<p>An island in the North Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is located south of Turkey, north of Egypt, and east of Greece. The third largest island in the Mediterranean, though much smaller than Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus has an area of 3584 square miles and a breadth from north to south of 60 miles. (Hill 1) Syria and Asia Minor can be seen from the island.
Roman Cyprus was a key spot for important political and religious functions. It was also a strategic base for trade in the Mediterranean. Consistently occupied throughout history, Cyprus has been home to several strong and competing powers such as the Assyrians, Egyptians, Macedonians, and in particular the Romans. Cyprus was annexed by the Romans in 58 B.C., but until 22 B.C. when Cyprus became an official senatorial province, control over the island fluctuated between the Romans and the Ptolemaic Empire (Karageorghis 177). Yet, from the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. to the Byzantine Empire in the 4th century, Cyprus was controlled by the Romans. And in 293 AD, Cyprus officially became part of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Under Roman rule, Cyprus was divided into four main districts, Salamis, Pafos, Amathous, and Lapethos.</p>