Cyprus was important in the 16th century due to its strategic location for trade and commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as its valuable copper mines.
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Cyprus was an important island in the 16th century for several reasons. Firstly, it served as a strategic location for trade and commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean. The island was situated at the intersection of important trade routes, making it a hub for merchants from Europe, Asia, and Africa. According to historian Marios Clerides, “Cyprus was a central point for merchants from three continents, and it was the largest producer of wheat in the eastern Mediterranean region.”
Secondly, Cyprus was known for its valuable copper mines. The mining of copper had been a significant industry on the island since ancient times. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Cyprus for much of the century, relied heavily on Cypriot copper for its military and economic needs. As the historian Richard Clogg notes, “Cyprus was the main source of copper for the Ottoman Empire, which used it to make coins, cannons, and other weapons.”
Additionally, Cyprus played a role in the wider political scene of the time. It was a coveted prize for many European powers, who sought to gain control of the island for strategic or economic reasons. In 1571, the island was briefly occupied by the Republic of Venice, before falling back into Ottoman hands later that year.
Finally, Cyprus was home to a sizable population of Maronite Christians, a religious minority that had faced persecution under Ottoman rule. The Maronites had a long history on the island, and their cultural traditions and practices were intertwined with those of the broader Cypriot community.
In summary, Cyprus was an important location in the 16th century due to its strategic position for trade and commerce, valuable copper mines, political significance, and diverse population. As historian Dio Chrysostom wrote in the 1st century CE, “Cyprus is a land of many wonders, where the sea meets the mountains and the east meets the west.”
|Cyprus was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for most of the 16th century.|
|The island was briefly occupied by the Republic of Venice in 1571.|
|Copper mining on Cyprus dates back to at least 2500 BCE.|
|The Maronite Christians of Cyprus played a significant role in the island’s history.|
|Cyprus was an important producer of wheat in the eastern Mediterranean region.|
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Until the beginning of the 18th century, it wasn’t.
Up until around 1700 Wallachia was not important to the Ottomans for 3 reasons:
1. It was rebellious and difficult to govern, even by the local rulers.
2. It was relatively poor.
3. The Ottoman advance in Europe was towards Central Europe, specifically Vienna. Wallachia was peripheral in the grand scheme of things.
Things started to change in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The advent of firearms and artillery made warfare much more expensive. It wasn’t possible anymore to defeat the Turks with bows and axes, like Mircea cel Bătrîn did in the 1300s, you had to use professional mercenaries. This cost a lot of money. Mihai Viteazul, the last Wallachian ruler to severely defeat the Ottomans had to heavily tax the population in order to pay his mercenaries, and neither the peasants nor the boyars were pleased with that.
At the same time the Ottomans were on the defensive, with the Habsburgs and the Russians encroaching more and more on t…
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