Timeline of Cypriot history

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This is a timeline of Cypriot history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Cyprus. To read about the background to these events, see History of Cyprus. See also the list of presidents of Cyprus.


Millennia: 1st BC  · 1st  · 2nd  · 3rd

Epipaleolithic and Neolithic periods (up to circa 3,800 BCE)

12000–11000 BCEThe earliest site of putative human activity on Cyprus is Aetokremnos, situated on the south coast. Fossilised animal remains and lithic tools indicate that seasonal hunter-gatherers were active on the island from around 12,000 BC. [1] [2]
Extinction of the endemic to Cyprus pigmy hippos and pigmy elephants, likely due to human presence. [3] [4]
9500–8800 BCEThe first permanent settlements are formed in Asprokremnos, Klimonas and Roudias, founded by Pre-Pottery Neolithic populations who also introduced dog, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, foxes, and deer to the island. Klimonas becomes the oldest known farming village in the world. [5]
8700–7000 BCEA second phase of early migration is thought to have occurred between 8700 and 7000 BCE, with settlements at Akanthou, Mylouthkia, Shillourokambos, and Tenta. [6] [7] DNA data obtained from three individuals whose fragmentary remains were found in a Neolithic disused and filled-in water well at Kissonerga-Mylouthkia, revealed high Anatolian-related ancestry. [8]
Water wells discovered in western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old. [9]
Remains of an 8-month-old cat buried with a human body were discovered at Shillourokambos. [10] The grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, predating ancient Egyptian civilisation and pushing back the earliest known feline-human association. [11]
7000 BCEThe Neolithic village of Khirokitia (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is founded. [12]
6000 BCEThe village of Khirokitia is suddenly abandoned for unknown reasons. The island appears to have remained uninhabited for about 1500 years, until the next phase of settlement that gave rise to the Sotira culture. [13]
4600 BCESecond phase of Khirokitia settlement by Pottery Neolithic farmers from Anatolia or the Levant. [14]
3800 BCELarge earthquake hits Cyprus and heralds the end of the Neolithic culture on the island. [15]

36th century BCE

3500 BCEFirst signs of metalwork on the island marking the beginning of the Chalcolithic period. [15]

37th–26th centuries BCE

3600–2600 BCESocio-cultural continuity with the previous period and increase of settlements on the island. The chalcolithic population of Cyprus continues to use stone, but now in combination with copper for objects like chisels, hooks and jewellery. Female fertility and cruciform figurines, as well as Red-on-White pottery, predominate. [16]

25th century BCE

2450 BCETransition from the Chalcolithic to the Bronze Age and emergence of the Philia culture following further migrations from Anatolia. Metallurgy, cattle, donkey and woolly sheep are introduced to the island. A new form of distinctive pottery, Red Polished Ware, and other intrusive elements appear in archaeological data and material culture. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]

23rd–17th centuries BCE

2250–1700 BCEContinuity with Philia characterised mostly by peaceful development. Bidirectional trading contacts with Minoan Crete and the Levant develop. [25] [26]

16th century BCE

1600 BCEExploitation of copper, urbanization and foundation of Enkomi, the first industrial centre in Cyprus. [27] [28]
Trading contacts between Cyprus and Egypt suggested by Egyptian artefacts from the Hyksos period found in Cyprus. [29]
1550 BCELiteracy is introduced on the island with the Cypro-Minoan syllabary, first attested in Enkomi. [30] [31] [32]
Destruction of the Hyksos Kingdom by Ahmose I leads to a breakdown of political and economic bonds between Cyprus and Hyksos. An incomplete weathered cartouche dating to the early XVIIIth Dynasty of Egypt found in Cyprus may be indicative of a new era of connections with the outside world. [33] [29]

15th century BCE

1400 BCE Thutmose III extends his influence over Cyprus under the name of "Isy" or "Irs" (probably referring to Alasiya), which is reported offering minerals and timber as a tribute to the Pharaoh. [29]

14th century BCE

ca 1300 BCEClose trading contacts between Cyprus and the Aegean develop, attested by the import of luxury Aegean items and "Aegeanization" of Cypriote craftmanship. Mycenaean traders start visiting the island and establishing stations for the exportation of copper. [34] [35] [36] [37] [38]

13th century BCE

ca 1200 BCEThe first documented name of a Cypriote king, Kushmeshusha, is attested in letters sent to Ugarit from Alasiya (Cyprus) sometime in the 13th c. BCE. [39]
1230 BCECyprus becomes a client state of the Hittite empire, but is essentially "left alone with little intervention in Cypriot affairs". [40]
1220 BCE Tudhaliya IV annexes Cyprus.
1205 BCEThe last king of the Hittites, Šuppiluliuma II, wins a decisive naval battle against Alashiya (Cypriots) off the coast of Cyprus, in the first recorded naval battle in history. [41] [42]

12th century BCE

1190 BCEInvasion by the Sea Peoples. [43] [44]
1179 BCEMigrations of Aegean populations to Cyprus attested by abundant locally produced Mycenaean-style (IIIC:1b) pottery and other Aegean/European features. The Hellenization process of the island begins. [45] [46] [15] [47] [48]

11th century BCE

1150–1050 BCEA second, major wave of Greek settlements takes place following the Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, accompanied by the appearance of further Aegean features including long dromoi graves and the introduction of the Greek language. [49] [50] [51] [52] [35] [53] [54] [34] [55] [56]
1100 BCEAppearance of the Cypriot syllabary, used both for Arcadocypriot Greek and Eteocypriot. The script, which had evolved from the pre-existing Cypro-Minoan syllabary, lasted until the end of the 3rd Century BCE when it was eventually replaced by the Greek alphabet. [57]
1050 BCEFoundation of the city-kingdom of Amathus, the last autochthonous urban centre in Iron Age Cyprus where the Eteocypriot language survived until about 400 BCE. [58]

Centuries: 10th BC  · 9th BC  · 8th BC  · 7th BC  · 6th BC  · 5th BC  · 4th BC  · 3rd BC  · 2nd BC  · 1st BC

10th century BCE

ca 1000 BCEEmergence of the City States, which would eventually come to be known as the Ten City-Kingdoms of Cyprus.
950 BCELiterary evidence of Phoenician presence at Kition under Tyrian. [59]

9th century BCE

850 BCEThe royal tombs in the city of Salamis are built.
800 BCE Phoenician merchants settle in Kition. [60] [61]

8th century BC

709 BCEThe kingdoms of Cyprus are subjugated by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, although no evidence of occupation is apparent in archaeological data and material culture; rather, the kingdoms seem to have "offered their submission to Sargon II" and had a client-state relationship. [62] [63] [64]

7th century BCE

631 BCEThe Ten City Kingdoms of Cyprus declare their independence from Assyrian rule.

6th century BCE

570 BCECyprus is conquered by the Egyptians under Amasis II.
526 BCE Amasis II dies. His son Psammetichus III succeeds him as pharaoh.
525 BCEThe kingdoms of Cyprus pledge allegiance to Cambyses II of the Achaemenid Persian Empire in anticipation of his invasion of Egypt.
Battle of Pelusium (525 BCE) : The Persian army defeat the Egyptian army at Pelusium.

5th century BCE

499 BCE Ionian Revolt : Aristagoras, the appointed tyrant of Miletus, rebells against Persian rule.
Ionian Revolt: With the support of Athens and Eretria, Aristagoras captures Sardis, the capital of the Persian satrapy of Lydia.
Ionian Revolt: The kingdoms of Cyprus join the revolt.
498 BCEIonian Revolt: The Persian army reestablishes control over Cyprus.
450 BCE Kition increases in importance and annexes Idalion. [65]
Phoenician rulers establish themselves in Salamis.
411 BCEThe Teucrid Evagoras I regains the throne of Salamis.
400 BCEEvagoras attempts to establish himself as an independent ruler on Cyprus with Athenian help.

4th century BCE

386 BCEUnder the Treaty of Antakidas, Persian rule over Cyprus is accepted by Athens.
380 BCEPersia reconqueres Cyprus.
351 BCEPythagoras of Salamis and other Cypriot kings plea to Alexander The Great during the beginning of the siege of Tyre.
350 BCEA Cypriot rebellion begins.
344 BCEThe Cypriot rebellion is crushed by Artaxerxes III.
333 BCEThe island is finally liberated from Persian rule by Alexander the Great.
332 BCEThe siege of Tyre ends.
331 BCEThe rule of Nicocreon begins.
325 BCEThe Archaic and Classical Period ends.
310 BCEThe rule of Nicocreon ends.
Menelaos is made satrap of Cyprus.
306 BCEThe reign of Menelaos ends.
Antigonus begins his rule.
301 BCEThe reign of Antigonus ends.
The Ptolemaic Lagid Dynasty begins.

3rd century BCE

ca 300 BCEThe prominent Cypriot philosopher, Zenon of Kitium, becomes the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy in Athens in the early 3rd century BCE. [66]
245 BCEKingdoms are abolished under the Ptolemaic rule. Greek alphabet and koine Greek are established as the official administrative tools. Both the Eteocypriot and Phoenician languages become extinct and the island is thereafter fully Hellenised. [67] [15] [68] [69] [70] [71]

2nd century BCE

116 BCE Cleopatra sends her son Ptolemy Philometor to Cyprus.
109 BCE Cleopatra sends Alexander, her son and the brother of Ptolemy IX Lathyros, to Cyprus.
107 BCE Alexander returns from Cyprus and becomes king of Egypt. Ptolemy campaigns in Palestine.

1st century BCE

58 BCECyprus becomes a Roman province.
51 BCECyprus is placed under the rule of Cleopatra by Julius Caesar.
30 BCEThe Ptolemaic Lagid Dynasty ends and Cyprus returns to Roman rule.

Centuries: 1st  · 2nd  · 3rd  · 4th  · 5th  · 6th  · 7th  · 8th  · 9th  · 10th

1st century

45 Apostle Paul, St Barnabas and St Mark introduce Christianity in Cyprus and convert the Roman governor Sergius Paulus.

2nd century

115 Kitos War : A messianic Jewish revolt begins, which results in the massacre of 240,000 Greeks in Cyprus. [72] [73] Trajan intervenes to restore the peace and expels the Jews from Cyprus.
116Kitos War: The revolt ends.

3rd century

4th century

335The revolt of the usurper Calocaerus is suppressed by Flavius Dalmatius.
350Salamis is rebuilt by Constantius II, the son of Constantine, after being destroyed by earthquakes and renamed Constantia.
395Cyprus becomes part of the Byzantine Empire.

5th century

431The Church of Cyprus achieves its independence from the Patriarch of Antioch at the First Council of Ephesus.

6th century

7th century

649The Arabs under Muawiya invade and occupy Cyprus.
683The Arab garrison is withdrawn after its defeat at the hands of Constantine IV.
688Emperor Justinian II and Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan sign a treaty under whose terms no garrisons are to be stationed on the island, and all taxes collected are to be divided between the Arabs and the Emperor.

8th century

9th century

10th century

965Byzantine rule is restored on the island by Nicepheros Phokas.

Centuries: 11th  · 12th  · 13th  · 14th  · 15th  · 16th  · 17th  · 18th  · 19th  · 20th

11th century

12th century

1185Cyprus becomes an independent Empire under the reign of Isaak Comnenus.
1192The reign of Isaac Komnenos comes to an end after the island's ruler refuses to release prisoners and treasure captured from three English ship wrecks on their way to Acre, and Richard I conquers Cyprus. The island is then sold to the Templar Order, who in turn sell it to Guy of Lusignan of the House of Lusignan. [74]
Guy of Lusignan and his descendants begin their rule of the island as an independent kingdom, known as the Kingdom of Cyprus.
1193 Altheides of Cyprus, the traveling philosopher, is born. [75]

13th century

14th century

1347 Black Death hits Cyprus and wipes out one fifth to one third of its population. [76]
1361 Antalya and Corycus in Anatolia are briefly annexed by the Kingdom of Cyprus. [77]

15th century

1474 Catherine Cornaro becomes the last monarch of the Kingdom of Cyprus, succeeding James II. [78]
1489FebruaryThe Venetian government forces Catherine to cede her rights over Cyprus because she had no heir. The rule of the Lusignan dynasty comes to an end after nearly three centuries. [79]
Cyprus becomes an overseas colony of the Venetian Republic.
9 June Ottoman Turks raid the Karpasia Peninsula. [80] [81]

16th century

1539Ottoman Turks attack Limassol. [81]
15701 JulyOttoman Turks invade Cyprus with 80,000 men.
25 JulyOttoman army besieges Nicosia.
9 SeptemberNicosia falls to the Turkish invaders. 20,000 Nicosians, Greek and Latin, are killed in the aftermath. About 1,000 survivors are bound and shipped out to be sold in the Constantinople slave markets.
1571Having been under siege since the previous year, Famagusta also falls to the Ottomans marking the end of the Venetian rule. Most Christians still remaining in the city are massacred and the Venetian commander Marco Antonio Bragadin is tortured, mutilated and flayed alive. [82] [83] [84] [85]
Cyprus is now subjected to Ottoman rule. The first Ottoman settlers arrive on the island.
1572A period of Ottoman occupation of the island begins, during which twenty-eight bloody uprisings will occur.

17th century

18th century

1788The Chronological History of the island of Cyprus, later described as "the only scholarly monograph of modern Greek literature since the fall of Constantinople", is published by Kyprianos Kouriokourineos, one of the most prominent Greek-Cypriot intellectuals and clerics of the 18th century. [86]

19th century

1821The Cypriots sided with Greece in a revolt against Ottoman rule. The island's leading churchmen and notables were executed as punishment. 20,000 Christians fled the island.
1869The Suez Canal opened.
187812 JulyBritish occupation began. The British took over the administration of the island, by mutual agreement, in order to protect their sea route to India via the Suez Canal. In exchange, Britain agreed to help Ottoman against future Russian attacks.
22 JulySir Garnet Joseph Wolseley became Crown commissioner.
1879Sir Robert Biddulph became Crown commissioner.
1886Sir Henry Ernest Bulwer became Crown commissioner.
1892[Sir Walter Sendall] became Crown commissioner.
1898Sir William Frederick Haynes Smith became Crown commissioner.

20th century

1904Sir Charles King-Harman became Crown commissioner.
1911Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams became Crown commissioner.
1914 Britain annexed Cyprus in response to Turkey's alliance with Germany and Austro-Hungary in World War I.
1915Sir John Eugene Clauson became Crown commissioner.
1920 Sir Malcolm Stevenson became Crown commissioner.
1925Cyprus became a British Crown Colony. Sir Malcolm Stevenson was made governor.
1926 Sir Ronald Storrs became governor.
1931 Greek Cypriots demanding Enosis, the union with Greece, instigated their first serious riots. The government-house in Nicosia was burned down; martial law was declared afterwards and the legislative council was abolished. The Greek National Anthem and the display of the Greek flag were banned. The British invented the terms "Greek Cypriot" and "Turkish Cypriot" and used the latter against the "Greek Cypriots" so as to cease Enosis demands.
1932Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs became governor.
1933Sir Herbert Richmond Palmer became governor.
1939 Cypriots fought with the British in World War II, Greek Cypriots demanding Enosis at war's end. The Turkish Cypriots wanted British rule to continue.
Sir William Denis Battershill became governor.
1941Sir Charles Campbell Woolley became governor.
1946The British Government began to imprison thousands of displaced Jews in camps on Cyprus.
Sir Reginald Fletcher, Lord Winster, became governor.
1949The British Government finished imprisoning displaced Jews.
Sir Andrew Barkworth Wright became governor.
1950 Archbishop Makarios III was elected the political and spiritual leader of Cyprus, the head of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and leader of the campaign for Enosis with the support of Greece.
1954Sir Robert Perceval Armitage became governor.
28 JulyMinister of State for the Colonies, Henry Hopkinson, says that there were certain territories in the Commonwealth 'which, owing to their particular circumstances, can never expect to be fully independent'. [87]
1955 Sir John Harding became governor.
1 AprilA series of bomb attacks marked the start of a violent campaign for Enosis by the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) under George Grivas, a Cypriot ex-colonel in the Greek army. Grivas took the name Dighenis and conducted guerrilla warfare from a secret hideout in the Troodos Mountains.
1956Britain deported Makarios to the Seychelles in an attempt to quell the revolt.
1957Field Marshal Sir John Harding was replaced by the civilian governor Sir Hugh Foot in a conciliatory move.
195827 JanuaryFirst of 2 days of serious rioting by Turkish Cypriots. Seven were killed by British security forces. [87]
7 JuneTurkish press office in Nicosia is bombed. Inter-communal clashes as Turkish Cypriots invade Greek sector. [87] On 26 June 1984 the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktaş, admitted on British channel ITV that the bomb was placed by the Turks themselves in order to create tension. [88] On 9 January 1995 Rauf Denktaş repeated his claim in the Turkish newspaper, Milliyet. [89]
12 JuneThe first massacre between Greeks and Turks on Cyprus. British police released from arrest a group of 35 Greeks in the region of Guenyeli. A Turkish mob attacks the unarmed group, killing some of them. [87]
195918 OctoberBritish minesweeper HMS Burmaston intercepts the Turkish registered boat, Deniz. Loaded with weaponry, the boat is scuttled by its 3-member crew. The crew, all Turkish nationals, are arrested for importing munitions without a permit. [90]
28 OctoberArchbishop Makarios III and Dr. Fazıl Küçük appeal to their respective communities to hand over illegal weapons. [90]
15 NovemberDeadline to hand over illegal weapons. [90]
1960British occupation ended.
The British, Greek and Turkish governments signed a Treaty of Guarantee to provide for an independent Cypriot state within the Commonwealth of Nations and allow for the retention of two Sovereign Base Areas at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Under the treaty, each power received the right to take military action in the face of any threat to the constitution. Cyprus became independent of foreign rule. The Greek Cypriot Archbishop Makarios became the first president, with Turkish Cypriot Dr. Kutchuk his vice president. Both had the right of veto. Turkish Cypriots, who formed 18% of the population, were guaranteed the vice-presidency, three out of ten ministerial posts and 30% of jobs in the public service. They were further guaranteed 40% representation in the army and separate municipal services in the five major towns. Overall, a very complex constitution was drafted, which demanded a majority of votes overall as well as within each community for many decisions.
1963Greek Cypriots began to view the constitution as unworkable and proposed changes abolishing all veto rights and many ethnic clauses; these proposals were rejected by Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish government. Inter-communal fighting erupted. Tylliria was bombarded with napalm bombs. A UN Peace Keeping Force was sent in, but soon proved powerless to prevent incidents. Thousands of Turkish Cypriots retreated into enclaves where they were embargoed by the Greek Cypriots. The UN attempted to supply them with food and medicine. Akritas plan
1964The Battle of Tylliria takes place. Greek-Cypriot forces storm the Turkish-held Kokkina enclave, prompting a Turkish military intervention and airstrikes on the Greek forces. However, Soviet pressure prevented the Turks from going any further, and when the battle ended after four days of fierce fighting, the Kokkina enclave had been reduced to 50-40% of its original size.
1971EOKA B' is being created
1973The Turks emerged from their enclaves.
1974see Timeline of events in Cyprus, 1974
1975Turks announced a Federate State in the north, with Rauf Denktaş as leader. UN Forces remained as buffer between the two zones.
1977Makarios died. He was succeeded by Spyros Kyprianou.
1983The Turkish Federated State declared itself the independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), with Denktaş as president. The new state was not recognised by any country except Turkey and was officially boycotted.
1992UN sponsored talks began between the two sides.
1995The UN talks ran into the sand, but with a commitment to resume.

21st century

2001The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of continuing human rights violations against the Greek Cypriots.
2003Cyprus was set to join the European Union in May 2004. Renewed negotiations about the status of the island took place.
23 AprilThe line which divided the two parts of Cyprus was partly opened. Thousands of Turkish and Greek Cypriots crossed the buffer zone to the "other side" after 30 years.
200424 April 2004 Annan Plan Referendum : The Annan Plan was accepted by the majority of Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek Cypriots.
1 MayThe sovereign Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union, however the EU acquis was suspended in the occupied north, Akrotiri and Dhekelia and the United Nations Buffer Zone.
2008 Demetris Christofias replaced Tassos Papadopoulos as president of the Republic of Cyprus. It was the first time that a leader of the Greek Cypriot communist party, AKEL, had entered the presidential race. He was at the time the only communist leader in the European Union.

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