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Kition in the Tenth to Fourth Centuries B. C.
Marguerite Yon and William A. P. Childs
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
No. 308, The City-Kingdoms of Early Iron Age Cyprus in Their Eastern Mediterranean Context (Nov., 1997), pp. 9-17
Published by: The American Schools of Oriental Research
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1357405
Page Count: 9
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Texts of the biblical and classical traditions and inscriptions recovered during recent French and Cypriot excavations give Kition an important place among the Cypriot cities of the first millennium B. C. Kition is distinguished by its Phoenician character. There are two phases in the history of the city in the first millennium: the first from the Phoenician colonization to the arrival of the Persians (ninth to the end of the sixth century B. C.), the second including the Classical period to the Ptolemaic conquest (fifth to the beginning of the third century B. C.). Although Kition probably played a role in Cyprus' relations with the Assyrian kings, the city's name apparently is absent from the seventh-century tributary lists of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanifal found at Nineveh-that is, unless the lists refer to Kition as Kartihadast ("New Town"). Phoenician texts as well as inscriptions on coins refer to kings by name from 500 B. C. on. Literary texts and inscriptions suggest that by the Classical period Kition was one of the principal local powers, along with its neighbor Salamis. Between the ninth and fifth centuries B. C., Kition, whose wealth testifies to its position in Mediterranean commerce, is certainly an important city. Despite lack of proof, one is tempted to believe that there existed in the city a royal power connected with Tyre. However, it is also possible that the advent of the Persians, whose political aims in the eastern Mediterranean were supported by Kition, made it possible for a royal power to play a role of major importance for 200 years.
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research © 1997 The American Schools of Oriental Research