Cyprus History Timeline

By | October 14, 2021

According to computergees, Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean 50 km south of Turkey. Internationally, the Republic of Cyprus is recognized as the rightful government of the whole island, but it controls only the southern two thirds of the island.

In ancient times, the natives called Cyprus Alashiya. In Mari, a large city on the right bank of the Euphrates in modern-day Syria, all Alashiya clay tablets revolved around the import of metal: either copper ( Sumerian urudu – Akkadian eru ) or bronze (Sumerian zabar – Akkadian siparru ). The Roman Empire’s main source of copper was in Cyprus, and the original Latin word for “copper”, cyprium, later simplified to cuprum, comes from the island’s Greek name, Cyprus. The Cypriots began to process copper in the third millennium BC, when they made tools from locally occurring, pure copper, which in several places lay visible on the earth’s surface.

Alexander the Great defeated the Persians, and Cyprus became part of his world empire. After his death, Cyprus became part of the Hellenistic Empire, and the capital was now Paphos.


7000 BCE – The oldest settlements were concentrated along the north and south coasts. Remains of stone and pottery vessels from this period have been found.

3000 BCE – The settlers began to exploit the island’s rich copper resources, which have given the island its name. It brought great prosperity to the island, which began to trade especially with Asia Minor, Egypt and the surrounding islands.

1200 BCE – A wave of immigrants came from Greece with their language, religion and culture. Among other things, they built by Paphos. The island’s prosperity grew even though it was occupied and dominated by Syria, Egypt and Persia. Near the ancient Paphos, called Petra tou Romiou, lies the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. According to mythology, she founded the city, which was therefore in ancient times an important place of worship for Aphrodite.

4th century – Several earthquakes destroyed large parts of the cities on the island. New cities and many churches were built in a short time.

395 – The Roman Empire is divided and Cyprus becomes part of the Eastern Roman Empire and ruled by the Byzantines. The mother of Constantine the Great ( Saint Helena ) is said to have visited Cyprus on a journey from the Holy Land with the remains of Jesus’ cross. She founded the Stavrouni Monastery.

1103 – The King of Denmark, Erik Ejegod (1095-1103), decides to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. However, he never arrives, but dies in Cyprus – presumably at Paphos, where he is buried. His queen, Bodil, continues to the Holy Land, where she is to die of disease on the Mount of Olives. They leave behind sons Knud Lavard and Harald Kesja. During his journey, however, Erik Ejegod manages to send various relics to Roskilde, Lund and his hometown Slangerup, reportedly a splinter of The cross of Christ and a splinter of the leg of Saint Niels (Nikolai). It is said that he also commanded that a huge church be built at his birthplace in Slangerup. This church was built and was the largest stone church in the Nordic countries. The church is demolished after the Reformation, but the apse remains until well into the 17th century, as the story says that this is where this mighty king is born. The ruins of the church have been excavated several times, most recently in 1996.

1191 – The King of England, Richard the Lionheart (1189-99), sails for Accon and conquers Cyprus. Richard sold the island to the Knights Templar for 100,000 dinars, and later it went to the French nobleman Guy of Lusignan, who had been king of Jerusalem.

1963 – A civil war breaks out in December following harassment and terror among Greek Cypriot undergrounders and the Turkish contingent in underground attacks on the Turkish quarter in Nicosia. The fighting between the population groups then spread to the whole island.

1964-1974 – During this period, there was predominantly calm in Cyprus, however, armed operations were carried out by both parties with loss of life on both sides.

1974 – Turkey occupies the northern third of the island. Since then, Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has been established, but it is only recognized by Turkey. Conversely, Turkey does not recognize the Greek Cypriot government on the South Island, nor as a government over the southern part of the island.

2008 – Cyprus joins the Eurozone on 1 January. That same month, the island welcomed thousands of Lebanese refugees fleeing Israeli terror bombings and invading Lebanon.

2009 – Trafficking in young women and girls and sex slaves remains a problem in Cyprus.

2011 – In July, an ammunition depot at Evangelos Florakis naval base in southern Cyprus exploded. The explosion plunged the country into an economic and political crisis. The depot consisted of 98 containers with weapons and explosives. They had arrived at the base in 2009 after pirates from the US Navy captured a Cypriot-registered ship in the Red Sea sailing weapons from Iran to Syria. The United States and Britain had subsequently put pressure on Cyprus to confiscate the arms shipment, but this was rejected by Cyprus, which did not want a diplomatic conflict with Syria. Cyprus instead called on Britain and the United States to remove their weapons, which the two states also rejected. The blast killed 13 people and injured hundreds more. At the same time, it destroyed the country’s largest power plant, which accounted for half of the electricity supply. As a direct political consequence, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Army resigned. But at the same time, the incident triggered demonstrations demanding the resignation of the president. An independent report in October placed the main responsibility for the explosion on the president, and at the same time called on the public prosecutor to initiate a case against him. The cost of the explosion ran up to about 2.8 billion. US $.

2012 – In June, Cyprus joins the ranks of EU countries in financial difficulties due to the economic crisis. At the same time, Fitch downgraded the country’s government bonds to junk status.

2013 – In March, the EU enters into an agreement with the Cypriot government to divide the country’s second largest bank into 2 – a ‘bad’ and a ‘good’ bank. The country, in turn, was granted DKK 10 billion. € by the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF. The country also had to shave off uninsured deposits in the country’s banks. These were mainly deposits from Russian criminals who have largely used Cyprus as a tax haven.

Cyprus History Timeline