Assyrian rule. A stela found 1845 in Kition commemorates the victory of king Sargon II (721–705 BC) in 709 over the seven kings in the land of Ia’, in the district of Iadnana or Atnana. The former is supposedly the Assyrian name of the island, while some authors take the latter to mean Greece (the Islands of the Danaoi). There are other inscriptions referring to Ia’ in Sargon’s palace at Khorsabad. The ten kingdoms listed by an inscription of Esarhaddon in 673/2 BC have been identified as Salamis, Kition, Amathus, Kourion, Paphos and Soli on the coast and Tamassos, Ledra, Idalium and Chytri in the interior.
Cyprus gained independence for some time around 669 but was conquered by Egypt under Amasis (570–526/525). The island was conquered by the Persians around 545 BC. A Persian palace has been excavated in the territory of Marion on the North coast near Soli. The inhabitants took part in the Ionian rising. At the beginning of the 4th century BC, Euagoras I, King of Salamis, took control of the whole island and tried to gain independence from Persia. Another uprising took place in 350 but was crushed by Artaxerxes in 344.
During the siege of Tyre, the Cypriot Kings went over to Alexander the Great. In 321 four Cypriot kings sided with Ptolemy I and defended the island against Antigonos. Ptolemy lost Cyprus to Demetrios Poliorketes in 306 and 294 BC, but after that it remained under Ptolemaic rule till 58 BC. It was ruled by a governor from Egypt and sometimes formed a minor Ptolemaic kingdom during the power-struggles of the 2nd and 1st centuries. Strong commercial relationships with Athens and Alexandria, two of the most important commercial centres of antiquity, developed.
Full Hellenisation only took place under Ptolemaic rule. Phoenician and native Cypriot traits disappeared, together with the old Cypriot syllabic script. A number of cities were founded during this time, e.g. Arsinoe that was founded between old and new Paphos by Ptolemy II.
Cyprus became a Roman province in 58 BC, according to Strabo because the Roman politician, Publius Clodius Pulcher, held a grudge against the king of Cyprus, Ptolemy, and sent Marcus Cato to conquer the island after he had become tribune. Mark Antony gave the island to Cleopatra VII of Egypt and her sister Arsinoe IV, but it became a Roman province again after his defeat at the Battle of Actium (31 BC) in 30 BC. From 22 BC it was a senatorial province. The island suffered great losses during the Jewish uprising of 115/116 AD.
After the reforms of Diocletian it was placed under the control of the Consularis Oriens and governed by a proconsul. Several earthquakes led to the destruction of Salamis at the beginning of the 4th century, at the same time drought and famine hit the island.
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