The Byzantine Era of Cyprus and the Arab invasion

When the two cities of Cyprus were ruined in colossal earthquakes, the Byzantine Empire came into existence. Constantinople, wherein the empire first established its rule, was mainly of Catholic faith. Many Architectural buildings were constructed with gigantic halls served as meeting places. The new city was the capital of Cyprus.

Constantinople was named after the great Constantine, although he preferred to call it New Rome. “Polis” was the name given to it by the Greeks, which means “to the city” whereas for the Turks, it is now city of Istanbul, situated at the Heart of Turkey. The real Byzantine period started in 395 AD, when the Roman Empire divided into two, and the new domain was developed into the Eastern wing. As expected Cyprus was a part of the eastern territory and it remained like that for almost nine centuries.

The main important event during this period was spreading of the Christian faith. People were usually busy in practicing religion and strengthening their ways of leading a God-fearing life. Political situations were extremely peaceful until the Arab invasion. During this time, the Archbishop made several discoveries, which were quite successful in bringing people under the united banner of Catholic faith even more.

In 649 AD, the Arab sailed their way into the island and made it a point to make it their own, but they suffered such a great defeat in trying to drive the existing empire away, that a treaty was signed in which there was a pact of surrendering to the Byzantine empire and going according to their rules, however, in 683 AD, the second Arab invasion took place and destroyed the island again. This time the Arabs were equipped with an army of more than ten thousand men and the Muslim fort was withdrawn. In 688 AD battalions were not to be seen and Cyprus acknowledged as a neutral state, the collected taxes being divided equally among the Arabs and the Emperor.

Nicephorus Phokas, the Emperor of the Byzantines, finally declared the island as free in 965 AD.

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