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I Cyprus has almost always been under outside rule Its location which is at the meeting point of three continents has made it a target for other conquering peoples for almost twenty centuries The Mycenaean Greeks settled there in the 13th century BC They introduced Greek language and culture to Cyprus which are still preserved to this day Cyprus has been conquered by peoples such as Alexander the Great the Romans the Byzantines the Crusaders the Ottomans and finally the British1Preceding Ottoman colonization the Crusaders ruled Cyprus Richard the Lionheart was the first crusader to rule the island However after a Cypriot rebellion he lost interest in holding it Richard the Lionheart sold the island to a religious military order known as the Knights Templars in July 1191 for 100000 gold dinars They too had nothing but trouble with the island The Knights Templars petitioned Richard the Lionheart to declare the contract void and he agreed to do so2The head of a French noble family Guy de Lusignan began the next dynasty that would rule Cyprus for the next 300 years He was able to reconcile with the Cypriots by assuring them that the blood baths and deportations would come to an end Lusignan got rid of the Church of Cypruss archbishop and replaced him with a Catholic bishop Since he saw the Cypriots as serfs he invited many nobles who had lost their lands in Palestine to the Muslims to settle in Cyprus Guy reigned for almost two years His brother who became the next ruler of the Lusignan dynasty reigned for eleven years He established the offices of the State purely on feudalism Under the Lusignan dynasty the island became one of the worlds richest countries Cotton sugar cane lace camel hair silk gold brocade olive oil wine and grain were the luxury goods which the island produced But only the few hundred Frankokratia the Greek term for the rule of the Europeans
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