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Cyprus The Birthplace of Aphrodite

by Tessa OKeefe on 17/09/12 at 5:57 pm

A short synopsis about the country of Cyprus and a little about how Aphrodite came into being.

Cyprus is a country island, and it’s the third largest island located in the Mediterranean Sea.  It is located south of Turkey, east of Greece, and west of Syria.  It is considered to be the gateway to the Middle East. This small country is also very unique in that its capital city, Nicosia, is situated in two different “countries.”  Since 1974 the northern portion of Cyprus has been illegally occupied by Turkey, and the southern portion of Cyprus does not recognize the northern portion.  Nicosia is split in both the “northern” unrecognized area of the country and the other half is in the southern half of the Cypriot controlled area.  Though for purposes of the European Union, there is only one recognized and “united” country of Cyprus known as the Republic of Cyprus. 

The country has been around for thousands of years with the oldest known area dating back to about 10,000 BC.  Many have conquered or ruled Cyprus at one time or another, including the French, English, Ottomans, even Venetians. Proof of these dominations can be seen all over the island.  Ultimately the country received its independence in 1960.

One of the most striking facts about Cyprus is that although it only measures 3500 square miles and measures only about 140 miles in length at its longest point, it contains over 10,000 churches.  The Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus is the most prolific religion on the island with nearly 850,000 members.  The other denominations on the island include Roman Catholics, Jehovah’s Witness, Latter Day Saints, 7th Day Adventists, and small population of Maronite Catholics.

Cyprus is a country rich with history.  According to Greek mythology this is the birthplace of Aphrodite.  Her birth came from a rather heinous act.  Cronus was the son of Uranus and Gaia.  Uranus greatly angered Gaia when he hid her largest children, the hundred-armed Hecatonchires and one-eyed Cyclopes, from seeing the light of day. Gaia convinced her son, Cronus, who already envied his father’s power, to castrate Uranus.  Cronus had a sickle specially made for this deed.  Once he performed the castration he tossed his father’s testicles into the sea, and from the foam appeared Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.

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