The majority of Greek Cypriots descend from the Achaeans (particularly from Arcadia) but also from the other three Greek tribes: Ionians, Aeolians and Dorians.Throughout the history of Cyprus, Greek people continuously colonized the island from different parts of the Hellenic world.Correspondents say dispossessed Greek Cypriots are now likely to launch more legal battles, which in turn may harden opposition to reunification among Turkish Cypriots.In regard to the 1960 Constitution of Cyprus, the term also includes Arabic-speaking Maronites, Armenians and Latin Rite Catholics ("Latins"), who were given the option of being included in one or other of the two constituent communities (Greek or Turkish) and voted to join the Greek Cypriot community.The Cypriots did however endure the oppressive rule of first the Lusignans and then the Venetians from the 1190s through to 1570.King Amaury, who succeeded his brother Guy de Lusignan in 1194, was particularly intolerant of the Orthodox Church.
Nevertheless, it has become a thriving tourist destination in recent years, and house-building has boomed.
After the division of the Roman Empire in 285 AD, Cypriots had home rule for almost nine centuries under the jurisdiction of the Byzantine Empire, something not seen again until 1960.
Perhaps the most important event of the early Byzantine period was the local church's independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431.
The island gradually became part of the Hellenic world as the settlers prospered over the next centuries.
Alexander the Great conquered the island from the Persians in 333 BC.