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Cyprus History

Few countries can trace the course of their history over 10,000 years, but in approximately 8,000 BC the island of Cyprus was already inhabited and going through its Neolithic Age. Of all the momentous events that were to sweep the country through the next few thousand years, one of the most crucial was the discovery of copper - or Kuprum in Latin - the mineral which took its name from “Kypros”, the Greek name of Cyprus, and generated untold wealth.

The island’s strategic position, its copper deposits and its timber attracted the first Greeks who came to the island over 3,000 years ago at the end of the Trojan wars.  They settled down, bringing in with them and establishing the Greek identity.

Over the centuries Cyprus came under the sway of various rulers including the Egyptians. Assyrians, Persians, the successors to Alexander the Great and the Romans, before Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire.  Later came the Crusaders, the Frankish Lusignans and Venetians, Ottomans and British.

Cyprus gained its independence in 1960, for the first time in 3,500 years, but the Greek identity of language and culture has been retained.

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