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NEAPOLIS (Limassol) Cyprus.

On the S coast in Greek Lemesos. Remains of a sizable town, whose limits are difficult to define, are largely covered by the modern town. The necropolis lies E and N.

Practically nothing is known of the founding of this town except that it must have succeeded a Late Bronze Age settlement located N of Limassol. On present-day evidence the town was in existence from Geometric to Roman times but the area had been inhabited since the Early Bronze Age and after the Roman period. Nothing is known of its early history and by the time this place is known by a name we are already in post-Roman times. By the 5th c. A.D. it was a town of some importance with an established episcopal see. It was then known by several names such as Neapolis, Theodosias, or Theodosiana. By the following century this had become Nemesos. The name Neapolis, however, might be earlier (Βίος Αὐξιβιόυ 13). The Life informs us that Tychicos I was consecrated to the see of Neapolis in the time of St. Paul.

The name appears in an inscription of the second half of the 3d c. B.C. This inscription, which was acquired in the village of Gypsos in the hinterland of Salamis, honors Nikandros, commandant of Neapolis, but as no other town of that name can be found within Cyprus it may well refer to the predecessor of Limassol.

It has also been suggested that this Neapolis might be identified with Kartihadast but since this name applies rather to Kition this view must be dismissed. Moreover nothing Phoenician has been found so far in Limassol.

The town site is unexplored but many casual finds have been recorded.


George Hill, “Two Toponymic Puzzles,” Journal of the Warburg Institute 2.4 (1939) 375-79; V. Karageorghis, “Chronique des Fouilles et Découvertes Archéologiques à Chypre,” BCH 84 (1960), and thereafter every year, under the chapter “Musée régional de Limassol.”


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