Agamemnon’s Corselet in the Light of Cypriote Myth
τόν ποτέ οἱ Κινύρης δῶκε ξεινήϊον εἶναι.
πεύθετο γὰρ Κύπρονδε μέγα κλέος, οὕνεκ’ Ἀχαιοὶ
ἐς Τροίην νήεσσιν ἀναπλεύσεσθαι ἔμελλον.
τοὔνεκα οἱ τὸν δῶκε χαριζόμενος βασιλῆϊ.
Next he put on around his chest the corselet
which Kinyras gave him once as a guest present.
For he had heard on Cyprus the great rumor that the Achaeans
were to sail against Troy in their ships.
For this reason he gave the corselet to the king showing his favor to him. 
Given the rare and rather unimportant references of the Homeric poems to the island of Cyprus, Kinyras’ “entry” in the narrative seems unexpected.  We are certainly inclined to wonder what is the purpose of this reference and how an ancient audience would respond to it. To begin with some preliminary remarks, it is important to note that Kinyras is mentioned without any special introduction, which suggests that he was a figure familiar to the Pahnellenic Homeric audience. The Cypriote king appears, indeed, to have been a (vaguely) traditional character of Greek mythology, mostly known, at least according to early lyric references to him, as an immensely rich man as well as a priest of Aphrodite and a favorite of Apollo.  The Iliadic passage, furthermore, associates this fairly well-known hero with the mytho-poetic tradition of the Trojan War and in particular with the preparatory stages of the expedition (see ποτέ in line 22 as time marker for the past). Lines 21-22 reveal, in the form of an added (‘editorial’) comment (see the use of the explanatory γάρ in line 21), the special circumstances under which Kinyras’ generous gesture of friendship towards the Greek leader took place: the Cypriote king gave the marvelous corselet to Agamemnon when he heard that the Achaeans would sail with their fleet against Troy. Thus it seems that what we have here is a case of an Iliadic allusion to a ‘pre-Iliadic’ episode of the Trojan War, one of numerous such allusions, another obvious example being the Teichoskopia in Book 3 (155-244).
In the version of the Kyprian tradition two details stand out: 1) Kinyras learned about the Trojan War from the Greeks themselves, through an embassy, and he had in fact to be persuaded by them to join the expedition, even with a mere sponsorship. 2) He gave ample gifts to the Greeks (Agamemnon) but he also tricked them in his clever manner of keeping his oath.
εὐαχέα βασιλεῦσιν ὕμνον, ἄποιν’ ἀρετᾶς.
κελαδέοντι μὲν ἀμφὶ Κινύραν πολλάκις
φᾶμαι Κυπρίων, τὸν ὁ χρυσοχαῖτα προφρόνως ἐφίλησ’ Ἀπόλλων,
ἱερέα κτίλον Ἀφροδίτας: ἄγει δὲ χάρις φίλων ποίνιμος ἀντὶ ἔργων ὀπιζομένα.
In light of the Pindaric ode, it is clear that Kinyras was already well established as a local hero in some poetic form (κελαδέοντι; φᾶμαι) in the early fifth century BCE. In later sources Kinyras’ status as the ultimate culture hero of Cyprus becomes even more evident. He appears as the mythical eponymous ancestor of a guild of temple priests, the Kinyradai, who controlled the cult of Aphrodite at Paphos and practiced divination.  Tacitus in his account of the emperor Titus’ (late first century CE) consultation of the famous Paphian oracle, deems the origin of the worship and the ceremonial of the temple worthy of mention. He notes that according to later accounts the temple was dedicated to Aphrodite by Kinyras, on the spot where the goddess was said to have come ashore after her birth from the sea, but that the craft of divination was imported to Cyprus by Tamiras of Cilicia.