Legends and Myths of North Cyprus
Legends and Myths abound in North Cyprus, as they do in many other nations around the world. Whether real or not, these fascinating North Cyprus myths and legends are intriguing to hear or read about.
Many Olympian Gods are claimed to have resided on Cyprus, including Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, Dionysos, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, and Demeter.
One very ancient legend mention that the Creator finished his creation of the world and then shook the remaining lumps of clay from his hands and they fell into the sea leading to the formation of Cyprus. As with most legends of gods and goddesses, the roots of these legends lie in the early history of their believers.
The Mediterranean island is known more for its history; it is also home to a plethora of myths and stories. Some were borrowed from other cultures, while some originated on Cypriot soil. Many of them were passed down verbally and later written down, resulting in a plethora of details and, at times, contradictory «facts».
Aphrodite and Adonis.
According to legend, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, emerged from the sea foam on Cyprus’s south-western shore. She married Hephaestus, the god of forge, but the goddess of love refused to let this stop her from having a romance with Ares, the god of war. She did, however, fall in love with Adonis, a handsome young man who was slain while hunting in the Cyprus woodlands.
Wild anemones blossomed where his blood flowed, along with rock roses made from Aphrodite’s tears, according to legend, and you can undoubtedly see them in North Cyprus.
Pygmalion and Galatea
Pygmalion and Galatea is a captivating fable about a Cypriot sculptor who fell in love with his own work. He asks the goddess Aphrodite (also known as Venus) to bring the sculpture to life, as he intends for it to be his bride. It is a myth that has inspired many since its Ancient Greek origin.
Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, took pity on Pygmalion. When he caressed the sculpture one day, he discovered it had come to life; he named her Galatea, which means “as white as milk.” Paphos, their son, was born after they married.
The legend of the siege of Troy is well-known, yet when it ended after ten years of struggle, thousands of men returned home. Teucer, brother of the Greek hero Ajax and son of Telamon, was one of these warriors who came to Cyprus and created the city of Salamis, according to legend. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the ruins of Salamis on North Cyprus holidays to see the famed remnants of the gymnasium and theater, which were considered the capital city of Cyprus during the 7th century BC.
Five finger mountain
When you want a hero to be powerful, you have to give him the ability to move mountains! So it’s no surprise that Dhiyenis Akritas, North Cyprus’s national hero, is credited with the development of the majestic Kyrenia mountain range.
Legend has it that when this hero sprang over the sea from Anatolia to save Cyprus from Saracen invaders, his hand print was left in the soil of North Cyprus, with his five fingers forming the jagged peaks of the highlands.
As a result, they’re often referred to as North Cyprus’ Five Finger Mountain.
Another folklore about North Cyprus’ Kyrenia Mountains is far more romantic! A poor villager fell in love with his ruler’s queen and had the guts to propose to her. The queen dispatched him on a risky trek to fetch a skin of water from the spring at the St Andreas monastery in order to get rid of this arrogant young man.
He succeeded, much to her surprise, and returned with the desired water, but she refused to marry him.
The villager was so disgusted that he spilled the water on the ground, seized a chunk of mud from the ensuing puddle, and flung it at the queen’s head.
She avoided the mud, which flew through the air and stuck on the mountain ridge beyond. The irate villager’s five fingers can still be seen in the North Cyprus Kyrenia Mountains today!
There are many other legends in this area, and these were just a few.