عنوان مقاله [English]
The island of Cyprus was considered one of the most strategic territories of the Achaemenid Empire. The local Cypriot kings continued to rule various parts of the country during this period, but this did not mean the absence of an imperial presence on the island. The satraps of Ebir-Nāri (beyond the Euphrates) ruled directly over Cyprus, and signs of this domination can be seen in some archaeological evidence from the island. From the Achaemenid period, especially the fifth and fourth centuries BC, a large number of statues, headstones and figurines have been found in temples of Apollo at various cities on Cyprus, which according to most scholars show influence of Achaemenid art. This is mostly manifested in the form of curly beard designs. There is no doubt that some of these sculptures were created under the influence of Assyrian art, which reached Cyprus before the political domination of the Achaemenids and significantly influenced its sculptural production. However, there is compelling evidence that some of these sculptures were influenced by Achaemenid sculpture or depict Persian figures. It seems that starting already during the beginning of the Achaemenid period, a close connection was formed between the Achaemenid Empire and the temples of Apollo. On one side of this connection was the financial support of the Achaemenids and on the other, the spiritual support of the god Apollo. This historical connection could provide the basis for the presentation of sculptures of Persian figures or the influence of Achaemenid art on the sculptures offered to the temples.