AN ISLAND IN TRANSITION Luca Zavagno Research on early medieval Cyprus has focused on the late antique “golden age” (late fourth/early ifth to seventh century) and the so-called Byzantine “Reconquista” (post-AD 965) while overlooking the intervening period. This phase was characterized, supposedly, by the division of the political sovereignty between the Umayyads and the Byzantines, bringing about the social and demographic dislocation of the population of the island. This book proposes a different story of continuities and slow transformations in the fate of Cyprus between the late sixth and the early ninth centuries. Analysis of new archaeological evidence shows signs of a continuing link to Constantinople. Moreover, together with a reassessment of the literary evidence, archaeology and material culture help us to reappraise the impact of Arab naval raids and contextualize the confrontational episodes throughout the ebb and low of Eastern Mediterranean history: the political inluence of the Caliphate looked stronger in the second half of the seventh century, the administrative and ecclesiastical inluence of the Byzantine empire held sway from the beginning of the eighth to the twelfth century. Whereas the island retained sound commercial ties with the Umayyad Levant in the seventh and eighth centuries, at the same time politically and economically it remained part of the Byzantine sphere. This belies the idea of Cyprus as an independent province only loosely tied to Constantinople and allows us to draw a different picture of the cultural identities, political practices and hierarchy of wealth and power in Cyprus during the passage from Late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages. BYZANTINE AND LATE ANTIQUE HISTORY Cover illustration: Salamis-Constantia, Campanopetra Basilica (view of the East Atrium). Author’s photograph. Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 600–800) AN ISLAND IN TRANSITION Luca Zavagno Luca Zavagno Luca Zavagno received his BA degree in History from the University Ca’Foscari, Venice; he completed his PhD studies at the University of Birmingham on the society, culture, economics and politics of Byzantine cities. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Bilkent University. Dr. Zavagno is the author of many articles on the Byzantine and early Medieval Mediterranean and of the co-edited volumes Islands of the Eastern Mediterranean: A History of Cross Cultural Encounters (2014), Goods on the Move: Merchants, Networks and Communication Routes in the Medieval and Early Modern Era (2016) and of Cities in Transition: Urbanism in Byzantium between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (2009). Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 600–800) Cyprus between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (ca. 600–800) ISBN 978-1-138-24331-6 9 781138 243316 Routledge titles are available as eBook editions in a range of digital formats BIRMINGHAM BYZANTINE AND OTTOMAN STUDIES