Bettany Hughes Treasures of the World episode 8
Bettany Hughes Treasures of the World episode 8

Bettany Hughes Treasures of the World episode 8

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  • Post published:March 10, 2023
  • Post category:History

Bettany Hughes Treasures of the World episode 8: Bettany explores Cyprus, where according to mythology the goddess Aphrodite was born. She explores her cult and visits her sanctuary at Palaepaphos. In the Troodos Mountains, she discovers stunning Byzantine churches linked to the Crusaders.





In this episode, Bettany travels to Cyprus, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty. She examines how Aphrodite’s cult influenced the island’s identity and politics, and how her legacy still resonates today. She also visits some of the most stunning sites in Cyprus, such as the sanctuary of Palaepaphos, where Aphrodite was worshipped for centuries; the ancient city-kingdoms of Kourion and Salamis; and the medieval castle of Kolossi, where crusaders left their mark. Along the way, she meets local experts and enthusiasts who share their insights and passion for Cyprus’ rich heritage.


Bettany Hughes Treasures of the World episode 8


According to Greek mythology, the goddess Aphrodite was born from the sea foam near the island of Cyprus. The story goes that Cronus, the god of time, castrated his father Uranus and threw his father’s genitals into the sea. From the sea foam that formed around the genitals, Aphrodite emerged fully grown and incredibly beautiful.

The myth of Aphrodite’s birth has been closely tied to the island of Cyprus since ancient times. In fact, the city of Paphos on the western coast of Cyprus was believed to be the site of Aphrodite’s birth. The city was a center of worship for the goddess, and it was home to many temples and shrines dedicated to her. In addition to her connection to Cyprus, Aphrodite was also closely associated with love, beauty, and sexuality in Greek mythology. She was often depicted as a seductive and alluring figure, and she had many lovers, both mortal and immortal. She was also known for her jealousy and had a reputation for punishing those who crossed her.

Despite her sometimes-volatile nature, Aphrodite was a beloved goddess in Greek mythology, and she was worshiped throughout the ancient world. Her influence can still be seen today, as she continues to be a popular subject in art, literature, and popular culture.


Cyprus is an island nation situated in the eastern Mediterranean with a long and fascinating history. From its earliest days as a center of copper mining and trade to its more recent history as a divided nation, Cyprus has played a significant role in the region.

One of the most important periods in Cyprus’s history was the Bronze Age, which lasted from around 2500 to 1050 BC. During this time, the island was a major producer of copper, which was highly prized for its durability and versatility. The island’s strategic location also made it an important trading center, as ships passed through the region on their way between the East and the West.

In the 4th century BC, Cyprus was conquered by Alexander the Great, and it later fell under the control of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt. During this time, the island became a center of Hellenic culture, and many important Greek temples and monuments were built there. In the centuries that followed, Cyprus was ruled by various empires and kingdoms, including the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Crusaders. In the 16th century, the island came under Ottoman rule, which lasted until the 20th century.

In 1960, Cyprus gained independence from Britain, which had controlled the island since the end of the Ottoman Empire. However, the country’s history of division and conflict soon came to the fore, as tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority erupted into violence. In 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, and the island was divided into two parts: the Republic of Cyprus in the south, which is recognized internationally, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the north, which is recognized only by Turkey. The division of the island remains a contentious issue to this day, and efforts to reunify the island have been ongoing for many years.

Cyprus’s long and complex history has shaped its identity and culture in many ways. From its ancient roots as a center of copper mining and trade to its more recent history of division and conflict, Cyprus has been a key player in the eastern Mediterranean for thousands of years. Despite the challenges it has faced, the island continues to be a vibrant and fascinating place, with much to offer visitors and residents alike.