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PHOENICIAN IDENTITIES IN CYPRUS IN THE CLASSICAL AND EARLY HELLENISTIC PERIODS

Abstract : Since Gjerstad's pioneer study (Gjerstad 1979), the Classical period in Cyprus has been considered a period of strong Phoenician expansion in the island. Following the crisis of the Ionian revolt at the beginning of the 5th century, which was joined by most Cypriot kingdoms, the renewed Persian takeover is supposed to have heavily relied on Phoenician allies, especially in the supposed Phoenician "stronghold" of Kition. Conversely, after the abolishment of Persian rule and the rapid disappearance of Cypriot independent kingdoms towards the end of the 4th century, one generally postulates a quick process of Hellenization, leading to the disappearance of local ("Eteocypriot") and Phoenician identities. This contribution aims at a reappraisal of Phoenician presence(s) in Cyprus during the 5th to 3rd centuries BCE, a period of great political turmoil and transformations that offers a relevant frame for a case study. The concept of Phoenician expansion itself has to be addressed. Archaeological and historical data demonstrating a Phoenician presence do multiply in the Classical period, indeed. But this presence is varied and often deeply rooted in various regional traditions. Kition was certainly not a Phoenician enclave in Cyprus and Phoenician "expansion" did not spread solely from there into other parts of the island. One has to reckon with various multifaceted Phoenician identities in Cyprus that reflect various regional trajectories. Moreover, towards the end of the 4th century, Phoenician elites were active actors in the political and cultural negotiations that led to the integration of Cyprus in the Ptolemaic kingdom. As such, Phoenician elites were also responsible for the promotion and adaptation of a Cypriot political and cultural identity that had its part in the shaping of Hellenistic kingship in the island and beyond.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03231649
Contributor : Sabine Fourrier <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 21, 2021 - 8:54:16 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 9:47:25 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03231649, version 1

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Sabine Fourrier. PHOENICIAN IDENTITIES IN CYPRUS IN THE CLASSICAL AND EARLY HELLENISTIC PERIODS. G. Garbati; T. Pedrazzi. Transformations and crisis in the Mediterranean III. "Identity" and interculturality in the Levant and Phoenician West during the 5th-2nd centuries BCE, p. 123-135, 2021, 978 88 8080 446 8. ⟨hal-03231649⟩

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