Soli, Cyprus

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Chypriotische koninkrijken.PNG
Map showing the 10 ancient city Kingdoms of Cyprus
Soli, Cyprus is located in Cyprus
Soli, Cyprus
Shown within Cyprus
RegionNicosia District
Coordinates35°08′24″N 32°48′40″E / 35.140°N 32.811°E / 35.140; 32.811Coordinates: 35°08′24″N 32°48′40″E / 35.140°N 32.811°E / 35.140; 32.811
The swan mosaic at Soli

Soli or Soloi (Greek: Σόλοι) is an ancient Greek city in the island of Cyprus, located southwest of Morphou (Guzelyurt), and on the coast in the gulf of Morphou and dates back to about the 6th century BC. Since 1974 the city has lain in the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Originally, Soloi was located in a much constricted geographical location. At its current location, the whole urban centre was designed by Solon during his 10-year trip, after whom the name Soloi is commonly attributed. Reyes, however, disputes this etymological origin, as the name Soloi appears on the Esarhaddon prism predating Solon's visit.[1] Soloi was one of the ten city-kingdoms into which Cyprus was divided at the time.

What remains today is mainly from the Roman period, most notably the mosaic floor of the basilica with its wealth of birds, animals and geometric designs and a picture of a swan. There is a theatre but it has been restored so much that it no longer has any atmosphere of its original age.

A trio of ancient underground tombs has been discovered near Soli. The tombs were excavated in 2005 and 2006. Two of the tombs, contained many findings but the third tomb was empty as a result of looting. According to archaeologists the findings indicate a high level of wealth and power. Some of the vessels found are similar to items typically produced in Athens. The artifacts are on display at the Museum of Archeology and Nature in Morphou.[2]

According to ancient written sources the city was supplying Athens with timber and copper and in return getting luxurious metal vessels from there.[3]

Famous people from Soli[edit]

The city of Soli in Cilicia and solecism[edit]

There is also another city by the same name, Soli, Cilicia. The Athenians considered their dialect as uncultured and used the word σόλοικος to refer to incorrect speech, hence the English word solecism.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A.T Reyes, Archaic Cyprus (1993):124
  2. ^ Rare Treasures Discovered In Ancient Tombs On Cyprus
  3. ^ Rare Treasures Discovered In Ancient Tombs On Cyprus
  4. ^ Robert K. Barnhart, ed. (1988). Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. New York: Chambers Harrap. ISBN 0-550-14230-4.