Written by the celebrated Cypriot artist Stass Paraskos, The Mythology of Cyprus is an immensely readable and truly entertaining journey through the pagan world of ancient Cyprus, when the island really was the Land of Aphrodite, goddess of love.
First published in 1981, and now republished with a new introduction by Dr Michael Paraskos of Imperial College London, the book was a pioneering exploration of the way ancient Greek mythology was understood in a regional location such as Cyprus.
As Dr Paraskos explains in his new introduction, the book was written at a time when few academics bothered to pay much attention to Cyprus, and many Cypriots themselves preferred to see their island’s history and culture as no more than an extension of Greece or Turkey, rather than a unique phenomenon in its own right.
The publication of this book in 1981 set down a challenge to those narratives, presenting for the first time a uniquely Cypriot view of ancient Greek mythology ad folklore, written by a Cypriot.
With special excursions into surviving influences of pagan belief and practise in modern Cyprus, and a fictionalised journey around pre-Christian Cyprus in the company of a character named Bronteas, The Mythology of Cyprus is joy to read.