The city of Salamis was founded during the migrations that
started towards the end of the Bronze Age by the tribes that
came from Anatolia, and Akas who came from Greece and joined
them in Kilikya.
founder of the city is Tefkros the son of Telamon who
was a Trojan hero and the king of Salamis island. After the
Assyrian domination in 707 B.C., it is understood from the
coins minted in 560 B.C. that the Salamis king Evelthon gained
sovereignty over Cyprus.
attempt by Kimon of Athens in 499 B. C. to put an end to Persian
dominance of the island failed and upon the death of Kimon,
the Athenians gave up on their plans to capture the island.
Following this, the Phoenicians govern the island but a recession
in trade and other fields starts. In 411 B.C. Evagoras, a
descendant of Tefkros, seizes power in Salamis.
he attempts to take over the whole of Cyprus, the Persians
lay siege to Salamis where now the Salamis Bay Conti Hotel resides by, and force him to pay taxes to the Persian
Kingdom. This state of affairs continues until the Iskender
period. When Pyntagoras, the king of Salamis in this period,
provides military aid to Iskender he gets rewarded by being
given the city of Tamusus. After Iskenders death, Salamis
keeps falling into different hands all the time. Following
the invasion of Cyprus by the Ptolemes under difficult conditions
in 294 B.C., the islanders enjoy a period of calm and Salamis
becomes the capital of the island. The prosperous conditions
of the city continue during the Roman period as well.
present ruins mostly belong to the Roman period. Under Roman
rule, the city has a publicassembly, a senate, and a council
of elders. The city suffers a lot of destruction because of
earthquakes in 76 and 77 A.D. and during the Jewish riots
in 116 A.D.. The city is then annexed to the Antioch province
and since the harbour of Salamis becomes the first stop of
Syrian ships, a period of prosperity starts. The earthquakes
of 232 and 342 A.D., however, cause great destruction to the
city once again.
Byzantine emperor Konstantinus rebuilds the city on a smaller
scale and names it after himself. The city replaces Paphos
as the capital of Cyprus. The people of Salamis abandon the
city in 647 A.D. because of the raids of Arabs and earhquakes
and settle in the area now known as Famagusta. Architectural
Remains The city-walls and the harbours In addition to the
walls to the West, North and South of the city, a second wall
has been discovered surrounding the inner city.
walls are thought to have been built in the 7th century A.D.
for protection against the Arab raids. To the South-east of
the city lies the oldest harbour of Salamis. The North and
South of this harbour was protected by man-made breakwaters.
The second harbour used in the late Roman period, on the other
hand is to the North of the city. Apart from these two, a
third harbour used by Demetius is also mentioned in some sources.