Appendix E. The ‘Lost Site’ of Kinyreia

Pliny the Elder, in his list of fifteen Cypriot cities, states that “there was once also Cinyria, Mareum, and Idalium.” [1] A Kinýreion was also mentioned in the Bassarika attributed to Dionysios the Periegete (second century CE) in a passage listing the Cypriots who supported Dionysos’ conquest of India, which included “those [sc. who held] Kinýreion and lofty Krapáseia.” [2] On the basis of this pairing P. Chuvin seeks to locate Kinýreion/Kinýreia on the Karpass (the long peninsula stretching towards Syria). [3] A similar association is found in the late epicist Nonnos (fl. ca. 400 CE), whose Dionysiaka alludes to the poem just discussed in the same context. [4] Here the foundation of Kinýreia is explicitly attributed to Kinyras and is mentioned just before the site of Ourania—mentioned by Diodoros Siculus as being on the Karpass. [5]
But these delicate attempts to locate Kinýreia/on may be unnecessary. Pliny, our oldest authority, apparently had no inkling where his Cinyria was. Therefore his source did not say. For all we know, ps.-Dionysios, knowing no more than Pliny, merely joined it with Krapáseia for the sake of alliteration. Nonnos, following ps.-Dionysios, probably has no independent value; he may have joined Kinýreia and Ourania purely because of Kinyras’ associations with Aphrodite.
The answer may well lie in a different direction. ‘Cinyria’ could simply have been an obsolete or poetic designation for an existing city: Pliny himself has just cited several Greek authorities for ‘former’ names of Cyprus, some of which are clearly poetic or popular wordplays—for instance Amathusia and Cryptos (‘hidden’). An easy guess, given the tradition recorded by Theopompos, [6] is that Amathous had once been known as Kinýreia, perhaps in popular or poetic usage. This fact was then recorded by some Hellenistic geographer in an ambiguous context so that Pliny, finding no extant Cypriot city of the name, and knowing that the kingdoms had been terminated by Ptolemy, assumed that ‘Cinyria’, like Marion, had been destroyed. [7] A likely source is Eratosthenes, known to be one of Pliny’s authorities for the book in question, and to have written a work on Amathousian lore. [8]
C. Baurain has even hypothesized that Kinýreia was once an official name for Amathous. This depends upon an emendation and rereading of the Esarhaddon prism inscription, [9] whereby the otherwise unidentified site of nu-ri-ja can be effectively restored as Kinýreia. [10] This, he argues, would be best equated with Amathous—a major city at the time, yet not otherwise mentioned in the text’s list of kings and kingdoms. The name will have fallen from use, Baurain suggests, through some process of synoecism or refoundation, when ‘Amathous’ was promoted. The hypothesis is certainly seductive. [11]
One should note here the report of Étienne de Lusignan that Amathous was fortified by Semiramis after her husband Ninos, king of the Assyrians, conquered the island. [12] Much of what we know about Semiramis comes from a fragment of Ktesias (fl. ca. 400), who was attached to the Persian court. According to Diodoros’ summary, Semiramis made use of Cypriot shipwrights. [13] From this it is a fair and ready inference that the island was among Ninos’ wide-ranging conquests. But the fortification of Amathous is not in any ancient source I have found, and does not seem the sort of thing Lusignan would have invented himself. It is, however, something Ktesias could well have mentioned—especially given his diplomatic mission from Artaxerxes to Euagoras I, just before the struggle in which Amathous held aloof from the Salaminian king’s party. [14] Could it refer to an actual Assyrian garrison presence on the island—not of course in the legendary past of Ninos, but during the N-A period to which his exploits are best referred? [15] In any event, how a Ktesian detail could have come down to Lusignan is not clear (see Appendix G).
Finally, one may note that Lusignan, though he confessed ignorance about the location of ‘Cinaria’ in the Chorograffia, connects it with a village called Gendinar in the Description. [16] He was presumably motivated by the names’ similarity. Where Gendinar was located, however, is not clear. No other source mentions it, and it has been considered one of several lost or unidentifiable villages mentioned by Medieval or early modern sources. [17] But it is quite possible that Lusignan has simply given a divergent rendering of a known toponym, or that the intended form was incorrectly typeset. The closest match would seem to be the fortress Kantara—which as it happens is in the Karpass (it was rendered Candara by other early French authors). [18]


[ back ] 1. Pliny Natural History 5.35.130: fuere et Cinyria, Mareum, Idalium. Pliny’s source is not clear. He has just cited Timosthenes, Isidorus, Philonides, Xenagoras, and Astynomus variously for the island’s size and its alternative names. But his stated authorities for this book (enumerated in book 1) include Eratosthenes: see below.
[ back ] 2. [Dionysios the Periegete] fr. 2 Heitsch (= Stephanos of Byzantium s.v. Καρπασία): ἠδ’ ὁπόσοι Κινύρειον ἰδ’ αἰπεινὴν Κραπάσειαν [sc. ἔχον]. Stephanos collects and discusses several versions of the word.
[ back ] 3. Chuvin 1991:96 (followed by DGAC:355). To support this he would connect the myth that Kinyras crossed to Cyprus from Cilicia and married Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion ([Apollod.] Library 3.14.3: see p504), to a fragment of Hellanikos’ Kypriaka, which records Pygmalion as the founder of Karpasia (FGH 4 F 57 = Stephanos of Byzantium s.v. Καρπασία· πόλις Κύπρου, ἣν Πυγμαλίων ἔκτισεν, ὡς Ἑλλάνικος ἐν τοῖς Κυπριακοῖς). The Karpass would indeed be a natural landing from Cilicia (cf. p553). But note that ps.-Apollodoros specifically has Kinyras go first to Paphos, and then marry the daughter of Pygmalion.
[ back ] 4. This is shown by the distinctive form Κραπάσεια at 13.455; compare also 13.444 οἵ τ’ ἔχον Ὑλάταο πέδον with [Dionysios the Periegete] fr. 1 Heitsch: οἵ τ’ ἔχον Ὑλάταο θεοῦ ἕδος Ἀπόλλωνος, and the mention of Tembros and Erythrai. Cf. Chuvin 1991:96.
[ back ] 5. Nonnos Dionysiaka 13.451–452: οἵ τε πόλιν Κινύρειαν ἐπώνυμον εἰσέτι πέτρην [v.l. πάτρην] / ἀρχεγόνου Κινύραο (“Those who [sc. held] the city Kinyreia—the still eponymous fatherland [or rock] of / Ancient-born Kinyras”). For Ourania, see Diodoros Siculus 20.47.2 (Demetrios Poliorketes seizes it and marches upon Salamis); cf. Chuvin 1991:96. But note that Nonnos goes on to name Paphos immediately after Krapáseia, which undermines his location of Kinýreion/a by geographical association. Kypris:75 points out that the variant πέτρην could aptly describe the dramatic acropolis of Amathous.
[ back ] 6. Theopompos FGH 115 F 103: see p346–348.
[ back ] 7. For Marion, see p416. For the conquest and absorption of Idalion by Kition in the second half of the fifth century, see HC:125; Maier 1985:34.
[ back ] 8. Eratosthenes’ Amathousia: Hesykhios, Suda, s.v. Ῥοίκου (or Ῥύκου) κριθοπομπία (FGH 241 F 25). Or could Kinýreion simply refer to a Kinyras-shrine, such as one should assume for Palaipaphos (see p419)?
[ back ] 9. ARAB 2:266 §690.
[ back ] 10. Baurain 1981b. This requires accepting a sequence of (simple) scribal errors: first, that the preceding sign, read as the determinative URU (‘city’), has displaced KUR (‘land’), which appears twice elsewhere in this inscription (applied to the Elamites and Gutians: Borger 1956:58, “Episode 19”); second, since KUR can also have the phonetic value of kìn, (one must suppose) that a second such sign was lost by haplography. The original text would therefore be KUR < KUR, i.e. = Kìn>nu-ri-ja. Each step of this reconstruction is straightforward, but some may doubt the cumulative effect.
[ back ] 11. Baurain’s idea is reprised in Aupert and Hellmann 1984:12 and n7, 115, 117; Jasink 2010:154–155 (“cannot be discarded”); cf. Iacovou 2006b:48; Papantonio 2012:281. It is rejected by Masson 1992:29; treated skeptically by DGAC:355. Lipiński 2004:62, 75 argues that nu-ri-ja is Marion, explicable as represented to the Assyrians by Phoenician intermediaries; but cf. Masson 1992:29. The question is complicated by the identification of Qartihadast, which many would equate not with Kition but Amathous: see Smith 2008:273, 276–277 (for whom Kition itself is absent from the inscription as not being independent in Assyrian eyes).
[ back ] 12. Chorograffia p. 9 (§12): “[sc. Amathous] fù edificata dalli Asiirij, quando era soggetta alla Monarchi degli Assirii” (cf. Description pp. 20a, 91). The legend is repeated by Kyprianos, archbishop of Cyprus, in his Ἱστορία χρονολογικὴ τῆς νήσου Κύπρου (1788). These passages are collected in Aupert and Hellmann 1984:49, 51–53.
[ back ] 13. Ktesias FGH 688 F 1b = Diodoros Siculus 2.16.6.
[ back ] 14. Ktesias FGH 688 F 30 = Photios Library 72b20–42; cf. HC:130 and above p352.
[ back ] 15. Cf. Reyes 1994:55 (skeptical).
[ back ] 16. Chorograffia p. 17 (§43), Description p. 33a. See further p560 and n2.
[ back ] 17. Grivaud 1998:252 (taking over a typographical error in Lusignan, so that ‘Cinarie’ appears as ‘Cinavie’).
[ back ] 18. Grivaud 1998:87.