Marion, Cyprus

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Marion
Μάριον
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Map showing the ancient city Kingdoms of Cyprus
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Shown within Cyprus
Location Cyprus
Region Paphos District
Coordinates 35°02′15″N32°26′00″E / 35.0375°N 32.4333°E / 35.0375; 32.4333 Coordinates: 35°02′15″N32°26′00″E / 35.0375°N 32.4333°E / 35.0375; 32.4333

Marion (Greek : Μάριον) was one of the Ten city-kingdoms of Cyprus. It was situated in the north-west of the island in the Akamas region, close to or under the present town of Polis. [1] Both Strabo and Pliny the Elder mention the city in their writings.

Contents

History

See also Ancient history of Cyprus.

Hellenistic limestone sarcophagus from Marion, Polis Museum Marion sarcophagus.jpg
Hellenistic limestone sarcophagus from Marion, Polis Museum
tomb sculpture from Marion, Polis Museum Marion tomb sculpture.jpg
tomb sculpture from Marion, Polis Museum
unique styles of terracottas from tomb contents, Marion, Polis Museum Marion terracottas, tomb contents.jpg
unique styles of terracottas from tomb contents, Marion, Polis Museum

Marion was already inhabited at the end of the Neolithic and through the Chalcolithic period. It began to prosper from the Cypro-Archaic period onwards and became one of the most important ancient Cypriot citykingdoms in the Cypro-Classical period with important commercial relations with the East Aegean islands, Attica and Corinth.

According to tradition, Athenian Acamas, son of Theseus, disembarked near Polis after the Trojan war and gave his name to the Cape of Akamas and the city of Akamantis, a legendary city which has never been found. Marion was probably founded by Acamas or a certain Marieus.

In Egypt at Medinet Habu in the temples of Ramesses III, there is a large 12th-century BC inscription which refers to Cypriot towns including Marion.

The Mycenaeans, or Achaeans settled in Cyprus between 1400 and 1100 BC and Marion was one of the city-kingdoms they founded.

The city became wealthy from the nearby copper and gold mines. It also served as an important trading port for both metal and timber. The foundations of the ancient harbour are visible to this day in the current port of Latchi. [2]

The first definite reference to Marion occurred in 449 BC when Kimon, the great Athenian general, freed the city from the Persians following the Battle of Salamis and in an attempt to re-establish Athenian supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Later, the ancient geographers spoke of the town as "Marion Hellenikon"The Hellenic Marion. The Kingdom was rich in gold and copper ore, mined chiefly in the nearby Limni Mines. It was the natural wealth which led the city to a period of flourishing trade, especially with Athens, which in its turn, exported many Attic pots to Marion. Samples of this pottery can be viewed at the Polis Museum.

The battle for Cyprus between the successors of Alexander the Great, Antigonus and Ptolemy, led Marion to destruction in 312 BC. Ptolemy, who finally prevailed, laid waste the city whose last king (Stasioikos II) had taken the side of Antigonus, and transferred its inhabitants to Paphos. Later, another member of the Ptolemy dynasty, Philadelphus, founded a new city on the ruins of Marion in about 270 BC and gave it the name of his wife, Arsinoe. [3] The city, under its new name, prospered during the Hellenistic and Roman Ages.

According to Strabo there was a grove sacred to Zeus. [4]

Kouros excavated from Tomb 92 in Marion now in the British Museum Kouros, 510-500 BC, Marion, Cyprus, BM Sculpture B325, 143052.jpg
Kouros excavated from Tomb 92 in Marion now in the British Museum

Excavations

Archaeological excavations of the area were first undertaken by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition between 1927 and 1931. [5] [6] They were followed by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, and since 1983 by the Princeton Cyprus Expedition. [7] [8]

E. Linder and A. Raban carried out the only investigation of the remains of the harbour in 1971. [9]

However very few remains of the city have been found except for a temple to Zeus and Aphrodite and many tombs, some of whose contents can be seen in the Polis museum. The sanctuary of Zeus and Aphrodite dates from the 6th to 4th c. BC and was burnt and destroyed by the Ptolomies in 312 BC. The colossal terracotta statue found in it was probably a votive gift, and is the largest clay sculpture found in the island.

A fine marble kouros from Marion is now in the British Museum. [10]

Related Research Articles

History of Cyprus Aspect of history

Human habitation of Cyprus dates back to the Paleolithic era. Cyprus's geographic position has caused Cyprus to be influenced by differing Eastern Mediterranean civilisations over the millennia. Cyprus is a small country.

This article concerns the period 319 BC – 310 BC.

300s BC (decade)

This article concerns the period 309 BC – 300 BC.

Ptolemy III Euergetes 3rd pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt (r. 246-222 BC)

Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt from 246 to 222 BC. The Ptolemaic Kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.

Ptolemy I Soter Macedonian general, founder and first Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Kingdom

Ptolemy I Soter was a companion and historian of Alexander the Great of the Kingdom of Macedon in northern Greece who became ruler of Egypt, part of Alexander's former empire. Ptolemy was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BC to his death. He was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC, turning the country into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a center of Greek culture.

Ptolemy II Philadelphus

Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 to 246 BC. He was the son of Ptolemy I, the Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great who founded the Ptolemaic Kingdom after the death of Alexander, and Queen Berenice I, originally from Macedon in northern Greece.

<i>Polis</i> Ancient Greek social and political organisation

Polis, plural poleis literally means "city" in Greek. It defined the administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. It can also signify a body of citizens. In modern historiography, polis is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, such as Classical Athens and its contemporaries, and thus is often translated as "city-state". These cities consisted of a fortified city centre (asty) built on an acropolis or harbour and controlled surrounding territories of land (khôra).

Paphos Place in Paphos District, Cyprus

Paphos is a coastal city in southwest Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In classical antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos, today known as Kouklia, and New Paphos.

Ancient history of Cyprus

The ancient history of Cyprus shows a precocious sophistication in the Neolithic era visible in settlements such as at Choirokoitia dating from the 9th millennium BC, and at Kalavassos from about 7500 BC.

Idalium

Idalion or Idalium was an ancient city in Cyprus, in modern Dali, Nicosia District. The city was founded on the copper trade in the 3rd millennium BC. Its name in the 8th century BC was "Ed-di-al" as it appears on the Sargon Stele of 707 BC, and a little later on the nl:Prism of Esarhaddon.

Medius or Medeios, son of Oxythemis, was a native of Larissa in Thessaly, an officer and friend of Alexander the Great, and a senior commander under Antigonus I Monophthalmus.

Polis, Cyprus Place in Paphos District, Cyprus

Polis is a small town at the north-west end of the island of Cyprus, at the centre of Chrysochous Bay, and on the edge of the Akamas peninsula nature reserve. It is a quiet tourist resort, the inhabitants' income being supplemented by agriculture and fishing.

Erik Sjöqvist

Erik Sjöqvist was a Swedish archaeologist and educator. Sjöqvist conducted archaeological fieldwork in Cyprus while participating in Swedish Cyprus Expedition. He was director of Swedish Institute at Rome and professor of classical archaeology at Princeton University. He is most commonly associated with development of the excavations of the archaeological sites at Morgantina in Sicily.

Arsinoe was an ancient city in northwestern Cyprus built on top of the older city, Marion ; some ancient writers conflate the two cities.

Ptolemaic Kingdom Hellenistic kingdom in ancient Egypt from 305 to 30 BC

The Ptolemaic Kingdom was an ancient Hellenistic state based in Egypt. It was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter, a companion of Alexander the Great, and lasted until the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BC. Ruling for nearly three centuries, the Ptolemies were the longest and most recent Egyptian dynasty of ancient origin.

Oreus

Oreus or Oreos, prior to the 5th century BC called Histiaea or Histiaia (Ἱστίαια), also Hestiaea or Hestiaia (Ἑστίαια), was a town near the north coast of ancient Euboea, situated upon the river Callas, at the foot of Mount Telethrium, and opposite Antron on the Thessalian coast. From this town the whole northern extremity of Euboea was named Histiaeotis According to some it was a colony from the Attic deme of Histiaea; according to others it was founded by the Thessalian Perrhaebi. Another foundation story had it that the name Histiaea is said to derive from the mythical figure Histiaea, the daughter of Hyrieus. It was one of the most ancient of the Euboean cities. It occurs in the Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad, where Homer gives it the epithet of πολυστάφυλος ; and the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax mentions it as one of the four cities of Euboea. It was an important city in classical antiquity due to its strategic location at the entrance of the North Euboean Gulf, in the middle of a large and fertile plain.

Patroclus was a leading official, a fleet commander of the Ptolemaic navy and admiral who served under Ptolemy II, best known for his activity during the Chremonidean War. His early career is obscure, but it must have been distinguished enough for him to rise to the chief priesthood of Alexander and the Theoi Adelphoi in 271/270 BC. After the outbreak of the Chremonidean War, he led a diplomatic and military expedition to the Aegean Sea that expanded Ptolemaic control by establishing bases at Crete, Ceos, Thera, Attica and the Argolid. From these bases he tried, without much success, to aid the Athenians against Antigonus II Gonatas, King of Macedon. He may have been the defeated Ptolemaic commander at the Battle of Cos, which marked the end of Ptolemaic thalassocracy.

Roman Cyprus

Roman Cyprus was a small senatorial province within the Roman Empire. While it was a small province, it possessed several well known religious sanctuaries and figured prominently in Eastern Mediterranean trade, particularly the production and trade of Cypriot copper. The island of Cyprus was situated at a strategically important position along Eastern Mediterranean trade routes, and had been controlled by various imperial powers throughout the first millennium BC. including: the Assyrians, Egyptians, Macedonians, and eventually the Romans. Cyprus was annexed by the Romans in 58 BC, but turbulence and civil war in Roman politics did not establish firm rule in Cyprus until 31 BC when Roman political struggles ended by Battle of Actium, and after about a decade, Cyprus was assigned a status of senatorial province in 22 BC. From then on to the 7th century Cyprus was controlled by the Romans. Cyprus officially became part of the Eastern Roman Empire in 293 AD.

Cypriot Bichrome ware

Cypriot Bichrome ware is a type of Late Bronze Age, and Iron Age, pottery that is found widely on Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean. This type of pottery is found in many sites on Cyprus, in the Levant, and also in Egypt. It was typically produced on a pottery wheel. A large variety of decorations and motifs are attested. This pottery is very similar to certain types of the Mycenaean pottery from various locations.

The Ptolemaic navy was the naval force of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and later empire from 305 to 30 BC. It was founded by King Ptolemy I. Its main naval bases were at Alexandria, Egypt and Nea Paphos in Cyprus. It operated in the East Mediterranean in the Aegean Sea, the Levantine Sea, but also on the river Nile and in the Red Sea towards the Indian Ocean.

References

  1. Childs, William (November 1997). "The Iron Age Kingdom of Marion". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. The American Schools of Oriental Research. 308 (308): 37–48. doi:10.2307/1357408. JSTOR   1357408. S2CID   163258760.
  2. "World of naval dockyards - the port of the kingdom of Marion". University of Cyprus . Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  3. "The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, MAASTRICHT Limburg, Netherlands. , MARION later ARSINOE (Polis) Cyprus".
  4. Strabo 14.683
  5. Gjerstad, E.; P. Dikaios (1949). "The Swedish Cyprus Expedition: Vol. IV". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. The Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. 69: 124. doi:10.2307/629546. JSTOR   629546.
  6. E. Gjerstad, J. Lindros, E. Sjöqvist, A. Westholm, The Swedish Cyprus Expedition (Vols I-IV)
  7. Childs W.P., 1988 "First preliminary report on the excavations at Polis Chrysochous by Princeton University", Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus (1988), Nicosia, 121-130
  8. Childs W.P., 1999 "Princeton excavations at Polis Chrysochous 1994-1997", Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus (1999), Nicosia, p223-237
  9. Raban A., 1995 "The Heritage of Ancient Harbour Engineering in Cyprus and the Levant" in Karageorgis V. – D. Michaelides (ed.), Proceedings of the International Symposium Cyprus and the Sea, Nicosia, p165
  10. "Statue | British Museum".