Cyprus Religion and Languages

Cypriot Orthodox Church

Cypriot Orthodox Church, actually Orthodox Church of Cyprus, the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Cyprus.

The seat of the head of the church, the “Archbishop of Neo Justiniana and all of Cyprus”, is Nicosia; liturgical language is Greek, training center is the Theological Seminary in Nicosia. The Cypriot Orthodox Church counts (according to the 2011 census) almost 750,000 believers in six eparchies, according to more recent estimates (2016) 0.6–0.65 million church leader has been Archbishop Chrysostomos II. (* 1941) since November 2006.

Following Acts 13: 1 ff., The Church of Cyprus traces its origin back to the missionary work of the Apostle Paul and his companion Barnabas. Until 431 under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch (Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch), the 3rd Ecumenical Council (Ephesus) established its autocephaly. According to localtimezone, Arab occupations of Cyprus since the 7th century forced the evacuation of the Christian population to the newly built Dardanelles city of Nea Justiniana, where the Archbishop of Cyprus took his seat; under Emperor Nikephorus II. Phocas (963–969) the Archbishop and the Orthodox Christians were able to return to Cyprus. The Latin hierarchy established on the island as a result of the 3rd Crusade (1189–92; Cyprus, History) pushed Orthodox life back. Under Ottoman rule, the Orthodox were subordinate to the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Latin clergy were expelled; In 1660 Sultan Mehmed IV transferred the responsibility of the Greek ethnarch of Cyprus to the Orthodox Archbishop.

Efforts by the Greek population during the time of British rule (from 1878) to achieve a unification of their island with Greece resulted in the archbishop’s exile. It was not until 1947 that the church was allowed to elect a head again. The central figure in the history of Cyprus and the Cypriot Orthodox Church in the second half of the 20th century was Archbishop Makarios III. who, as head of the church and politician, consciously placed himself in the tradition of earlier Greek ethnarchs.

Cypriot syllabary

Cypriot syllabary, which was used in Cyprus until the end of the 3rd century BC. Font used. The Cypriot syllabary is a purely phonetic syllabary with 56 characters (local differences) and according to different rules than the related font Linear B by Knossos, Pylos and others. written. The majority of the texts are in an ancient Greek dialect (closely related to Arcadian), some texts are in the Eeteokyprian language. In the 2nd millennium BC There was a preliminary stage of the Cypriot syllabary in the form of the Cyprominoic script. The Cypriot syllabary was deciphered in 1871-75.

Cyprominoic scripts

Cyprominoic writings from 16./15. Century to the 11th century BC Chr. On Cyprus as well as on some documents from Ugarit attested to syllabary scripts. On the one hand they are related to the linear scripts of Crete (especially with Linear A) and on the other hand to the Cypriot syllabary. The term Cyprominoic scripts refers to their origin from the writing systems used in Crete in the Middle and Late Minoan period (Cretan scripts). Two of the three closely related variants are found in Cyprus itself; of which the first is from 16./15. to 11th century BC Chr. Attested in several places on the island and on various objects and probably has connections to that native language, Eteocyprian is called; the second, on large clay tablets, is only from Enkomi and the period from the 13th to the 12th century BC. Known. The third variant is attested in Ras Shamra (the old Ugarit) on the Syrian coast east of Cyprus. The deciphering of the Cypriot scripts has begun.

Cypriot art

Cypriot art, Cypriot art, art and cultural evidence of Cyprus since the Neolithic (from 6th millennium BC).

Due to the cultural contacts to the east and west that have existed from the earliest times and the extensive long-distance trade due to the copper deposits, which led to the import of artistic objects, Cypriot art is characterized on the one hand by the processing of the influences of other cultures, but on the other hand it also often shows independent lines of development.


Apart from the tool finds from a settlement site in the south of Cyprus (before the middle of the 9th millennium BC), the earliest settlement finds date back to the pre-ceramic Neolithic of the early 6th millennium BC. BC back. In Choirokoitia, these include the remains of round stone buildings with conical roofs arranged in homesteads, the foundation walls of which are up to 2.5 m thick; the oldest houses are to the east of a wide stone wall. Remains of a later second fortification wall were also discovered. The dead were buried under the floor in a crouched position. The obsidian splinters and carnelian pearls added to them are imported from overseas. In addition, anthropomorphic cult figures were found. Ceramics were only produced in Cyprus in the Chalcolithic period (“Red on white ware”, also called Erimikeramik after the main place where it was found). The small, Idols, now clearly female, are of a “cross-shaped” shape, mostly due to their outstretched arms, and are made of steatite or clay. The earliest metal find, a bronze chisel, was made in Erimi.

Cypriot Orthodox Church

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