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The Legends and Crusadors of Cyprus
Cyprus has seen many legends come and go. A strategic point and a crossroads from Europe, Asia, and Africa, North Cyprus has seen crusaders conquer and leave their mark from Nicosia to Kyrenia and beyond to Famagusta, over the years. These add to the flavour of the island with its diverse and intriguing historic significance.
Sargon II - 709 BC
Conquered the city kingdoms of Cyprus and unified them. Sargon was an Assyrian King who reigned from 722-705 BC but it is unknown whether he was a true member of the royal family or simply an unrelated pretender.
Amasis II - 570 BC
Conquered Cyprus Amasis II was a pharaoh from 570-526 BC and was the last great ruler of Egypt in this period. Amasis was a soldier who claimed the throne after his predecessor became unpopular, and brought about the end of the Egyptian empire as it was due to his behaviour towards his people and Cambyses II, the leader of the Persian Empire. The story goes that Cambyses asked Amasis (back when they were on good terms) for an ophthalmologist and Amasis agreed, but only after exiling the man and forcing him to leave Egypt and his family. Later, when Cambyses asked Amasis for one of his daughters as a wife, in order to cement their relationship as rulers, Amasis sent another girl in place as his daughter (unwilling to let one of his children become a Persian concubine). Cambyses soon realised and vowed to revenge the snub.
Cambyses II - 525 BC
Cypriots pledged allegiance to Cambyses before his victory against the Egyptians Cambyses II (also known as Cyrus the Great) was a Persian King who reigned from 559-530 BC and liberated Cyprus from Egyptian rule, defeating the Pharaoh of Egypt Psamtik III (newly crowned son of Amasis). Before Cambyses has a chance in invade Egypt and get revenge against Amasis he passed away, and with the support of Cyprus Cambyses brought the island under Persian rule.
Alexander the Great - 351 BC
Cypriot Kings joined Alexander during the siege of Tyre Alexander the Great of Macedon (a region in Greece) was King from 336-323 BC who is known around the world both for amassing one of the largest empires ever known and for being undefeated in battle. He very quickly conquered the entire Persian Empire and within ten years of becoming general had gained Asia Minor, including Turkey as well as everything up to the Indus River in modern Pakistan. During the siege of the island city of Tyre which is in modern Lebanon, many Cypriot Kings and their forces joined Alexander and his army in the siege.
Cleopatra - 51 BC
Cyprus put under Cleopatra's rule by Julius Caesar The famous Cleopatra (officially known as Cleopatra VII Philopater) was the final pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Known for her relationship with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, Cleopatra was given control of Cyprus in 51 BC just as she ascended to the throne of Egypt.
Muawiyah I - 647 AD
Leads the Arabs to an invasion of Cyprus Muawiyah was the first Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty, and according to legend was the brother in law of the prophet Muhammad. He controlled one of the largest empires of the time, stretching across North Africa and through the Middle East. In 647 Muawiyah lead an Arabic invasion along the coast of Cyprus resulting in many years of raids.
Richard I - 1191-1192
Captured Cyprus and sold it on to the Lusignans Known as Richard the Lionheart, Richard the First was only King for ten years, his reign spanning from 1189-1199. However during that time he was the Lord of Cyprus, as well as Duke of multiple foreign nations and regions. Preferring France to England, he lived full time in his Duchy of Aquitaine and used England to fund his armies, carrying out crusades and raids on many countries, of which Cyprus was just one. He was also married in Limassol to Berengaria of Navarre.
Guy of Lusignan - 1192
Becomes King of Cyprus and rules it as an independent Kingdom Originally a knight, Guy of Lusignan was King of Jerusalem during the crusades because of his marriage and later, after being captured and released after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin, became the King of Cyprus. Because Cyprus was not a kingdom, Guy of Lusignan was not officially a King, but was still referred to as such because of his status in Jerusalem. He died two years after attaining Cyprus, but his descendents were in control until 1489.