WIT Press

The Varying Geographical Names In The Island Of Cyprus, Situated On The Main Maritime Passage Way From Europe To The Holy Land For The Past 30 Centuries


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A. Atun


The island of Cyprus could well claim to be the most visited and best cartographically documented island in the world due to its location on the main maritime passage way from Europe to the Holy Land and the end of the Silk Road to Europe. The island's strategic importance through its situation at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa explains Cyprus's turbulent history and the importance of its ports and cities. Since the Phoenicians (10 th to 8 th Century B.C.), Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Ptolemies, Romans, Byzantine, Arabs, English (Richard I the Lion Heart), Frankish (French), Genoese (partly), Venetian (Italian), Ottoman (Turkish) and English [1] ruled the island. During these periods, the names of the cities, towns, villages, ports, mountains, hills, rivers, streams, creeks, ponds, lakes, capes and similar geographic places kept changing [2]. 1 Introduction Sometimes when reading a manuscript written down by a traveler dating back to the medieval ages, it becomes very hard to understand what happened where because of the rapid change of the names due the different backgrounds and languages of governing bodies and their forcibly changing names of places on the island. In addition to this, the language-wise background of the traveling authors, which number to around one hundred and sixty seven different