took control, fortifying the island but also imposing heavy taxes.
Ottoman Rule (1571 AD - 1878 AD)
The Ottoman Empire captured Cyprus in 1571. Under Ottoman rule, the Orthodox Christian Church was given considerable autonomy, but the island's decline continued due to mismanagement and corruption.
British Administration (1878 AD - 1960 AD)
Cyprus was leased to Britain in 1878 and was fully annexed during World War I. The island became a crucial military base, but also saw the rise of nationalist movements for enosis (union with Greece).
Independence and Conflict (1960 AD - Present)
Cyprus gained independence in 1960 but soon faced inter-communal violence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In 1974, Turkey invaded the island following a coup aimed at union with Greece. The island remains divided to this day, despite ongoing peace efforts.
Today, the Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union, while the northern part of the island is recognised only by Turkey. The island is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and ongoing political complexities.