Salamis

Once a thriving port city and an important Greek city-state on the eastern shore of Cyprus, Salamis offers a tantalizing glimpse into the vast history of the island. According to ancient Greek tradition, Salamis was founded after the Trojan War by the archer Teukros, son of King Telamon, who came from the island of Salamis, off the coast of Attica. Half-brother to the hero Ajax, Teukros was unable to return home from the war after failing to prevent his half-brother’s suicide, leading him to flee to Cyprus where he founded Salamis.

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Coordinates: 35° 11′ 0″ N, 33° 54′ 0″ E

Salamis

Successively controlled by various dominant powers, Salamis served as the island’s main port and capital for a thousand years. The city saw great wealth and dominated the island until its near-destruction in the 4th century CE following a series of earthquakes. Most of the ruins we see today are from the Roman period. Set along the sea-shore, they cover an area over one kilometre long. Among the many impressive sights to be seen at Salamis are the gymnasium devoted to the training of athletes, the Roman baths, the theatre and the basilicas.

For more than a thousand years Salamis lay buried beneath a thick layer of sand which helped preserve the city from looting and destruction.

PORTFOLIO

The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an earlier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian's reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an earlier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian’s reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt.
The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an earlier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian's reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an earlier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian’s reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt.
The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an earlier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian's reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an earlier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian’s reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt.
The gymnasium's latrines, a semicircular structure with a roof supported on columns and a capacity of 44, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The gymnasium’s latrines, a semicircular structure with a roof supported on columns and a capacity of 44.
Marble pool at NE corner of the Gymnasium's portico surrounded by headless statues dating back to the 2nd century AD (Trajanic/Hadrianic), Salamis, Northern Cyprus
Marble pool at NE corner of the Gymnasium’s portico surrounded by headless statues dating back to the 2nd century AD (Trajanic/Hadrianic).
Marble pool at SE corner of the Gymnasium's portico dating back to the 2nd century AD (Trajanic/Hadrianic), Salamis, Northern Cyprus
Marble pool at SE corner of the Gymnasium’s portico dating back to the 2nd century AD (Trajanic/Hadrianic).
Headless statues surrounding the marble pool at NE corner of the Gymnasium's portico by dating back to the 2nd century AD (Trajanic/Hadrianic), Salamis, Northern Cyprus
Headless statues surrounding the marble pool at NE corner of the Gymnasium’s portico by dating back to the 2nd century AD (Trajanic/Hadrianic).
The Roman theatre, built during the reign of Augustus and completed during the years of Trajan and Hadrian, it originally had 50 rows of seats (just 18 remain) and held over 15,000 spectators, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The Roman theatre, built during the reign of Augustus and completed during the years of Trajan and Hadrian, it originally had 50 rows of seats (just 18 remain) and held over 15,000 spectators.
The Roman theatre, built during the reign of Augustus and completed during the years of Trajan and Hadrian, it originally had 50 rows of seats (just 18 remain) and held over 15,000 spectators, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The Roman theatre, built during the reign of Augustus and completed during the years of Trajan and Hadrian, it originally had 50 rows of seats (just 18 remain) and held over 15,000 spectators.
The Roman theatre, built during the reign of Augustus and completed during the years of Trajan and Hadrian, it originally had 50 rows of seats (just 18 remain) and held over 15,000 spectators, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The Roman theatre, built during the reign of Augustus and completed during the years of Trajan and Hadrian, it originally had 50 rows of seats (just 18 remain) and held over 15,000 spectators.
The bath complex, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The bath complex.
Niche in one of the room of the bath complex decorated with polychrome wall-mosaics depicting Apolllo (in the centre) and Artemis (left) slaying the Niobids, end of 3rd century AD, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
Niche in one of the room of the bath complex decorated with polychrome wall-mosaics depicting Apolllo (in the centre) and Artemis (left) slaying the Niobids, end of 3rd century AD.
The cistern and remains of the aqueduct that used to supply the baths and the pools with water, Salamis, Northern Cyprus
The cistern and remains of the aqueduct that used to supply the baths and the pools with water.
Salamis, Northern Cyprus
Salamis
The Kambanopetra Basilica, built in the 4th centuy AD, Salamis, Northen Cyprus
The Kambanopetra Basilica, built in the 4th centuy AD.
Salamis, Northern Cyprus
Salamis.

Many Roman sculptures from the gymnasium of Salamis are housed in the Cyprus Museum, located in central Nicosia.

Sculptures from the Gymnasium of Salamis, 2nd century AD, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus
Sculptures from the Gymnasium of Salamis, 2nd century AD, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia.
Sculptures from the Gymnasium of Salamis, 2nd century AD, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus
Sculptures from the Gymnasium of Salamis, 2nd century AD, Cyprus Museum, Nicosia.

See more images of the archaeological site of Salamis on Flickr

See more images of the Roman sculptures from the gymnasium on Flickr

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