The Eastern Roman province of Cyprus

roman province of cyprus

Cyprus since the beginning of the Eastern Roman empires history was a province that belonged to the administration of the east. The capital of this authority was in Antioch. Cypriots were involved in dynastic wars as Licinius obliged them to help him against Constantine the Great.Licinius defeat rendered the whole state under Constantines control. One of the first moves of the new emperor was to reinforce the defences of the island in order to be able to deal with the constant pirate raids.He also sent a trusted person to govern the island called Kalokairos. Kalokairos failed Constantine as he was incapable and additionally he declared himself independent hegemon of Cyprus.This rebelion was suppressed and Kalokairos was executed.The island tried to recover under the authority of Constantinople.However in parallel with the rebellion, Cyprus was also hit by a natural disaster as many earthquakes cause much devastation at the main cities of the island.

The successor of Constantine emperor Constantius took the initiative to rebuilt Salamina the capital of the island. As an honour for doing this the citizens of Salamina renamed the city to ConstantiaAfter the earthquakes, a starvation followed which during the 4rth century wiped out the majority of the population.During the 5th cen. there is no event worth of rememberence except some ecclesiastical issues as during emperor Zenos rule Cyprus was an autocephalus archbishopric.Since the 6th century under the emperor Justinian I Cyprus was under military administration along with the northern territories of the state and the islands of the Aegean.The historians presume that this weird administrative unit was created in such way so that the safe islands of the mediterranean would support economically the northern territories which suffered from barbarian raids.During emperor Herakleios reign Cyprus functioned as a shelter of refugees from Palestine and Egypt as a result from the constant wars of the Byzantines with the Sassanid empire.In the same period Islam started to spread in the Levant and Cyprus gradually was turned into a border province.

Continued at General and Hellenic History Subjects: Cyprus: The Eastern Roman province.

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