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The Mosaics of Nea Paphos Cyprus

28 Nov

A  Brief  History of Nea Paphos

Nea Paphos is situated on a small promontory on the SW coast of the island and occupies a site on which (according to archaeological evidence) there was an earlier settlement that had grown around a small, sheltered bay- the future harbor of Nea Paphos. The town occupies an area of around 950.000 metres.

Soon after the late 4th century B.C. when Nea Paphos was founded, Cyprus became part of the kingdom of the Ptolemies, the Greco-Macedonian rulers of Egypt, who had their capitol at Alexandria. The Ptolemies placed special importance on Nea Paphos for a variety of reasons. Of these, the most important was its proximity to Alexandria and its good harbor which was the most important military outpost of the Ptolemies outside Egypt.

Nea Paphos was also situated near the hills that provided the vast quantities of timber necessary to the Ptolemies for ship building. Most of the timber must have gone to Egypt; there is, however, evidence which indicates that very large ships were being built  in Paphos itself from local timber. The town served as the centre of Ptolemaic administration on the island and soon became a political and economic centre of the district.

Such was the importance that by the 2nd century B.C. the Ptolemies made it the capitol of the whole of Cyprus. Here resided the strategos, the supreme military commander who governed the island in the name of Ptolemaic kings, who themselves often resided at Nea Paphos. The town was also one of a small number of centres on the island that enjoyed the right to mint coins.

In 58 B.C. Cyprus was annexed by Rome. Paphos remained the capitol and continued to be the centre of all political and  administrative life on the island. It was the only Cypriot town that retained the right to mint coins.

paphos-archaeological-site-house-of-theseus

Nea Paphos Archaeological site. House of Theseus.

nea-paphos-ancient-odeon

The Ancient Odeon.  One of the most important monuments of Nea Paphos Part of the Roman agora buildings and dates back to the 2nd Century A.D. It was restored by the Department of Antiquities.

tomb-of-the-kings-nea-paphos

Tomb of the Kings. Nea Paphos.

mosaic-of-theseus-the-minotaur-from-a-room-in-house-of-theseus-3rd-cent-a-d

Mosaic of Theseus and the Minotaur. From the floor of a room in The House of Theseus c 3rd century A.D.

mosaic-leda-and-the-swan-paphos-museum

Mosaic. Leda and the Swan in the Paphos Museum

mosaic-from-the-house-of-dionysus-paphos

Mosaic from the House of Dionysus

mosaic-from-paphos

Mosaic from Nea Paphos.

 

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

2 responses to “The Mosaics of Nea Paphos Cyprus

  1. Aquileana

    December 18, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Stunning dear Rita… I am delighted to see this and particularly to find a depiction of Leda and the Swan!. One of my favourites myths involving a metamorphose by Zeus himself ever!!!! sending best wishes!. Happy Holidays. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. ritaroberts

    December 19, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Thank you for your nice comments Aquileana. I too love the mosaic of Leda and the Swan. Happy Xmas to you too.

    Like

     

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