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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations - Statue of Aphrodite

Cyprus in the Age of Empires

Head of Apollo, marble

Head of Apollo
Hellenistic period
Marble
Limassol District Museum

With the abolition of Cypriot kingdoms, Cyprus became fully a part of the expansive Greek world. It was the age of Hellenism, the era following the conquests of Alexander the Great, when Greek power and influence was at its height. The Greek alphabet replaced the old Cypriot syllabary, and images of gods become more definitively Greek in style.

But conflicts within the vast territories eventually eroded the Hellenistic world. Alexander's empire soon became part of the growing Roman Empire, and Cyprus was annexed in 58 BC. The island prospered under the Romans, although Rome exacted a heavy price in taxes and exports, while adding monumental buildings and grand villas to the Cypriot landscape. Greek culture, however, persisted—in Greek institutions, theaters, religion, language, and art.

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Metallurgy
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Religion in the Hellenistic Age
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