Last modified: 2020-05-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of Kythrea - Image by Tomislav Šipek, 30 October 2019
The municipality of Kythrea was established in 1915. Following the proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the exile of the Greek population, the new municipality of Değirmenlik was formed in 1975, while the administration of the municipality of Kythrea in exile (website) was relocated to Nicosia.
Kythrea is named for the ancient town of Chytroi.
The ruins of a small inland town, due east of the village of Kythrea, have been identified with those of Chytroi. The town consisted of two parts, the acropolis and the lower town. The acropolis situated on a hill now called Katsourkas lies north of the town. The lower town extends to the south around the ruined Church of Haghios Demetrianos. No traces of a city wall are visible. A large necropolis extends south and south-east. A Geometric necropolis to the south-west of Kythrea may also belong to early Chytroi.
The town was traditionally founded by Chytros, son of Aledros, the son of Akamas. The historical town succeeded a Late Bronze Age settlement. We also know that the area around the nearby Kephalovryse, the principal spring in the island, was inhabited since Neolithic times. Even Salamis was supplied with water from this spring by an aqueduct, the remains of which still exist for part of its 56 km course.
Little is known of the history of the site. The name appears on the prism of Esarhaddon (673-672 B.C., if the identification were beyond dispute. The prism mentions Pilagura, king of Kitrusi, identified as Pylagoras or Philagoras, king of Chytroi. Its name appears for the first time in one of Lysias' speeches in the early 4th c. B.C. After this the town is frequently mentioned by many ancient writers and is also mentioned in the list of the theodorokoi from Delphi (early 2d c. B.C.). In Early Christian times it became a bishopric and flourished down to Early Byzantine times, but was finally abandoned after it was sacked by the Arabs in A.D. 912.
[The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites]
Ivan Sache, 9 August 2017
The flag of the municipality in exile of Kythrea (photo, photo, photo) is white with the municipality's emblem in the center.Ivan Sache & Tomislav Šipek, 30 October 2019