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15 June 1964
2/1964
Commemorative Issue

400th Birthday Anniversary of William Shakespeare

Cyprus
This theatrical set of stamps is issued to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. Cyprus celebrates this event with a series of stamps depicting three of its own theatres inherited from its ancient Greek culture, which created and developed the theatrics as a civilizing factor; a fourth stamp depicts the Othello Tower, which is so closely connected with one of Shakespeare's most renowned tragedies. These theatres and other ancient monuments in the Island such as the Kyrenia Castle and Bellapais Abbey have been restored since the Independence of Cyprus in 1960 and have often been used for theatrical and musical activities by, inter alia, the Greek National Theatre, the Old Vic and the Halle Orchestra.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Soli  

Soli

:

The theatre of ancient city of Soli, named after the wise Athenean Solon, near the northern coast of the island dates to the second century A.D. The representation on the upper-left corner of the stamp is a miniature clay mask of a theatrical actor, the slave of the New Comedy, from the Early Hellenistic period, found in Cyprus, now in the Cyprus Museum.

Curium  

Curium

:

The theatre of ancient city of Curium, on the south coast of Cyprus. It was built in the 2nd century B.C. and was remodelled during the roman period. The representation on the stamp is a scene from the play of Sophocles' Electra which was presented by the National Theatre of Greece in Curium in the summer of 1962.

Salamis  

Salamis

:

The theatre of Salamis, the ancient capital of Cyprus on the East coast, is the largest theatre of the ancient world. It was built late in the first century B.C. It had a seating capacity for some fifteen thousand people. The theatre has been used on several occasions for performances. Last year (1963) the National Theatre of Greece inaugurated it officially with Ajax, a tragedy by Sophocles.

Othello Tower  

Othello Tower

:

The Othello Tower forms part of the imposing fortifications of Famagusta, on the East coast of Cyprus. The shell of the tower dates to the medieval period. The courtyard of the citadel has recently been used for theatrical performances, mainly Shakespearean plays. The stamp shows the entrance to the tower with two actors in front of it from the scene of Shakespeare's Othello, played in the tower in 1962.

Technical Information

Designer: A. Tassos
Quantities:
M50: 270480
M15: 423721
M100: 233674
M35: 290985
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