Ancient Origins recently posted a really nice piece about Salamis, a large port city located on the island of Cyprus. According to Homeric legend, Salamis was founded by archer Teucer (or Teukros)from the Trojan War. Salamis was believed to have been the capital of Cyprus as far back as 1100 B.C. Located on the eastern side of the island of Cyprus, it was considered a very important port city. Ships arrived from all over the world, making it a major hub of activity.

Teucer was the son of King Telamon and his wife Hesione, who was the daughter of King Laomedon of Troy. This lineage made Teucer the cousin of the legendary Hector and Paris of Troy, but Teucer fought against all of them, as he was an opponent of Troy in the Trojan War. It is said Teucer fought in the War as an archer, but his shots at Hector were deflected by Apollo. At one point Hector threw a large rock at Teucer, injuring him. While his injury prevented him from fighting for a time, he was said to be one of the individuals who invaded Troy in the Trojan horse. Teucer’s half-brother, Ajax committed suicide, for which King Telamon disowned Teucer, leading him to flee to Cyprus, where he founded Salamis. Some say that the legendary tale of Teucer coincides with occupation of Cyprus by the Sea People.

The city of Salamis has a rich past. It was recorded as founded by inhabitants of Cyprus known as Enkomi around 1100 B.C. In 525 B.C., Persians took control of the city. The city was destroyed during the Jewish revolt in 115 A.D., during which time an estimated 250,000 Greeks were killed. Destruction of the city also occurred as a result of many earthquakes in the area, with cumulative damage over time. Ultimately, the city of Salamis was rebuilt by Christian emperor Constantius II, who reigned from 337-361 AD. The city was ultimately destroyed after the Arab invasions under the control of Muʿāwiyah in 648 A.D., after which the city was permanently abandoned.

For some beautiful archaeological finds from the city, and much more information about its history, head over to Ancient Origins. I found it a lovely piece about a city I admittedly knew very little about.