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Ledra (Greek: Λήδρα), also spelt Ledrae[1] was an ancient city-kingdom located in the centre of Cyprus where the capital city of Nicosia is today.

Ancient kingdoms of Cyprus en.svg
ancient city-Kingdoms of Cyprus
Ledra is located in Cyprus
Shown within Cyprus
RegionNicosia District
Coordinates35°09′45″N 33°21′45″E / 35.16250°N 33.36250°E / 35.16250; 33.36250Coordinates: 35°09′45″N 33°21′45″E / 35.16250°N 33.36250°E / 35.16250; 33.36250

Ledra was established in 1050 BC. It became a city-kingdom by the seventh century BC.[2] At times, it had been subject to Assyrian rule.[3] Ledra was one of ten Cypriot kingdoms listed on the prism (many-sided tablet) of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (680–669 BC). The only known king of Ledra is Onasagoras, mentioned in this tablet for paying tribute to Esarhaddon.[4]

By Hellenistic times (330 BC) it had dwindled to a small village. An account suggested that it lost its city-kingdom status because it consolidated with other such kingdoms to form stronger territorial units.[5] In 280 BC, Ledra became Leukotheon while the Byzantines started referring to it as Lefkon or "poplar grove".[6] During the fourth century AD, it became a bishopric and was renamed Lefkosia.[2] It eventually became the capital of Nicosia under this name during the 10th century.[2]

Ledra Street in Nicosia is named after Ledra.[7]


  1. ^ Brown, Truesdell (June 1974). "Reviews of Books (Alexander the Great)". The American Historical Review. 79 (3): 762–763. doi:10.2307/1867909. JSTOR 1867909.
  2. ^ a b c Mirbagheri, Farid (2010). Historical Dictionary of Cyprus. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 119. ISBN 9780810855267.
  3. ^ World and its Peoples: Greece and the Eastern Balkans. Marshall Cavendish, 2010.
  4. ^ Michaelides, Demetrios; Pilides, Despina (2012). "Nicosia from the Beginnings to the Roman Ledroi". In Michaelides, D. (ed.). Historic Nicosia. Nicosia: Rimal Publications. pp. 4–8.
  5. ^ Papantoniou, Giorgos (2012). Religion and Social Transformations in Cyprus: From the Cypriot Basileis to the Hellenistic Strategos. Leiden: BRILL. p. 111. ISBN 9789004224353.
  6. ^ Sternberg, C. (2006). North Cyprus Pocket Guide. Rüstem Bookshop. p. 29. ISBN 9789944968034.
  7. ^ "FACTBOX - Five facts on Cyprus's Ledra Street crossing". Reuters. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2019-03-19.