"A Cultural History of Late Roman Cyprus”, the new book by Georgios Deligiannakis, Associate Professor of the Programme "Studies in Hellenic Culture" of the Open University of Cyprus, has been recently published by The Cyprus Research Center of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth. The monograph belongs to the "Texts and Studies in the History of Cyprus" series, and it addresses the coexistence of Christians, Pagans and Jews in Later Roman Cyprus, from the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305) until 431, when the autocephaly of the Church of Cyprus was granted. This era, not extensively researched, mainly because of the scarcity of the sources, was decisive for the formation of the cultural identity of Cyprus during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It is an era characterized by continuity with the Roman past and religious pluralism, but also marked by big changes in culture, economy and the geostrategic role of the island. For his research, Assoc. Prof. Georgios Deligiannakis used textual and archaeological sources.
The first chapter of the book discusses the transition of Cyprus from the classical period of the Roman rule to that of Late Antiquity, with reference to the changes that the island and its inhabitants underwent. The second chapter analyzes the religious trends of the time, as well as how the so-called pagans which dealt with the emerging Christianity. What hinders research on this topic is the lack of evidence for the religious landscape of Cyprus after the 3rd century, resulting in scholars having to use only later hagiographical sources. The third chapter re-examines the mosaic floors found in residential areas in different parts of Cyprus, which offer new interpretations about various aspects of urban life and topography. In the fourth chapter, the spread of Christianity and the consolidation of the local church from the time of the Apostles to that of Bishop Epiphanius are systematically described, with the use of archaeological finds and written sources that cover a wide geographical area, thus offering new insights to the existing bibliography. The last chapter focuses on Bishop Epiphanius as the personality that indelibly marked the Cypriot society during the second half of the 4th century.
Georgios Deligiannakis is a graduate of the Department of History and Archeology of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens. He completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, and in 2007 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Ancient History by the same university. He has received research fellowships from Princeton, Ohio State and Rostock universities. He has also been a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2017-2019, 2023) and a visiting professor at the University of Bologna (2020). His research interests focus on Classical Archaeology, Ancient History, and the Study of History and Archeology of the Eastern Mediterranean with an emphasis on the Roman and Late Roman periods.