Lapathus (Cyprus)

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Ancient kingdoms of Cyprus en.svg
Map showing the ancient city Kingdoms of Cyprus
Lapathus (Cyprus) is located in Cyprus
Lapathus (Cyprus)
Shown within Cyprus
Coordinates35°21′19″N 33°11′52″E / 35.355404°N 33.197851°E / 35.355404; 33.197851Coordinates: 35°21′19″N 33°11′52″E / 35.355404°N 33.197851°E / 35.355404; 33.197851

Lapathus (Phoenician: 𐤋‬𐤐‬𐤈, LPṬ;[1] Greek: Λάπαθος, Lápathos),[2] also recorded as Lapethus (Λάπηθος, Lápēthos),[3][4] Lepethis (Ληπηθίς, Lēpēthís),[5] and Lapithus (Λάπιθος, Lápithos),[6] was an ancient Cypriot town near present-day Lampousa and Karavas.[7][8]


The foundation of Lapathus was credited to the Phoenicians.[9] Nonnus claimed the name derived from an eponymous Lapathus, a follower of Dionysus.[10] Strabo said that it received a Spartan colony headed by Praxander.[2] He adds that it was situated opposite to the town of Nagidus in Cilicia and possessed a harbour and docks.[2] It was situated in the north of the island, on a river of the same name and in a district called Lapethia (Λαπηθία, Lapēthía).[11]

In the war between Ptolemy and Antigonus, Lapathus and its king Praxippus sided with the latter.[12] The name of the place became synonymous with stupidity.[13]



  1. ^ Huss (1985), p. 569.
  2. ^ a b c Strabo. Geographica. xiv. p.682. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  3. ^ Ptolemy. The Geography. 5.14.4.
  4. ^ Pliny. Naturalis Historia. 5.31.
  5. ^ Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, p. 41.
  6. ^ Hierocles. Synecdemus.
  7. ^ Richard Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. p. 72, and directory notes accompanying.
  8. ^ Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.
  9. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium. Ethnica. s.v.
  10. ^ Nonnus, Dionys. 13.447.
  11. ^ Ptolemy. The Geography. 5.14.5.
  12. ^ Diodorus Siculus. Bibliotheca historica (Historical Library). 19.59.
  13. ^ Suda s.v. Λαπάθιοι.