Greek Cypriots are the native Greek population of Cyprus,forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity.In regards to the 1960 Constitution of Cyprus, the term also includes Arabic-speaking Maronites, Armenians and Latin Rite Catholics ("Latins"), who were given the option of being included in one or other of the two constituent communities (Greek or Turkish) and voted to join the Greek Cypriot community.
The Greek Cypriots trace their origins to the descendants of the Mycenaean Greeks who settled on the island during the second half of the second millennium BC. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia, and the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean. Mount Olympus, (also known as Chionistra) the highest point of the Troodos Mountains (1952 m), is the highest point on the island. The island gradually became part of the Hellenic world as the settlers prospered over the next centuries. Alexander the Great liberated the island from the Persians in 333 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire in 285 AD, Cypriots enjoyed home rule for almost nine centuries under the jurisdiction of the Byzantine Empire, something not seen again until 1960. Perhaps the most important event of the early Byzantine period was the local church's independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431. The bishop of the ancient capital, Salamis (renamed Constantia by Emperor Constantius II), was constituted metropolitan by Emperor Zeno, with the title archbishop.
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