BACK IN THE DAY: In ancient times Cyprus' strategic location between three continents guaranteed it a role in flourishing trade routes, and made it a coveted prize. Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. captured the island as part of his campaign against the Persians.
BRITAINIA RULES: Britain annexed Cyprus at the start of World War I, and the island helped defend Britain's crucial trade routes to India.
SPLIT PERSONALITY: Following independence Cyprus split into an internationally recognized, Greek-speaking south and a breakaway Turkish-speaking north in 1974 — when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.