Usually it was governed by a viceroy of the royal line, but it gained a brief independence under Ptolemy Lathyrus (107-89 B.C.), and under a brother of Ptolemy Auletes in 58 B.C. The great sanctuaries of Paphos and Idalium, and the public buildings of Salamis, which were wholly remodelled in this period, have produced but few works of art; the sculpture from local shrines at Voni and Vitsada, and the frescoed tombstones from Amathus, only show how incapable the Cypriotes still were of utilizing Hellenistic models; a rare and beautiful class of terra-cottas like those of Myrina may be of Cypriote fabric, but their style is wholly of the Aegean.
The walls of its chapel were frescoed by Giotto; but the whole building was ruined by, Ferdinand II.
In the council chamber of the town-hall (1288-1323) is a fresco by Lippo Memmi of the Madonna enthroned of 1317, copied closely from the similar fresco (the "Majestas") by his master Simone di Martino in the Palazzo Pubblico at Siena; there is also a curious frescoed frieze of 1291, with knights in armour.
It is an old town, with narrow irregular colonnaded streets and some interesting old frescoed houses.
Some scanty fragments of the lower part of the frescoed walls have survived; but they are not enough to give any information as to the work of Polygnotus.