Polis through the ages
Polis Chrysochous through the ages

In Egypt at Medinet Habu in the temple of Ramesses III, for example, there is a large 12th century BC inscription which refers to Cyprus. The names of Cypriot towns mentioned include Marion. However, the first definite reference to Marion occurred in 449 BC, when the city, as indeed other city-kingdoms of Cyprus , was under Persian rule. During that year, Kimon, the great Athenian general, freed the city from the Persians. Later, the ancient geographers spoke of the town as "Marion Ellinikon"—The Hellenic Marion. The Kingdom was rich in Gold and Copper ore, mind chiefly in the nearby Limni Mines. It was the natural wealth which led the city to a period of flourishing trade, especially with Athens, which in its turn, exported many Attic pots to Marion. Samples of this pottery can be viewed at Polis Archaeological Museum.

According to tradition, Athenian Akamas, son of Theseus, disembarked near Polis after the Trojan war and gave his name to the Cape of Akamas and the city of Akamantis, a legendary city which has never been found. In ancient times, Polis was known as Marion, and was probably founded by Akamas or a certain Marieus. Marion was one of the city-kingdoms founded by the Mycenaeans when they came to Cyprus . The Mycenaeans, or Achaeans, were the creators of the Mycenaean civilization in Greece, and they settled in Cyprus between 1400 BC and 1100 BC. The Greek presence and the cities linked to the settlement of the Mycenaeans in Cyprus can be verified by inscriptions found in neighboring countries.

The harsh battle for Cyprus between the successors of Alexander the Great, Antigonus, and Ptolemy led Marion to destruction. Ptolemy, who finally prevailed, laid waste the city whose king had taken the side of Antigonus, and transfered its inhabitants to Paphos . Later, another member of the Ptolemy dynasty, Philadelphus, founded a new city on the ruins of Marion, and gave it the name of his wife, Arsinoe. The city, under its new name, prospered during the Hellenistic and Roman Ages. In early Christian times it was also an episcopate.

After some years, there was no mention of the city until the late Middle Ages when reference was made to Chrysochou and later, Polis Chrysochou. Nowadays, Polis is the administrative center of the area which includes 23 communities.

source: C.T.O (Cyprus Tourist Organisation)