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PAPHUS (Ptol. 8.20.3, &c.: Eth. and Adj. Πάφιος, Paphius, and Paphiacus), the name of two towns seated on the SW. extremity of the coast of Cyprus, viz., Old Paphos (Πάφος παλαιά, Ptol. 5.14.1; or, in one word, Παλαίπαφος, Strab. xiv. p.683; Palaepaphos, Plin. Nat. 5.31. s. 35) and New Paphos (Πάφος Νέα, Ptol. l.c.; Nea Paphos, Plin. l.c.). The name of Paphos, without any adjunct, is used by poets and by writers of prose to [p. 2.548]denote both Old and New Paphos, but with this distinction, that in prose writers it commonly means New Paphos, whilst in the poets, on the contrary,--for whom the name of Palaepaphos would have--been unwieldy,--it generally signifies Old Paphos, the more peculiar seat of the worship of Aphrodite. In inscriptions, also, both towns are called Πάφος. This indiscriminate use is sometimes productive of ambiguity, especially in the Latin prose authors.

Old Paphos, now Kukla or Konuklia (Engel, Kypros, vol. i. p. 125), was said to have been founded by Cinyras, the father of Adonis (Apollod. 3.14); though according to another legend preserved by Strabo (xi. p.505),--whose text, however, varies,--it was founded by the Amazons. It was seated on an eminence ( “celsa Paphos,” Virg. Aen. x. 51), at the distance of about 10 stadia, or 1? mile, from the sea, on which, however, it had a roadstead. it was not far distant from the promontory of Zephyrium (Strab. xiv. p.683) and the mouth of the little river Bocarus. (Hesych. sub voce Βώκαρος.) The fable ran that Venus had landed there when she rose from out the sea. (Tac. Hist. 2.3; Mela, 2.7; Lucan 8.456.) According to Pausanias (1.14), her worship was introduced at Paphos from Assyria; but it is much more probable that it was of Phoenician origin. [PHOENICIA.] It had been very anciently established, and before the time of Homer, as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey (8.362)). Here the worship of the goddess centred, not for Cyprus alone, but for the whole earth. The Cinyradae, or descendants of Cinyras,--Greek by name, but of Phoenician origin,--were the chief priests. Their power and authority were very great; but it may be inferred from certain inscriptions that they were controlled by a senate and an assembly of the people. There was also an oracle here. (Engel, i.p. 483.) Few cities have ever been so much sung and glorified by the poets. (Cf. Aesch. Supp. 525; Verg. A. 1.415; Hor. Od. 1.19, 30, 3.26; Stat. Silv. 1.2. 101; Aristoph. Lysis. 833, &c. &c.) The remains of the vast temple of Aphrodite are still discernible, its circumference being marked by huge foundation walls. After its overthrow by an earthquake, it was rebuilt by Vespasian, on whose coins it is represented, as well as on earlier and later ones, and especially in, the most perfect style on those of Septimius Severus. (Engel, vol. i. p. 130.) From these representations, and from the existing remains, Hetsch, an architect of Copenhagen, has attempted to restore the building. (Müller's Archäol. § 239, p. 261; Eckhel, vol. iii. p. 86.)

New Paphos, now Baffa, was seated on the sea, near the western extremity of the island, and possessed a good harbour. It lay about 60 stadia, or between 7 and 8 miles NW. of the ancient city. (Strab. xiv. p.683.) It was said to have been founded by Agapenor, chief of the Arcadians at the siege of Troy (Hom. II. 2.609), who, after the the capture of that town, was driven by the storm, which separated the Grecian fleet, on the coast of Cyprus. (Paus. 8.5.3.) We find Agapenor mentioned as king of the Paphians in a Greek distich preserved in the Analecta (i. p. 181, Brunk); and Herodotus (7.90) alludes to an Arcadian *colony in Cyprus. Like its ancient namesake, Nea Paphos was also distinguished for the worship of Venus, and contained several magnificent temples dedicated to that-goddess. Yet in this respect the old city seems to have always retained the preeminence; and Strabo tells us, in the passage before cited, that the road leading to it from Nea Paphos was annually crowded with male and female votaries resorting to the more ancient shrine, and coming not only from the latter place itself, but also from the other towns of Cyprus. When Seneca says (N. Q. 6.26, Ep. 91) that Paphos was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, it is difficult to say to which of the towns he refers. Dio Cassius (54.23) relates that it was restored by Augustus, and called Augusta in his honour ; but though this name has been preserved in inscriptions, it never supplanted the ancient one in popular use. Paphos is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (13.6) as having been visited by St. Paul, when it appears to have been the residence of the Roman governor. Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 2.2, 3) records a visit of the youthful Titus to Paphos before he acceded to the empire, who inquired with much curiosity into its history and antiquities. (Cf. Suet. Tit. 100.5.) Under this name the historian doubtless included the ancient as well as the more modern city: and among other traits of the worship of the temple he records, with something like surprise, that the only image of the goddess was a pyramidal stone,--a relic, doubtless of Phoenician origin. There are still considerable, ruins of New Paphos a mile or two from the sea; among which are particularly remarkable the remains of three temples which had been erected on artificial eminences. (Engel, Kypros, 2 vols. Berlin, 1841.)


hide References (15 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (15):
    • Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens, 525
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 3.14
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.90
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.19
    • Homer, Odyssey, 3.26
    • Homer, Odyssey, 8.362
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.30
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.14
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.5.3
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 1.415
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 2.3
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 2.2
    • Lucan, Civil War, 8.456
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.31
    • Statius, Silvae, 1.2
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