or Ledroi, Ledra, Ledron (Leukosia) Cyprus.
Remains of this ancient town extend S of the
Venetian walls of Nicosia as far as Haghioi, Omologitai.
The necropolis extends W and S. In the light of recent
discoveries, the earlier identification of Ledrai with Leondari Vouno, some 6 km SW of Nicosia, should now be
Practically nothing is known of the origin of this
town except that it succeeded a Late Bronze Age settlement which has been discovered on the S boundary of
Nicosia and especially on either side of the Venetian
fortifications. Here were found quantities of Mycenaean
pottery. The necropolis of this period was at Haghia
Paraskevi, which also yielded Mycenaean material. From
present-day archaeological evidence it is clear that Ledrai
itself was in existence from the Geometric period down
to Early Christian times, when it became a bishopric. The
area, however, has been inhabited since Neolithic times
and owed its prosperity to the river Pediaios and to the
fertile land of the surrounding plain.
Very little is known of the history. On the prism of
Esarhaddon (673-672 B.C.) we find the name Unasagusu,
king of Ledir, identified as Onasagoras (?), king of Ledrai. The recent study of graffiti in the Temple of
Achoris at Karnak has revealed the presence in Egypt,
at the beginning of the 4th c. B.C., of several Cypriotes
from Ledrai. The ethnic Ledrios appears also on a sherd
from Kafizin, a hill near Nicosia, of the end of the 3d c.
B.C. We hear no more about the site until A.D. 52, when
St. Mark took refuge there on his way from Salamis
to Limenia. The next reference is in the 4th c. when
Triphyllios was its bishop.
From inscriptions we learn of the worship of Aphrodite at Ledrai but nothing is known of the site of the
sanctuary. A sanctuary, possibly dedicated to Apollo,
has been located at the locality Haghios Georgios on a
hill at the back of the modern Civil Servants Club. The
town site is unexplored but many casual finds have been
I. K. Peristianes, Γενικὴ Ἱστορία τῆς νήσου Κύπρου
(1910); George Hill, “Two Toponymic Puzzles,” Journal of the Warburg Institute
2.4 (1939) 379-81; Olivier Masson, Les Inscriptions Chypriotes Syllabiques
R. C. Lipsius & M. Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha
II2, p. 301, para. 25; A. Papageorghiou, Ὁ Ἅγιος Αὐξίβιος
(1969) 18, para. 7.