Location of Cyprus (pictured lower right), showing the Republic of Cyprus in darker green and the self-declared republic of Northern Cyprus in brighter green, with the rest of the European Union shown in faded green island in the Mediterranean.
Cyprus is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
The Cypriots, led by Onesilus, king of Salamis, joined their fellow Greeks in the Ionian cities during the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt in 499 BC against the Achaemenid Empire.
The island was conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 BC.
Following his death and the subsequent division of his empire and wars among his successors, Cyprus became part of the Hellenistic empire of Ptolemaic Egypt.
His brother and successor Aimery was recognised as King of Cyprus by Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor.
Following the death in 1473 of James II, the last Lusignan king, the Republic of Venice assumed control of the island, while the late king's Venetian widow, Queen Catherine Cornaro, reigned as figurehead.
Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC.