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Amathous, City on the southern coasts of the island of Cyprus, 10 km from Limassol. the center of civilization Phoenician, then quickly greek, it depended until the 6th century. B.C. by Assyrian and Egyptian empires, then from the Persian.
It was home to a famous temple of Aphrodite and Adonis, documented only by literary sources. Among the finds from the necropolis excavated in 1870-80 by L. Palma Cesnola, a silver cup with decorations and a sarcophagus with processions of chariots and horsemen. A colossal statue, depicting a monstrous god holding a lioness (perhaps Melqart), is now kept in a museum in Istanbul. In the sixth century BC step under the Persians, which remained loyal to the conquest of Alexander the Great. Then he passed to the Ptolemies. In 59 BC It was occupied by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the largest and most populated cities of Cyprus.
He was born and died at Amathous the famous patriarch of Alexandria St John the Merciful. It was destroyed in 1190 by Richard the Lionheart. The basilica was built in the late sixth or seventh century on the site of Aphrodite’s temple destroyed during the sixth century by an earthquake. It was richly decorated with wall mosaics and marble slabs carved and consists of three aisles and a narthex with a gallery above. The basilica is located at the highest point of the hill, 80 meters above sea level, placed in the corner of a big entirely paved quadrangular enclosure. Amathous was talking to the so-called eteocipriota, a language that does not seem related to the greek, written with the Cypriot syllabary, but it has not been deciphered. Amathous. town on the island of Cyprus dedicated to Aphrodite, because of his cult was also called Amatusia. Its inhabitants were all turned into bulls by Aphrodite because, against the will of the goddess, the offered himself in sacrifice foreigners. Its inhabitants are also known with the name of Cerasti.
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