Cyprus History

Ay-Mamas-Church-1The Island has been occupied by a succession of peoples from Europe and Asia. In the 8th century BC it was a part of the Assyrian empire, then the Babylonian, Egyptian and Persian. In 58 BC  the island was seized by the Romans. Richard the Lionheart settled on the island in 1191 during the third Crusade and, after selling it to the Knights Templar permitted Guy de Lusignan to buy the island. Cyprus remained in Lusignan possession until captured by the Venetians in 1489.

From 1571 to 1878 the Island was ruled by the Ottomans until they leased its administration to Britain. Independence was granted in 1960, but after Greek Cypriot and Greek military coup in 1974, Turkey was forced to intervene to safe guard the interest of the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was subsequently proclaimed in 1983.

Period Event
8,500 - 8,000 BC Hunter Gatherers
7,000 - 5,300 BC The first settlers: the Khirokitians
4,000 - 2,500 BC Chalcolitic (Copper) Age: stone crucifix pendants are carved
2,700 - 1,600 BC Cypriot Bronze Ages, Early and Middle: cattle, horses, and bronze making are introduced as well as highly indi- vidual pottery style
1,600 - 1,050 BC The Late Bronze Age: period of sophisticated literate city states such as Enkomi-Alasia and Kition
1,500 - 1,450 BC Hittite rule in Cyprus
1,450 - 1,000 BC Beginning of the Egyptian domination of the island
1,200 - 1,000 BC Establishment of the city states of Salamis (capital at the time), Soli, Marion, Paphos, Kurium, and Kyrenia; arrival of Greek colonies
1,000 - 850 BC Iron Age - Cypro-Geometric Period. The coming of Iron, the Dorians and a Dark Age also known as Cypro-Geometric I and II
850 - 750 BC Iron Age - Cypro-Geometric Period. The Phoenician-led Renaissance and Assyrian rule on the island.
750 - 475 BC Iron Age - Cypro-Archaic Period. Time of the city-kingdoms despite the island being ruled by a succession of foreign countries for much of the period (Assyrians, from 709 BC; Egyptians, from c.570 BC; and Persians, from 545 BC).
568 - 525 BC Egyptian domination
525 - 333 BC Iron Age - Cypro-Classical Period sees the Persian occupation and the rule of the island and the duel between the city kingdoms of Kition and Salamis.
333 - 58 BC Hellenistic rule: the heirs of the Alexander the Great rule the island
58 BC - 395 AD Roman Empire ruling Cyprus: 350 years of quiet provincial prosperity
395 - 649 AD Island becomes a part of the Byzantine Empire when Cyprus is gradually converted from paganism to Orthodox Christianity (Early Byzantine period)
649 - 965 AD A second Dark Age: the island is caught on the frontier between the two warring empires of Byzantium and Islam
965 - 1191 Return of the island to Byzantium (Late Byzantine period)
1191 - 1192 Rule of the island by Richard I (the Lionheart), of England and later by the Knights Templars
1192 - 1489 Rule of the island by the Frankish Lusignan Dynasty
1489 - 1570 Venetian domination of Cyprus
1571 - 1878 Conquest of the island by the Ottoman Empire
1878 - 1925 In accordance with a defence-alliance between Britain and the Ottoman Empire, the administration of Cyprus passes to Britain
1925 - 1960 Cyprus is annexed by Britain when Ottoman Empire enters into the World War I on the side of Germany; subsequently the island becomes a Crown Colony and under the British rule
1960 Foundation of the Republic of Cyprus (by the Turkish and Greek-Cypriot communities)
1963 Inter-communal strife in Cyprus and the subsequent collapse of the constitutional rule
1974 Coup d'etat by the Greek army officers stationed on the island to overthrow the President (Makarios) with the aim of uniting the island with Greece; subsequent Turkish Military intervention (under the provisions of the Treaty of Guarantee of the Republic of Cyprus)
1974 Division of the island into Turkish-Cypriot North and Greek-Cypriot South
1975 Declaration of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, to pave way for a federal settlement on the island
1983 Foundation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
1990 The 'Republic of Cyprus' (effectively the Greek-Cypriot South Cyprus) applied for full membership to the EU on 4th July 1990. This application was made without the consent of the Turkish-Cypriot Community as was required by the Constitution of the 'Republic of Cyprus'. 
2002-3 Dialogue and negotiations between Denktash & Klerides to unify the North & South before EU entry
2003 After 30 years borders open between North and South Cyprus on 23 April 2003, following the Turkish-Cypriot Authorities' ease the border restrictions.
2004 Twin-Referendums on uniting the island under the UN Annan's Plan - accepted by Turkish-Cypriots, but rejected by Greek-Cypriots. Island (effectively Greek-Cypriot Southern Cyprus) becomes a member of the EU.