Title: Cyprus: historical and descriptive. From the earliest times to the present day.

Author: Löher, Franz von, 1818-1892.
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Title: Cyprus: Historical and Descriptive. From the Earliest Times to the Present Day.

Author: Franz von Löher
File size or extent: xvi p., 1 l., 324 p. 15 pl., 2 maps (incl. front.) 21 cm.
Publisher: R. Worthington
Place of publication: New York
Publication date: 1878
Identifier: Fondren Library, Rice University, DS54 .L8
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  • Cyprus -- Description and travel.
  • Cyprus -- History.
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Cyprus: historical and descriptive. From the earliest times to the present day.



Historical and Descriptive.





New York: J. J. Little & Co., Printers,
10 to 20 Astor Place.



The sudden interest created by recent political
events in everything relating to Cyprus, an island
which, from its geographical position, seems destined
to play no unimportant part in modern history, has
rendered the appearance of Herr von Löher's narrative
of his recent journeyings through the length
and breadth of that country extremely welcome. It
is therefore with much pleasure we have received
permission from the Author to lay before the British
public an adaptation of his book (only published
during the last few days) which seems well suited
to supply information, such as is at present much
needed in England.
The island of Cyprus, from the first dawn of civilization,
has been classic ground, extremely interesting
to antiquaries, and its history throughout the
Middle Ages is largely blended with tales of chivalry
and romantic incidents, such as in these matter-of-fact
times are scarcely cared for by speculators,
whose object is to obtain reliable information on
subjects of more practical importance, such as the

resources of the country, the character of its soil,
the capabilities of its surface, and the industry of its
inhabitants. Lessons upon these points are only to
be learned from a careful survey, such as that accomplished
by our author, who, uninfluenced by prejudice,
describes in simple narrative the actual condition
of the island, the scenery of the interior, and
the every-day employments and pursuits of the people,
thus removing many erroneous impressions as to
the condition of the Cypriotes, and leaving the
reader to form his own opinion as to the status and
prospects of our new acquisition. All information
connected with these points we have carefully rendered,
only omitting such matter as appeared irrelevant,
and calculated unnecessarily to increase the
size of the book. Additional information gleaned
from various sources, relative to the general history
and statistics of the island, is to be found in the
That the climate of Cyprus is delightful, the soil
prolific, and the landscape in some parts of the country
of surpassing beauty, we have abundant testimony
in the writings of classic authors, and there is
no reason to suppose that in these respects its attractions
have deteriorated. A late writer, J. Jasinides,
who died at a good old age at Koutzovendi, in Cyprus,
in 1871, at the conclusion of his work “Les
Iles Mediterranée,” thus expresses himself: “For
forty years I have been wandering from isle to isle,

ascertaining their political, commercial, and social
aspect, and this island (Cyprus) notwithstanding the
barbarism of its present rulers, through which it is
cut off from the rest of the world, is my favorite.
… It is a little world in itself; here do I wish
to die. My limited means will keep me in comparative
luxury. Although old, I am strong and feel
young, no wild beasts or reptiles disturb my solitude,
the water is sweet and cool, the wine is nectar, and
the food plain but good; above all I know that my
grave will be respected, and that kind hands will
close my eyes.”
London, 1878.
M. A. J.



First View of Larnaka—Arrival—The Haven—The Town—Catholic Church—Fine Carving—Kissing Relics—Marble Sarcophagi—Tombs—Derivation of Name of Larnaka—Phœnicians—Kiti—Language—Shallow Harbor—An Ancient Graveyard—Relics—Nursing Bottles—Schools—Church of St. Lazarus—A Compromise in Ecclesiastic Architecture—St. Lazarus's Morning Walk—Ride out to Curious Building—Strange Doors—Phaneromene Panagia—Female Superstitions—Salt Lake—Marshes Source of Ill-health 1
Streets of Larnaka—Game Birds—Mountain of Olympus—Negro Slaves—Natives of Athienu—Attack on Famagusta—Repulse of the Turks—Six Months' Siege—Honorable Terms—Meeting of Rival Generals—Treachery of Mustapha—Butchery of the Garrison—Bragadino Flayed Alive—Triumphant Return of Mustapha—Dinner with an Athenitan—Dali—Two Largest Rivers—Neglected Land—Character of a Cypriote—Silkworms—Planting of Mulberry Trees—Silk Factories—Forests—Carob-tree—Cyprus a Miniature India—Fruits—Sugar—Cotton—The Garden of the World—A Guard of Honor—First View of the Capital—Lepers—Visit to the Governor 9
Morning Impressions—Easter Eve—Gardens of Fruit Trees—Society—Costume of the Ladies—Beauties of Cyprus—Adoption of Turkish

Customs—Language—Cathedral of St. Sophia—Church of St. Nicholas—Archbishop's Chapel—Visit to the Lord Archbishop—A Rising Man—Greek Priests—Church of St. Katherine—Memorials of the Dead—St. Paul in Cyprus—Elymas, the Sorcerer—Prisons—Courts of Justice—Wanton Destruction—Wealthy Nobles—Enormous Establishments—Great Riches of Merchants 22
German Kingdom—Richard Cœur de Lion—Cyprus Sold to Lusignan—Knights Templars—Amalrick—Becomes a Vassal to Henry the Sixth, of Germany—From A. D. 1285 to A. D. 1373—Conquest of Smyrna and Alexandria—Commerce—Wealth and Luxury—Death of James the Second—Origin of Italian Title of Kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem—Turks—Erection of Fortifications—Selim the Second—Attack on Limasol—Arsenal at Venice Burnt—Nikosia Besieged—Heroic Defense—Spoil and Captives—Result of Intemperance 35
Social Positions of the Various Classes—Vassalage—Form of Government—Marriage of Lady Vassals—Law Courts—Assizes of Jerusalem—Custody of the Book of the Law—John d'Ibelin—Knightly Law-makers—Philip of Navarre—Grand Statute Book of Cyprus. 44
Cyprus, European or Asian?—Buffavento—Excursion to Inspect Buffavento—Carrying Fire-arms Prohibited—A Quiet Morning Ride—An old Turk and his Wives—The Northern Range of Mountains—St. Chrisostomo—Monastic Economy—Maria of Molino—Precautions against Fever—Easter Decorations—A Remedy for Leprosy—Fortresses Erected to Command Passes and Roads—Spirit Haunted—Unger and Kotschy 49

Bee-hives—The Queen's Castle—Paradise—Take a Guide—Gradual Ruin—En Avant—The Guides suspect Treasure Hunting—The Fortress—Zaptiehs and their Masters—Plucky Guide—The Highest Tower—View from the Summit—A German Female Recluse—Peculiar People in Carpasia—The Descent—Fortresses destroyed by Venetians—Sale of Crown Lands—Decline of Old Nobility.... 56
Visit from the Pacha—One Hundred Years Ago—How Governors feathered their Nests—Poll-tax—Expostulation—Report to the Sultan—Arrival of the Imperial Envoy—Public Reading of the Sultan's Commands—Fall of the Floor of the State Chamber—Explanation of the Trap—The Governor will not be Governed—Attacked by the Populace—Death of the Governor—A New Governor—Intrigues and another Poll-tax—Popular Refusal—Preparations for Rebellion—The Water cut off—The Edict withdrawn—Again a Poll-tax—The Nobles head the Insurrection—Blockade of Nikosia—Again the Tax withdrawn—Arrival of a New Governor—Disappointed Hopes—Proposals—Order again restored—The Poll-tax again demanded—General Revolt—Attack on Famagusta—Siege of Nikosia—Eastern Wiles Mediation by English Consul—Fighting continued—Arrival of Corsairs—A Strong Argument—Arrival of Special Envoy to Compel Order—Deserters from the Rebel Camp—Rebels retire to Keryneia—The Castle Besieged—An Open-hearted Turkish Sailor!—Betrayal of Halil Aga—Capitulation—Smiles—Treacherous Execution—Two Hundred Salted Heads—Order restored 65
Expedition to ascend Olympus—No Information to be Obtained—Neglected Districts—Game—Prompt Action of my Zaptieh—Faithful Obedience of Mussulman Servants—Akazi—Easter—Fasting Extraordinary—Abstinence of the Greeks—Heat 80

Cool Waters—Evryechu—In Church—Healthy Population—Graceful and Interesting Customs—Greek Houses—Our Host and his Family—An Easter Dinner—Classic Christian Names—Absence of Large Trees—Cypriote Clergy 86
A Mountain Pass—Lost our Way—Heroism of the Dragoman!—Sight of a Glacier—Absence of Large Timber at Base of Mountain—Dragoman again! who Fairly Bolts—Horses and Zaptieh left Behind—Heavy Work in the Snow—Scene from the Summit—Alone!—No Trace of Ruins 93
Descent of Olympus—A Retrospect—The Busy Phœnicians—Shipbuilders for the Euphrates—The Goddess Astarte—The New Religion—Trojan War, the first Struggle between East and West—Grecian Warrior Colonists—Evidence of Ancient Inscriptions—The Nine Kingdoms of Cyprus—Attacks by Continental Nations—Cyprus appealed to for Assistance—The Cyprian Navy—Philip of Macedon—Alexander the Great—Cyprian Shipwrights on the Indus—Artisans of Cyprus—Ptolemies—An Egyptian Ruler—Cyprus a Roman Province—Under Roman Dominion—Aphroditissa—The Idol Stone—Little Images of the Madonna—Revolution of the Jews—Great Slaughter—A Land of Saints 100
Dangerous Ground—Disappointment—Easter-Eve Festivities—An Official Menace—Hear of a Gentleman—Demons and Kobolds—Fini—Arrival—Stable Accommodation—The Dragoman again—Hunger—Cloister Rations—Wine makes the Heart Glad—A Village Congregation—After Mass—Hospitality of the Church—Beautiful Girls—Doctors Required—Fasting—Precious Relic—Russian Gift—The Picture endowed with Healing Powers—Gratitude—Mountains and Trees—Heat—Shepherds 116

Donkeys and Mules—Muleteers—Starting on a Journey—Mounted!—Commissariat of Traveling Cypriote—General Cesnola—Village of Dali—Out-door Nights in Summer—A Delightful Retreat 155
Family Affection—Female Influence—Modern Greeks—Bad Qualities—Simony—Flatterers—Luxury—Taking his Ease—Shameful Effeminacy 161
Syrian Heat—Cool Mountain Breezes—Fevers—Wine, a Remedy for Ague—Seasons—Excessive Heat—Hot Winds—Scarcity—Spring—September—L'Imbat—Snow 167
Dealer in Curiosities—Ktima—Rock-cut Tombs—Palæ Castro—Graves—Antiquities—Ossuaries—Relics of Funeral Feasts—Ruins of a Temple—St. Paul—Koloni—Asbestos—Sacred Garden—Bath of Aphrodite—Icroskipo—Kapath—Ancient Harbor—Ruins of Churches—Buried Treasures—A Cyprian Dinner—Tombs—Arsiuœ—Loadstone Temple—Berenice—Treasures for Naturalists—Tax-gatherers 173
Coffee-house—Thistle Seeds—Snake—Game—Adimu—Apollo Hylades Guard Houses—Pirates—Lycos—Egyptian Beauties—No Accommodation 186
A Turkish Farmer—Square Tower—Oxen—Norman Architecture—An Old Fortress—Knights Templars—Wine—Beccaficos 191

Mountains—Rich Soil—Alluvial Deposits—Gardens—Copper Mines—Gold and Silver—Salt—Volcanic Eruptions—Precious Stones—Amber—Asbestos—Robes of the Priests 198
Under the Lusignans—Wine, Oil, etc.—Carob-tree—Cyprian Dyes—Grasping Policy of Venice—Olive-trees—Government of Cyprus—A valuable Farm—Sultan of Egypt—Tribute—Turks—Flowers—Tobacco—Corn—Timber—Flowers—Fertility of Soil—Jujube-tree—Distilled Oils—Cotton—Silk—Game—Wine—Taxes—Decline of Cultivation—Poor Fare—Potatoes—Spiders—Beef and Mutton 201
News of Marble Relics—Off to Search—Heavy Weather—Church of St. Nicholas—Ancient Temple—Monastery Garden—Salt Marsh—Building Houses—Turkish Women, Coquetry—Franciscan Convent—Monastic Graveyard—A new Church—A Smart Man—Manufacture of Antiquities—A Parade round the Town—Hospitable Priests—School—Domestic Economy of Cyprian Family—A Cyprian Lady—Chinese Nobility—Prospects of Trade—Population—Revenue—Bribery 209
A Morning Ride—A Sudden Change—The devouring Lion—Heat—Favored Tracts—Site of Amathus—Export of Stone—A Natural Fortress—Hamath—French Antiquarians—A precious Relic—Vandalism by French Officers—Gigantic Vases—Adonis—Anemones—Feasts—Pygmalion—Paphos, Son of Pygmalion—Under the Ptolomies—Remains of the City—Excavations—Amathus the City—Mania for Destruction—Capo delle Gatte—Cats 218

Cape Karubieh—Deserted Village—Fruit Ships—Fruit Ships—Fruit—Carob-trees—A Cyprian Farm-house—Our Worthy Hostess—Light Soil—Farm Laborer—Cost of Living—Priests—Hospitality—Kiti—Mount of the Holy Cross—St. Helena—Sacred Relic—Game—Wine 228
Dancing Girl—Aphrodite—St. George the Martyr—Patron Saint of England—Legend of St. George—Tenets of the Greek Church—Clergy—Churches—Servia—Panagia—Sunday Trading—Handsome Girls—Cypriote Husbands—Turkish Houses—Departure from the Island 235
Frederick the Second—An imperial Marriage—Cyprian Opinions—Barons—Knights—Importance of Cyprus as a Military Position—Regency—Quarrels—Promises of Amendment—Form of Government—Departure of the Emperor—The Emperor Denounced—Sedition—Terms of Peace—The Emperor is Crowned—State of Cyprus—Civil Wars—Rebellion—The Verse-maker—Success of Ibelin 244
Cyprus Lost—A Fleet Sent—Ibelin at Beyrut—Internal Disaffection—Defeat of Ibelin—Strenuous Efforts to raise Money—Bank Notes—The Genoese Rise—Defeat of the Imperialists—Death of Queen Alice—Peaceful Proposals—Renewed Hostilities—Papal Interference—The Last of the German Influence 267
The Projected Railway—Cyprus a Terminal Station—Sir F. Goldsmid—Position of Cyprus—Ports—Commerce—Harbors—Different Routes for Line—Mr. W. P. Andrew—Political Importance of Line—Fertility of Adjacent Country—Re-opening a Neglected Country—India nearer Home 280


1. MAP OF CYPRUS Facing Title-page
18. KERYNEIA 258



THE first approach to Larnaka, the chief sea-port
of Cyprus, is well calculated to impress the traveler.
The boundless expanse of blue sky and sea, the bold
outline of the hills and mountains, brought out as they are into sharp relief by the clearness and brilliancy
of the atmosphere, seem to throw the work
s of man far into the background and boldly assert
the simple grandeur of nature.
Such were my involuntary reflections as we dropped
anchor in the roads of Larnaka on April 21st, 1877.
This entrance to the island displays an expansive
bay, the yellow sands of which are bordered by an
extensive plain, broken by bare and rocky hills, and
in the blue distance backed by a chain of mountains.
A landscape was before me, in which the
towns, gardens, and buildings constituted only minor

accessories. Larnaka appeared as a mere speck
on the bosom of the open country. The haven contains
about fifty houses, built in the centre of the
curve of the bay, and above them wave the variegated
flags of the different consulates, surmounted
by pointed minarets and a new belfry. The town
of Larnaka itself lies far behind, and is separated by
wide fields from the haven. Thanks to the kindness
of the German consul, a friendly welcome
awaited me at the landing-place, where I found a
dragoman ready to conduct me to my destination.
Before leaving the haven, however, I inspected its
streets, which presented an animated appearance.
Artisans plied their trades in all directions, and dirt
reigned supreme. The rows of houses, interspersed
with stately mansions, churches, and gardens filled
with waving palms, constitute its principal attractions
; all else is strictly Oriental, namely, its filth,
rags, and miserable huts of wood and clay.
In the Catholic church we found a solitary monk,
who showed us some fine carvings. The pictures
upon the partition which separates the altar from
the rest of the church are diligently kissed by the
worshippers. I could not but approve this custom,
if only from the fact that a law of the church required
that no one should salute the sacred pictures
without previously washing his face. This ceremony
takes place once a week, so that, happily, the gold
and silver covered panels are not distinguished by

a black circle in the spots where they are kissed.
With the exception of an occasional block of marble
built into the walls of a house, or a sarcophagus,
utilized as a receptacle for water, I saw nothing to
recall the ancient power of the busy crowds that
once animated this spot. Their tombs, excavated
in the stratum of chalk, which lies below the surface,
were once filled with marble sarcophagi, which
century by century have been dragged out and employed
for building purposes. Hence the revolting
name given to this town, for Larnaka, literally interpreted,
means simply a coffin. Others, however,
assert that the name is derived from the fact that
the houses were built upon the site of an ancient
The Phœnicians are believed to have first founded
a town here and called it Kiti; by the Greeks it
was known as Kition, and from this source was derived
the Asiatic designation of Kitier, for the inhabitants
of Cyprus. At a later date Grecian settlers
took possession of it; artists, weavers, and
artisans in large numbers poured in, and dwelt side
by side with the Syrians, but occupied their own
part of the town, gradually introducing their own
language to common use as in Antioch and Alexandria,
and giving a Grecian tone to the education of
the higher classes. The Latin tongue, on the contrary,
seems never to have gained a footing in the
East. Cyprus, however, formed an exception to

this rule, and during the four centuries that the
island was subject to the sway of the Lusignan dynasty
and Venetian rule, Latin was in general use.
Not a trace of it, however, now remains. Modern
Greek is spoken, even in most of the Turkish houses,
and is understood in every part of the country. The
consulate body in Larnaka has representatives from
every state in Europe. Its haven is the best in the
island, although on account of the shallowness of
the water, vessels are compelled to steer clear of the
sand and ride at some distance from the town.
The whole of this interesting island may be regarded
as one huge graveyard, the treasures of
which are disclosed at every turn of the spade. In
Idalion, the Greeks, it appears, had formerly made
their graves three feet below the surface, and, probably
unknown to themselves, only some three or four
feet above those occupied by the Phœnician colonists.
In these graves, now filled up by the drifting earth
of successive centuries, are found embedded small
earthen articles, trinkets, coins, and a great variety
of interesting trifles. Amongst other articles shown
me, were elegant little figures, sucking bottles for
children, and every variety of vases and cups in clay
and glass. What struck me most, however, were
some delicate gold chains and ear-rings, and some
yellowish-blue vases of Phœnician glass.
General Cesnola gives a most interesting description of Cyprian antiquities in a work published in 1877.


Toward evening I visited the chief part of the
town, which is about a quarter of an hour's walk
from the haven, and called upon the bishop. Here
I learnt many interesting facts concerning the recent
improvements made in means of popular education.
Until thirty years ago, schools were strictly
prohibited, whereas now, every town has its training
school; whilst in three of the chief towns, Larnaka,
Nikosia, and Limasol, these are of three
grades, and in them are taught, history, geography,
and Grecian literature, even to the reading of Homer
and Xenophon. The prices for these classes are
from 100 to 300 marks. Anything over and above
this charge is covered by the bishop and a toll upon
the exports and imports of the town.
I then visited the church of St. Lazarus, which is
surrounded by fine rows of pillars, with pointed
arches, which give an impressive and sacred aspect
to the building. The main part of the church is
built in the form of a cross, with a dome in the
centre, and is evidently of great antiquity. The
building comprises three long large vaults, surmounted
by three small cupolas. It seems that the
Pacha Kudschuk Mehemed commanded the demolition
of these domes, on the ground that only a
mosque should be so adorned, but after long and
earnest entreaties, at last yielded so far as to consent
to their being only half torn down, and the
openings filled up with planks. They were afterwards

restored, and fifteen years ago a handsome
clock tower was erected, surmounted by the Russian
double eagle.
When I issued from the church, evening had
closed in, and the priests, robed in black, with lights
in their hands, lent an air of solemn mystery to this
fine building. St. Lazarus is supposed to have died
in Cyprus, and his marble coffin, adorned with one
rose, stands in a narrow recess. The tomb is empty;
the bones, in all probability, having been taken possession
of by the Venetians as sacred relics. Next
morning I wandered out to explore the environs of
the town. The air was spring-like and balmy, flowers,
amongst which I observed tulips and hyacinths,
enlivened the ground, and the blue waves danced in
the light of the sun. Waving palms and high hedges
of Indian cactus hid the haven from my sight, and
lent an air of solitude and repose to the whole scene,
whilst as far as the eye could reach, the fields were
filled with fruit trees, and the landscape enlivened
by flocks of goats and sheep. The whole scene
formed an Oriental picture of great beauty, and I
could not help exclaiming to myself, “If this is the
worst part of the country what a paradise the interior
must be!”
In the evening, having obtained the loan of a
fine Arab horse, I rode off to investigate a curious
building, at no great distance from the town. This
remarkable structure, which is half embedded in the

earth and rock, resembles a baker's oven, and is high
enough to permit a man to stand upright within it.
The sides are formed of large blocks of stone, and
the roof covered by one huge slab. This erection is
divided into three parts. A small chamber is hewn
in the bare rock, which forms a natural wall at the
back of the structure. Formerly a similar chamber
opened upon the front of the large centre portion,
but this is now destroyed. These apartments seem
to have been closed by slabs, let down from above
into grooves, which are still visible. This ruin was
probably first used by the Phœnicians as a burial-place
, and at a later date consecrated to the virgin
mother Phaneromene Panagia. This spot has a great
attraction for the peasant women of the surrounding
country, who believe that its sacred walls possess a
peculiar virtue for those suffering from grievous
sickness or for childless women. These latter often
make pilgrimages hither, carrying a lamp concealed
under their garments. At the entrance the lamp is
kindled, and the suppliant steps barefooted into the
third chamber, where she offers her prayers to
Panagia, and leaves her lamp as a votive offering.
Turkish women, I am informed, also practice this
At a very short distance from this interesting
relic, and almost close to the sea, lies the celebrated
lake from which the Phœnicians extracted the salt
they so largely exported. Its value has in this respect

by no means deteriorated. During the winter
rains it becomes filled with brackish water, which
evaporates as in a vast eauldron, under the burning
sun of July and August, and deposits a thick coat
of fine salt at its bottom. Night soon closes in in
these latitudes, and as I left the spot, the sun suddenly
lit up sea, sky, and earth in one blaze of
glowing color, and then rapidly sank to rest. Darkness
at once set in, and I rode home through a silence
as complete, and a solitude as profound, as if
I were traversing the open desert.
The cause of unhealthiness in most towns in Cyprus
is quite local and easily removed. Thus,
round Larnaka and Famagusta are marshes which
infect the air, and are apt to induce fever and ague
in summer.


[Back to top]



AT seven o'clock the following morning I started
for Athienu, and as I passed through the streets
of Larnaka, the town was still quiet, and almost
The better class of houses stand within a courtyard
and garden, and are furnished with large verandas
, supported by light pillars. Women and
girls of the lowest class were to be seen lounging
about the narrow, crooked streets. As I quitted
the town, the day became all that a traveler could
desire. The air was bright and pure, and a balmy
breeze swept over the green plains. The swallows
were skimming through the air, and countless larks
were trilling their sweetest notes.
Cyprus, I must here observe, is very bountifully
supplied with birds. I was told that many thousand
larks were offered in the market-place of Larnaka.
The eggs of the partridge are still more
esteemed, and I have often heard the call of these
birds in the grass toward evening.
As I pursued my journey, I soon found myself
between ranges of chalk hills, and then passed for

miles over bleached and barren highlands. These
form part of a chain of hills connected toward the
south with the western range of mountains, and
extending in a long line to the sea. Very rarely
we passed a little hut, standing in a blooming garden,
and forming a veritable oasis in this miniature
desert. As I reached the last height, I obtained a
peep of the sea near Larnaka, whilst before me,
toward the northern portion of the island, towered
a superb range of mountains, bristling with innumerable
peaks, and tinted with various shades of
brown. This chain extends north of the western
mountains to the coast, where, passing onwards into
the sea, it forms the groundwork of the Carpasian
peninsula. To my left were also broad, dark, stupendous
mountains, running through the whole
western portion of the island. One peak, the
“Troados,” formerly the Cyprian “Olympus,” reared
a snow-covered crown. At my feet lay the extensive
plains of Messaria, watered by mountain
streamlets, and forming one huge cornfield. A
group of thirteen camels, tended by two negroes,
stood in a pasture-ground beneath me, and imparted
a still more Eastern character to the scene. These
negroes were probably paid servants, but formerly
black slaves were commonly employed in this island.
The Government has forbidden this traffic in human
flesh; but as a negro will do a better day's work
than five Cypriotes, their introduction is winked at,

and many are landed in the northern havens, and
are taken by night to the neighboring mountains.
About noon I reached the town of Athienu, the
inhabitants of which are considerably above the
average Cypriote in manliness and intelligence. I
learnt that they trace their descent from the famous
defenders of the powerful fortress, Famagusta,
which, in the Middle Ages, stood upon the western
part of the island. Famagusta is encumbered with
debris, and the covered pits from which the Turks
assaulted the walls in the sixteenth century are now
stagnant marshes. After the fall of Nikosia, this
fortress had resisted the Turkish arms for more than
a year, under the command of the brave Venetian
captain, Bragadino. In vain the Turkish General
Seraskier Mustapha stormed the place. Six times
his men rushed on, their swords between their
teeth, fascines and ladders in their hands, and six
times they were driven back with great slaughter.
Mustapha was furious, his best troops were gone,
and he well knew his head must pay the penalty at
Constantinople should he return unsuccessful. The
town was invested, and six months later, when
every scrap of food and ammunition was exhausted,
the starving people forced their captain to surrender.
Mustapha at once proposed the most honorable
terms. The garrison were to retain their arms and
baggage, and be sent in Turkish ships to Crete.
Whoever desired to go to another part of the island

might do so with all his possessions, whilst those
who preferred to remain, were to be perfectly unmolested,
both as regarded their religion and property.
On the 5th August, 1571, the fortress was taken
possession of by the Turkish fleet, and Bragadino at
once rode down to the shore, accompanied by three
generals, to deliver up the keys to his captors. Over
his head was a red silk umbrella, and on his shoulders
a purple mantle that swept the ground, in token
of his distinguished rank. Mustapha received
him, at first, with all honor; but in the course of
conversation, became so insolent that Bragadino replied
to him in angry terms. The four generals
were at once attacked, Bragadino's nose and ears
cut off, and his companions hewn to pieces. Three
hundred men of his garrison were mercilessly butchered,
and a scene of carnage and pillage ensued
which lasted three days. Only a small remnant of
the higher classes were allowed to escape, on condition
that they should separate and settle in the principal
Bragadino was fastened to a rope and dropped
into the sea, from which he was again fished out,
laded with tw
o baskets of earth and sent to the
new Turkish entrenchments. On his arrival he was seized, thrown down, and slowly tortured to death,
amidst the gibes and brutal laughter of Mustapha
and his followers. He died as he had lived, like a

hero, but this did not protect his body from insult.
His skin was stuffed with hay, placed on a cow, and
led throughout the camp and town, and was finally
attached to the mast of Mustapha's ship, and taken
to Constantinople, where the pitiless conqueror was
received with open arms.
I dined at the table of an Athenitan, and have
seldom been better entertained; the room was small
but clean, and my hostess young and charming. Our
fare, which was admirably cooked, consisted of fried
eggs, roast fowl and pillau. For dessert, oranges,
artichokes, and some excellent dark wine, were set
before me. After dinner I enjoyed a refreshing
sleep, and then bidding adieu to my good hosts, pro-
ceeded on my way.
Dali, the ancient Idalion, was my next resting
place; here was formerly the Temple of Venus, now
a mere heap of ruins, but I saw little worthy of
note. These plains of Cyprus are watered by two
streams, one of which flows east, and the other west.
Both are named after the towns toward which they
flow, the larger being called the Dali and the lesser
the Morfu. In ancient times these rivers were
known as the Pedias and Satrachos, and both much
resemble the Nile in appearance. During the rainy
season these streams run rapidly, spreading their
yellow waters over the surrounding country, and
when they retire, leave a thick deposit of slime or
mud. I am told that the Pedias was formerly called

the Cyprian Nile. The table-like rocks of the plain
of Messaria, through which I now journeyed, form a
very peculiar and interesting feature of its scenery.
These rocks, called , from their table-like
appearance, are considered by the Cypriotes to be
useless for agricultural purposes; I rode over several
of them to test the truth of this assertion, and found
the chalk only visible in certain parts, the rest of
the surface being well fitted for the growth of vines
and other plants. But of what avail is it, that a
few hills might be cultivated, in a country whose
plains for generations have not been touched by a
plow or hoe? Not a sheep or goat was to be
seen in the plains, once called by the ancients
, or the blessed. Now that Cyprus again
enjoys the comforts of a judicious government, she
will speedily bring forth all the fruits of the earth
with profusion. This, however, will not be done
without difficulty and patient perseverance.
A Cyprian ox! () was the ancient
nickname conferred upon the Cypriotes in derision
of their stolid obtuseness. Dirty, but contented,
they lounge through life without making the slight-
est effort to improve their condition, All emulation
or pride in their professions seems to have died out
under the weight of a tyrannical and unsympathetic
The following short sketch of the cultivation of
Cyprus, under the various dynasties, will show its

extraordinary natural resources, and the field for
enterprise that will be opened out under British
During the long centuries of Byzantine rule,
many circumstances conduced to the animation of
trade and proper cultivation of the fertile soil.
Cyprus was long regarded as a veritable harbor of
refuge, not only by those inhabiting the neighbor-
ing Asiatic continent, but by the persecuted victims
of various religious denominations, many of whom
being quiet, industrious men, settled down at once
in the country of their adoption as skillful tillers of
the soil; whilst the Armenian and Syrian refugees
taught and improved the arts of trade and com-
The introduction of the silkworm into Cyprus
must, however, be regarded as a main cause of its
long prosperity. Until that time the wearing of
silk was confined entirely to the highest classes, and
it could only be procured, at enormous cost, of
merchants traveling from India and China. In the
year 557 two monks brought a quantity of silk-
worms' eggs from India to offer them to the Em-
peror Justinian, who, appreciating their commercial
value, caused them to be distributed over different
provinces. In no place did their culture succeed as
in Cyprus; the warm, soft air, rarely agitated by
wind and storm, exactly suited their requirements,
and in a very short space of time the southern

coasts, and other parts, were covered with mulberry
trees for their sustenance, and the celebrated silk
factories established and in full work. The rule of
the Arab in Cyprus brought on the contrary deca-
dence and misfortune in its train. These sons of the
desert destroyed all before them, churches and tem-
ples were laid in ruins, and books committed to the
flames. Once, however, settled in the conquered
dominion, they gave themselves up to the enjoy-
ment of their new possessions. Jews and Christians
were employed in building new palaces, and in trans-
lating into Arabic the poetry of Persia and works
of Eastern lore. For their own share of improve-
ment the Arabs devoted themselves to the cultiva-
tion of plants, and arranged splendid and well-irri-
gated gardens, which they filled with trees and
shrubs brought from Egypt, Syria, and Arabia.
We learn that, as far as the island has been yet
explored, it contains no less than one thousand dif-
ferent sorts of plants. The forest growth is more
especially luxuriant. According to Herr Unger,
the “Pinus maritima,” in Cyprus, covers the hills
and mountain regions to the height of 4,000 feet,
and one of the commonest trees, the “Pinus laricio,”
which covers all the heights to 4,000 feet above the
sea, is met with on the western mountains of the
island to 6,000 feet, and gives them a dark appear-
ance from the coast. The wild cypress, “Cupressus horizontalis,” is the third tree which grows com-

monly in the eastern part of the island, and in some
places forms, by itself, whole woods. On the en-
tire northern chain of mountains this wild cypress
often grows at the height of 2,000 feet to 3,000
feet above the sea. Great forests of wild cypresses
must have covered the whole of the south of the
island, interspersed with a shrub, the “Juniperus
Phœnicea.” In the north several varieties of oak
are found, and throughout the island the arbutus
abounds. The carob-tree, “Ceratonia siliqua,” and
olive flourish on the banks of all the rivers, and up
to an elevation of 1,000 feet above the sea. The
succulent pods of the carob-tree are exported to
Egypt and Syria, while the pulp, which is called
St. John's bread, from its resemblance to manna,
is used as an article of food. Orange and lemon
trees, and date-palms, are also met with in great pro-
The cultivation of Cyprus during the thirteenth
and fourteenth centuries was carried to great per-
fection, and was still flourishing in the two succeed-
ing centuries. During the chivalrous dominion of
the Lusignans, inconceivable wealth and almost un-
precedented luxury overspread the whole island,
and in all the neighboring countries of the Mediter-
ranean, Cyprus was spoken of as a miniature India,
overflowing with treasure. Knights, philosophers,
and adventurers streamed into the island. The
prosperity of Cyprus must not, however, be attrib-

uted to these new and able immigrants, but to the
fact that its revenues were no longer drained by its
tributes to foreign potentates, and that its princes
ruled with prudence and justice. These new-com-
ers to the island at once commenced cultivating the
fruit-trees of their native lands. Apple, pear, plum,
and medlar trees, however, did not thrive, but cher-
ries, peaches, bananas, and apricots came to great
perfection, and Cyprus is still noted for its walnuts.
An attempt was next made to introduce the sugar-
cane, with much success, and Cyprian sugar was
soon in great request. The art of refining had,
however, not been introduced, and the sugar only
took the form of small blackish grains.
The cultivation of the grape, which had dated
from most ancient times, acquired new vigor under
these influences, and was speedily recognized as the
choicest vintage in the world. In no less esteem
were held the silks and velvets woven in Cyprus,
and the extended cultivation of the mulberry and
the perfection of the art of weaving went hand in
hand. Syrian industry was united with European
talent, and operatives from Persia, who came to
give their services, brought with them seeds of the
cotton-plant. So marvelously did this new venture
prosper, that cotton was commonly known as the
gold-plant, on account of its great commercial suc-
The white mulberry-tree does not thrive in Cyprus.

In Nikosia, the capital of Cyprus, large weav-
ing establishments were at once formed for the pro-
duction of the fine calico, for which Cyprus was
soon noted. During the whole of the Middle Ages,
Cyprus must be regarded as the garden in which
tropical plants of all kinds were carefully acclima-
tized, and from thence introduced and distributed
over Greece, Italy, S. France, Spain, the Canary
Islands, and America.
A short distance from Nikosia, I observed a party
of soldiers standing in a court-yard on the roadside.
As I approached they quietly sprang into their sad-
dles, and rode toward me with their sabres in their
hands. On reaching me they saluted, and one of
the party advancing, informed me, with a graceful
wave of his hand, that he had been sent by the
Pacha of Cyprus to meet and conduct me to the
lodging he had found for me. My new companion,
who was a Catholic Armenian, speaking both
French and Italian, chatted gayly to me as we rode
on side by side. Our path lay through a valley be-
tween the hills which still hid the city from our
eyes. As soon as we reached the rising ground,
hundreds of waving palm-trees were before us, in-
terspersed with slender minarets, whilst here and
there a fine dome, towering high, announced to me
that the capital of Cyprus lay before us. A verita-
ble gem of Eastern beauty it looked in the bright
sunlight, its white walls and painted minarets stand-

ing gayly out from the green, well waterd plain
and graceful palms, whilst fine belfries and Gothic
churches gave an air of grandeur to the view. As
we approached the sun went rapidly down, gold
and purple clouds rolled over our heads, and the air
was filled with a soft and delicious breeze.
At the gates of the town we were met by a party
of lepers begging for alms; the revolting sight
seemed to throw a feeling of horror over the whole
scene. Happily the unfortunates are not permitted
to enter the city. We were now requested to form
ourselves into a file in order to make our entrance
in a becoming manner. Two soldiers went first
with naked sabres in their hands, then followed the
captain, then myself, and in my rear, our servants
and baggage. In this wise we galloped along as
rapidly as our mules would carry us, and as
we passed the bazars and streets the people gathered
about us and offered a respectful welcome. A nar-
row dirty street brought us to the door of my lodg-
ing, where I was received by the host and his ser-
vants with many impressive genuflections.
Here I parted with my friendly conductors, after
offering them a return, in solid cash, which they
evidently expected, for their civilities. The captain
of the party shortly after returned to invite me to
visit the governor, who belonged to a noble Bosnian
family, at his residence. This gentleman had trav-
eled much, and had visited both Paris and Vienna.

He received me with all the grace of a European,
and gave me much valuable information respecting
this interesting town. What delighted me most,
however, was the gift of an excellent map of the
country, a treasure I had vainly attempted to obtain
ever since my arrival, and which proved invaluable
to me in all my journeyings.
As I returned home the city lay in perfect rest,
not a creature was to be seen, and the streets were
only enlivened by the gambols of a few wretched,
homeless dogs.

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THIS city, called by the Greeks Levkosia, and by
the Turks Lefkoscha, impressed me more than any
other Oriental town I have visited. An indescriba-
ble blending of Eastern and Western characteristics
meets the eye at every turn, and imparts a familiar
appearance to the strange and interesting scene.
How shall I give an idea of the uproar that
roused me from my slumbers early next morning?
Trumpets were sounding, muezzins were chanting in
drawling tones from the tops of all the minarets,
countless crows and ravens combined with cocks
and hens to outvie in their performance the braying
of asses and groaning of camels. Whilst over all
clanged the bells from every belfry in the city.
The following day being Easter-eve, this music com-
menced at midnight, and continued without inter-
ruption till morning, varied, however, by the firing
of every old gun that could be mustered for the
In passing through the streets of the town, I ob-
served through the gates of the high-walled gardens
many varieties of fruit trees, apples, pears, and figs;

orange, lemon, mulberry, and pomegranate trees also
lent their blossoms to give the finishing touches to
the scene. The garden walls are high, but not so
lofty as to exclude from view the slender white
minarets, dark cypresses, and waving palms that
they inclose. Half Nikosia is made up of these
lovely gardens. Everywhere water-pipes are gently
pouring forth their offerings to the thirsty ground,
and the whole town is redolent of perfume. The
Cyprian sky resembles that of the Nile Valley in its
cloudless, deep blue, and is equally beautiful in its
clear expanse; while as for the climate, a very few
days in its soft, delicious, balmy air makes one un-
derstand why, of all the Grecian islands, Cyprus
should have been allotted the privilege of being re-
garded as the favorite residence of the Goddess of
Love. At first I felt inclined to linger in this lovely
spot and make myself acquainted with its literature;
but a nearer view showed me my time would not be
profitably spent. Society there was none, the few
Europeans the city contained being entirely engaged
in striving to make a little money.
Domestic life in Cyprus is generally confined
within the precincts of its beautiful gardens, and in
most of its relations is strictly Turkish. Women of
the higher classes in Nikosia wear a delicate white
veil and silken garments, instead of the bright blue,
yellow, and red veil usually seen in the other towns.


Dr. Clark, in his “Travels,” says:—“The inter-
esting costume presented in the dress of the Cyprian
ladies ought not to pass unnoticed. Their head
apparel was precisely modelled after the kind of
calathus represented upon the Phœnician idols of
the country and Egyptian statues. This was worn
by women of all ranks, from the wives of the con-
suls to their slaves. Their hair, dyed of a fine
brown color by means of a plant called 'henna,'
hung behind in numerous long straight braids; and,
in some ringlets disposed near the face, were fast-
ened blossoms of the jessamine, strung together up-
on strips of leaves of the palm-tree in a very curious
and pleasing manner. Next to the Calmuk women,
the Grecians are, of all others, best versed in cos-
metic arts. They possess the valuable secret of
giving a brown color to the whitest locks, and also
tinge the eyebrows the same hue, an art that would
be highly prized in London and Paris. The most
splendid colors are displayed in their habits, and
these are very becoming to the girls of the island.
The upper robe is always of scarlet, crimson, or
green silk, embroidered with gold. Like other
Greek women, they wear long scarlet pantaloons,
fastened round the ankle, and yellow boots, with
slippers of the same color. Around the neck and
from the head are suspended a profusion of gold
coins, chains, and other trinkets. About their
waists they have a large belt, or zone, fastened in

front by two large and heavily-polished brass plates.
They endeavor to make the waist as long as possi-
ble, and their legs consequently short. Naturally
corpulent, they take no pains to diminish the size of
their bodies by lacing, but seem rather vain of their
bulk, exposing their bosoms at the same time in a
manner highly unbecoming. Notwithstanding the
extraordinary pains they use to disfigure their natural beauty by all manner of ill-selected ornaments,
the women of Cyprus are handsomer than those of
any other Grecian island. They have a taller and
more stately figure, and the features, particularly of
the women of Nikosia, are regular and dignified,
exhibiting that elevated cast of countenance so uni-
versally admired in the works of Greek artists. At
present this kind of beauty seems peculiar to the women of Cyprus.”
The women of Nikosia walk lightly and gracefully,
instead of presenting the appearance, as do many of
their country-women, of stuffed sacks rolling along,
and unlike most Turkish ladies, can often boast neat
and slender figures. In my own opinion the town
does not contain more than 12,000 inhabitants, many,
however, estimate their number as 18,000.
In former times Nikosia was some miles in circum-
ference and was three times as large as it is now.
Ruins of churches and cloisters are to be seen in all
directions outside the present town. Of late years
the Greek and Turkish inhabitants associate much

more freely than formerly. Turkish servants are
often met with in Greek houses, and intermarriages
are by no means uncommon. The dress of the peas-
antry is almost Turkish, and pillau, essentially a
Turkish dish, is commonly seen on every table in
the island. Many of the professed Mussulmans are
actually Christians, and have their children bap-
tized in secret. Their forefathers were followers of
the Prophet through fear and compulsion, and it
would expose any one to much persecution and ob-
loquy, who openly declared that he no longer be-
longed to that faith.
During the days of Venetian rule, many Italian
words became grafted into the language, whilst
French, on the contrary, is entirely forgotten in
Cyprus. In Nikosia, the Turkish inhabitants pride
themselves on the purity with which they speak
their own language; indeed, I am informed that
nowhere, except in Constantinople, can this be heard
in greater perfection. The Grecian population speak
Greek. This desire on the part of the Turks to
keep their language pure and undefiled, must be re-
garded as a lingering attempt to preserve the ancient
renown and dignity of Nikosia in a time when its
homes were places, and their inhabitants wealthy
and esteemed. Of their ancient mansions but little
is now left beyond a few stately ruins. Many of
the fine old walls have been broken down within
some feet of the ground, and upon them wretched

little huts of wood and clay erected to serve as a
hasty refuge for some indigent family. If asked
why they do not bestow more care upon their houses,
the indolent workmen will inform you, that, “it is
not worth while to build better on account of the
frequent earthquakes.” On these occasions I have
often felt tempted to inquire if earthquakes were
only known to the modern Cypriotes? The ancient
buildings of the island are readily recognized by
the large blocks of brown freestone of which the
walls are built.
The Cathedral of St. Sophia forms the centre of
attraction in Nikosia. This fine edifice is built in
the Gothic style, and richly decorated; of this or-
namentation, only the carved stone-work remains.
The pillared interior of the church is approached
from the portico by three arched portals. The walls
of this noble building are decorated by whitewash,
and, to please the Turkish taste, pillars and capitals
are streaked and daubed with red, green and yel-
low. Happily the beautiful arched windows are
still framed in rich carving. The base of the bell
tower is adorned with two unusally high minarets.
Close to the Cathedral is the Church of St. Nicho-
las, with its three noble entrance gates; here all the
niches are charmingly decorated with a living tracery
in the shape of a great variety of stonecrop. The
fine interior of this church is now used as a gran-
ary. The Archbishop's chapel is another interesting

building, of which the walls are covered with an-
cient pictures. The archiepiscopal throne with its
gilding and the handsome altar-screen, are but dimly
seen in the mellow half-light.
As I left the Archiepiscopal chapel, I was met by
a young priest, who brought me a friendly invita-
tion to take a cup of coffee with the Lord Arch-
bishop. I had so much still to see that I felt com-
pelled to decline this courtesy. The young priest
modestly urged that it was the custom for all stran-
gers to pay their respects to his Grace, and that I
should not willingly be the first to decline. My
time only permitted me to make a hurried call,
which fact I, however, since much regretted, as I
afterwards found that the head of the Cyprian
Church is a worthy and distinguished man, who
well deserves his title of .
A dignitary of the Greek Church may certainly
be considered as much more fortunately situated
than any other official in Europe. During his en-
tire life he can mount a perfect Jacob's ladder of
preferments and emoluments, and may don every
shade of color, in robes of black, green, yellow, and
red to rich purple; he can also exhibit a variey of
crosiers and mitres. The Archbishop of Cyprus,
who has now obtained the highest rank, signs his
name with red ink, seals with the imperial double-
headed eagle, carries a shepherd's crook, surmounted
by a golden orb, and bears a title enumerating his

saintly and lordly attributes. The income of this
dignitary is derived from two sources—voluntary
offerings and tithes, and sums paid for dispensa-
tions, marriages, and masses. The archbishop has
many claims upon this revenue, and has annually to
send money to Constantinople, the Archbishop of
Cyprus being a vassal of the Sultan's. The four
bishops of Cyprus, thought chosen from its capital,
are also compelled to obtain the consent of this
potentate to their election. The Greek priests are
said to average two per cent of the whole popula-
tion; it may therefore be supposed that their posi-
tion is a degraded one, and their incomes very
small. Many of those in Nikosia can scarcely do
more than read the services and perform the vari-
ous ceremonies with proper intelligence and deco-
rum, whilst those in the village cures are so re-
duced that they must often resort to the mending
of shoes, and tending of sheep and cattle, to earn a
bare livelihood.
The church of St. Katherine, now turned into a
mosque, has a fine entrance, adorned with three
arches and pillars, with Corinthian capitals. Two
stately marble columns lie in the court-yard; these,
with their fine carved escutcheons, have been torn
down by the Turks and employed as seats. The
graves of the brave defenders of the city are still
held in honor, and small cupolas are erected to mark
their resting-places. The spot where the first Turk

mounted and fell when the city was stormed, is also
distinguished by a small dome. The gravestone is
marble, and the coffin of wood, overshadowed by
the green flag of the Prophet. Nikosia can boast a
very unusual number of churches and mosques, and
we are told that, when the city was at the height
of its glory, there were no less than two hundred
and fifty chapels and churches. Cyprus is also
especially remarkable for the number of graves of its saints.
In all ages the island was regarded as a harbor
of refuge from persecution or tyranny, and its close
proximity to Syria and Palestine attracted many
suffering Christians to its shores. In the thirteenth
century Cyprus possessed no less than fourteen
bishoprics, each of which were founded on some
memorable or sacred spot. Paul and Barnabas, we
know, preached the Gospel in Cyprus, and we learn that many were turned from the error of their ways to commence a new life. Accompanied by John,
the Apostles landed at Salamis, and traveled over
the whole island, preaching especially in the synagogues
of the Greek Jews, who were then very
numerous. In Paphos they encountered the Roman
consul Sergius Paulus, who speedily became a convert,
and here Elymas, the sorcerer, was struck by
them with temporary blindness, as a chastisement
for his endeavors to turn away their converts from
the true faith. The Apostle Saul here adopted the

Roman fashion and changed his name to Paulus.
St. Barnabas afterward suffered martyrdom in Salamis,
where he was burned to death. During the
reign of Justinian, his grave was opened and a copy
of the Gospel of St. Matthew found lying on his
breast. Salamis was also the birthplace of the celebrated St. Katherine.
The royal palace of Nikosia was built in the Norman
Gothic style and must have been a noble edifice.
With the exception of an arched doorway, however,
but little now remains beyond the outer walls, with
gaps where the windows once were, and balconies
with wooden latticework and wooden roofs. This
palace was formerly the residence of the pacha.
During my visit to the city the jails were full of
prisoners; the majority of these, I was told, were
sent over from Syrian prisons to work out their
terms of imprisonment. The Cypriotes themselves
bore the character of being peaceable in their habits,
and not easily roused to acts of violence and crime.
In the court of the palace stands a high pillar,
which tradition says criminals used to be compelled
to mount before receiving their sentences. I could
fancy this ancient pillar, ornamented with winged
lions, must resemble that in the market-place in
Venice. I observed also the shattered remains of
another Venetian lion, which, a few years ago, was
wantonly destroyed by one of the pachas. Near
the pillar above alluded to are reared three gravestones,

decorated with knightly escutcheons and Latin inscriptions.
In the evening I dined with the pacha, a gentleman
of great intelligence, who has had a most thorough
European education. Our converstion happened
to turn upon those interesting relics of past
ages. My host spoke with much regret of the damage
constantly and wantonly done to them by Turkish
soldiers, and bitterly deplored his own inability
to check their destructive propensities, which are
all the more difficult of restraint, as they proceed
from religious enthusiasm; followers of Mahommed
being strictly prohibited, by the Koran, to make any
image; this prohibition being not only confided to
works of wood and stone, but including the precious
works of the sculptor and the painter. Before quitting
this interesting city, I cannot refrain from adding
the testimony of a writer of the fourteenth century
to the salubrity of the climate around this city. “Nikosia,” he tells us, “lies beneath the shelter
of surrounding hills, and is noted for the healthiness
of its air and the purity of its balmy breezes.
For this reason it was selected as the residence of
the court, nobility, bishops, and in fact all such as
were free to choose where they might settle. Tournaments
and hunting formed their chief amusements;
leopards and a species of mountain goat being
the favorite objects of chase.” The same authority
states that the nobility of Cyprus were at that

period the richest in the world, an income of 3,000
gulden being regarded with no more respect than a
few shillings would be in other places. All these
fine fortunes seem to have suffered severely from
the heavy expenses attendant on their favorite pastimes.
We are told of a count of Jaffia, that he
kept five hundred hounds and a servant for every
two dogs. Many of these nobles did not have less
than two hundred men as falconers and huntsmen.
During their hunting excursions it was no uncommon
thing for them to camp out in the woods and
mountains for a month at a time, sleeping in their
tents, and taking camels and mules with them, overladen
with all the necessaries of life. These nobles
we are told, were men of education and experience,
speaking many languages, and hearing all the news
of the world from the intercourse they had with the
constant stream of travelers who visited this richly-endowed
and famous land from all parts. The
same writer tells us that the city of Famagusta was
still more noted than Nikosia for its riches, and
enumerates the following instances of reckless expenditure
and rich possessions.
“The daughter of a citizen in this city, is stated
at the time of her betrothal to have been endowed
with jewels that exceeded in value those in the
crown of the King of France. One of the merchants
of Famagusta, we are told, sold to the Sultan,
for the sum of 60,000 gulden, an imperial ball of

gold set with four fine stones, an emerald, a carbuncle,
a pearl, and a sapphire; some years after, desiring
to repossess it, he offered the monarch 100,000
gulden, if he would return it, but was refused. Of
the profusion of gold cloth, rich stuffs, and jewels
of all kinds, he tells us he feels sure his statements
would be regarded as incredible. The wood of the
aloe alone, which is elsewhere regarded as very valuable,
is so common here as to be held in no esteem.”

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WHEN standing amidst the grand relics of a past
age which meet the eye at every turn in the capital
of this beautiful island, or when wandering about
its dirty narrow streets, I could not but reflect on
the manifold changes this fine city has undergone,
and picture the days when she stood in the zenith
of her fame and beauty.
The career of Cyprus is without a parallel in the
history of the world. Here we find established in
the very heart of the East, on Phœnician Grecian
foundations, a mighty kingdom distinguished by its
high display of all that adorned the finest age of
chivalry, and in spite of all the agitations which beset
the outer world, retaining these traditions till
the close of the sixteenth century, when the Turks
swept down upon her, carrying ruin and destruction
in their train.
It will be worth one's while to linger for a few
minutes whilst we note the history of Cyprus during
these four centuries. “This sweet island,” as
the poets of the country are fond of calling her, was
for nine hundred years under the
dominion of the

Byzantine kings, until in 1191 it was seized upon in
a burst of anger by our own impetuous and rash
Cœur de Lion, whose indignation had been excited
by a refusal to allow his queen, Berengaria, to land.
He at once forced a landing at Limasol, stormed the
city, overthrew the prince's army, and overspread
the whole island, compelling the people to submit
to him.
A prince of the house of Commena was at this
time on the throne. Richard, for the first time aware
of the value of his new possession as a gathering
point and resting-place in any further attempts upon
the Turks, and yet unable to take the government
upon his own shoulders, resolved to make money of
his lucky acquisitions, and offered the crown to
Wido (Guido) Lusignan, ex-king of Jerusalem, for
the sum of 100,000 ducats. During the time of
Richard's possession he conducted himself with
much severity to the inhabitants. Half the land
was at once appropriated to the use of himself and
his followers, a certain portion was set aside for his
personal expenses and the endowment of churches
and monasteries, and the rest divided and allotted
as feudal tenures to his followers.
Such an El Dorado was not to be regarded with
indifference by the adventurous knights of Christendom,
and numbers followed in the wake of Richard
to receive their share of the titles and baronial fiefs
that were being lavished around.


As years went on, and one place after another
was wrested from Christendom, monks and priests,
to find a comfortable resting-place, turned their
steps to Cyprus.
Wido de Lusignan had brought no less than three
hundred knights and two hundred squires in his
train. These Knight Templars at once erected a
lodge to their order in Limasol, and twenty years
afterward their numbers had greatly increased;
some were English and German, but the majority
Italians and Frenchmen. A reign of chivalry now
arose which drew the eyes of Europe to this small
and famed island. Wido, the first king of the Lusignan
dynasty, only reigned three years, but his
reign was marked by strenuous efforts to complete
the subjection of the Cypriotes by the building of
strong castles and fortresses. Order and justice distinguished
his sway.
Amalrick, his brother and successor, was no sooner
installed than he summoned his followers and announced
his intention of at once offering his crown
as a fief to some monarch powerful enough to protect
him from all enemies. An embassy was sent to
offer allegiance to the Emperor Henry the Sixth, of
Germany, who recognized the importance of the step,
and consented to uphold Amalrick as his vassal.
The Archbishop of Trami and Brindisi was dispatched
to bear a sceptre to the royal vassal, and
desire that the coronation might take place in the

emperor's presence when he visited the Holy Land.
Amalrick, however, was averse to this delay, and
his royal master therefore consented that the ceremony
should be performed before a deputy.
In September, 1197, Bishop Hildesheim, the Imperial
Chancellor, arrived, and received the oaths of
the new king. The coronation was then celebrated
before him in the principal church in Nikosia. Now
commenced a long career of knightly deeds and
chivalrous enterprises, led under the banner of the
King of Cyprus, and many notable feats were performed
by sea and land.
From 1285 to 1373 must be regarded as the most
glorious period of this career of enterprise, the reigns
of Henry the Second, Hugo the Fourth, and Peter
the First being particularly distinguished in the
annals of the times; Smyrna and Alexandria were
conquered, and the emirs upon the coast compelled
to pay tribute.
At this epoch, Cyprus was the centre of Eastern
commerce, and merchandise was brought thither
from Asia and Europe, either for exchange, or to be
forwarded to other hands. The towns of Limasol,
Paphos, and Keryneia, were crowded with merchandise
from Constantinople, Beyrout, Damaseus, and Alexandria, from Venice, Pisa, Genoa, Barcelona, and
Marseilles. Famagusta was regarded as the principal
mart of the Mediterranean, and a constant stream
of pilgrims enlivened all the havens of Cyprus.


With the improved cultivation of the land and
such developed commerce large sums of money were
made, and in proportion as the wealth of the island
increased an equal change in its inhabitants arose,
and self-indulgence and gross extravagance began
to sap the strength of the upper classes. The highest
prosperity of Cyprus may be said to have continued
for two hundred years. In 1337 its misfortunes
recommenced. The Genoese fell upon the
island and met with little or no resistance from the
inhabitants, who were quite unprepared for the attack.
Famagusta became the head-quarters of these
merciless oppressors, who at once stretched forth an
iron hand upon the trade of the country. Cyprus
never rallied from this blow. A feeble attempt
was made to drive out the invaders, but the Genoese
called in the assistance of the Egyptian Mamelukes,
who compelled the Cypriotes to pay them
Now arose a scene of anarchy and rapid decline;
every man's hand was against every man, and private
revenge took the place of law and order. The
interposition of the Venetian rule at this time must
be regarded as a decided improvement on such a
state of things. Katherine, the daughter of a lofty
Venetian patrician, was given in marriage to James,
the now insignificant prince of the unfortunate
island, and jointly shared his throne. The marriage
was celebrated in 1421, and the Venetian Senate

adopted the queen as a daughter of St. Mark. In
1473 James died, and the Venetian Government at
once assumed charge of his son. This child, however,
dying, Katherine was persuaded by the Senate
to abdicate in their favor. Meanwhile Charlotte
Lusignan, only daughter of John the Third, who
had married her cousin Louis, son of the Duke of
Savoy and Anna of Cyprus, went to reside in Rome,
where she died in 1487, bequeathing her claims to
charles, Duke of Savoy, in consequence of which
the sovereigns of that dynasty assumed the titles of
kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem. (This interesting
fact will explain the feeling with which our interference
with the island has been regarded in Italy.)
The Venetian rulers at once attempted to restore
order and foster expiring commerce, but without
much success.
In 1571 the last traces of Cyprian glory disappeared
under the blighting shadow of the Turkish
banner. The people did not surrender without a
struggle, but they were much enfeebled, and their
Venetian rulers had already more possessions than
they could maintain by force of arms. All Europe
trembled before the successful troops of Suliman
the Third. In 1566 the Cypriotes were commanded
to fortify their capital, the city was to be reduced
to a third of its then size, and surrounded by walls,
moats, and eleven bastions, all buildings beyond
these limits to be destroyed. The nobility and

people willingly obeyed, and consented not only to
execute the order, but bear all attendant expenses.
Mansions and villas were torn down to make way
for the fortresses. Even the Dominican cloister,
which contained the graves of their kings, was sacrificed,
and of the eleven gates that then surrounded
Nikosia only three were allowed to remain standing.
Selim the Second, Suliman's successor, had a
strong taste for Cyprian wine, the companion in his
carousals being a Portuguese Jew called Miguez
Nassy. This man had once professed Christianity,
but had found it convenient to renounce his faith.
He is said to have incited Selim to put his son on
the throne of Cyprus. In order to accomplish this
end Selim appeared before Limasol in 1570, with
the Turkish fleet. The arsenal in Venice was set
in flames at this time; this act is supposed to have
been committed by incendiaries sent thither to
Nassy for that purpose. The Venetians in Cyprus
had no force to withstand the Turkish troops, and
the Cypriotes were too spirit-broken to fight for the
laud that was only cultivated to enrich their merciless
The Proveditore, Nicolaus Dandolo, decided to
surrender the whole of the island, with the exception
of Famagusta and Nikosia. The Turks landed
without any further hindrance and marched at once
to the capital with 100,000 men, whilst their fleet

kept guard, lest assistance might be sent from
Europe. For seven weeks the city sustained the
siege, and the nobility, ably supported by the lower
orders, bore themselves like brave and desperate
men. Twice the Turks led an assault, and twice
were gloriously repulsed, until they were obliged to
send for a reinforcement of 10,000 men, including
many sailors, to aid them in the desperate struggle.
The bold defenders of the capital were at no time
more than 100,000 strong.
In the night on the 9th of September began the
third general storming of the doomed city. The
whole army threw itself as one man against the
walls, and before sunrise three bastions were in the
enemy's hands; 20,000 men fell at the first shock,
but their places were soon filled by those who
pressed behind. The unfortunate women, as soon
as they saw that all was lost, flung themselves in
numbers from the roofs of the houses, and many
danghters, we are told, met their death at the hand
of their father or mother to save them from a worse
fate. The carnage and work of destruction lasted
for eight days, and when it ceased, what had once
been a fair city was a mere open space, covered
with blackened ruins, with only its still towering
cathedral dome looking down upon the scene. Two
thousand Turks remained to keep possession, whilst
the rest of the army marched on to Famagusta.
Nikosia was in the hands of the Mussulmans, and

the last Christian city in the East entirely destroyed.
Enormous booty, comprising an immense amount of
jewels, gold cloth, and fine works of art, and nearly
a thousand of the fairest and noblest maidens, were
put on board three ships to be sent to Constantinople
as tribute from Cyprus to the Sultan. A
Greek lady on board, preferring death to the fate
that awaited her, found her way to the powder
magazine, which she ignited. The ship at once exploded,
setting fire to its companion vessels, which
were also totally destroyed; only a few sailors
saved themselves by swimming. Four years later,
Sultan Selim, having enjoyed the choicest Cyprian
wine to his heart's content, happened one day to
take a fuller cup than usual before entering his
bath, his foot slipped and his skull was fractured
on its marble floor. He only survived this accident
eleven days.

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WE will now give our readers a brief sketch of
the position held by the various classes during these
three centuries. The knights and citizens, the former
principally French and Italian by birth, and
the latter Greeks, Romans, Syrians, and Jews, were
free. The patrician families in the towns took
rank with the knights, and the household slaves
were under the protection of the Government. The
peasantry, on the contrary, were all held in bondage,
and may be divided into three classes. The
first class gave their lord two days' service in the
week, paid a poll-tax, and a third of all profits.
The second class only paid the poll-tax, but were
compelled to remain upon the land, whilst the third
class were free to change their master,
but were compelled to pay the half of their earnings
of the lord under whose protection they preferred
to live.
The king held his crown in the character of vassal
to the German Emperor, and the heir-apparent
was called Prince of Antioch. The chief officials of
the crown were the Seneschal, Marshal, Chamberlain,

and Constable; after them came the baronial
vassals (les hommes du royaume), and next in order
their dependants (les hommes liges). The barons
were privileged to carry a square banner, with the
motto “Cour, coin, justice,” to indicate that they
enjoyed the homage and tribute of their serfs, and
had power to chastise the latter by right of law.
The eldest son inherited the fief, and in default of
male issue, the eldest daughter. Homage had to
be rendered for feudal tenure, and was performed
in this wise: The vassal, male and female, knelt
before the king, who took their hands in his own,
whilst they declared themselves his true vassals,
“ready to protect and revenge him to their last
breath.” To which the king replied: “In God's
name and my own I receive your homage.”
If the vassal was a lady above twelve years old,
her feudal lord was obliged to give her the choice of
three knights, one of whom she must marry within
a given time; should she refuse, her fief was forfeited
for a year and a day, and she was called upon
every year to yield until she was sixty years of age.
Should the feudal chief on the contrary neglect this
part of his duty, the lady was privileged to demand
a choice of three knights, and bestow her hand on
the one she preferred. All the barons appeared in
stated times at the high court, accompanied by their
vassals. In these assemblies all kind of weighty
business was discussed in presence of the king, disputes

arranged, and sentences of death passed for
heavy crimes. There was also a lower court for the
decision of legal suits. One of the decrees is worthy
of note: “Whoever shall appear in this court
and bear false witness, be he the noblest in the land, he
shall lose his head.” The court was composed of
the king's vicomte or deputy, and twelve sworn
justices chosen from the free citizens. All questions
of the privileges of the citizens and commerical
rights, as well as of theft and falsehood, were
brought before this court. The laws and statutes
in force were contained in a volume called “The Assizes of Jerusalem,” the “Liveres des Assises
et Bons Coutumes,” a splendid memorial of painstaking
wisdom and anxious thought.
It has been stated that this fine collection of
statutes was compiled by Godfrey de Bouillon, with
the assistance of the wisest and noblest of his followers, after the conquest of Jerusalem. This was
most probably a mere fable. Certain, however, it is
that a double volume of laws, one for the upper,
and the other for the lower court, was compiled
in Jerusalem, inscribed in large letters, and sealed
by the king, patriarch, and vicomte. This work
was inclosed in a chest and deposited in the church
of the Holy Sepulchre. It was decreed that the
volume should not betaken from the chest except in
the presence of those who had signed it, two priests
belonging to the church, and four magistrates.


This collection of statutes was also known as the
“Lettres du Sépulcre.” After the loss of Jerusalem
this volume disappeared, but the same statutes
were enforced in the high court at Akkon or Ptolomais,
and were adopted in Cyprus. From thence
they were taken to Constantinople in 1204, and to
the Morea in 1210.
In the schools of jurisprudence in Nikosia the statutes
contained in the “Assizes of Jerusalem,”
were brought to great perfection with the aid of
many able and leading men in the island; of these
latter a long list of names has been preserved. The
founder of this famous school of law, John d'Ibelin,
Baron of Beyrout, was called John the Old, to distinguish
him from his nephew, who bore the same name.
This noble, and Philip of Navarre, who boasted
of having been present at every siege and attack
of any importance in his time, were the most celebrated
of this noteworthy group of public benefactors.
Amongst other names, were those of Ralph
of Tiberias, Godfrey le Tort, Gerard of Montreal,
and John of Ibelin, Count of Jaffa and Askalon,
and nephew of John the Old. The elder Ibelin
and Philip of Navarre had been leaders in the long
and bloody strife in which French chivalry in the
East had frustrated the plans of the Emperor Frederick
the Second, who was anxious to combine the
Emperor of Germany.

political and military strength of Cyprus under his
own imperial rule.
All the other knightly law-makers above enumerated
took part in this war. This emperor, who had
already overcome the unruly nobility of his Italian
dominions, had attained so high a reputation for
wisdom and justice during his sojourn in the East,
that many of the highest in rank and intellect supported
his claims either openly or secretly. Philip
of Navarre, who had diligently searched through
many collections of laws, set himself to obtain all
possible assistance from the law courts of Nikosia,
Akkon, and Beyrout, and completed his arduous
labors by arranging his materials into one grand
statute book. This valuable work was afterward
considerably improved and enlarged by John of
Ibelin. Like the “Lettres du Sépulcre,” this work
was sealed up and placed in the cathedral in Nikosia,
and might only be opened in the presence of
the king and four barons. In this volume we find
the entire code of the Middle Ages, and might take
to heart many a lesson from the careful wisdom and
far-seeing acuteness with which its laws were compiled.

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CYPRUS, the most eastern island of the Mediterranean,
must be regarded as belonging to Western
Europe, if we are to class it by its
architecture, its Gothic cathedrals, lordly castles, and ruined abbeys;
yet its mountain ranges would seem to connect it
with Syria and its open plains with Egypt. Of all
the ruins of the age of chivalry, that of the castle of
Buffavento, “the defier of storms,” is certainly the
noblest and most interesting. Never, even in Spain
or Italy, have I seen a finer combination of rugged
grandeur and romantic charm than is to be found in
this extensive ruin. Most ancient castles stand on
an eminence of some few hundred feet, but the crest
of Buffavento is reared as high as the Lion Mountain,
a dark rocky pyramid 3,000 feet above the
level of the sea. Early on the morning of the 24th
of April I rode forth followed by my dragoman, zaptieh,
and other servants, to visit this interesting
ruin, the foot of the mountain on which it stands
being about four leagues from Nikosia. My dragoman
and I carried our guns with us, and as we left
the town were at once stopped by some soldiers

who wished to take them from us, it not being
legal, they told us, for foreigners to carry arms in
After a lengthened parley, and many assurances
from my men that I was under the protection, and
a personal friend, of the pacha's, were allowed to
proceed, and went on our way rejoicing. Our road
now lay through the broad and fruitful plain of
Messaria: golden corn was waving in the breeze,
and not a living creature was visible on the vast
expanse; only the song of the lark was to be heard
as it rose and fell in the blue sky above us.
It was still early morning, and the Cypriotes have
an opinion that it is not safe to visit their fields and
pastures till later in the day. The silence was so
intense as to be almost painful, and the lovely landscape
did not seem to coincide with the death-like
quiet that reigned around.
We passed two small villages, which appeared
deserted, but for the crowing of a cock which was
perched on a mud wall. When we reached Manilia,
we had to ride through the bed of the ancient river
Pedias, the water of which, it being the end of April,
was low enough to admit of our crossing in safety.
As we landed on the other side, we saw, for the
first time that day, some laborers in the fields.
These were the four wives of an amply-bearded
old Turk, who calmly smoked his pipe, keeping his eye
on his family meanwhile, to see they did not shirk

their work, which consisted of lopping off the ears
of corn with a small sickle—mere child's play. As
we approached, the old man shouted out something
to his better halves, and one of them, a negress, immediately
threw part of her garment over her face,
and turned away. With the other three, however,
curiosity overcame their bashfulness, and their veils
were only slowly drawn down after we had enjoyed
a good look at their very ordinary faces. As we
continued our way, the line of mountains that bordered
the coast lay before us in an uninterrupted
line, thirty leagues in length, forming a natural bulwark
along the northern portion of the island, and
terminating in the Carpasian peninsula. This range
reminded me of the Vosges mountains, but is much
more varied in form, and is far richer in its productions.
The highest peak of this range is only from 2,000
to 3,000 feet high, but passing as it does through an
extensive open plain, the effect of its height is very
deceptive, the mountains appearing very much higher
than they actually are. The crests of this range
display every form of rocky beauty, and its peaks,
chasms, precipices, and bold bluffs are covered in
some parts with tints of reddish brown, and in
others with a purplish blue mist that gives them an
indescribable charm which I have never seen elsewhere.
As we approached these mountains, the
ground rose gradually, and we perceived the rocks

were quite bare, every variety of tint being produced
by the play of the sunbeams on the rugged
We now drew nigh the monastery of St. Chrisostomo,
and very refreshing was the sight of its walls
standing embowered in green trees at the base
of bare and rugged mountains. Olive-trees were
planted in some of its declivities, and oleanders,
which had finished flowering, bordering a small rivulet.
Everything around seemed to woo us to repose;
the air was fresh and balmy, and from the
mountain height we heard from time to time the
tinkle of the bells of the sheep and goats browsing
down below. Two old monks stood at the door to
bid us welcome, and insist upon our dismounting
and accepting their hospitality. These appeared to
be the only inhabitants of the half-ruined pile . I
have since learned that the number of monks is
steadily decreasing in all the monasteries of Cyprus.
In the cloister garden were three lofty cypresses,
and a fine palm-tree. Masses of ivy were clinging
about the branches of the old apple and orange-trees.
This garden is at the height of 1,300 feet
above the sea, backed by a wall of rock fully 2,000
feet high. The eye turned with relief from this
vast, lofty, and rugged expanse, and the dry parched
plain beyond, to the soft green of the shady garden,
and its rippling water.
The two old men appeared delighted to meet

with an inhabitant of the outer world, and earnestly
pressed me to remain for some days. My time
was too valuable even for lingering in this delightful
retreat. Our fare consisted only of vegetables.
Cyprian monks would appear to be always fasting—one
day they eat turnips and onions, and on the
next pumpkins and beans. This fashion is none of
the pleasantest in a country where the monasteries
are the only houses of entertainment that are always
open. As soon as my hosts learnt I was a Bavarian,
they informed me that the celebrated Maria of Molino
was the foundress of their monastery, and a
Bavarian by birth. I think the simple-hearted creatures
had a sort of vague idea that she must have
been an ancestress of my own. Dinner over, I
seated myself in a cool corner, but was at once entreated,
with outstretched hands, to take another
place, as I was still warm after my journey. This is
always the way in the East. If you are tired and
heated, you must not drink, you must not sleep, and
above all, in Heaven's name! never sit in a draught,
without you want to have fever. The only thing
you are permitted to do is to throw a covering over
you and wait till you are cool.
These constant precautions are no doubt necessary
in these climates, still they produce an impression
that danger is always at hand. This monastery
of St. Chrisostomo, which was, probably, founded
at a very early date, contains an ancient picture of

Panagia. Great additions have been made to the
original edifice, including a fine entrance and portal.
The church is formed by two chapels with cupolas.
At the time of my visit the floors of the chapels
were thickly strewn with branches of myrtle in celebration
of the feast of Easter. It is probable that
Mary of Molino only beautified this edifice and increased
its revenues. Tradition says that the unfortunate
saint being a leper, was advised by St. Chrisostomo
to bathe in the rivulet in the monastery
garden. She did so, and was healed; her gratitude
being shown by munificent gifts to the brotherhood.
Certain it is that two hundred years ago crowds
of lepers visited this spot, in order to wash in the
monastery stream to be cured of their fearful disease.
This pilgrimage is now never undertaken,
either because the water is not as abundant as in
days gone by, or because, happily, this hideous
malady is comparatively rare. During my stay in
Cyprus I did not see one leper except outside Nikosia.
This same Mary of Molino, whose bones lie in
these mountains, according to another tradition,
built the castle of Buffavento, choosing this elevated
situation, we may suppose, to remove herself
entirely from the haunts of men. If she executed
such an undertaking, she must have enjoyed the
revenues of a princess. Looking up at this grand
old pile one is struck by its strength and size, and when,
on closer survey, one finds that two similar

fortresses are situated on the same chain of mountains,
at about four leagues right and left of Buffavento,
called respectively Kantara and St. Hilarion,
that these castles command the mountain passes
and the roads to the city of Keryneia, and that this
town had the best haven on the north side of the
island, one is naturally led to conclude that these
fortresses were in fact erected by some enterprising
conqueror, in order to hold the whole island under
his control. Buffavento, perched high upon the
Lion Mountain, looks down upon its companion fortresses
with the air of a defiant spirit gazing down
upon the country that it formerly kept in check.
On my inquiring of my hosts if any one ever
climbed to the castle, they assured me the ascent
was some thousand feet high, and that they had no
guide to assist me. Their awe-struck manner whilst
speaking of such an attempt led me to suppose that
they fancied the ruins were infested by evil spirits.
They, however, informed me that ten years
ago two Germans attempted the ascent, and that the younger of the two reached the top. This was
no doubt the traveler Kotschy, an account of whose
ascent is given by his companion Unger, Encouraged
by this report, I determined to make the attempt
Unger and Kotschy. “Die Inseln Cypern.” Wien, 1865.

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OUR road (with my servants we were a party of
four) lay now for half a league along the declivity,
our path appearing and disappearing at frequent intervals.
As we passed along I observed many beehives.
These were formed by earthen pots placed
one upon another, with a small hole at the side.
Close against a rocky flight of steps we found a
small building in ruins. Here, I am told, there was
formerly a garden, so lovely that it was known as
“Paradise.” Buffavento was previously called “the
Queen's Castle,” Castello de Regina, from its having
been a favorite resort of the island queens during
the hot season. We can well imagine that whilst
they held court above, their knights and squires had
jovial times in the neighboring monastery of San
Chrisostomo. When we reached the house called
“Paradise,” I dismounted and looked around. Certainly
the spot was one on which the eye loved to linger. Formerly the mountain was covered with
The defier of storms.

trees, which have now disappeared. Below lay rippling
waters and fertile pastures, and in the background
the beautiful capital of the island. As I
looked I saw in the distance a shepherd boy, who,
it occurred to me, might be willing to act as guide in
our adventurous undertaking. My zaptieh galloped
after him and brought him to me. The young peasant
seemed to regard the matter as an excellent joke,
and willingly agreed to conduct us, honestly assuring
us, however, that he had never yet reached the
summit himself. Our guide at once commenced
mounting with the agility of a young goat, and I
followed in his wake, whilst behind came my dragoman
and zaptieh, groaning and panting, with drops
of anguish upon their brows. My heart beat with
delight when, after half an hour's climbing, we
reached the mountain's ridge, and looked down from
a precipice several thousand feet high, broken in all
directions by enormous clefts and gullies, whilst beyond
lay a broad expanse of blue sea. The coast
from here is about a league from the foot of the
mountain, and every inch of the ground is valuable.
Gardens, orchards, and meadows extended formerly
in all directions. Along the coast are small villages,
lying, as is very unusual in Cyprus, so near, that I
could see from the one to the other. In this narrow
strip of country are still to be found some traces of
the ancient beauty and fertility of this neglected
island. This is certainly rightly regarded as the

richest district in Cyprus, whilst its fine sea-breezes
and numerous mountain-streams render it one of
the healthiest. My gaze lingered long on Keryneia,
whose elevated fortress formed a most striking object
on the line. Directly beneath us, so close that
I could have dropped a stone upon it, lay Bellapais,
imbedded in olive-trees, the finest monastic ruin. I
am told, in Cyprus. Cloisters, refectory, and the
knight-chamber are still recognizable. The abbot
was entitled to carry the spurs and dagger of a
knight, and his monastery was a favorite resort of
crusaders and pilgrims. As I turned toward the
interior of the island, I beheld a broad expanse
glowing in the sunlight. This, the extensive plain
of Messaria, occupies nearly half of the island, and
two centuries ago was one huge highly-cultivated
field, filled with corn, vines, fruit, and vegetables.
Numerous cotton and silk-weaving establishments
also formerly flourished here. Every year this
once fruitful plain becomes more unfit for cultivation,
and stones and marshes usurp what was once
a scene of the highest cultivation. Nothing fills
the mind of the traveler in Cyprus with sadder
reflections than the sight of this general ruin and
rapid decay.
I now commenced climbing the precipitous mountain
before me, which towered aloft in rugged majesty,
stretching its peaks and precipices to the right
hand and the left. My dragoman endeavored to follow

me, but sank down in dismay at the task before
him. Indistinct murmurings reached my ear, and I
have no doubt that if I could have heard his words,
they were not prayers for my success, but maledictions
on my adventurous head. I believe he and my
zaptieh were fully convinced that my ascent was made
in the hope of finding concealed treasure: for when
at last they reached the ruin, my slightest movement
was jealously watched, and my every act evidently
regarded with suspicion. We entered the ancient
fortress by an arched doorway, which is still in good
preservation, and mounted slowly from one ruin to
another; many of the chambers in these being mere
excavations in the solid rock, and resembling baker's ovens in appearance.
In such places as the nature of the rocks would
permit, hollow basins were formed and channels cut
to receive the springs that then flowed in all directions
on the mountain. We came upon several of
these receptacles, and saw traces of what had evidently
been much more important water-tanks. In the
fortress itself, comparatively slight walls were interspersed
with rude masses of masonry, and both were
cemented to their foundations by mortar, literally
as hard as stone. The ruin appeared to consist of
six divisions rising one above the other, and all
connected by the ramparts. Such a fortress could
never have been reduced as long as its defenders had bread and wine enough to support life. Perhaps

there are few stranger things than that of a
ruin situated thus in mid-air. Danger in climbing
there was none, beyond the risk of slipping as we
seized at a piece of old msonry in mounting from
rock to rock and tower to tower.
One of the principal towers is still in tolerable
preservation, and to this I at once ascended, and
was more than rewarded for the attempt. Before
me lay on the one side an awful precipice, at the
foot of which stretched green plains and a broad
expanse of sea, and on the other side a sunny plain
extending to the lofty mountains of the western
part of the island with Mount Troados showing its
snow-capped head. On one side a wall of rock rose
towering toward the sky and hid a portion of the
coast from my view. Observing the summit of this
rock attentively, I felt convinced that I could discern
a building on its peak. My servants were
tired and refused to assist me in any further explorations.
Formerly, no doubt, this eminence had
been reached by means of wooden bridges, but no
trace of them was left, and a sheer and rugged wall
towered above us and presented the appearance of
being perfectly inaccessible. In vain I sought for
anything like a foothold. At last a bright idea
flashed upon me; I seized our guide by his shoulders
and pointing out the building at the summit of the rock,
put my arms about a block of stone,
mounted upon it by this means, and then again

pointed to the summit. The boy laughed and nodded,
and, without a moment's hesitation, commenced
scrambling up the face of the rock, pausing as he
every now and then reached a safe footing, to look
down upon us, after the manner of the mountain
goat, whose agility he emulated. My zaptieh gazed
upon me with a countenance highly expressive of
the conviction that all chance of his sharing any
hidden treasure I might find was now over; but I
have no doubt comforted himself with the hope of
getting from the boy a full account of all that was
done above. I now commenced following my nimble
guide, and, thanks to a steady head, found the
attempt by no means as dangerous as it had appeared
from below; reaching the summit considerably
sooner than we anticipated. Here I found a
tower and the remains of a wall with apertures
where windows had once been, and chambers excavated
in the rock. The view from this point amply
repaid me for all my exertions. A long greenish-yellow
line of coast lay between the sea and the
mountain, whilst the towering rocks of Asia Minor
were visible on the horizon. At first they appeared
like clouds, but gradually I distinctly recognized
the Caramanian rauge and the Cilician Mount Taurus,
and could distinguish their various outlines and
fields of snow.
The most remarkable feature in this scene, however, was the range of mountains on which I stood,

and of which the peak of Buffavento, rising some
3,000 feet above the sea, appeared the highest point.
Seen from this view the ranges resembled enormous
furrows, extending along the coast and stretching
far into the sea. The narrow neek of land, the
tongue of the island, as the Greeks call it which
extends toward the opposite continent, forms the
Carpasian peninsula. The inhabitants of this part
of the island are of fairer complexion, and are
stronger and of more lively disposition than the
rest of their countrymen; they have also, we are
told, many customs peculiar to themselves. It is
supposed this peninsula was formerly colonized by
a band of German crusaders. In St. Andronika a
fête is annually held in honor of a German lady,
who came over from Syria and settled in this spot,
where she lived as a recluse, and died in the odor
of sanctity. Other authorities tell us that many
traces of ancient Greek are to be met with in the
dialects spoken by the inhabitants, which are quite
unknown to the languages spoken in other parts of
Cyprus. A gentleman who visited this peninsula
informed me that the people are very inhospitable,
dirty, and shy of strangers. Their food consists
principally of barley bread; their clothes are made
of sackcloth, and their dwellings formed in caves, in
the rocks and
other equally wretched situations, and are without either tables or beds. The north-western
declivities are covered with fig-trees. Altogether,

the description did not tempt me to make my own
observations in this but rarely-explored spot. As
I descended from my lofty perch I noticed that the
walls and towers had been blown up with gunpowder.
This was done by the Venetians, shortly
after they took possession of the island. In 1489
they proceeded to destroy all the noble castles and
fortresses of the interior, in the fear that they might
be used as strongholds in case of rebellion against
their rule. These fortresses were, therefore, thrown
down as dangerous, and useless to the Venetians
themselves, whose fine fleet enabled them to land
men at any part of the island. Some few fortresses,
however, on the coast, such as Famagusta, were kept
in tolerable repair. The crown lands were put up
to the highest bidder, and were, in many instances,
bought by the lower class of nobles, who in this
manner became a power in the land, opposed to the
barons of long descent, who had been the pride of
Cyprus under the dynasty of Lusignan. These
latter felt themselves highly injured, but what could
they do? The Venetian Senate gave them the title
of allies, and made no attempt to interfere with the
book of statutes, but left the barons no occupation
beyond that of hunting and feasting. They, therefore,
retired to their castles or abbeys, and commenced
leaving the country. The Venetians had
rendered Cyprus defenseless and taxed her so heavily
that a strong desire arose among the inhabitants

for a change of government. Such were the destroyers
of Buffavento; as to who actually built the
noble fortress in such a commanding situation opinions
greatly differ.

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I HAD scarcely reached my lodging in Nikosia
when the pacha came to return my visit, accompanied
by his dragoman and first secretary. He inquired
with great interest what I had been doing
since we met, and seemed much surprised on hearing
that I had reached the summit of Buffavento, he
having always been given to understand that it was
quite inaccessible. In the evening I called upon
him, and we talked far into the night on the history
of the past.
My kind friend had traveled far and read deeply,
and in all points of political history showed himself
an excellent authority. As we sat chatting I could
not help contrasting this highly educated gentleman
with the pachas who formerly inhabited his palaces.
Only 101 years ago a most curious scene was enacted
under this very roof.
In July, 1764, there came to Cyprus as governor,
a necessitous and avaricious man, named Izil Osman
Aga. The first decree he issued was to the effect
that every Christian should pay him 44½ piastres (10
francs); and every Mussulman 22 piastres (about 5

francs). This impost was exactly double the usual
poll-tax required from the subjects by their governors.
The begs, agas, and bishops assembled shook
their heads and declared the charge to be beyond
the capacity of the people. Izil Osman Aga replied
that the money must be forthcoming, and sent out
officials in all directions to make fresh extortions.
All remonstrances were met by the remark, that if
the people considered he was acting illegally they
were at liberty to report him at Constantinople.
Deputies were, therefore, sent at once to the Bosphorus.
Week after week passed but nothing was
heard of these emissaries. The bishops, after some
consideration, decided to follow the delegates, but
were seized and prevented by the governor from
executing their plan. In the meantime the unfortunate
citizens secretly found a powerful advocate
at Constantinople, and on October 31st an emissary
from the Grand Vizier landed in Cyprus, cited the
governor to appear before him in his palace, at Nikosia,
to receive the commands of his prince. These
commands were threefold: he was to return half the
poll-tax, his other extortions were to be inquired
into, and his advisers punished. Izil Osman Aga
affected to apologize, and suggested that it would
be more worthy the dignitary who had to reprimand
him if he were to read his decrees publicly in
the state-chamber of his residence, before the assembled
body of his accusers. On this suggestion the

Tschokodar invited begs, agas, bishops, and noble
Greeks to attend. On the 5th of November these
assembled, followed by a dense crowd, who filled
the grand hall, and crowded the courts and staircases.
At least theree hundred people were in the
chamber, and on every countenance commendation
of the Sultan's justice was to be read. The Tschokodar
seated himself beside the governor, on the
divan, which was placed at the upper end of the
hall, drank his coffee, and after handing his cup to
an attendant, began his announcement. The first
sentence was read, and the people nodded their approval,
when suddenly the entire floor gave way
directly in front of the divan, and the whole crowd
fell pell-mell into the space below. Cries and
shrieks filled the air. Shaken and bruised the
frightened crowd scrambled to their feet, for the
fall had not been great, and a few broken legs was all
the damage done. When the three hundred victims
of this strange occurrence had recovered themselves,
they proceeded to investigate the cause of the accident;
a very simple explanation was at once
discovered—all beams and supports below the floor
of the state-chamber had been sawn away, and were
ready to fall the moment a cord was pulled. Cries
of rage and vengeance resounded through the streets,
and all agreed that the governor had contemplated

nothing less than the destruction of the whole assembly;
the Tschokodar also felt uneasy, for certain
sharp pains felt after drinking his coffee led him to
suppose that it had been poisoned. Under these circumstances
a protocol was drawn up by the Tschokodar,
mollahs, kadis, and other citizens of rank,
containing a statement concerning the accident in
the state-chamber, requiring the governor to answer
for it to them. Their messenger was received with
mockery and insult; a second and a third delegate
were sent, but with the same result. The mollahs
pronounced the governor an offender against the law
and the Sultan.
Mussulman priests.
Scarcely was this sentence declared than the
populace rushed to the palace. The governor, however,
had foreseen this. All the entrances were
closed and soliders with guns in their hands placed
at the open windows, who shot down any men who
ventured to approach as coolly as if they had been
cocks and hens. Enraged beyond endurance the
people now rushed on, and a fight ensued which
raged for two hours. At last, bundles of straw and
brushwood were placed against the grand entrance
and ignited. In a very short time the door gave
way and the people crowded in, killing all they
found, amongst them the governor himself. Nineteen
of his attendants fell on this occasion and the

rest found safety in flight; the treasury was rifled
and everything of value secured. This done the
crowd quietly returned home. In three hours' time
the town looked just as usual, and the Grecian feast
of St. Demetrius was carried on next day as if
nothing had occurred. Five days later the Tschokodar
returned to Constantinople, leaving perfect
order and discipline behind him.
So matters stood till the following year, when a
new governor, Hafiz Mahommed Effendi, landed; a
shrewd and prudent man, who speedily won the
confidence of his people. Shortly after his arrival
some of those around him, wishing to curry favor,
laid before him a list of all those who had attacked
the palace, and tried to convince him that these
should not go unpunished, if only for the sake of his
own position and dignity. After long consideration
the governor at last decided to issue an edict, announcing
that he had been sent to Cyprus for the
preservation of order, and that any attempt to disturb
the same would be punished by the loss of the
offenders' heads, and that in consideration of past
events he must demand a poll-tax of fourteen piastres
from all Turks and Greeks, old men, women,
and children being excepted. After payment of
this fine all was to be forgotten and forgiven.
The Greeks were delighted to be let off so easily,
but the Turks laid their heads together and asked
each other by what right the new governor interfered

with what had occurred before his time. Izil
Osman Aga had been declared an offender against
the law and the Sultan, and in executing him they
had only acted as protectors of law and justice.
They therefore replied to the demand that they had
only acted as faithful servants of the Sultan in revenging
themseleves upon his enemies, whilst the
governor on his side responded that his dignity
would not permit of his withdrawing the edict.
On this some hundreds of the malcontents assembled
in the village of Kytherea and took possession
of the mill at which corn was ground daily for all
the inhabitants of Nikosia. They also cut off the
water supply to the city. The greatest consternation
prevailed, and the prudent governor thought it
best to send a deputy to Kytherea to offer to withdraw
the fine. This wise act was fully appreciated
by the people, and order and peace were once more
restored. The governor, however, felt deeply the
contempt shown for his authority, and at once set
himself seriously to bring some of the higher officials
to his way of thinking. He laid in a good store of
weapons and powder, and then considering himself
strong enough to maintain his authority, again
issued the edict.
The men of the city were less inclined than
before to submit. On this occasion they chose as
their rallying point the famous fortress on the
coast, called Keryneia, five leagues north of Nikosia.

This castle was inhabited by a rich and respected
noble named Halil Aga, who was as ambitious as
he was resolute. His castle was soon bristling with
arms, and occupied by 2,000 men, who at once announced
to the governor that they proposed to do
battle with him, to decide the question of the fourteen
piastres. Some day later they again cut off
the mill at Kytherea from the use of the city, and
appeared before the walls of the capital. Hafiz
Mahommed Effendi thought it best to strike a decisive
blow without further delay. He therefore
fell upon the attacking party, but met with a severe
and bloody repulse. The rebels followed him up
and endeavored to storm the town. The walls and
defences, however, proved too strong for them, and
Halil Aga therefore decided to blockade the city
and summon the whole island to his assistance.
People flocked to him from all parts, and such as
refused to join him were treated as enemies of their
country, and their houses burnt about their ears.
Whole villages were set in flames. The unfortunate
governor of Nikosia was at his wit's end, for the
citizens were suffering severely from famine. For
the second time he was compelled to announce that
he would withdraw his claim. The desired effect
was at once obtained, and the besiegers
laid down their arms, but not before the ringleaders had bound
themselves by an oath to stand by each other in case of future necessity.


Whilst these events were taking place in Cyprus,
the three archbishops of Nikosia, Baffo, and Keryneia,
had privately sailed for Constantinople, laid
their complaint before the Porte, and had so far
succeeded in their mission that a new governor was
to be sent out; Soliman Effendi, a very worthy old
man, was appointed for this purpose, and he, they
hoped, would prove a mere puppet in their hands.
Acting under these advisers the new governor
landed at Keryneia, and sent Halil Aga some magnificent
presents, highly complimenting him on his
zeal for the public good. On this, Halil Aga
allowed Soliman Effendi to land and proceed at
once, without any opposition, to the capital. A
serious complication now arose with the old and
new governors of Cyprus, and the former declared
he would not resign until he had quelled the insurrection.
The weak but good-natured Soliman at
once agreed to this view of the case, and put himself
completely under the advice and influence of
the man he ought to have supplanted. He sent
messenger after messenger to Hail Aga with the
most dazzling proposals, and assured him that if he
would come to Nikosia he should be put in command
of the cavalry. Halil Aga was, however, too
wise to put his neck in such a noose. Further steps
were taken on either side; the insurgents gradually
returned to their homes, and order was again restored.
This happy state of things continued until

early in the following year, when the two governors,
who could not let the question of the fourteen
piastres rest in peace, again issued an edict commanding
the immediate payment of the sum in question.
Hafiz Mahommed had now a strong party,
and many in the city would willingly have paid the
fine for the murdered governor's death sooner than
aid and abet in fresh disturbances. The mass of
the inhabitants, on the contrary, declared that the
carrying out of the edict must be prevented, even
at the risk of fresh bloodshed, and made the matter
a question of their civil and religious liberty. The
governor had his proper sources of revenue, and the
Sultan his import duties and tithes, but such a
thing as a fine for the death of a murdered person,
could be claimed only by the relatives of the victim,
and the demand, they maintained, was in direct
opposition to the Koran. In these terms the mollahs
had condemned the action of the governors,
and the janissaries, as the ancient defenders of freedom
and religion, had confirmed their judgment. An
open revolt at once took place, the citizens flew to
arms and hurried to Keryneia, and in a very short
space of time Halil Aga had 5,000 men mustered
under his banner. In order to obtain possession
of two out of the principal fortresses, Halil Aga
suddenly appeared before Famagusta, the famous
stronghold on the opposite side of the island, but
was speedily repulsed. He now encamped before

Nikosia, and put the capital in a state of siege,
announcing that he demanded, himself, to be appointed
governor of the island. Neither Mahommed
med nor Soliman would agree to the proposition,
and Halil Aga then informed them that he had private
commands from the Sultan, and requested they
would visit him in his camp and hear them read.
This wily message met with no response beyond
such as came from the months of the defenders'
guns. Meanwhile disturbances arose all over the
island. After many attempts to storm the capital,
and many sallies on the besieging army from within
her fortifications, Halil Aga also obtained some
cannon, and at once commenced a merciless attempt
to force a passage through the walls. Distress and
alarm filled the unfortunate town. At the earnest
petition of such of the inhabitants as desired peace
the English consul came over from Larnaka and
endeavored to mediate between the opposing parties.
Halil Aga demanded on his part that a sealed
deed should be given him, offering free pardon to
all who had fought under his banner, and that all
the janissaries and officials who had joined his flag
should be reinstated in all their former posts. Secondly,
that the people of Nikosia should accept
him as their governor if he could obtain the approval
of the Sultan. The besieged governors would
only give way as to the free pardon, so the fighting
continued as before. Meanwhile news of what was

going on in the island had reached the adjacent
lands and seas, and foreign powers, who had sufficient
troops to carry out the undertaking, began to
speculate as to the advisability of taking advantage
of such a tempting opportunity to appropriate the
island. The Porte could be readily appeased, it
was supposed, by offers of gold, and plentiful doses
of flattery, and would not refuse to confirm any new
government in its acts. Ibrahim Bey was the first
who arrived in Cyprus, having crossed over with
his men in two small galliots, but finding his forces
too weak to attempt anything, he at once retired.
Directly after this, another corsair, Dschassar Bey,
appeared upon the scene with a frigate and three
small munition vessels. Having speedily landed
his men, he took possession of the castle, near the
salt works of Larnaka. Halil Aga having heard of
this new arrival marched to remonstrate with him,
and his overpowering force proved such an excellent
argument that this invader also hurried from
the field. The third adventurer was Giergil Oghlu,
the governor of Karamania, situated on the opposite
coast to Cyprus. On the 27th of June he appeared
before Famagusta with a few hundred men,
who overran the adjacent country, plundering and
destroying with the utmost brutality. Before the
very gates of the fortress, they are said to have
speared seven Greeks and beheaded two Turks.
Happily on this same day Kyor Mahommed Pacha,

of two tails, landed at Larnaka with 2,000 foot soldiers
and 500 cavalry, bearing orders from the Sultan to
restore peace. He requested the consuls of the various
European Powers to meet him, and seems to
have much astonished them all by permitting them
to sit in his presence during the discussion that ensued.
Having heard a full account of the state of
things, his first step was to command Giergil Oghlu
to place himself and his troops under his standard.
He then requested the English consul to write a
letter to the camp around Nikosia, stating that the
pacha commanded all to retire quietly to their homes,
promising to show justice to all, and announcing
that his commission was only intended to restore
peace. On the 1st of July, shortly after the dispatch
of this letter, the pacha marched toward
Nikosia with all his men, and accompanied by the
Karamanian troops.
Terror and consternation went before him, for
report had much exaggerated the number of his
followers. Deserters streamed out of Halil Aga's
camp until only about two hundred faithful followers
were left; with these he retired to his fortress of
Keryneia. This castle, which is situated on the coast,
is backed by steep rocks, with the sea in front, whilst
the country round is so plentifully supplied with
flowers and fruit as to form a veritable paradise.
Ample means of entertainment for the garrison
were provided, and they thought themselves prepared

to make an obstinate resistance. Should the
worst come to the worst they trusted to save themselves
readily by sea, as the fortress had an entrance
which opened directly on the shore, and some small
ships were anchored in the haven. Message after
message was sent from the pacha, commanding
Halil Aga to surrender in the name of the Sultan,
to which he repiled that he was defending the castle
for that potentate. On the 28th of July, Kyor
Mahommed encamped about Keryneia, and at once
encamped filling up the moats and making breaches
in the walls for the purpose of mounting the latte
r with their scaling ladders. The besieged knew how
to use their guns, and behaved with so much spirit,
that every attack was repulsed.
The troop ships of the pacha now arrived and
opened fire on the fine old fortress, trying it most
severely. Behind them were seen Dschassar Bey,
with his frigate and two other ships; and last, though
not least, Ibrahim Bey and his three little galliots.
These new arrivals completely closed Keryneia on
the sea side, and rendered escape that way utterly
hopeless. The efforts of the besieged were now
prompted by despair. The pacha was becoming
uneasy at the loner delay, fearing daily that there
would be a general rising against him in the island,
and had recourse to base cunning to overcome his
brave antagonist.
The captain of the line ships, Meleky Bey, was

desired to demand a secret interview with Halil
Aga. This meeting took place on the night of the
14th of August, on which occasion Meleky forcibly
urged that it would be advisable for Halil Aga to
come on board the ships of the line, and trust to
his friendly intervention for favorable terms. There
could be no question of safety, for was it not well
known that Turkish sailors would be hewn in pieces
before they would betray a man who had trusted
to their honor? Meleky spoke with so much apparent
frankness that Halil Aga fell into the trap, and
before night he had taken shelter on one of the
ships. Next day he was hunded over to the pacha,
who, however, received him
kindly, and offered him a tent for his own use.
As soon as this reception was known in the castle,
the garrison surrendered at discretion. The position
was at once changed. All the women were allowed
to retire with bag and baggage, but the men were
declared prisoners. Halil Aga's officers were thrown
into chains, and he himself closely watched.
On the 19th instant, the unfortunate captive was
brought before the pacha, who received him kindly,
and requested to hear from his own lips who had
been implicated in the rising. This done, the pacha
changed his tone, and angrily demanded whether
Halil Aga supposed that the Sultan intended that
his fortresses should be used for seditious purposes?
As he spoke, some of his minions entered, and the

unhappy victim of his treachery was strangled on
the spot.
On the 21st of August, Giergil Oghlu and his
wild crew were desired to set sail, without having
been allowed to land. The pacha retired with his
prisoners, and his myrmidons at once spread over the
island. All those who had been implicated in the
revolts, and were still free, quitted Cyprus. Many,
however, were captured before they reached the
coast. Investigations into the recent events were
set on foot in Nikosia, and at its conclusion two
hundred of the accused were decapitated. Their
heads, with that of Halil Aga, were salted down,
and sent to Constantinople, with a full account of
what had occurred in this island.
Kayor Mahommed was made a pacha of three tails
and governor of the pachalik of Koniah. Hafiz
Mahommed had been previously desired to leave
Cyprus, and Soliman Effendi reigned in his stead.
So ended a sad page in the history of this unlucky
island, which during these three years of insurrection,
had lost the flower of her Turkish population, and
seen her castles and buildings destroyed.
These ruins were never rebuilt; successive misfortunes
and the insecurity of the future prospects of
the island seem to have quenched all spirit of emulation
and progress in the much-tried population,
and Cyprus appeared to have finally lost her proud
place in the world's history.

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EARLY on the morning of the 25th of April, I
bade adieu to Nikosia, the capital of Cyprus—a
fair city even in these days of her ruin and decay.
As I look back at her, as she appeared to me, I
always find myself comparing the image with that
of a stately and beautiful dame over whose faded
charms, faint and occasional flashes of former loveliness
are now and then visible. The day was glorious
as I left the dark city gates and stepped forth upon
the bright and boundless plains; corn-fields extended
to the feet of the long chain of mountains, which
glowed with deepest purple in the foreground, and
towered black and shadowy in the far distance;
whilst straight before me, from behind the dark,
cloud-like masses, peeped the snowy head of Mount
Olympus. This name “Olymp,” which is conferred
in almost every Grecian island upon the noblest
snow-capped mountains, has the same signification
as our word “Alp.”
I had determined to ascend the Cyprian Olympus,
and to this end had made many inquiries concerning
it. Had I desired information about some unknown

and unexplored region, the few particulars I gained
could not have been more vague and trifling. I
could meet with no one who had ever made the
ascent of Troados, as the mountain is now called, or
even learn whether the monastery of Troaditissa
was situated on its summit or lay below in one of
the neighboring valleys. The Cypriotes love their
ease too well to undertake these kind of excursions,
and only ridicule what they consider such unnecessary
exertion on the part of the traveler. Our
party had not ridden more than a mile and a half
before cultivation ceased, and on all sides nothing
was visible but a dry and barren waste. One this occasion
I traveled over about fifteen leagues of country,
and did not see more than two or three small
villages in the whole distance. One of these was
built upon a stream which certainly must contain
water enough to irrigate the neighboring fields and
gardens during the winter and spring, yet all the
dwellings were in ruins, and no plow had turned the
pastures for certainly ten or twenty years.
With his usual kindness, my good friend
the pacha had sent a zaptieh who was to accompany me
throughout the island and give an account to his master on his return. This was a great convenience
to me, as it is usual to exchange the zaptieh at every
successive district. The country was very plentifully
stocked with game; quails, partiridges, and
larks rose in large quantities into the air, disturbed

by our approach. In the presence of this, my body
guard, the pacha had explicitly stated that I was at
liberty to shoot where and as I pleased, so my dragoman,
who had some experience of sport in his
leisure hours, and I, were able to obtain some good
shooting on our journey. Zaptieh Hussein, my man,
was a fine fellow in his way, prompt and quick at
expedient. Like most other Turkish soldiers, his
mind was rude and shallow, but his frame strong,
muscular, and enduring. Those who understand
the management of these men will find them faithful
and contented servants. In either mounting or
dismounting, when going after these birds, I had
managed to lose my tobacco pouch; this pouch and contents were a little memento of my visit to Cavalla,
on the Roumelian coast, where the finest Turkish
tobacco grows. In the East, where the slave
smokes equally with the noble, from morning till
night, to lose one's tobacco may be regarded as a
read misfortune. My dragoman pulled a long face
when he heard what had happened, and my horseboy
informed me that he had only a little very bad
tobacco to offer me. Hussein did not say a word,
but put spurs to his horse and was out of sight in a moment.
We rode on slowly for an hour before my zaptieh
overtook us, and when he reached me, he drew my
pouch from his breast pocket. When a pacha or a
kaimakan has half a dozen such men on his staff he

will not fail to be obeyed in his district. A zaptieh
will ride ten leagues to secure an offender, seize him
in the midst of his own friends, fasten his prisoner to
his saddle girths, and bring him, dead or alive, to his
master. These are the men whose obstinate and
manly spirit has so prolonged the agonies of their
country in its struggles with its enemies. Call it
fanaticism if you will, but one can but admire the
courage and devotion that will sacrifice life and
property, if their rulers or religion are in danger.
On such emergencies the scanty earnings of a life
are drawn from the chest, where they have been
hoarded for years, to assist in procuring what is necessary
for the strife. Sabres and guns are girded on,
and for weeks these devoted servants of the Prophet
will fight without pay and deprived of every comfort,
under the very guns of the enemy's batteries.
We now rode directly for the foot of the mountain
over ground covered with short grass, stunted
shrub, and dwarf palms. Now and again we passed
spots covered with a variety of red, yellow, and blue
flowers, beside many tulips and bulbous plants. It
was a glorious ride and the air delightful, so clear
that the eye was never weary of endeavoring to
penetrate farther and farther into the horizon.
About 11 o'clock, having never passed an inhabited
dwelling, we reached a village that lies about
five miles from Nikosia, called Akazi. I can only
give its Grecian name, as, though I found the place

on the map the pacha had given me, none of our
party could read its Turkish designation. We
breakfasted in this village, and after a two hours'
rest proceeded on our way.
It being Easter every one was taking advantage
of the fête to lounge or lie about in the open air,
while some stood in groups round the church where
the village priest was celebrating mass. This fête
lasts four days, but the people generally manage to
make a whole week's holiday of it, and give up
themselves to hearing masses and perfect idleness.
The population of this village looked strong and
healthy, which is the more surprising when one considers
the amount of fasting imposed upon them.
Not only are there two fast days in every ordinary
week, but on all sorts of extraordinary occasious. I
am told that the number of these fast days amounts
to no less than a hundred and fifty in the course of
the year! I must here remark that this is no child's
playing at abstinence—only bread and green stuff
are permitted, not even milk or oil may be partaken
of. Wonderful indeed is it to our minds to observe
on how few meals a Greek family can subsist. Even
in the houses of tolerably well-to-do people they never cook more than twice or three times in the
week, and fish or flesh are rare delicacies. This fact
will partly explain the slight degree in which the
island is now cultivated. Fruits in great variety
and vegetables of many kinds grow wild and form

staple articles of food. It is no uncommon thing to
see the Cypriotes gathering their repast as they go
along and eating it without further ceremony.
When we once more started on our way, the sun's
rays beat down upon us with terrible power, and as
I panted beneath it, I could not but compare it with
that monster of the African desert, the yellow lion,
prowling about with ravening jaws “seeking whom
it may devour.”
I had heard much of the unbearable heat of the
island during the summer season,
when the air is
heavy and damp, when foliage and grass are withered
up, a drop of water scarcely to be obtained,
and man and beast panting for a breath of fresh air.
We felt the sun oppressive, but seeing the country
as we did in its pride of verdure and covered with
flowers, one could scarcely picture the spot under so
different an aspect.

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TOWARD evening we came in sight of Mount
Olympus. Water, as clear as crystal, was trickling
down the lower rocks in all directions, and a delicious
breeze blowing from Olympus cooled our
weary frames and raised our drooping spirits as we
lay, surveying the scene around us, upon the banks
of a rivulet, completely surrounded by oleander
bushes. Thus refreshed, we continued our way
along the course of the stream under the shade of
numerous trees which became more luxuriant and
various as we advanced.
This delightfully wooded valley contrasted well
with the bare naked rocks above. All day I had
seen the snowy crest of Mount Olympus towering
above its dark companions, and had imagined that
it could only boast a snowy cap. Now, as it rose
before us, clearly distinguishable from the rocks
around, I found that the snowy vail extended far
down its sides and slopes. All true Alpine features
are entirely wanting, and to me there seemed something
harsh and unattractive in the bare and unbroken
character of its naked rock.


Whilst it was still light we reached Evrychu.
This, the prettiest and most populous village in
Cyprus, is situated in a lovely valley surrounded by
fruitful and luxuriant pastures, whilst above it
tower majestic groups of picturesque mountains.
Evrychu lies 1,700 feet above the level of the sea,
and contains seven hundred inhabitants; amongst
these, however, not more than a hundred families
pay taxes. This luxuriant valley might readily produce
enough to support ten times the number of
people now dwelling there. When we arrived,
evening service was being performed in the church,
and it is no exaggeration to say that the whole of
the inhabitants were around its walls, from the
youngest child to the most infirm of its old men and
women. This open-air gathering had a fine and
solemn effect. The people themselves appeared to
me to differ in many respects from the short, stout
inhabitants of the coast and plains, who look as
thought heat and perspiration had baked the dust
and dirt into their skins. The people of Evrychu,
on the contrary, are well grown and finely made,
and their complexions fresh and blooming. Amongst
the women and girls I noticed a great number of
pretty faces. There can be no doubt as to the fact
that these people are descended from the old Greek
settlers, whilst those in the open country and on the
sea coast are descended from a mixed race of Italians,
Syrians, and Negroes. In the more frequented

parts of the island, traces of successive races were
rapidly swept away, whilst here in the mountain
valley the people have for generations lived comparatively
unchanged and undisturbed. My opinions
concerning the descent of the people were strengthened
by further observations, and all along the
mountain range I noticed a strong likeness to the
Greeks of several islands in the Archipelago; the
type, however, not being quite so pure (no doubt
owing to intermarriage), nor faces and figures quite
so beautiful and slender. As for manners, well
would it be if our awkward English race could imitate
the grace with which these villagers performed
the most ordinary act. When we arrived amongst
them the appearance of such an unexpected party
might have been supposed to have created quite a
sensation. Nothing of the kind occurred; the men
and women were grouped about, and evidently eyed
us with much curiosity, but no movement betrayed
their feelings or ruffled their respectful politeness.
The girls stood at some distance and observed us as
closely, but with graceful dignity. Such natural
propriety of behavior is very striking in this population,
and seems to leave the impression on the
mind of their having, as we say, “seen better days.”
Their peculiar customs are numerous and interesting;
no sooner is a guest lodged than a woman or
girl appears and offers him an apple, with the most
winning grace; this is intended as a hospitable welcome.

If you are given any kind of solid food a
napkin is placed over your knees. A glass of water
is presented to you on the open palm of the hand,
and is always accompanied by a good wish, the giver
remaining standing until the glass is returned, when
another wish is expressed that the water may do
you good. When you are about to leave, women
and girls appear and throw the leaves of the olive
and other fragrant plants into the fire. The parting
guest is expected to go through the form of smelling
these leaves, in token of his bearing away in his
mind a sweet impression of the kindness he has
Who could compare our parting act of raising the
hat with the picturesque obeisance of these villagers,
as they laid their hands upon their hearts and
gracefully inclined their bodies toward us as they
wished us farewell?
Whilst I reposed, my indefatigable zaptieh had
been exploring the village and inquiring for its
principal inhabitant, for the purpose of securing
lodgings for me at his house. This man, who proved
to be a well-to-do peasant, soon appeared, accompanied
by his sons-in-law, and offered to escort me to
his home. The domicile consisted of three small,
one-storied buildings lying close together and standing
in a small court surrounded by stabling and
sheds. The principal attractions of this dwelling
were its strong walls water-tight roof, recommendations

possessed by very few other houses in
the village, these latter being generally mere flat-roofed
huts, with walls formed of clay and interlaced
branches. The accommodation for the cattle is, of
course, equally rude and simple; everything about
these dwellings is poor except in one respect, namely,
their house linen. The excellent order in which
this is always kept, speaks highly for the industry,
housewifery, and skill of the women.
The landlord's four daughters offered me a hearty
reception, and made it evident by their sparkling
eyes and their delightful manner, that they felt all
the pleasure and dignity of hospitality. Everything
the place could offer was at our disposal, and they
seemed as if they could not do enough to make us
comfortable. Various members of the family appeared
in turn, in order to be introduced to me, and
all, even the children, conducted themselves with
the most unembarrassed courtesy. The sons-in-law
of my host and a young relative, who was the village
schoolmaster, sat down to table with the head
of the family and myself, whilst the daughters
waited upon us. Luckily for me I had chanced
upon them just at Easter-time, so we were allowed
to partake of meat. The table was ornamented
with a great variety of colored Easter eggs, and
after dinner the “egg-touching” ceremony began,
each person offering the small end of an egg to his
neighbor, saying as he did so, “Christ is risen.”

This appeared to be a favorite amusement
with the children, and many eggs were broken by their little
hands. I was delighted with the charming manner
in which the youngsters grouped together, and, after
the repast was over, sang us an Easter hymn.
I cannot refrain from giving my readers the very
Grecian names of my kind entertainers. My host
was called Gavril, one of the sons-in-law was Kleobulas
Christophagu Gavrilidis, and the other Socrates.
The schoolmaster was Michel Ivanidas, and
the four daughters respectively Minerva, Terpsichore,
Penelope, and Zoisa; another maiden present
was called Evanthia. How can we account for such
classic names, if I am not correct in asserting that
these people are the direct descendants of the early
Next morning I was astir at about four o'clock
, and walked out into the fresh and balmy air. A
gentle wind was wandering about the mountains, stirring
the waving foliage of the trees, and rippling the
bright water of the streams as it passed. Thrushes
and nightingales poured forth their sweetest melody
on all sides, and a delicious perfume was wafted
around from innumerable flowers, and the hedges of
myrtle by which the fields are surrounded. Only
one thing was wanting to the scene—where was
the rustling sound of trees on the declivities of the
mountains? As I looked up, the first glance told
me the soil was in the highest degree fitted for their

culture, and yet the eye could only discover a variety
of shrubs and mountain plants interspersed with
a few blackened stumps.
When I returned to the village I found the whole
population again at their devotions. In the Eastern
Church the worshippers do not attend to hear sermons
and pour out their own prayers and thanksgivings;
it would appear as though even the most
earnest worshippers considered that their mere presence
and genuflections during the masses said and
sung by their priest was all that could be required
of them. For more than a thousand years no
change whatever has taken place in the creed and
liturgy of the Christian Church in the East, and it
may, therefore, be regarded as more closely allied
to the Primitive Church than is the Catholic Church
of Rome. With the exception of its bishops, Cyprus
has no active and learned priesthood, and nothing
can be simpler than the life and theology of its
country cures. Books they have none, and for their
livelihood have to depend upon the bounty of their
flocks. Under British rule new life will be given to
the Christian Church in Cyprus, and to the education
and training of her people.
When we left Evrychu, our host and his sons-in-law
, as is the custom here, accompanied us to
the extremity of the village, when they took their

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WE now pursued our way toward Olympus. At
every stage fresh beauties met our view, and every
object was smiling with the first fresh loveliness of
spring. Oaks, plantains, olives, vines, myrtles, and
laurels grew in rich profusion on the banks of the
stream along which the road lay; whilst here
and there we caught glimpses of sloping banks entirely
covered with white lilies. Before us towered steeps
and broken rocks, upon which a few scattered pines
were to be seen.
Gradually we began to ascend a mountain pass
, which was too rough and dangerous to admit of
our riding. My dragoman therefore took the three
horses, and, fastening them together, led them along.
We had not gone far before we lost our way. My
zaptieh at once began to reconnoitre, whilst the
dragoman gave us a good specimen of his Italian
origin and French manners by uttering cries of grief
and distress, coupled with prayers for his wife and
family, and fervent maledictions on his own folly in
accompanying me; his misery was so intense that I
could scarcely refrain from laughing in his face.

Had we not been obliged to help our horses along,
we should not have had any serious difficulty, as our
way, though rugged and steep, was not more so than
on many other mountain passes I had successfully
climbed. A few strenous efforts and a little cautious
steering at last brought us to a safe footing
, and we could look aloft at the fine scene that towered
above us.
An hour's riding brought us within view of a
broad extent of glacier, whilst on one side the brown
and purple mountain extended to the sea, beyond
which again the Cilician range of Taurus was distinctly
visible, looking like snow-covered bastions
extending along the opposite shore. The whole
scene was one never to be forgotten, and this ascent
of Mount Olympus will ever be regarded by me as
one of the most richly-rewarded experiences of my
I had been led to imagine that this famous mountain
was still thickly wooded, but such is not the
case; only here and there we came upon a group of
trees standing far apart. The sides and peaks of
the mountain exhibited a considerable growth of
stunted shrubs, with an occasional fir-tree or broken
stump. Flowers there were in abundance, and
whole tracts were covered with hyacinths and narcissus.
Not a man or a beast was to be seen either
on the mountain or in the valleys beneath; it would
have been easy to believe that some destroying

army had devastated the mountain, and then passed
on its victorious path, leaving the spot to barrenness
and desolation.
As we approached the summit of this famous
mountain, I observed that the trees became more
numerous. On our right the path led directly to
the cloister of Troaditissa, and on our left lay a valley
extending to the foot of Olympus. Hussein informed
me that the cloister was about two leagues
distant, whilst, if I were desirous of reaching the
crest, we might do it in about three hours' time.
My dragoman no sooner heard this latter suggestion,
than he poured forth a volley of assurances as to
the folly of the attempt, and drew a vivid picture of
the various dangers that would beset our path, winding
up by informing me that many travelers had
already lost their lives in attempting this ascent.
Night would be coming on, and then what would
our position be? Why not go direct to the cloister
where we could refresh ourselves, and after a good
night's rest make the attempt in the morning?
I informed my here that it was now only two
o'clock in the afternoon, and that I had neither the
wish nor the time to retrace my steps next day; to
this I added a strong appeal to his vanity, urging
upon him the honor it would be to him and his
house forever, if by his skillful guidance I was enabled
to reach the top. He wavered for a moment,
but fear got the better of him, and whilst I was sending

on the servant and horses to Troaditissa, he
started off upon the road, shouting back to me that
“there was nothing in his agreement about ascending such a mountain as that.”
I was not sorry to get rid of the cowardly rascal,
and contented myself with desiring him to wait for
me at the cloister. Hussein and I at once started
to make the final ascent, and succeeded in riding
safely over the rocks and stones until we began to
reach the snow. At this point my horse refused to
stir, apparently terrified by the blinding glare of
the snow. Blows and persuasion alike failing to
move him, I was compelled to leave Hussein behaind
in charge of him, and continue my way alone. It is
probably many years since any one, except myself,
has made the attempt. If Mount Olympus were on
the European continent, hundreds would climb to
its summit in the course of the year; but the Cypriotes
are indolent, and all strangers visiting the
island feel the influence of its climate, and become
disinelined for active exertion before the end of six
The snow, which, unluckily for me, was thawing,
formed frequent streams of water, which rendered
my footing so insecure that I sank many times up
to my knees. The higher portion of the ascent was
worst of all; again and again, after hard climbing,
I found myself slipping back, some twenty paces at
a time. The rocks became steeper, and the snow

being lightly frozen over, and very slippery, my
only chance was by patiently persevering and slowly
mounting step by step, digging my stick deep, and
planting my feet firmly, as I passed from one spot
to another, all the time following a zigzag direction,
and experiencing all those various sensations of
hope and despair, inseparable from this kind of exertion.
Alpine travelers alone can appreciate the
enthusiasm that filled my heart, as I inhaled deep
draughts of ozone and gazed upon the scene beneath
me. The landscape was one of the grandest upon
earth, and quite peculiar in its characteristics.
Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean,
looked from this point of view like a green
and lovely gem, washed by the blue waves of the
surrounding sea, which met the horizon on every
side. Toward the north-east the dazzling range of
Taurus is distinctly visible, extending along the
Cilician coast toward Kurdistan, and opposite on
the south-east the dark purple heights of Lebanon.
Upon the summit of Olympus one stands high above
every other object in the island, and looks down
upon miles of varied and enchanting country.
The peculiarity of this landscape is the strong
contrast offered by its principal features: the blue sea,
the snowy mountains, and the island itself;
whilst the latter again presents three distinct features,
the dark mountains covering the western half
of the country, the long chain of hills traversing the

Carpasian peninsula, and between these the brown
and golden-tinted plains. Only once in my life
could I hope to gaze upon a scene of such magnificent
beauty. The highest point of the mountain,
which was entirely free from snow, is divided into
three peaks closely resembling each other in appearance.
The centre one of these, according to my own
measurement, was 6,160 feet (instead of 7,000 feet)
above the level of the sea. Unger makes this peak
only 5,897 feet high, according to the map contained
in his work on Cyprus. It is true I had only my
little aneroid to go by, but it has never, to my
knowledge, failed me yet.
In vain I searched in all directions for any trace
of ancient ruins; I found nothing save unheaped
stones, and rubbish. I do not hesitate to assure my
readers that as I stood at that immense height
above the surrounding scenery, entirely cut off as it
seemed from every living creature, an indescribable
dread, that was almost fear, crept over me. Not
even a bird disturbed the air; and beneath me, as
far as the eye could reach, not a sign of animation
was to be seen. On some of the neighboring hills I
could fancy I saw small villages; but what appeared
to be houses were probably only rocks.
The sun began to set, and a chilly breeze warned
me that I had better descend. I had not gone far
before I saw Hussein waiting below with the horses.
I waved my hat to attract his attention, as I observed

him looking upward, but strong as were his
eyes, he could not distinguish me at such an elevation
even in that clear atmosphere. Our way to
Troaditissa proved much farther than we expected,
and night had long closed in before we reached our destination.

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As we journeyed, in twilight and solitude, around
the mountain, and darkness approached, I could
not forget that, even to the highest peak of this
very Olympus, at least 6,000 feet above the level
of the sea, festive bands of worshippers had in bygone
times ascended, when visiting this sacred
ground. Nothing, however, either of temple or
worship remained. The very remembrance of them
was blotted out, and even the name of the mountain
is almost unknown to the present population.
The changing fortunes of the country next presented
themselves to my imagination. Already ten
dynasties have ruled in Cyprus—first the Phoenicians,
then the Greeks, to these succeeded the Persian,
the Egyptian, the Roman and the Byzantine
ages, next came the Arabian, the Frankish, and the
Venetian rulers, and lastly, for nearly three hundred
years, the whole country has been subject to
the rule of the Turk; the worst period of its history.
The earliest condition of Cyprus is involved
in misty obscurity. On blowing away these clouds
a little, we see a large well-wooded country, altogether

covered with waving trees. A large town
next becomes apparent, situated upon the southern
coast, and out of its haven, numerous small longprowed
ships are putting to sea, manned by a bold
crew, who with oars and snowy sails are gradually
making their way across the distant sea. The
sailors are Phoenicians, the large town is called Kiti,
and we descry, moreover, the abodes of numerous
settlers upon the island's southern shore. Kiti, according
to the Bible, was founded by a grandson of
Japhet—such is the venerable antiquity which surrounded
the first history of the country.
The inhabitants of Syria next appeared upon the
scene, coming over from the opposite mainland, to
cultivate these delightful plains, to cut down their
luxuriant woods, wherewith to build ships, and to
obtain from the earth the metallic treasures there
hidden. The mines were worked by the Korybantes
and the Daktyles, between whom, apparently, a trade
partnership or family connection existed.
The industry of the inhabitants of Cyprus, even
at that early period, attained such celebrity, that
Semiramis obtained shipbuilders from Kiti to be employed
on the banks of the Euphrates. With the
Phoenicians, the worship of the Syrian goddess,
Astarte, was introduced into Cyprus, to whom altars
were erected at Paphos, Amathus, and Idalion. How
beautiful must then have been the forests reflected
in the waters, the verdure of the plains, the rich

color of the blossoms, soon however to be invaded
by the scorching heat of summer, whereby the last
leaf, the last blade of grass would be dried up, not
inaptly symbolizing the new divinity, the teeming
but merciless goddess Astarte. Cyprus became
her most celebrated sanctuary, and the worship of
Astarte, which was imported from the banks of the
Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Nile, into Phoenicia
and Cyprus, there took root, and put forth new
branches, making its way toward the northwest,
and at last reached the Greeks, a lively, imaginative,
and energetic people, who readily embraced
the new religion. After this came the Trojan war,
the history of which never will be obliterated from
the memory of mankind. All the noble warriors
and chiefs who took part in the strife with their
ancestry, descendants, and personal prowess, are
freshly remembered even in the traditions of the
present day, but the chief thing to be recollected
is, that this memorable strife was the commencement
of the struggle between the East and the
At length the princely city of Troy was overpowered.
A long and bloody strife was fought
out before her walls, and upon her whitened plains
are still assembled the shades of her heroes, while
their fame is emblazoned in the most beautiful of heroic
poems. Soon after the Trojan War, the Greeks
took possession of Cyprus under the leadership of

Teucer, Akamas, Demophon, Agapenor and Kephas.
Praxander, and numerous other petty chieftains
seized upon the quiet bays, wherever the scenery of
the coast had a tempting appearance, and speedily
brought their armed ships to land. They then
plunged into the dense forests, hewed down the
trees, and building intrenchments, awaited armed
with shield and spear, to see whether the islanders
who were assembled in the distance, dared to attack
them. All round the coast similar inroads
were continually repeated, until at length, they ventured
up the rivers and there established their
domiciles; the nucleus of a petty state. The Greeks
occupied Cyprus for a considerable period, and
mixed with the Syrians of Phoenician or of Jewish
extraction, until at length becoming assimilated
both in speech and manners, they formed but one
people. Certain inscriptions found in the country
were at first quite impossible to decipher, inasmuch
that they were thought to belong to some very ancient
people older even than the Phoenicians; these
have however been proved quite recently to be of
Graeco-Cyprian origin.
Under the magic touch of Grecian refinement,
the goddess of luxury and wantonness, Astarte,
became the most beautiful of ideal creations, the
mother of the Graces, the charming Aphrodite. In
the imagination of the times, Cyprus appeared rising
above the blue waves, and tinted with roseate hues.


There dwelt the glorious goddess in the midst of
blooming gardens, and shaded by the green foliage
of the woods, under the shadows of which her worshippers
were supposed to dwell in happiness, ennobled
by religious fervor.
This enervating period past, we find Cyprus divided
into nine petty kingdoms, whose capitals
were the cities Kition, Salamis, Amathunt, Kurion,
New Paphos, Kerynia, Lapithos, Soli, and Chytros.
Numerous rivers and brooks, streaming down from
the wood-crowned hills, and enlarging as they descended,
everywhere distributed life and fertility.
At the mouth of each river or stream was a town or
cultivated district; industry seemed to have reached
its highest point, and out of thirty havens, ships
went forth to earn a reputation, which, made the
island dreaded throughout the Eastern seas. Meanwhile
in those continents, between which Cyprus is
situated, great empires had been established. The
Assyrian, Egyptian, and Persian, each cast covetous
eyes upon the Cyprian shores, and obstinate battles
were fought for their possession in the sixth century,
B.C. Partly owing to the persistent attacks
from without, partly from internal dissensions, the
inhabitants succumbed and submitted voluntarily
to the rule of the Egyptians.
When, however, in the course of years, the Egyptian
yoke became too oppressive, and the name of
Cyrus outshone all others, the Cyprians appealed

to him for assistance. No fewer than a hundred
and fifty large Cyprian galleys assisted Xerxes in
his passage over the Hellespont Not long afterward
Cyprus took part in the great national war
against Persia. The Greeks spared no money to
defend the island on account of its mineral wealth,
and the rich supply of wood which it afforded
wherewith to build their ships; and also for its
rich harvests of fruit and its manufactured wares,
but principally on account of its excellent position,
in case of war with the nations inhabiting the Asiatic
Great battles were fought in Cyprian waters, by
fleets under the command of Kimon and Enagoras,
the latter of whom had expelled the Persians from
all the cities of the coast, and assisted Cyprus in a
ten years' war against the whole strength of Persia;
a glorious example, which did not fail to make a
deep impression, throughout the whole of Greece.
At length, however, the Persians once more got the
upper hand, and a courtesan in Persepolis was enabled
to squander in a single night the entire revenue
derived from the tribute of nine Cyprian kings.
Next the great Macedonian conqueror appeared
upon the world's stage. Had it not been for his
powerful and crafty father, Philip, the union of the
Greeks would never have been accomplished; they
had negotiated and fought, and fought and negotiated,
but were never ready to act in concert, but

now the strength of Macedon had united their
forces under the conduct of Philip's heroic son, and
set out upon their great campaign in Asia.
When Alexander laid siege to Tyre, the Cyprian
kings, of their own accord, sent to him their powerful
fleets and warlike engines, and strove, amongst
themselves, who should most richly contribute to
the festive games with which they celebrated the
news of his victories. Some accompanied him even
as far as the Indus, where the Cyprian shipwrights
had built the fleet, in which he intended to ascend
the mighty river. The great conqueror himself
was presented with a dagger; made by the artisans
of Kiti, that was regarded with admiration on account
of its keen edge and masterly workmanship.
When the chief officers of Alexander's army, from
being generals were exalted into kings, bloody battles
were again fought for the possession of Cyprus.
Whoever possessed this island, could command the
shores of Asia! Whoever possessed the shores of
Asia; but not the island, was always open to attack!
Ultimately, however, it became the property of the
Ptolemies, and remained for two hundred years
under the dominion of Egypt. Heavily was the
hand of Egypt laid upon poor Cyprus; the taxes
imposed upon its cities and villages were grievous
to be borne; its nine king's dwindled into mere
shadows, an Egyptian governor resided at Salamis,
and lorded it over the land like an independent

monarch. But now the Western continent for the
third time prepared a great expedition against the
Already in Italy the heavy tread of Roman cohorts
resounded, and wherever they were heard the
wreaths that ornamented Greek or Asiatic places
trembled, or fell withered to the ground. Not a
word was heard of right, or wrong, either toward
the prince, or people; Egypt was taken possession
of, and Cyprus became the province of a Roman
proconsul, who established his residence in Paphos.
The Roman system of government in a subdued
territory differed but little from that of the Turks.
Unlike the Turks, however, the Romans recompensed
their subjects with higher political culture,
with substantial rights as citizens, with domestic
peace, with excellent roads and harbors, with free
trade throughout all their vast empire, and—with
what the Turks do not vouchsafe, and, in spite of all
their promises and experimental trials, only in a
very limited degree can offer to their subjects—every
inhabitant of Cyprus under the dominion of Rome,
gifted with industry and genius, had the opportunity
of raising himself, even to the highest offices
in the state. Throughout all the earlier periods of
its history, this island was the place where important
business, both in connection with its mines and
agricultural produce, was carried on. It was the
abode of luxury and voluptuous enjoyment, and

deeply as the Romans helped themselves from the
pockets of the Cyprians, there was always much remaining.
At the end of the Roman epoch a remarkable
change took place. It has long been a recognized
fact, though dismal enough, that the instincts of
sensuality, cruelty, and mystical superstition, are
entwined together as if they grew from the same
root. In Cyprus this law of nature seems to have
asserted itself throughout the land. In presence
of the mysteries of Astarte, in which abominable
lust, bloodshed, and depravity reigned triumphant,
we gladly shut our eyes. But, behold, at the magic
touch of Grecian art, the gloomy Astarte becomes
transformed into the fair goddess, that, rising from
the sea-foam, assumes the beauteous shape of Venus.
The lovely Aphrodite, whose worship, however,
still retained enough and more than enough of
the ancient rites. And now she undergoes a third
transformation. How at the present day do the
Cyprians name the Mother of God, simply “Aphroditissa.”
She is often represented in the oldest
pictures, with her dark features veiled and glittering
with gold and silver; exactly as in ancient time,
the great black meteoric stone—the idol of Venus—
Astarte, was solemnly veiled by her priestesses.
From the very ground, upon which formerly
stood the temple of the Cyprian Venus, little images
of the Madonna are frequently dug up, as, for example,

the five goddesses, sitting upon throne-like
seats, each with a child upon its bosom, obtained
from the excavations at Idalion, and now preserved
in the Ambrose collection at Vienna. Here,
indeed, the figures are altogether of an antique
character, nevertheless every one of the five has so
completely the characters of a Christian Madonna,
that the observer involuntarily thinks them counterfeits.
The conversion of the Aphrodite into the
“Aphroditissa” occurred during the earliest days of
Christianity, when the sensual culture of Venus
gave place to the pure worship of the Virgin Mother.
The Jews, meanwhile, long groaning under the
weight of Roman taxation in Cyprus, as in Palestine,
and overwhelmed with rage and despair, conspired
together, and collecting into a formidable army slew,
as it is stated, 250,000 men, a number which indicates
how densely populated the island must have
been. Since this fearful slaughter no Jew has ventured
to reside in Cyprus. Christianity now made
such rapid progress, that the country was divided into
no less than thirty bishoprics. The island became a
land of saints; Barrabas, Lazarus, Heraclides, Hilarion,
Spiridion, Epiphanes, Johannes, Lampadista,
Johannes the Almoner, Catherine, Acona, Maura,
and a long list of holy persons stand in the calendar
as belonging to Cyprus.
After the Roman epoch ensued the long and
tedious uniformity of Byzantine rule. The management

of the island of Cyprus was for the most part
intrusted to the care of military and civil governors,
although, sometimes, both these functions were
united in the hands of a satrap, who bore the title
of duke or kaimacan (one set above all). The
supreme governor next endeavored to make the
succession hereditary in his own family, and for a
time succeeded—a result which soon tempted him to
aim at complete independence; for, relying on his
position, and the extent of his internal resources, he
deemed the island strong enough to defend itself.
His independence, however, only lasted until the
imperial forces could be got together.
A fleet from Constantinople soon arrived, which,
putting on shore a sufficient number of troops, overthrew
all his schemes and punished his temerity. In
the fourth century, during which Cyprus was sinking
slowly, but surely, into political and domestic
ruin, great misfortunes fell upon her. Earthquakes
destroyed her towns, and repeated droughts almost
completed her destruction; it is said that no rain
fell during thirty years, when, as the few surviving
inhabitants were endeavoring to escape from the
death-stricken country, there appeared among them
the holy St. Helena, who carried with her, wherever
she went, refreshing showers; after which the towns
and cloisters were once more filled by the returning
From the middle of the seventh to the middle of

the tenth century, the hand of man caused fearful
devastation. Hordes of pirates appeared upon the
coast, who, landing at every available place, set fire
to the towns and villages, and when the inhabitants
fled to save themselves, laid hands on everything
within their reach. Money and fruit, men
and cattle, all were hurried on board their ships.
Swiftly as they had come they departed; in vain
the fleet sent out by Government endeavored to
follow them.
Among the islands and havens of the Grecian
Archipelago concealment and shelter were easily
obtained; the only resource was to place watchmen
upon commanding points of the coast, from whence
they could see to a distance; and to build towers
and beacons, whence signals could be made by means
of fires and smoke, so soon as any suspicious craft
made its appearance. On seeing this signal, all the
inhabitants of the coast fled into the interior, taking
their children and cattle and their money and valuables
with them; and there they remained concealed
until another signal from the watchman told
them that the coast was clear. Next came robbers
of a still worse description; the former only sought
for what could be readily carried off in their ships:
these others were land robbers. The pirates only
struck down or burned whatever hindered them in
their proceedings; the others destroyed for destruction's
sake, and collecting men like sheep, drove them

into slavery. These were Arabs; from their sandy
and rocky deserts they brought with them a savage
hatred against all religious edifices, which they
leveled with the ground. It was now that the ancient
buildings of Cyprus suffered: the old temples
were reduced to ruins, the towns were destroyed,
and everything Greek or Roman perished. The
Arabs wished to establish their new government in
the island, and for this purpose they only required
bare ground.
In Constantinople every endeavor was made
once more to seize upon and maintain possession of
the rich island. In despair a command was issued
by the Sultan that all these fierce intruders should
leave Cyprus. The howl of the Arab was no longer
heard in the country, and the population began
again to gather itself together, first in the plains
and towns upon the coast, and afterward, little by
little, the hills became once more peopled. To this
Arab period succeeded a respite, during which the
island was enabled in some degree to recover itself.
The rule of the Byzantine continued, however, for
two hundred years. Frequently did the Cyprians
endeavor to free themselves from bonds which pinioned
the arms of industry, but all in vain; the
island seemed to have settled down in that slow
decay, which was the fate of all the Byzantine provinces.
When we reflect what a system of robbery
was practiced throughout the western Roman empire,

and the absolute poverty of the eastern states,
and consider that the Grecian people for thirteen
centuries had to submit to such rulers; that in that
time so many insurrections broke out among the
German, Slav, Arabian, and Turanian nations; we
must perforce recognize the excellent material of
which they are composed. It is a wonder that after
so many centuries of oppression, spoliation, and
misery, so many of them survive.
We have now arrived at the end of the twelfth
century, and for the fourth time the Western Continent
is assembled to do battle against the East.
France and Germany take the lead in the crusade,
Italy and England assist. For nearly a century the
coast of Asia opposite to Cyprus, from Cilicia to
Egypt, had again become Christian. The centre of
the group was the kingdom of Jerusalem. Its supporters
were the principalities of Tripoli, Edissa, and
Antioch, the dominions of Caesarea, Beyrut, Sidon,
and Tyre. Only Cyprus remained under the Byzantine
yoke. Then came Richard Coeur de Lion,
and in one wild attack he subdued the island and
departed. Cyprus once more had her own king, and
by a single stroke order and peace was restored to the
island. Baronial castles, abbeys with stately halls,
and beautiful Gothic cathedrals, sprang up in all
directions. The slopes of the hills were covered with
vineyards and orchards, and the fields were sown
with corn and profitable vegetables. Rich works,

and a trade that extended all over the Mediterranean,
gave life to the whole country. Famagusta
and Limasol at once took their places as large seaports.
After having been for fifteen hundred years a
mere dependency on either Memphis, Persepolis,
Alexandria, Rome, or Constantinople, Cyprus now
for three hundred years enjoyed the blessings of
self-government, and was prosperous and in high
repute. She built a new capital city, and, when the
Holy Land was abandoned, became the rendezvous
of the knights, who brought with them their laws.
As in the days of Cymon and Enagoras, Cyprus
became the arsenal where the fleets and armies of
Greece armed themselves to invade Persia. She
now shone across the blue waters of the Mediterranean
as the centre of knighthood and chivalry, from
whence the unbelievers were incessantly attacked,
and for a long time victoriously fought against
whenever they ventured to establish themselves
upon the coast from Symrna to Alexandria.
This glorious change in the condition of Cyprus
was effected, not by the inhabitants of the island,
but by the knights, monks, and citizens who came
to her from foreign countries, bringing with them
knowledge, activity, and industry.
When the Venetians took possession of the country,
it once more sank into its former insignificance,
it became merely the treasure chest and the granary

A SARCOPHAGUS.—See Page 303.


of a foreign nation. The entire population soon
lost its chivalrous character, and gradually sank into
a sloth and stupidity from which it again never
recovered; and, to add to the general misery, a fearful
scourge now visited the unhappy land. In the
places left desert by diminished cultivation, locusts
multiplied to such an extent that vegetation
disappeared from the face of the ground. A still
greater misfortune was the incessant destruction of
the trees and woods; the very mountains were left
bare, and, as a natural consequence, the rivers and
brooks were dried up, so that the parched land was
no longer capable of cultivation. This state of
things has now existed for nearly three hundred
years. Each successive season appears worse than
that which preceded it, the rulers more rapacious,
and the climate more unhealthy. In our day, the
inhabitants seem to be slightly roused from their
apathetic slumber, which is principally owing to
foreign interference. This amelioration exists particularly
in the vicinity of the sea coast, once so rich
and beautiful, now so wretched and unfortunate.

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The stumbling of my horse roused me from the
foregoing reflections on the history of the famous
mountain beneath the shadow of which we now
rode. Our path lay over steep and rugged rocks,
and after a long course of scrambling, my horse at
last refused to stir from the spot on which he stood.
We dismounted in hopes of discovering his cause of
alarm, and found ourselves on the very brink of a
yawning precipice. By a vigorous effort we again
found our path, and after some hard climbing, descended
into a valley through which ran a small
In the distance I observed lights, and felt convinced
they must proceed from the monastery we
were in search of. As we approached they turned
out to be bonfires, lit to celebrate the Easter fête,
and that the supposed cloister was only a small
village. We plunged our horses into the midst of
the rushing stream in order to gain the opposite
bank, but found it far too high. We now rode up
and down the bed of the stream shouting for assistance
till we were hoarse, but all was useless. Almost

in hopeless despair, Hussein made one more
vigorous effort to rouse the indolent inhabitants,
and shouted at the top of his voice for some one to
come with torches and show us our way.
No one answered, and we sought in vain for some
means of reaching the bank. At last, as a final
effort, Hussein gathered himself together and once
more exerted his powerful voice. This time the
shout was a menace. In the name of the pacha, he
commanded the villagers to appear and conduct a
noble stranger to the cloister of Troaditissa, under
the penalty of having their houses pulled about
their ears should they refuse to comply. This had
the desired effect; two men immediately appeared
bearing torches and led us on our way. From them
we learnt that a foreign gentleman, who spoke good
Greek, had called at the village about two hours
previously with his servant, and had requested to
have a guide to the cloister; this could have been
no other than my courageous dragoman, and I pictured
to myself his anguish when he found himself
lost and belated.
When our guides heard I had ascended to the
summit of Olympus they assured me I might consider
myself lucky to have escaped any attack from
the demons and kobolds who haunted the spot.
Had I not heard, they inquired, that the temple
of Aphroditissa had been removed lower down
because of the machinations of these evil ones?


The village of Fini, which we now left, lay about
1,000 feet below the monastery, and was separated
therefrom by a steep and rocky road. My whole
frame was exhausted, and had I had any idea of
the distance we must still traverse before reaching
our destination, I should certainly have insisted on
remaining for the night in any one of the village
huts, however squalid it might be. As it was, I was
in the hands of my energetic zaptieh, who hurried
on our guides with all possible speed. For myself I
was quite past everything, except clinging on to
my horse, to keep myself from falling, letting him
stumble on by himself, guided only by his instinct
through the pitchy darkness of the night. I
thanked Heaven loudly when about eleven o'clock
we reached the gate of the cloister. An Easter
bonfire was also burning here, formed of two huge
trees, which, as they slowly burnt, were pushed further
into the flames in order that the fire might not
die out before sunrise.
I was at once conducted to my apartments, which,
though the best in the house, bore a most disgusting
resemblance to a stable; and had scarcely set
my foot upon the floor, when my dragoman's head
appeared out of his bedclothes, and he commenced a
woeful tale of sufferings and alarms. He was starving
with hunger, and the monks had only given him
a piece of wretched bread that he could scarcely put
his teeth into! For my supper, the worthy brethren

brought me an earthen pot of the dirtiest, containing
some cold turnips and a small piece of salt beef.
Hungry as I was I could not have touched them.
Luckily for us the superior of the cloisters appeared
and ordered some wine and eggs to be brought.
The wine, which was excellent, revived us, and
loosened the tongues of the two monks who bore us
company, and we chatted gayly far into the night.
This capital wine (Mavro) is of a very deep red
color, and is made in the neighboring village of Fini.
Its effect upon my exhausted frame was marvellous.
I have often found during my journey in Cyprus
that a glass of Commanderia was the finest remedy
for over-fatigue, and I quite understood the popular
idea of its being by far the best medicine in many
cases of illness.
Early next morning I was roused by the bells,
which were hung almost directly over my head.
Mass was being celebrated in the little church; this
was far too small for its village congregation, and
the men were standing outside with lights in their
hands, whilst the women kept farther in the background.
When the celebration was over, the women
and girls seated themselves upon the trunks of some
trees, and began eating the food they had brought
with them, whilst the men mounted to a rough balcony
in front of the cloister, and sat down upon
some benches. The two monks now appeared with
baskets and earthen vessels, and after the men had

kissed their hands, presented each with a linen cloth
to spread over his knees, and then gave a plentiful
supply of bread, cheese, and wine. This repast was
followed by a cup of coffee.
Amongst the women I noticed many with truly
classic features, but in most cases they had heavy
figures. Two girls, however, were perfect types of
statuesque beauty, and would have made a sculptor's
heart leap with joy.
Whilst I was enjoying this scene, a third old
monk appeared who was suffering terribly from a
wound in his leg, which had not been properly attended.
I showed the poor old soul how to make
some lint, and lay it on the sore, thickly overspread
with tallow from the fat of a goat. This act of
charity performed, I followed the good brothers into
the chapel. Like most cloister churches in Cyprus,
it appeared to date from very ancient times, and
was probably built when Christianity first reached
the island. Near this little edifice stood two rough
buildings, containing a few rude chambers which,
with the chapel, formed the whole monastery.
Should any one wish to pass a week in this spot he
must accustom himself to the pangs of hunger, as
the worthy monks practice the abstinence on fast
days, which they require of their flock.
This cloister can boast one most curious and valuable
relic, namely, a picture of the Madonna
worked in silver and gold, with the heads of mother

and child painted on ivory. This curiosity is five
and a half feet long, by three and a half feet wide.
When I raised the veil that (as is usual in the island)
hung over the face of the Mother of God, I observed
two large silver plates, bearing the device of the
Russian double eagle, and the date 1799, from
which it would appear that this fine work had been
the gift of imperial piety. This was no doubt an
act of wisdom, as the whole surrounding country
still seems pervaded by a host of superstitions dating
from heathen times. This monastery is the constant
resort of pilgrims on account of the healing powers
with which this picture is supposed to be endowed,
and the poor brotherhood are often hard pressed
to find food for themselves and their numerous visitors.
When we were leaving, the old monk again appeared;
his leg was much better, and he fell upon
my neck and embraced and thanked me with much
gratitude. Our road lay through the scene of our
last night's troubles, and I trembled as I saw the
pitfalls we had passed in the pitchy darkness, and
yet escaped with our lives.
I was now desirous of riding through the country
to the monastery of Chrysorogiatissa, which I understood
to be about seven or eight leagues distant; we
found, however, that it took us an entire day to
reach the spot.
Shortly after leaving the village of Fini we

entered a magnificent valley, inclosed by reddish-brown
mountains, with trees scattered here and
there upon the declivities. These reminded me of
the trees upon the open prairies of America, which
are only met with at about every 200 or 300 feet.
On the prairies, however, the trees when they do
appear, form pleasing objects in the landscape,
whilst the stunted growth upon the Cyprian mountains
only gives an impression of barrenness and
decay. We saw a few firs at an elevation of 4,000
feet, and in some of the upper peaks a few pines are
still to be met with. A very different scene presented
itself in the valley beneath us. From every
stone and rock hung long grass and clumps of flowers,
and in some places these were entirely covered
with brilliant mosses and a variety of creeping
plants. Bushes of sage, marjoram, cistus, arbutus,
laurel, and myrtle covered the ground, whilst oaks,
juniper, and mastic trees spread their roots in all
directions near the rippling waters of the stream
that irrigated this beautiful valley. The soft foliage
of the tamarisk contrasted finely with the dark
branches of the pines and the silver-gray of the wild
On the trees and bushes were perched a host of
feathered songsters, and every cleft and fissure in the
low-lying rocks streamed and rippled with sparkling
water. Every here and there we came upon a spot
where the moist swampy earth was covered with

peonies, tulips, and a variety of bulbous plants,
whilst every decaying tree stump showed a luxuriant
crop of orchids and rare creepers. The whole
air was so charged with heavy perfume from these
multitudinous flowers, that I breathed more freely
when we reached a slight eminence and were met
by a refreshing breeze, which bore with it the delicious
odor of some neighboring fig-trees.
In passing through one of these valleys we found
the sun intolerable. It actually seemed as if the
heat were rising from the ground and would scorch
our legs. I have, however, never felt in Cyprus,
except on this occasion, that over-powering sultriness
which is so often experienced in Sicily; still, it of
course must be thoroughly understood that I traveled
through the island in the freshness of early
Let no one imagine that our path through these
picturesque valleys was without its difficulties and
annoyances. Over and over again we lost our way,
and at last we were compelled to plunge into the
bed of the stream and let our horses swim and
struggle as best they could over the loose stones that
beset them at every step. When we again landed,
our way lay along the edge of a steep declivity and
over walls of rock, without a trace of roadway or
anything to indicate the course we ought to take.
A tedious ride at length usually brought us to a
deep gully, beyond which lay another luxuriant and

laughing valley. In this manner we journeyed all
day, following the course of the stream and the goat
paths, whenever it was possible, and stumbling on
as best we might when these were not available.
At noon we stopped to rest upon a hill above the
murmuring waters of the mountain stream, and for
the first time that day heard the distant sound of
sheep-bells. Gradually the tinkling became more
distinct, and in a short time two shepherds with
guns on their shoulders appeared upon the scene.
They were fine fellows, and gave me many interesting
particulars of their life on the mountains, whilst
gratefully sharing the meal we were enjoying. They
belonged to a nomad race, wandering during the
greatest part of the year about these mountains
with their flocks, and sleeping in little huts roughly
made of branches for the occasion. On my asking
if many shepherds lived this life, they laughed, and
assured me that not only men and boys, but women
and girls passed whole months in this manner
among the mountains, the women carrying a light
spindle about with them, and plying their wool-spinning,
a work they much prefer to laboring with
the hoe and sickle in the fields. Exactly such a life
as this I have often witnessed in the Greek islands
of Samothrace and Thasos, and exactly such features,
build, and dress as these men exhibited. Like
their Grecian brothers our Cyprian friends imitated
the shriek of the vultures and the calls of a great

many birds, in the most perfect manner. I inquired
of these shepherds, if they could give me any particulars
concerning the mufflons, a species of wild
goat, but could only learn that it was but very
rarely met with. From what I could gather, I imagine
that it is nearly extinct.

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Cyprus , of late years, has been gradually sinking
to decay through the supine indolence and indifference
of her degraded population. In no particular
does the whole surface of the country suffer so severely
as in the utter devastation of her mountain
forests. All the former rulers of this beautiful
island, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs,
and Byzantines gave particular attention to the cultivation
of the fine trees that contributed so largely
to her prosperity. Oaks, firs, fig-trees, and nut-trees
covered the entire island, even to the sea-shore.
During the two first centuries of the Lusignan dynasty
the first formidable attack was made upon the
luxuriance of Cyprian forests, and timber was employed
in enormous quantities for the building of
merchant vessels, and the construction of the fine
fleets that Cyprus sent forth to the coasts of Asia
Minor, Syria, and Egypt.
Then came the Venetians, equally bent on ship-building,
but their prudent foresight forbade them
to hew down without planting again, and under
their rule the forests flourished almost as luxuriantly

as ever. A very different state of things arose
under the improvidence and carelessness of Turkish
rule. If a hundred trunks were wanted, a thousand
were hewn down, it being easier to select the finest
trees as they lay upon the ground than when towering
among their companions. The best were taken
and the rest left to rot where they had fallen.
Every maritime disaster entailed fresh destruction
to the Cyprian forests. Pachas, kaimakans, and
agas year by year increased their revenues by cutting
down the trees, and leaving what they could
not sell to be appropriated by whoever chose to
take them. The fine forests were under no protection
from Government, and the poorer classes drew
a considerable part of their livelihood from the sale
of the trees they cut down. Mehemet Ali, the first
Viceroy of Egypt, gave the finishing stroke to this
work of folly by permitting or rather encouraging,
any one who chose, to fell the trees and send them
to Egypt to assist in the construction of ships, water-wheels,
and canals.
All over the island this wanton destruction of
their trees by the Cypriotes is observable. Every
village occupied spot is remarkable for the spoliation
of its surrounding timber; small trees are cut
down at the roots, whilst the giants of the forest,
whose huge trunks could only be overthrown by
patience and exertion, have had all their branches
and bark lopped off and hacked away.


Another powerful cause of destruction is to be
traced to the constant occurrence of fires in the
woods and forests. These arise principally from the
carelessness of the wandering shepherds and their
families, who kindle a blaze without the slightest
attempt to avoid the destruction that so frequently
ensues. During the course of our ride I have often
passed several of these charred and blackened districts,
where it was quite evident the progress of
the fire had only been arrested by there being no
more trees or shrubs to devour. When the value of
this rich source of wealth to the island is again appreciated
a very short space of time will be required
before the forests are again flourishing in all their
former beauty. The fertility of Cyprus is truly
marvellous, and should a tract of country be left
unravaged for three years, trees of every variety
will again rear their heads. Even on the most arid
part of the mountains, I frequently observed a fine
growth of young firs and pines; these, however,
would not be allowed to reach maturity, for what
the hand of man does not sweep away is destroyed
by the sheep and goats as they wander unrestrained
about the hills.
Forests of dark pines were once numerous upon
the higher ranges of mountains, but these have also
fallen victims to the recklessness of the islanders.
Resin and pitch are marketable articles, and to obtain
these the trees have been mercilessly destroyed.


Operations are commenced by stripping off the bark
on one side, the finest trees being always selected,
as high as the man can reach, and the resin taken.
Fire is then applied to the base of the trunk, and a
few hours suffice to lay it low. The branches are
then lopped off, and, with portions of the trunk, are
heaped into a roughly constructed oven formed of
quarried stone. Fire is then applied to the wood
and the resin pours forth into a little channel cut to
receive it. The first-fruits of this process is called
kolophonium, and the second resin, whilst the last
result forms a kind of tar. Half the resin is, of
course, wasted in this rough process, and when the
devastators have taken of the best the hill-side affords,
they climb down to another green and luxuriant
spot, there to recommence their work of destruction.
A sort of mania for this wanton mischief
seems actually to possess the Cypriotes. Quarrels
are of constant occurrence between the inhabitants
of different villages and communities, and no better
way to avenge themselves occurs to the contending
parties than to burn down and hack each other's
trees under the concealment of night. To burn
down a fine tree, merely for the pleasure of seeing
and hearing it crackle and blaze, is an amusement
constantly practiced by the ignorant and unreflecting
shepherds as they lounge away their days upon
the mountain side. I made many attempts to open
the eyes of the people to the utter folly of such a

course of action, and was generally met with the
answer that it was done by the wish of the Turkish
Government. The Cypriotes have become so accustomed
to attribute every evil of their lives to this
source, that they actually appear to consider their
late rulers responsible for their own reckless indolence.
In order to restore the forests of Cyprus to their
pristine luxuriance only one course can be adopted:
All woods and forests must be put under the immediate
protection of Government, and every act of
wanton destruction made punishable. The present
trade in resin must be entirely put down, or only
permitted under heavy restrictions. Should this
course be pursued under British rule many districts
will rapidly prove its wisdom. Whole tracts of
country, I fear, must be entirely replanted. The
land around the villages should be allotted to the
inhabitants, and boundary lines permanently fixed.
A little encouragement from their priests and schoolmasters
would induce the vain and envious Cypriotes
to vie with each other in the cultivation of their
new possessions. I had a long and interesting conversation
on this subject with the late governor of
Cyprus, a most enlightened and high-minded gentleman.
His opinions on this point were not less
decided than my own as to the imperative necessity
of replanting and cultivating the Cyprian woods
and forests if the island is ever again to rise from

her present degraded condition. If this is not done,
rivers and streamlets will year by year dwindle
away, and waste ground entirely take the place
of what were once well-watered plains. The pacha
strongly urged the desirability of introducing the
eucalyptus upon all the plains and the table rocks
before alluded to. I inquired if this was likely to
be done, but my only answer was a deep sigh.

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Happily for this unfortunate island, the plagues
of locusts which formerly were very common, are
now unknown. An old chronicle informs us that
from the year 1411 to 1413 every tree in the country
was perfectly leafless. During the last century,
this terrible scourge—which came with the north
wind from the Caramanian mountains—appeared
every few years, and was principally attributable to
the fact that in the neglected state of the country,
these pests of the farmers were perfectly unmolested,
and having once taken possession of the
eastern table lands, laid their eggs there from season
to season.
When locusts are first hatched, at the end of
March, they are no larger than spring-tails, and congregate
in innumerable myriads upon every bush
and plant. A fortnight later, when they have
twice changed their skins, they are fully half a
finger long, and have already commenced their hopping
and creeping westward, destroying every leaf
as they pass. In the next fortnight they again cast
their skins twice, and have their wings fully developed.

Now commences their triumphant progress,
and the air is filled with the rushing sound of
their destructive presence. Their rapacity is simply
marvelous; fields of corn are devoured to the
very roots, and within a few minutes after their appearance,
fruitful gardens are entirely laid waste.
Every edible thing is destroyed, and it is not at all
uncommon for these hideous swarms to enter the
houses and devour everything that they obtain access
to. The work of devastation ended, they fall
dead in thousands of thousands on the sea-shore and
open country, filling the air with their pestiferous
In the present day, Cyprus is mercifully entirely
free from this overwhelming plague. This happy
state of things was brought about, partly, by the
energy of the then ruling Turkish pacha, who commanded
that a certain measure of locusts should be
collected by every one for the Government and then
buried. The whole population were at once awakened
to the urgency of the case. Trees and shrubs
were set on fire whilst their devouring host passed
over, and soldiers, horses, and oxen were called into
requisition to stamp out the enemy. The districts
where the eggs lay were plowed, and no stone
left unturned to render the general purification as
complete as possible. Only money and people
were wanting, to make the attempt sufficiently general.


At this crisis, a large landowner, M. Mattei, residing
at Larnaka, hit upon a simple plan of ridding
the country of this annual pestilence. It had been
observed that a locust could not ascend a smooth surface.
The walls of Nikosia to a certain height were
therefore made smooth and whitewashed. Mattei
had also calculated that, even when fully winged,
the creatures were compelled to seek the earth at
short intervals, and continue their way by creeping
and hopping. He caused ditches to be dug and
behind these, strips of linen and oil-cloth were
stretched in such a manner as to form low walls; or
slight partitions of planks or other smooth materials
were erected. Behind these, other ditches and similar
walls were made at given distances. The locusts
came, and finding it impossible to scale these artificial
walls, fell in masses into the ditches dug for
their reception, where they were either covered with
earth, and at once destroyed, or were shoveled out,
thrown into sacks, and buried in other spots. Such
as managed to rise above the first wall, rarely got
over the second, and in no instance reached the
third intrenchment. This simple method of freeing
the country of these terrible pests, which was described
to me by M. Mattei himself, was at first
only tried about Larnaka and Nikosia, but so extraordinary
was the success of this ingenious experiment
that the example was shortly followed all over
the island, with the most satisfactory results.

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As we gradually emerged into the open country,
I recognized our geographical position, and experienced
fresh astonishment at the number of fine
streams, by which, if proper justice were done to
them, the island would be once more readily fertilized.
From this place we observed numerous tributaries
of the ancient Lycopotamos (River Kurio),
which flows into the sea at Episkopi (Curium), and
of the Keysoypotamos (River Diorizos), which discharges
its waters near Kuklia (Palea Paphos), and
a little farther on passed the principal branch of
the latter river. Every mountain gully and valley
seemed filled with the sound of rippling water, and
I could not but compare the whole range of hills,
to one huge rocky spring or reservoir.
At this season, the country was saturated with
the late snows and winter rains, but in summer,
doubtless, these numerous sources rapidly dry up
under the burning sun, and the earth again becomes
scorched and arid. From the eminence upon which
I stood, I could see innumerable streamlets coursing
down the sides of the mountains, which extended

their undulating brown-tinted declivities as far as
the eye could reach. In the distance, on our right
hand, we saw the monastery of Kikku (the richest
and most extensive cloister in the island, and the
very stronghold of Cyprian brotherhoods), towering
like a pyramid into the air. This monastery is four
or five leagues from Troaditissa, and is perched so
high on the upper ridge of the mountains as to be
very difficult of access. This does not prevent numerous
pilgrims visiting her shrine, which possesses
a very valuable and ancient picture of the Madonna.
Toward evening we reached the village of Panagia,
and again found all the inhabitants assembled
around their church; on this occasion, however, old
and young were enjoying a little social intercourse.
The men and women chatting and laughing, whilst
the youngsters sported around under the shadow of
the trees, and lent an animated charm to the scene.
Again I could not fail to remark that almost every
kind of fruit tree flourishes, and bears good fruit in
a wild state. Mulberries, apricots, almonds, and
cherries were here in great profusion.
Our arrival at the monastery of Chrysorogiatissa,
which was delayed until after dark, did not appear
to please the worthy brothers. Monks and servants
were all in bed; but after much knocking and delay,
a monk and negro appeared, who admitted us
and brought out some bread and bony goats' flesh

for our delectation. Next morning, when I left my
hard and comfortless bed, I found that both cloister
and mountain were enveloped in a thick white
mist. This monastery, which for size ranks next to
Kikku, contains fifteen monks, and employs fifteen
servants, who cultivate part of the land belonging
to the monastery, the rest is let out on lease. All
the Cyprian cloisters are richly endowed, and are required
to pay but few taxes to Government; but in
spite of this wealth, these religious houses can bear
no comparison with the abbeys of England. The
church, which reminded me of the archiepiscopal
chapel at Nikosia, has a fine figure of the Saviour,
with nimbus, and right arm and hand of silver (the
latter is raised as though in the act of blessing).
Among the representations in wood carving, I noticed
Eve holding the apple, and Adam with a fine
As the mist disappeared I was able to observe
the scene that lay beneath me. The cloister stands
back toward the south upon the highest range, and
commands a magnificent view. This monastery was
formerly called Rogio.
At breakfast, which was a much more appetizing
repast than our supper could have led us to expect,
we were honored by the presence of the Father-Abbot,
who came accompanied by the negro and another
servant. From him I learnt that this place
had formerly been the seat of the bishopric, until

about thirty years ago, when the bishop preferred
removing his residence to the more busy town of
Baffo. This worthy priest also gave me some valuable
information concerning the present deserted
state of the surrounding districts. For seven leagues,
north, south, and west, the country, he informed me,
was almost uninhabited.
Whilst I was chatting with the friendly abbot,
my dragoman appeared with consternation written
on every feature. The whole mountains he assured
me, were infested by robber hordes; Michaili, my
horse boy, substantiated the statement, and both
refused to leave the monastery. On inquiry I found
that three men had been making requisitions on the
cloister at Troaditissa, and after other acts of violence
had been lodged in the jail at Nikosia. This
prison, which is situated beneath the late governor's
palace, often contains as many as a thousand convicts,
guarded by a strong force of police. In the
centre of this square is a forlorn-looking tree, from
the branches of which many wretches have been
hanged by order of the Governor-General of Cyprus.
At the present day the governor cannot put a man
to death without special orders from Constantinople;
when this order arrives a policeman is summoned,
whose duty it is to pass a rope round the
victim's neck, and, without more ado, to drag him
to the fatal tree, where he is left hanging for several
hours after life is extinct.


Whilst upon the subject of Cyprian prisoners, we
must not fail to lay before our readers the great
severity of punishment now being undergone by an
unfortunate now in the fortress of Famagusta. To
Mrs. Cesnola, the amiable wife of the well-known
author from whom we quote, the unhappy man was
indebted for obtaining some mitigation of his sufferings.
It is scarcely too much to hope that under British
rule these terrible dungeons may be investigated,
and the hands of mercy in many instances extended
to their suffering occupants.
“On one occasion,” writes the general, “when
visiting the armory of the prison, the attention of
the ladies of my party was attracted to some trailing
crimson flowers which overhung a parapet. To
their astonishment a short, broad-shouldered man
who had remained near them, and who had attracted
the attention of all, by his commanding figure and
fine, manly face, sprang to the parapet with the
agility of a cat, broke off some of the flowers, and
returning, presented a spray to each of the ladies
with the utmost grace. As he did so, they observed
to their horror that he was shackled with
heavy iron chains from the wrist to the ankle.”
His large, sad blue eyes, and hair prematurely
streaked with gray, seemed to plead in his favor,
and on inquiring his crime the general learned that
he was no less a personage than the celebrated

Kattirdje Janni, the Robin Hood of the Levant.
This robber chief, it is stated, never committed a
murder, or permitted one to be perpetrated by his
band. It appears, that whilst in the service of a
gentleman in Smyrna he fell in love with his master's
daughter, with whom he planned an elopement,
but having been betrayed, he was overtaken and
thrown into prison. From thence he escaped into
the mountains, near the ruins of Ephesus, and entered
upon the wild career which finally brought
him to Famagusta. He and his band were in the
habit of lying in wait for the parties who they
knew were traveling with large sums of money, and
kindly relieving them of their charge. They also
frequently captured persons of wealth and detained
them until a ransom had been paid. Kattirdje
Janni would often give this money in alms to the
poor, and we are told he presented about one thousand
young Greek girls with marriage portions.
No one ever dreamed of informing against him,
owing to a superstitious belief amongst the peasants
that evil would befall the man who did so, and
all attempts of the government to take any of the
band were long futile.
“At the time of the Crimean war, whilst the
English army was at Smyrna, five hundred soldiers
went out, assisted by the Turks, in order to secure
him, but were entirely unsuccessful. The following
authentic incident will testify to the boldness of

this robber chief, and the terror in which he was
held. One evening, when a family near Smyrna
were sitting at supper, they were amazed at beholding
twelve men armed to the teeth enter the apartment,
headed by the bold outlaw. These uninvited
guests quietly seated themselves, remarking that
they would wait until the family had finished eating,
and then they would have some supper. When
Kattirdje Janni had finished his repast, he told his
trembling host that he and his family were henceforth
free to hunt and travel where they liked,
as he, Kattirdje Janni, never forgot a kindness.
“Tiring of this wild life, he gave himself up to
the Turkish authorities, on the understanding that
he was to be exiled to Cyprus, and not otherwise
punished. The Turks would probably have been
merciful to him, but, unfortunately, a young Frenchman,
connected with the consulate of Smyrna, had
been very badly used by his band. On this account
the French ambassador insisted, that Kattirdje
Janni should be imprisoned and treated in the most
rigorous manner. He was immured in a dungeon,
and for seven years chained like a wild beast to the
walls of his cell. He was afterward removed to
the fortress of Famagusta, where he is still confined.”
The two superiors of the monastery accompanied
me to the gates, where I found eight stalwart graybearded
brothers waiting to bid me farewell. I

could not refrain from commenting on their fine
figures, when they laughingly assured me there were
many more of their stamp to be found in these
mountains. Their faces were sunburnt and ruddy,
and contrasted strangely with the white robes of
their order. I may here mention that these mountaineers
love their native hills with an ordor not
to be surpassed by any people in the world. As
we descended the steep face of the mountain the
whole scene was still enveloped in a thick mist.
At the bottom we saw two Turkish women tending
their cows, and looking in their white veils like a
couple of substantial ghosts. About a league and
a half farther on, we passed a deserted church,
which was perched upon a rock, and completely in
ruins. We also observed some sheep, with broad
flat tails, grazing on the mountain side. During
the whole of this journey to the coast I could readily
have imagined I was traveling over one of the
rocky parts of Northern Germany, whilst the scenery
to the north-east, with its craggy peaks, strongly
recalled to my remembrance some parts of the Vosges
mountains. I must, however, admit that the
Cyprian scenery is decidedly finer than that of
Upper Alsace. Such human habitations as we
passed were miserable in the extreme; mere mudroofed
huts with a small aperture to admit of ingress
and egress. These structures closely resemble.
those I have seen in the north parts of Samothrace,


but the latter are somewhat larger and certainly
After four hours' hard riding we at length descended
into a narrow valley which opened upon
the plains beyond, and afforded us a good view of
the sea, with its yellowish-green coast. Our journey
through the mountains was almost over, and on the
whole, I must confess to a feeling of disappointment,
as I looked back over all I had seen. During
the last four days the neglected state of the country
and the wretched condition of its people seemed to
have thrown a veil of depression and melancholy
over every spot I visited, whilst even the grand and
imposing mountain ranges I had traversed, would
not bear comparison with those of Crete or the
Canary Islands.
As we now approached the coast I saw before
me the portion of country formerly dedicated to
the Goddess of Beauty. This tract, which is about
one and a half leagues broad, extends for three or
four leagues along the shore, and slopes gently to
the sea. Directly before me lay the small town of
Ktima, whilst somewhat lower down, nestled a small
fort. On this spot formerly stood the city of New
Paphos, and on the left, about two leagues distant,
the village of Kuklia, which stands upon the site of
Old Paphos. The scenery at this spot possesses
much quiet beauty. In the rear tower the dark
hills, looking down upon an extensive open tract of

fields, whilst in front spreads the sea, the waters of
which encroach upon the land in a picturesque variety
of curves and tiny bays. At this spot, the
ocean-born goddess was supposed to have been
borne upon the waves to shore, and here, upon a
slight eminence, the most famous and ancient of her
numerous temples was erected. Crowds of pilgrims
and eager worshippers hurried to the spot and joined
in the excited processions that passed backward and
forward between Old and New Paphos.

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My journey terminated for the present at the
house of the Bishop of Baffo, who resides in Ktima.
The bishop, who is a young and stately man, received
me with the greatest kindness and affability.
He at once conducted me to a luxurious apartment,
where we seated ourselves upon soft cushions placed
on a costly Turkey carpet, and my host resumed
the ten feet long chibouk, filled with choice tobacco,
he had been smoking when I was announced, and
courteously offered another to me. It was quite
evident the worthy bishop was a man of substance,
and thoroughly enjoyed the good things of this life.
From the roof of the house I obtained a magnificent
view of the sea and neighboring coast.
The Temple of Venus, formerly a great object of
interest on this coast, was situated on a small hill at
a distance of about twenty minutes' walk from the
sea. Some parts of its colossal walls are still standing,
defying time and the stone-cutter, although
badly chipped by the latter. The stones, of which
these walls are built, are most gigantic, one of them
being fifteen feet ten inches in length, by seven feet

eleven inches in width, and two feet five inches in
thickness. Strange to say, the stone was not quarried
in Cyprus, but is a kind of blue granite which
must have been imported from either Cilicia, or
Egypt. This temple, as rebuilt by Vespasian, seems
to have occupied the same area as the former one,
and was surrounded by a peribolos, or outer wall.
Of this wall, a few huge blocks are now only extant.
On the west of this outer wall there was a gateway,
still plainly visible; its width was seventeen feet
nine inches: the two sockets for the pivots on which
the doors swung are of the following dimensions—
length six inches, width four and a half inches, depth
three and a half inches. The south-east wall was
excavated, and its whole length ascertained to be
690 feet. The length of the west side was only
traced as far as 2.72 feet, as the modern houses of
Kuklia were erected above it; the length of the
other two sides were also for the same reason not
ascertained. The walls of the temple itself, which
are constructed of the same kind of blue granite, but
not in such large blocks, were only traced with
much difficulty, and although very little is to be
seen above the surface, yet strange to say, the four
corner-stones are still standing. The north-east
corner-stone forms part of the wall of a house in
Kuklia, while the north-west corner-stone stands in
a cross street of the village by itself; the south-east
corner-stone stands also by itself in the open

field, where the Christian population of Kuklia burn
lamps and little wax candles, but in honor of whom,
or for what purpose, is uncertain. The south-west
corner-stone, likewise, forms part of a modern dwelling-house.
The temple was oblong, and of the following dimensions:
the eastern and western walls measured
221 feet, and the two other sides 167 feet.
The north-west corner-stone has a hole in it thirteen
inches in diameter, and a similar hole also exists
in the south-west corner of the outer wall. As this
temple possessed an oracle, it is more than probable
that the use of these strange holes was connected
with it. If a person stand upon one of these huge
perforated stones, he can produce a clear and fine
echo of a sentence of three or four words, if pronounced
in a distinct but moderate tone of voice.
Abundant indications of mosaic pavement, both in
the area of the temple and in the court-yard, exist,
where can be found many prettily-designed pieces
of various colors—yellow, white, red, rose-color, and
brown. About three feet beneath these mosaics
were also found several large pedestals of colossal
statues, bearing Greek inscriptions, and many other
pedestals were lying about, possibly having been
left by former excavators; most of those, which
Cesnola discovered under the mosaics, were of the
same kind of stone as that of which the walls of
the temple were built, but of a finer grain. The inscriptions

were of the Ptolemaic period, from which
is probable that Vespasian only repaired the Temple
of Paphos, or if he rebuilt it entirely, it was with
the former stones. The foundations are only six
and a half feet deep, but upon having other borings
made another foundation was discovered beneath,
but evidently of an earlier period and very massive.
Singular to say, in boring no sculptured remains
were found, and but few fragments of pottery.*
* We are indebted to General Cesnola's valuable work on the antiquities
Cyprus for a principal part of the above facts respecting the
ruins of the Temple of Venus. Reference to his high authority was
indispensable, and we have thought it best to give in a great measure
his own words, instead of laying his account before the public in a
garbled form.—M. A. J.
Tacitus gives us the following representation of
the sacrificial rites employed in this temple.
“The victims to be sacrificed must be carefully
selected, males only being chosen. The safest auguries
are obtained from the entrails of goats. It is forbidden
to sprinkle blood upon the floor of the temple,
and the altar must be purified with prayer and
fire. The image of the goddess is not in human
shape, but is a rounded stone tapering upward like
a cone. Why such a shape should be adopted is
not clearly explained.” At that time, therefore, the
worship of this goddess was shrouded in mysterious
secresy. The people only knew that it had been
handed down to them from very ancient times. The

only answer they received to their inquiries why it
was so, being “It is a mystery.”
We learn from other sources that this coneshaped
stone, erected in the innermost sanctuary of
the temple, was black. Upon the festivals of the
great goddess the stone was carefully washed by
the priestesses, and wiped dry with clean towels:
possibly its ugliness was set off by golden ornaments
and jewels. In the darkness surrounding the
Cyprian deity other mysteries were concealed, admission
to which was doubtless only obtainable at
a high price. Three ruined walls and a few fragments
of an ancient building, scattered here and
there over great heaps of rubbish, are all that remain
of what once was Paphos. The stones of
which it was built have disappeared long ages ago,
used, probably, as materials wherewith to build the
lordly castles of the Middle Ages, or broken in
pieces for the construction of humbler edifices.
During the period that the island was occupied
by the Franks, a new city sprang up on the site
of ancient Paphos, which has also disappeared; but
of this a ruined church, now used as a cattle-shed,
is all that remains. Still, melancholy as is the
present condition of the spot, so suggestive are the
general features of the locality, that it is not difficult
to reconstruct the beautiful landscape it once
presented. The temple was situated upon a broad
eminence which sloped gently toward the sea,

which formed, as it were, a border to the picture.
The slope was all covered with luxuriant vegetation.
Toward the interior of the country are a few
outlying hills, backed by picturesque mountain
scenery of a much grander character than at Baffo.
As I looked upon them the sky became overcast,
and the sea overspread by long masses of rain
clouds, through which at intervals streamed the
rays of the western sun, which falling on the water,
covered its surface with gleams of dazzling brightness.
Some portions of the lovely scene seemed
bathed in gold, only made more conspicuous by the
darker tints of deepest blue and purple. The play
of light and shade was continually changing, forming
altogether a scene of tranquil loveliness not
easily to be forgotten. I should not like, however,
to live here alone. Every place to which the reputation
of antiquity attaches itself, has its guide and
dealer in curiosities, although he knows no more
about them than the crows know about Sunday.
The man who accompanied me in my explorations
came, as he said, from Mitylene, and was educated
enough to be able to quote the poems and rhapsodies
of Sappho. The owner of a neighboring
farm here made his appearance, a stately Turk, in
frock-coat and boots, with a head of hair like that
of a plow-boy. We went together, about a quarter
of an hour's walk, to see the “Queen's Cave”

(σπήλαιον τῂς ρή λίνας), which was upon his estate.
This gentleman informed me that until about ten
years previously it had been almost entirely filled
up, but that when the French came to explore, he
had had it opened. Nothing, however, was found
in it except a great stone slab, about five feet
square, which was leaning against one of the walls,
and was covered with inscriptions on both sides.
The Frenchman, after a great deal of trouble, succeeded
in getting it out. It was, however, so heavy
that they broke it to pieces, before taking it with
them in their boat. Cesnola tells us that on descending
into the cave he found that it consisted of
four chambers or tombs excavated one behind the
other in the solid rock. Each of the two first contained
four graves; the third had fewer, and in the
last and smallest there were none. “We found,”
he continues, “several other tombs upon the side of
the hill, some of them open and some of them filled
up. My guide told me that before his time they
had been thoroughly ransacked, and their contents,
which consisted of several gold chains and sundry
earthenware vessels, were taken away. There were
also remains of buildings upon the highest point of
the hill, around the foundations of which considerable
excavations had been made, revealing, that the
edifice had been a square tower, one side of which
had been cleared of rubbish, but the hoped-for
treasures, which had been the incentive to all this

labor, had not been forthcoming. The tower seems
to have nothing in common with the other building,
and appears to have been simply a watch-tower
used in former times to give warning of the approach
of pirates.”
With still increasing pleasure, I continued to
gaze upon the vernal landscape in which all the
great historical features of the place were distinctly
traceable, and I would willngly have lingered
longer upon this enchanting spot, had I not been
recalled to more practical matters by my landlord,
who summoned me to table, where I was soon enjoying
a meal consisting of excellent soup, fresh
eggs, maccaroni, and bean salad, together with some
exceedingly good wine.
After dinner the landlord took a seat beside us
upon the terraced roof of the house, and we enjoyed
a most delightful evening. Close to us, in a neighboring
court-yard, sat a Turkish family, who laughed
and joked, apparently in high spirits. Our hostess
was still quite a young girl, and very pretty, her
large flashing eyes, white glistening teeth, and delicately-shaped
limbs, formed quite a picture. At
first, when spoken to, she seemed embarrassed and
bashful, and only giggled, but as conversation went
on she became more companionable, seated herself
upon the doorstep, and chatted away merrily. It
is a pity that in these Eastern climes female beauty
is so evanescent; even before girlhood is passed

their charms have disappeared, leaving nothing behind
but a tawny skeleton.
The night was delightful, the air balmy and soft,
and each breath of wind seemed to bring with it
the perfume of a thousand flowers. The silver
stars so sparkled and flashed in the clearness of the
atmosphere that they seemed to have descended
toward the earth.
Owing to the warmth of the night the door of
my apartment was open, and as I lay in bed contemplating
the dark blue sky, I could fancy that my
vision penetrated beyond the stars into the depths
of the firmament. My mind was so filled with reflections
on the worship of the Cyprian goddess that
I could not sleep. Scenes that I, not long before,
had witnessed in Egypt, during the feast of Machmal,
presented themselves vividly to my mind. According
to ancient custom the ruler of Cairo sends
every year a valuable piece of cloth, in which to
wrap the holy stone, the Caaba. The setting-out
of the great caravan which bears this cloth to its
destination is celebrated by a general festival, during
the continuance of which the fanaticism of the
Mohammedans fully displays itself. It was impossible
to think of the great black meteoric stone, and
the ceremonies connected with it, without being
forcibly reminded of the cone-shaped stone worshipped
with similar rites by the Paphian priesthood.
The Caaba stands surrounded by a wall,

exactly as did the Cyprian idol: even the doves of
Venus are not wanting in the temple court of the
Caaba, where they are regarded as sacred birds.
In the sanctuary of Jupiter Ammon, in the Lybian
Desert, the idol was a stone of a conical shape,
ornamented with emeralds and other jewels. In
the temple at Delphos a similar stone was worshipped,
was daily anointed with oil, and on high festivals
was wrapped in white wool. In the same manner
we find that in ancient temples, more especially
in Syria and Asia Minor, Bethylia were worshipped;
sacred stones, whose name, derived from Bethel
(the place of God), indicates their Semitic origin;
these stones were all meteoric, and it is natural
enough that when such masses have fallen amid
thunder and lightning, they should be believed to
be of heavenly origin, and to possess extraordinary

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In an account given by General Cesnola of a similar
journey to mine, across a portion of the island,
he states that travelers in Cyprus will find it much
more convenient to purchase than to hire animals,
and speaks in high terms of the well-broken mules
and donkeys he found. These donkeys, of a breed
peculiar to Cyprus, are glossy and sleek, with large
eyes; they are very intelligent and can travel as
fast as a mule.
The same authority tells us the muleteers are as
a class excellent and trustworthy, even under the
temptation of conveying large sums of money from
one town to the other. When a native is about to
proceed on a journey he goes to the khan, a kind of
inn, and there selects a mule to his liking, and bargains
with the owner of it for a lump sum for the
entire trip, or at a rate of so much a day. The latter
mode is preferable, for should the mule prove unsuitable,
the traveler would be at liberty to change
it on the road if he found a better. The former
method, however, is generally adopted by the natives
for the sake of economy. He appoints the

hour at which he desires to start, and the muleteer
as a rule arrives at the house an hour or two later.
A kind of native saddle is placed on the back of the
mule, called “stratouri,” across which are hung, in
such a manner as not to incommode the traveler,
two large canvas bags, which contain his private
effects, and provisions for the first day's journey.
Several colored blankets or quilts, according to the
season, are then piled on the stratouri to be used as
a bed at night.
The muleteer, who acts also as guide, is mounted
upon a small but strong donkey in the same fashion
as the traveler, and carries the extra baggage of the
latter, besides food for himself, provender for both
animals, and often several parcels intrusted for delivery
to his care. At first it seemed to me cruel to
see such little animals so overloaded, but I soon became
convinced that the Cyprian donkey is stronger,
and resists the fatigue of a long journey better than
a mule.
When everything is in readiness for departure,
the traveler is helped to ascend to the top of his
quilts, and two rusty stirrups attached to the extremities
of a rope are handed him, into which he
introduces his feet. By sitting upon the rope, he is
enabled to keep his equilibrium; once safely perched
he opens a yellow cotton umbrella, lights his cigarette,
receives the blessings of his household, and
starts upon his journey.


The Cypriotes are in general a frugal people,
and when traveling, can accommodate themselves to
almost every exigency. More than once during my
excursions in the island I have found, on entering a
small village, some wealthy merchant of my acquaintance,
seated cross-legged on the threshold of a
hut, with a straw tray, resembling the lid of a
basket, placed before him, on which were a few
black olives, a hard piece of brown bread, and some
sour milk, apparently enjoying his repast. It is no
uncommon thing to find the muleteer seated opposite
the merchant, eating from the same dish, and drinking
from the same jug, a glass being, in the interior
of the island, considered a useless luxury.
Whilst giving our readers the benefit of the above
interesting particulars we cannot refrain from quoting
General Cesnola's own account of his summer
residence in the interior of the island. The question
of the possibility of enjoying life in our new possession
is now so much discussed, that the testimony
of a gentleman, who has recently resided in the
island for ten years, must carry much weight.
“On the occasion of a visit to Nikosia, the capital
of the island, I had passed a night in the village of
Dali, which is about half-way between Nikosia and
Larnaka, and had remarked on its outskirts a grove
of lemon and orange trees, amidst which nestled a
small white cottage, connected with several outbuildings.
This, I decided, might be converted into

a pleasant retreat, and soon induced the proprietor
to cede it to us for small remuneration during the
hot season. This he did the more readily, as the
peasants live almost entirely out of doors from June
to September, it rarely ever happening that a drop
of dew, and almost never a drop of rain, falls during
these months. The Cypriotes place their beds
under the trees, making the branches of the latter
do duty as clothes-press and-larder. They will frequently
throw a handkerchief on the ground and lay
their infants to sleep upon it, satisfied that neither
moisture nor creeping thing will harm the child, for
Dali is wonderfully free from noxious reptiles.
“This simple abode became our summer resort for
several years. It was surrounded by about six
acres of ground, laid out in alleys of lemon and
orange trees, and the favorite caishà,*
* A delicious species of nectarine.
from the
blossoms of which exhaled a delightful perfume.
Two noble walnut-trees overshadowed the traditional
The Oriental or common well.
and extended their shade to our out-of-door
saloon, where we sat the day long, reading,
writing, and chatting, with the grateful breeze at all
hours coming through the long verdant alleys, hung
with luscious fruit. A small rivulet of the purest
water found its way from cold sources to the feet of
these walnut-trees, the broad leafy branches of which
formed the ceiling of our drawing-room, and being

blocked by a pile of rough stones, tumbled, cascade
fashion, into a basin, scooped out to receive it,
which served as our wine cooler and refrigerator.
We soon adopted the housekeeping system of the
peasants, and hung our plate-baskets and table-linen
among the trees; and spreading out the thick mats
of the country with a wooden settle, dining-table,
and some rough chairs, we soon arranged a dininghall,
where our Turkish attendants served us with
as much attention as if at a state dinner, though not
with quite the same ceremony. A little farther on
a few Turkish rugs and divans formed the reception
room of state for the notables of Dali, consisting of
an old cadi, an illiterate Greek priest, and three
wealthy Turks of Potamia, who inhabited what was
once a royal palace, and the summer residence of
the Lusignan queens.”
We cannot refrain from quoting a still stronger
testimony borne by this gentleman to the charms of
this beautiful island as a summer residence:
“Having obtained a six months' leave of absence,
we took our last walk in the environs of Larnaka,
where the Marina*
* That portion of Larnaka which lies along the sea-shore is called the “Marina,” while Larnaka proper is about three-quarters of a mile inland.
appears to its best advantage.
Passing the Salines, and the ruins of Phaneromene
on our right, we were soon in the fields, which were
yet in all their vernal glory. Pink and white anemones,

dark blue irises, intensely scarlet poppies,
golden Marguerites, and a thousand lovely blossoms,
of which I do not even know the names, embroidered
the plains with the most brilliant colors imaginable.
We crushed the wild thyme and mignonette
beneath our feet at every step, yet they seemed
to offer us their incense at parting. A torrid sun
would soon leave all this a dreary waste. Mount
Santa Croce seemed to follow us throughout our
walk, ever changing in aspect, now cool and brown
as clouds floated over it, now glowing with crimson
in the setting sun. The lighted minarets of Larnaka,
and the Marina, shone in the distance, and, as we
neared the latter, we heard the voice of the muezzin
calling the faithful to prayer. As we entered
our own spacious garden, which had been reclaimed
from the sea-shore, with its lovely roses—such as
bloom only in Cyprus—and its vine-colored walls,
a slight shade of regret passed over us as we thought
how soon neglect might turn the spot, then the admiration
of visitors, once more into an unsightly
waste. An extensive terrace overlooked the garden,
and as we walked on it in the moonlight, a magical
charm seemed to have been thrown on the scene,
and on the rippling gleaming waves of the Mediterranean,
so that while gazing we almost forgot the
dark side of life in Cyprus, and a sense of tenderness
stole into our hearts for the land we were leaving
on the morrow.”

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In Cyprus we encounter a population which essentially
resembles the modern, rather than the ancient
Greek in character.
One of the most pleasing features of the island is
the every-day domestic life of its inhabitants. The
members of every family cling inseparably together,
and share among themselves whatever good or evil
fortune awaits them. To pay for the education of a
son or brother parents and children will suffer both
want and hunger. Brothers will not marry until
their sisters are provided for, and it is often truly
touching to see how the gray-headed fathers and
mothers, who seem here to be particularly numerous,
are honored and cared for by their children.
Among the ancient Greeks the men allowed themselves
much freedom in love affairs and worshipped
at the shrine of beauty. The women, on the contrary,
were chaste and modest, and lived retired,
industriously employed in their household duties.
Such are the Cyprian women at the present day.
The influence of the female part of the community
has, moreover, of late remarkably advanced. Perhaps

among no other people do women hold a more
influential position. The mother is the mistress of
the household, and it is principally by her that the
family is held together. It is a common saying,
that men make laws, but women regulate the manners
of a people. The laws, however, are dependent
upon the manners, and the more strictly these latter
are watched over, so much the better for the wellbeing
of the state. The modern Greeks make the
best sailors, and the most discreet and prudent men
of business in the world; they are good hands at
fine work, are fond of horticulture, and are skilled
manufacturers and money-dealers. Although fond
of the warm slopes and sunny climate of their native
land, they are ever ready to quit it at a moment's
notice to seek their fortune elsewhere. They
are remarkable among all the dwellers in the East
for their activity and the elasticity of their spirits,
which nothing seems to subdue, and which, when
repressed, is continually breaking out more cheerfully
and brightly than before, like their own sunny
sky after the storm has passed away. They are
fond of literature, and are delighted with a graceful
expression, or a witty saying. They take an interest
in everything and delight in talking and telling
tales. Their understanding and imagination, in
short, are extraordinarily powerful and active.
And now, having said so much on the bright side
of their character, we must turn to their vices and

faults. Their laughable conceit, which displays itself
in a thousand unexpected forms, might be passed
over, as also the grasping avarice which is conspicuous
in most of their dealings, for vanity may rise
into ambition, and niggardliness be refined into
praiseworthy economy, were their other vices not so
numerous and so grave. In social life we may place
falsehood and faithlessness, knavery and lying, at
the head of the catalogue. Of insatiable covetousness,
heartless robbery and implacable revenge, examples
are numberless. Justice is so totally set
aside that, if a man be placed upon a jury, he is
compelled to acquit the offender, because he thinks
in his heart that he himself may shortly be placed
in the same unfortunate predicament.
If we are asked what is the political condition of
Cyprus, we can only say that it is busied with small
matters—in important affairs it is all baseness and
subserviency. No one can deny to the modern
Greeks the possession of political cunning. Nevertheless,
in the great and necessary virtue of obedience,
they are altogether wanting, and officers and
soldiers will discuss and quarrel over political questions,
forgetting that it is the duty of the one to
command and of the other to obey. No sooner is
an important proclamation issued, than it becomes
the subject of criticism and mockery, but no one
thinks of obeying it.
The modern Greek is one of the slyest, most active,

and most persevering of rascals, but his efforts
are all for the purpose of over-reaching his antagonist,
and cheating the state. In like manner, barefaced
simony is practiced throughout the Eastern
churches. The whole country is full of combinations
and parties, not employed in establishing principles,
but merely in endeavoring to obtain power in order
to reward their partisans with places and emoluments.
These evils cast so deep a shadow over the modern
Greek that the few bright points remaining—
hospitality, public spirit, courage, and patriotism—
almost disappear in the general gloom.
In ancient times the effeminacy and luxury of the
Cypriotes had passed into a proverb. The worship
of Venus assumed the character of unbridled sensuality,
and the young of both sexes, brought up in
the midst of these luxurious festivals, soon learnt to
look upon pleasure as the end and aim of their
Clearcus de Soli gives the following account of
the effeminate manners of the Cyprian kings: He
says, “There were women attached to the household
of the ladies of the royal family who were called
‘Flatterers;’ at a later date their name was changed
to ‘Clemacides,’ because they were in the habit of
curving their backs into a sort of step for the use of
the ladies as they got into, and came down from
their litters.” Clearcus speaks angrily of this abject
and despicable practice, which tended to increase

the indolence and luxuriousness of the princesses
who kept these women. “But,” he adds, “these
‘Clemacides,’ after having spent the early part of
their lives in the midst of luxury and refinement,
are left to an old age of misery. Decency will not
allow me to relate to what degree of libertinism
these women brought the princesses and ladies of
the court. I will only add that practicing upon
themselves and upon others all sorts of abominable
witchcraft, they offered by their shameful conduct
a spectacle of the most repulsive vice.”
Clearcus, too, has given us the following description
of a young Paphian king: “This young man
carried the refinement of luxury to the extent of
lying on a bed, or sofa with silver feet, overspread
with a splendid carpet or rug; under his head were
three pillows covered with very fine linen of a rich
color, and handsomely trimmed. His feet rested
upon two purple cushions, and he was dressed in a
white robe. At some distance from the bed stood
slaves and near the young king were his flatterers,
men of good position.” Clearcus adds: “Each of
these devoted himself in some way to add to the
indolence of the prince. One seated at the foot of
the bed had the young man's feet resting upon his
knees; another seated near the bed, bent over the
hand which the king allowed him to caress, and
gently stretched out one finger after another; the
third, who was highest in rank, stood at the head

leaning over the cushions and passing his left hand
through the young prince's hair, whilst with the
right he gently waved a fan.”
To such a height of notorious extravagance had
the princes of Cyprus attained, that Antiphanes, a
comic poet of Rhodes, wrote a most amusing comedy,
in which he caricatured the folly of the Cypriotes.*
* In this play the King of Cyprus is described as reclining on a couch
with doves flying over his head, and fanning him with their wings.
Attendants were represented as standing around in order to keep the birds
at a respectful distance from the prince. We mention this fact, as we
have seen it recently stated that what was simply intended as a caricature
was an actual custom in Cyprus.
Manners such as we have described had their origin
in the luxurious example of neighboring Persian
satraps, and were brought to the utmost refinement
of self-indulgence by the subtle mind of the Greek.

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The climate of Cyprus is just now the subject
of so much discussion in England, that we cannot
do better than lay the following facts before our
readers, only premising that we have left our readers
to decide between many slight discrepancies in
the various statements. In most respects the temperature
and climate of Cyprus are similar to that of
the neighboring countries. The great heat of Syria
is felt here, as also the violent winds and extreme
dryness of Cilicia; but to compensate for this, there
are most refreshing sea breezes and night dews.
During the summer, as in India, those who can
afford it, seek the cool air of the mountains, returning
to their homes in the plains and on the coast for
the winter months, the cold at this season being far
more severe than (judging from the situation of Cyprus)
one would imagine. In the northern parts of
the island, the icy winds from Taurus are keenly
felt, and the summits of the Olympian range are entirely
snow-capped. Old writers have said that the
climate is unhealthy; in proof of this assertion, they
mention the epidemic which attacked the army of

St. Louis, in this island, in 1259, but many who
have lived there are not of this opinion.
Abbot Mariti, in his work “Travels in Cyprus,”
says, “I must own that quartan fever is very prevalent
in this island, as in most parts of the Levant;
but this is not altogether caused by the climate.
While in Cyprus,” he continues, “I suffered ten
whole months from an attack of this kind of fever,
and I have since learnt, my own indiscretion was
the cause of the long continuance of my ague.” The
great heat of the climate occasions a continual perspiration,
and if, while this lasts, one subjects oneself
to the least chill the result is infallibly an attack of
fever. Another cause is the immoderate use of
strong liquors, and the eating of certain fruits, particularly
cucumbers and melons. Natives of this
country rarely escape this epidemic, more especially
in summer, but they cure themselves without any
other remedy than a little bleeding, thus allowing
nature to act. I grant this method would not succeed
in the case of Europeans, for to them the
malady has its dangers, and needs rather careful
treatment, but it can be cured by a rigid system of
diet. The Greeks and Turks ward off an attack by
continued horse exercise, and the latter adopt the
not unpleasant remedy of a large glass of good
Cyprian wine.”
In Cyprus, as in almost all countries of the Levant,
rain is periodical. It commences falling toward the

middle of October, and continues until the end
of January. February is a less rainy month, and
the sky is sometimes cloudless. The author before
quoted remarks that “toward the middle of March
the rains commence heavily, and last till the end of
April. May is a delightful month, the refreshing
dews aid vegetation and temper the heat of June.
After this season, the sun has quite a scorching
power upon the ground, which is moistened by
neither rain nor dew.”
This state of things would be unbearable, were it
not for the refreshing sea-breeze, which is felt on all
shores of the Mediterranean. About the middle of
September this wind ceases, and for six weeks the
heat is excessive, until, toward the end of October,
the sky becomes covered with rain clouds. Thus
we see in the summer, the south wind is refreshing,
because it is from the sea, and on the contrary, the
north wind from Asia Minor brings all kinds of unhealthy
vapors. True it is, that the northern parts
of the island suffer less, because the wind has been
partly cleared by its passage over the sea; but it is
simply unendurable to the people of the southern
districts, to whom it brings the parching heat of the
hot dry countries, which it has scoured in crossing
the Olympian chain. Should this wind rage for
seven or eight days continuously, all vegetation is
injured, every fruit-tree and plant withered, and
the looked-for harvest wholly at an end. For this

reason, scarcity is so often felt in Cyprus, notwithstanding
its fertility and good soil. These burning
winds, and scorching heat, are the scourges of the
The lower classes of Cypriotes wear large fig or
cabbage-leaves upon their heads to protect them
from the rays of the sun. Strict attention to cleanliness
and careful avoidance of excess in stimulants
are necessary in this island as elsewhere.
It would seem that in the climate of Cyprus there
must be something entirely different from that of
all the three countries between which it lies. The
climate is, however, subject to great changes; during
one-third of the year, rain falls abundantly, and
during a second third, it is as delightfully cool, and
lovely, as on the coasts of Italy, whilst the rest of
the year is as hot as in the desert of Sahara.
During the winter season it rains incessantly;
about the middle of October, the rain clouds begin
to obscure the sky, and from that time until February
the water falls down in abundance. To this
succeeds an exquisite spring, bringing with it the
perfumes of a thousand flowers, and a fresh and delightful
About the middle of March rain again begins to
fall in passing showers, which, although less violent
than those of winter, continue with more or less intermission
until the middle of May, when they are
replaced by the heavy dew which falls during the

night. During this season, which lasts for about a
quarter of a year, the country is a paradise, until at
length comes summer with its burning heat. In
June, all moisture seems to have departed from the
atmosphere, and toward the end of the month, the
heat is fearful, and the sky becomes a changeless
expanse of glorious deep blue. Only from time to
time, a fresh sea breeze finds its way to the land, to
indulge the inhabitants with a fresh breath of air.
The worst, however, has yet to come, for toward
the end of September, even these light breezes die
away. The air becomes thick and obscure, and the
whole atmosphere damp and sultry. The grass and
vegetation generally are dried up even to the roots,
and the leaves fall from the trees, which now stretch
out their naked arms like ghostly forms, scarcely
visible through the surrounding fog. Not a drop
of water remains in the brooks and river sources,
and traveling is only possible during the night.
Business is at a standstill, and the people do nothing
but inquire how long it will be before the rain
will come again.
It is thought by many that the summer is hotter
in Nikosia than it is in Cairo, notwithstanding that
the sea and the snow-clad hills of Asia Minor are at
so short a distance. I can only account for this circumstance
by the fact that in the valley of the
Nile, when the water of the river is rising, there is
always a gentle breeze perceptible, and moreover,

from the broad expanse of water which covers the
country, much more moisture is given off than in
the drier atmosphere of Cyprus.
Mariti tells us, that the intensity of the summer
heat is often modified by a cooling wind called imbat.*
* This wind has been erroneously called “limbat” from, we presume,
a confusion of a French article with its noun, “l'imbat.”

This wind, which generally commences blowing
at two o'clock in the morning on the first day,
increases till noon, then gradually falls, and toward
three o'clock in the afternoon ceases entirely. The
imbat, which begins early in summer, and continues
until September, appears to last about an hour
longer each succeeding day, for five days, when it
recommences the five days' course. If the horizon
should be clear the wind will be weak, but if dark,
heavy weather may be expected; occasionally a
dangerous north wind succeeds the imbat, which
commences at seven o'clock in the morning, increases
steadily till noon, and continues blowing till evening.
Should this wind last for any length of time
the crops suffer severely.
The same authority mentions, that the cold is
never so great as to necessitate fires in the houses,
these being only kindled to obviate the effects of
the excessive moisture. From this description he,
however, excepts the country immediately around
Olympus, where the snow often lies to midsummer.

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Early next morning, on leaving my sleeping
apartment, I found my dragoman, in company with
a young dealer in Paphian curiosities, hanging about
the door, and evidently on the watch to fasten their
company on me, should I attempt to visit any of
the surrounding ruins. Not being desirous of their
interference, or assistance, I evaded them, and quietly
strolled down to the sea-shore. As I looked
around, I observed, against the horizon, the small
houses and slender minarets of Ktima, a little town
standing upon raised stone dikes. Somewhat lower
down, a huge mass of sandstone extended for some
little distance along the shore, the appearance of
which at first puzzled me exceedingly. On the side
facing the sea large and small chambers were hollowed
out, and every here and there, roughly hewn
steps led to the top of the rock. Cesnola has made
some of his interesting excavations on this spot, and I
will therefore explain these workings in the solid
sandstone in his own words:
“A little to the north-east, and half-way between
these ruins and Ktima, there is a rocky eminence

sloping toward the sea, and called Palaeo Castro,
the surface of which is perforated with thousands
of ancient tombs, some cut vertically, and others
horizontally, in the calcareous rock. Some are made
to contain only one body, while others are large
enough for a score or more. These graves are all
evidently pre-Roman. I had the rubbish removed
from one of the largest, and found it to be an oblong
building, with an atrium supported by three
monolithic columns, roughly hewn out of the limestone,
and with a court-yard in front. The tomb is
divided into three chambers, which communicate,
inside, with each other, but have separate entrances.
They have a large number of niches, seven feet by
two, each to contain one body. Near the wall facing
the doorway of each chamber, there is a low
platform hewn in the rock, on which apparently
stood a sarcophagus, but nothing of it now remains.
The court-yard contains also several single graves,
but all have been opened long ago. This must have
been the family sepulchre of a great personage, and
possibly that of one of the kings of Paphos.”
The same authority gives the following particulars
concerning the contents of some similar tombs
he examined at Amathus, and other excavations
made by him at Paphos, with, however, but little
“The quantity of objects in copper and bronze
discovered in these tombs, though mostly destroyed

by oxidization, is much greater than that found in
the extensive necropolis of Idalium. I observed
that in the localities where copper mines are known
to have existed, as at Amathus and Curium, more
ancient utensils and figures in that metal are found.
The fact that these bronze objects are roughly made,
is sufficient proof that they have not been imported,
but are of native manufacture. Many curious little
rings in bronze and in silver were met with in these
tombs, the use of which is not easy to determine.
Some cylinders of soft glazed clay, probably of
Babylonian or Egyptian manufacture, also came to
light, together with several rings of solid gold of
very rough workmanship, and entirely without
artistic merit; broken earthenware jars, bronze
bowls, copper hatchets, and a few iron arrow-heads
were found, but all oxidized, so as to fall into powder,
and entirely without inscriptions. West of
these tombs, facing the sea, are to be found nine
oven-shaped caverns, which contain a great quantity
of human bones, besides those of oxen, camels,
and sheep. These nine caverns are far too small
to have contained the amount of bodies indicated
by the skeletons (I counted no less than sixty-four
human heads), but were more probably simply ossuaries
for bones removed from rock-cut tombs, so
soon as the tomb was required for another occupant,
and its tenant dried up and forgotten. The fact
that no sepulchral vases or any other such relics are

to be found, sufficiently bears out such a supposition
In the tombs on the sea-shore, only the bones
of pigeons and egg-shells in clay dishes were to
be found with the human remains, these being evidently
the relics of the funeral feast.”
During the week Cesnola remained at Ktima, he
made many excavations; one of these was upon the
site of a temple of which three large granite columns
were still standing; he also discovered the
bases of nine other columns, only a few inches below
the surface, and still occupying their original
position, whilst all around were strewn architectural
fragments which had belonged to that structure.
On the other spot he investigated is a broken
column, to which it is asserted St. Paul was tied
and scourged when he came to preach the Gospel in
this city; but the tradition is said to be only current
amongst the Greeks of Ktima. In this locality
there were also shafts of columns, some blocks of
triglyphs and volutes lying on the ground, probably
also the remains of a temple. A silver coin of
Vespasian, with the Temple of Paphos upon it, and
a few Roman lamps, were all the relics that were
found after a week's exploration.
Before quitting the neighborhood of Paphos, the
same authority visited the village of Koloni, which
is situated upon a plain, stretching down to the sea,
overshadowed by hills covered with juniper-trees.
In these rocks are situated the “asbestos” quarries,

of which we have already spoken, and the much
lauded “Paphian diamond,” which, however, is only
a superior quality of rock crystal. These hills, we
are told yield fossil shells in large quantities; and
earths in different colors, green, carmine, and yellow,
are occasionally met with in the surrounding
Ten minutes' ride from Koloni, in a north-west
direction, is Ieroskipo, now a mere group of houses.
This name is evidently derived from the ancient
Hieroskepi, “Sacred Garden,” the well-known garden
of Venus, who was regarded by her worshippers
as the goddess of gardens and flowers. Cupid was
supposed to have lived with her in Cyprus.
“There is,” says Cesnola, “a large cave which
seems to have been artificially scooped out of the
rock through which a spring makes its way, and
after filling the basin, overflows and forms a rivulet
sufficient to water the neighboring fields; this is
known as the ‘Bath of Aphrodite.’ I must say, he
would be obdurate indeed who would not be captivated
by the great beauty of the spot. The ground
generally slopes gently toward the sea, but here it
seems to have been cut into large plateaux or terraces,
which are surrounded by a thick grove of
olive-trees many centuries old. Among the olives
is a sprinkling of carob-trees, which, with their dark
green and lustrous foliage, form a striking contrast
to the pale hue of the olive leaf. In closer

proximity to Ieroskipo, are a number of rock-cut
tombs, but no vestiges of buildings are visible.”
After wandering some distance farther along the
sand, I reached Kapatah, a fortress built upon the
shore by the Genoese, and here came upon more
tombs cut in the rock, and entered by means of
roughly-hewn steps. Over the largest of these
chambers, I observed an inscription in ancient Cyprian
characters, and in the grotto itself, which is divided
into two apartments, the hindermost of which
has a small cupola at its top, I also noticed half
effaced characters upon the walls. Near this spot
was the ancient harbor, the dams of which were
formed of blocks of stone; a stream now discharges
itself here. I was told that the harbor had formerly
extended much further inland, and had gradually
fallen into ruin, and been filled up with sand.
The sea was splashing against the stones in the
foreground, the flowering shrubs of all kinds filled
the air with fragrant perfumes, and in the distance
towered the dark and lofty mountains.
Proceeding onward, after leaving this fort, I
came upon a village embowered in trees and inhabited
by Greeks and Turks. The walls, as is
commonly seen in the district, appeared to be constructed
principally of stones taken from the surrounding
ruins, and I noticed many a piece of broken
column peeping out from its hiding-place, among
waving palms and flowering shrubs. Near a little

church I observed some small pillars, two of white
marble, and two of beautifully polished granite. Of
another church only a square tower and the portion
of an arch remain. In the midst of the village is a
roomy basin formed of large blocks of stone, which
was, no doubt, the bath of the fair Cyprians of ancient
times; now it is merely a receptacle for refuse.
As I proceeded farther into the village I found huge
blocks of marble and granite lying in all directions.
The French, we are told, in the course of their explorations
here, ten years ago, brought to light many
valuable relics, and carried off the best of all they
found. Knowing this, I was perfectly astonished
at the rich treasures of antiquity that met my eye
at every step, and I could only suppose the place to
be the site of a former city, over the buried temples
and palaces of which trees and shrubs had sprung
up, and a few small houses for the present poor inhabitants
had been hastily erected. The people
still draw their water from the ancient limpid
springs. Even the higher class of Turkish houses,
which were comparatively modern, showed here and
there traces of walls and gateways of an early date.
During the time of the Emperor Augustus a violent
earthquake destroyed New Paphos, and in obedience
to imperial commands the city that rose upon
its ruins was named after his wife, Augusta. At a
later period, a second earthquake destroyed the unfortunate
town; but we have no clue as to the date

of this second calamity. I could not but groan in
spirit as I walked and thought of all the treasures
that probably lay buried beneath my feet.
That evening I dined at the table of my worthy
friend the bishop, whose liberal hospitality had
made me acquainted with a great variety of strange
dishes. On this occasion the repast seemed very
homelike to me, for it consisted of an excellent
roast leg of mutton served with some fine juicy lettuces,
a dish of onions stuffed with rice, and a great
variety of sweet dishes, all excellent in their way,
and principally samples of Turkish cookery. This
was followed by toasted bread covered with layers
of rich cheese, after which came coffee, and our ten
feet long chibouks.
During the evening many priests of various ranks
dropped in, said a few words, and again departed.
It seemed to me they had very much their own
way with their good-hearted bishop. These visitors
were followed by the kaimakan, or governor, who
appeared followed by half a dozen attendants. This
gentleman chatted with us for an hour, and then
left, begging me to allow him to send an escort with
me on my journey of the following day.
Early next morning I proceeded on my way, and
as we approached Hierokipu, I saw many grottos
hewn in the rock, and noticed again and again that
the ground over which we passed sounded hollow
as it was struck by our horses' hoofs. I was informed

by a gentleman we met, who owned property
in the neighborhood, that two years ago he had
found a place in which were five chambers hollowed
in the rock, with a kind of entrance hall in front
neatly constructed of square blocks of stone; within
this stood a round pillar which had no doubt served
as an altar. Many of the odd little flasks and vessels
were found here which have been supposed (in
my opinion most absurdly) to have been receptacles
for tears. These contained resin and ointment, the
perfume of which filled the whole chamber. When
we were only some few hours' distance from Old
Paphos or Kuklia, I rode down to the shore and
took a survey of the surrounding view. The mountain
gullies were now dry, but at other seasons, it
was evident that the whole coast would be flooded
by the streams that flowed through them during the
wet season. I now ascended a slight eminence on
which once was the site of a temple built by Ptolemy
Philadelphus, and dedicated to his beautiful
spouse Arsinoe, who was there worshipped under
the name of Venus Zephyritis. Dinochaus, the architect
who completed the temple of Diana Ephesus,
we are told, contemplated making the temple of
Arsinoe of loadstones, with a statue of the queen
suspended in the air by the power of magnetism,
but he died before the strange idea could be carried
out. The daughter of this queen was the fair Berenice,
whose beautiful locks have been so celebrated.

This lady dedicated her luxuriant tresses to the
goddess should her husband, Ptolemy Evergetes,
whom she tenderly loved, return uninjured from
the war he was then engaged on. After three years
he did return, ladened with spoil. All the south
part of Asia Minor had submitted to him, and he
erected two temples in commemoration of his victories
there, calling them Arsinoe and Berenika. On
this successful issue of her petition the fair wife of
the conqueror at once cut off her magnificent tresses,
and had them suspended in the temple of her
mother, the so-called Venus Zephyritis, Cyprus in
those days being united with Egypt under the Ptolemies.
What became of this wonderful hair is unknown,
but Konou of Samos, the astronomer, announced, by
way of flattering the lovely queen, that “Jove himself
had stolen the tresses and placed them in the
sky as a constellation.”
The “Sacred Road,” which took its name from
the number of worshippers carrying their offerings,
who formerly passed backward and forward between
Old and New Paphos, gradually rose slightly
above the shore, and as I looked around I could not
avoid noticing the great beauty of the sea foam as
it rose in snowy wreaths from the stones on which
it beat. At some seasons, when a south-west wind
is blowing, this foam rises as high as the feet of the
trees and shrubs, and presents the appearance of

small tracks of snow. The shore at this point, I am
told, would afford a rich field for the naturalist; I
myself saw millions of crustaceans and microscopical
creatures lying upon the stones. Gazing upon the
scenes I could readily suppose how the vivid imagination
of the Grecian temperament should have led
them to describe the Goddess of Love as having first
reached the shores of Cyprus mounted on the foamy
crest of a wave.
Cesnola tells us that the two Christian churches,
now both in ruins, one of which was built within
the area of the temple, and the other within the
boundary wall, the palace of the Lusignans, and
the entire village of Kuklia, have been constructed
with the stone from the ruins of the ancient city.
Attached to each house is a penfold, built without
mortar, of loose stones. The church that stands
within the temple limits has several fine marbles
imbedded in its walls, bearing inscriptions, which
had obviously belonged to some more ancient edifice
before they were placed in their present positions.
An old ruined castle, and a few miserable dwelling-houses,
are all that now remain of what was once
Old Paphos, now known as Kuklia. We rested for
a time in a wretched coffee-house, which was full of
zaptiehs, who were quartered here, whilst they collected
over-due taxes. Groups of people stood around,
some looking pitiable objects with their wan, anxious

countenances, whilst others, again, were perfect
embodiments of cunning and stupidity. The chief
officer of the soldiers, when I arrived, was addressing
this crowd with polite dignity and a great variety
of expressive gestures. It was whispered in my
ear, by one of the party, that rage and threaten as
their rulers might, no more money could be wrung
from this wretched population. In respect to their
extreme poverty these miserable beings appeared to
me to be no worse off than the inhabitants of Ktima
and other places we passed through. A few stalwart
men were amongst the crowd, but for the
most part the people appeared weakly, and to blend
the Grecian, Syrian, and Italian types of countenance.
After vainly endeavoring to persuade some
Turkish family to give us lodging, we were glad at
last to take refuge in a very high shed, the mud
walls of which contained but one room. In this I
camped with all my three servants. A carpet and
coverings were procured, and with these we made
ourselves as comfortable as circumstances would
permit. After a short rest, I issued forth to examine
this wretched place, and standing upon the flat
roof of a hut that stood below ours, I obtained a
clear view of my surroundings. The whole place
appeared to be a mere heap of ruins, the pillars and
foundations of ancient palaces. The heights around
exhibited a few yellow flowering shrubs, interspersed
with green palms and other trees, whilst around and

about this scene of desolation stood the dwellings of
the poverty-stricken inhabitants. Below me was the
court-yard of a Turkish house, in which I could see
the women at their work. They wore veils, and I
could not help noticing how much they seemed to
inconvenience them, as they threw them first on one
side and then to the other, to be out of their way.
I now descended and proceeded to explore the
Aditum, the only ancient sacred edifice in Cyprus,
which, thanks to the pictures of it found on gems
and coins, we can reproduce before our eyes. It
had, apparently, been a square building with a fine
entrance, and a low wing at either end. On each
side of the portal were two obelisks. This temple
was surrounded by a barrier, in the centre of which
stood the principal altar. In the innermost recesses
of this edifice once stood the mysterious veiled
stones of Astarte Aphrodite.

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Next morning I could not resist taking another
look at Old Paphos, and accordingly made my way
to the heights behind the village, in order to impress
the charming landscape as deeply as possible
upon my memory. The morning air was delightfully
fresh, the far-reaching coast was fringed with
narrow lines of foam left by the rippling water, but
the sea itself lay heavy and motionless as a sheet of
metal. The mountains were partially concealed by
a misty veil, only the village being clearly seen
surrounded by its verdant fields.
On returning I entered the little coffee-house,
which on the preceding day had afforded me by no
means bad accommodation. The master sat before
the door smoking his chibouk. He immediately
respectfully made room for me, and I sat a short
time conversing with him by signs. On recommencing
our journey, we walked for about a mile
along the sea-shore, after which we turned more inland
and entered a myrtle copse. The farther we
advanced the more luxurious the country became.
The undergrowth of bushes was interspersed with

wild roses, orchids, and many luxuriant flowers, the
varied colors of which enlivened the green grass
over which our course lay. Here we encountered
some women engaged in cutting off the heads of
thistles. Hussein begged a handful of these in
order to let me taste the seeds, which he shelled
out from the husks. I found them rather dry but
not bad to eat; in fact, almost all the vegetables in
the island afford something edible. A gray-headed
old woman sold us some wild artichokes, and told
us to eat them raw, but they were too coarse to be
* The cauliflower was introduced to Europe from Cyprus.
The old dame was dressed after the
Turkish fashion, and kept her face closely veiled.
Our path now lay through a deep dell, and was
covered with brushwood, while around us were
cypresses, olives, and various fruit-trees, but all
utterly neglected. A hundred thousand people
might find ample sites here for most delightful residences.
As I was walking along, I trod upon a
snake. It was of a gray color marked with black
rings, about a foot and a half long, and as thick as
my arm. A powerful scent of melons was perceptible
here and there, and on seeking for the cause,
I found it came from some yellow berries, which
grew upon a, to me, strange plant. The underwood
was full of game, and many birds, whose names were
unknown to me, were flying about. One, I especially

noticed, which closely resembled a jay, but was
more brilliantly marked with blue and red.
According to my map we ought to have passed
through three villages. Hussein either knew a
shorter way or participated in my love for solitude.
Not a single village did we see; but we got a
glimpse of Adimu at a great distance. Hussein,
instead of taking me right over the heights of Old
Kurion, brought me again into the plain, assuring
me most confidently that there was nothing to be
seen there but a couple of large stones. Ross informs
us that twenty years ago he saw there the
remains of an ancient race-course, and the foundations,
and some fragments of pillars, belonging to
the Temple of Apollo Hylades. Except these, my
guide declared there is no longer the slightest trace
of these structures left visible. I will believe it,
for during the last few years all seem to have
been bent upon removing the last remnants of antiquity
left in Cyprus, as though anxious to make
the work of destruction complete. Whenever a
building is to be erected in Syria or Egypt, it is to
Cyprus they come for stone, taken from her old
walls and bridges.
Right under the rock of Kurion, and not far from
Episkopi, we came again to the sea, which, during
the day, had so often delighted us. As we wound
round the rocks, it sometimes seemed as though
its laughing blue waters, inclosed between the far

extending capes, were contained in an enormous
Cesnola tells us that, along the southern coast of
the island are several guard-houses, built near the
shore, on elevated ground, some of which, now dismantled
and roofless, are of Turkish construction,
and two or three hundred years old. Most of them
appear to have been erected for the protection of
the neighboring villages against Algerine pirates,
who, not more than sixty years ago, were daring
enough to land and carry off wealthy inhabitants,
and to detain them until the required ransom was
From the heights above Episkopi one could see
the long chain of mountains, looking as if they had
been carefully folded one behind the other. The
whole peninsula had the appearance of a great
plank, both ends of which sloped off into the sea.
In ancient times it was named Kurias, and belonged
to a town of the same name, built upon the neighboring
sandstone rock.
The hills are situated at the beginning of the
peninsula, just where the stream Lycos discharges
itself into the sea, amid thickets of orange and other
fruit trees, above which the slender stems of lofty
palm-trees rear themselves gracefully into the air.
Everywhere among the houses and gardens little
brooks make their way through the fruitful plain.
I could almost suppose the ancient Kurion must

have been situated here, and that the rock above
us was merely its acropolis.
Hussein left us in this beautiful spot whilst he
went into the town to seek a lodging; the inhabitants
were of much higher grade than at Paphos.
The Turks find everything here that their hearts
desire—quiet, green trees, and murmuring streams.
Several little groups of veiled women passed us
with dark brown eyes gleaming above the covering
of their faces. I was informed that the Turks, who
principally inhabited this beautiful place, finding a
scarcity of women, had imported all these darkfaced
beauties from Egypt.
After we had wasted some time, Hussein came
back with the news that the Greek population of
Episkopi were so poor that we could procure
neither beds, food, nor wine. The Turkish houses
were all full; nobody appeared willing to receive
us, and to quarter ourselves upon them uninvited
was out of the question. Notwithstanding the
episcopal name of the town, so far from there being
any bishop there, the Turks had driven all the
Greek priests out of it, leaving only a few poor
huts at the disposal of the Christian population,
and even the occupants of these could not receive a
stranger without permission of their Turkish neighbors.

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On our approach to this village, I sent forward
my dragoman to secure us lodgings for the night.
As we followed him at the distance of about a
mile we saw a huge square tower standing on a
farmstead, and on advancing found that it was a
building belonging to mediaeval times, but whether
it had been part of a castle or a fortress I was
unable to determine. The owner received us at
the entrance of the court-yard in the kindest manner.
He was a man of substance and good deportment,
holding a position similar to that of the
owner of a vineyard on the Rhine, and his house
very, much resembled that of a small farmer in the
South of France. The lower part of the house
was occupied by his numerous family. He himself
lived in the upper part, to which we ascended by a
wooden staircase leading from a kind of entrance
hall. The furniture in these comfortable apartments
had something of a European aspect; in the
room were some fine greyhounds of a light yellow
color. Our host informed us that there were fifteen
yoke of oxen upon the farm, but there was land

enough to give employment to ten times the number.
After a short rest, we went to inspect the tower,
under the guidance of the owner, who had ordered
the servants to light it up from top to bottom with
torches. It is a massive square building, with walls
so thick that benches were placed in the recesses of
the windows. A very simple coat-of-arms, carved
in stone upon the exterior, shows that it was erected
in the thirteenth century. The whole is a fine specimen
of the very few baronial castles that remain.
This structure is in excellent preservation, and furnishes
a good example of Anglo-Norman architecture.
I do not think that in all Europe there is
any building of the sort in such good condition, except,
perhaps, the well-known castle at Hedingham.
There are two lofty stories above the ground, and
a deep cellar-like excavation beneath the level of
the soil. The latter is divided into three compartments,
and each of the former into two roomy chambers.
Over the fireplaces are carved lilies, without
any ornamentation, exactly resembling those
represented in the coat-of-arms upon the outer wall.
The portal is narrow, and a flight of small stone
steps leads from one story to another; at the top
is a broad platform surrounded by battlements.
In the cellar there is a deep cistern or well partially
filled up. The owner talked of having it cleared
out, and I wished that he might have the luck to

find some treasure at the bottom, to repay him for
the bad harvests of the last two years, which, owing
to want of rain, had been very scanty.
Manifestly, the whole building had been constructed,
not so much for a residence, as for defensive
purposes. It is situated near the middle of the
peninsula, just where, on the one hand, the ground
slopes toward the sea, and on the other spreads a
wide amphitheatre of hills; it thus at once commands
the sea, the coast, and the surrounding mountain
region. This colossal structure must evidently
have been unassailable by fire, by ladders, or by
breaching the walls, while its defenders, if hard
pressed, could retreat from one story to another.
Under the battlements were numerous loop-holes,
through which arrows might be shot with deadly
precision against an advancing enemy.
The prospect from the lofty platform was extensive
and beautiful. Sunset was rapidly approaching,
and the clouds, illuminated by the departing
rays of the glorious orb, were arranged in blood-red
masses and streaks, whilst beneath, the deep blue
tranquil sea was here and there lighted up by
broad patches of golden splendor. The mountains
however, were shrouded in a veil of gray mist.
Low beneath us was the old church, whose architecture
seemed a mixture of the ancient Roman
with the earliest Gothic.
I learned that these old castles were crown property

and belonged to the Sultan. During the
course of our conversation the origin and intention
of the building became manifest to me. I found
that I was in the very centre of the world-renowned
Commanderia. The Knights of St. John, after they
were obliged to quit the Holy Land, established the
headquarters of their order at Cyprus, just as at a
later period they did in Rhodes and Malta. From
Cyprus they issued forth under the protection and
leadership of its knightly king, to fight gloriously
against the Crescent, and very frequently the victory
was due to the courage and prowess of these soldiers
of the Church. The Bishop of Akkon, Jacques
de Vitrey, in his account of the Holy Land gives
us the following sketch of the Knights Templars:
“Covered with their white mantles, which were
embroidered with a red cross, with their black and
white banner ‘Beauseant,’ they rush forward to
battle in silence. They have no war-cry. As soon
as the general's trumpet sounds, they lay their lances
at rest, and repeating from one of the Psalms of
David ‘Lord, give us the victory, not for us but for
thy holy name,’ they throw themselves upon the
strongest part of the enemies' forces. They never
give way! they must break through or die! Does
one of the brotherhood lose heart, he is deprived of
his mantle and all his knightly honors for a year,
and must eat his meals from the ground, without a
tablecloth, disturbed by the dogs that he is forbidden

to drive away.” The order already possessed
a “commande” (as the possessions of the knights
were called) in Cyprus, and important privileges
were conferred upon them by King Hugo I. in the
year 1210. They were allowed to acquire territory
wherever they wished, to import or export all sorts
of produce, and to grind their corn without charge
in the king's mills, which were situated on the
stream Kythrea, near Buffavento. They had residences
and gardens in Nikosia and Limasol, where
the headquarters of the order were established, and
in addition to this occupied Platanistia and Finika,
in the district of Paphos, and Mamgrallu and Kolossin
in the district of Limasol.
In Kolossin, a French proprietor had possession
of considerable domains, all of which were bought
by the king and presented to the knights. And
now Kolossin became the headquarters; here dwelt
the general of the order, and here was built, during
the first part of the thirteenth century, the strong
castle, which during war was their fortress, and in
peaceful times the place where the festivals and assemblies
of the order were held. Toward the close
of the Middle Ages, not fewer than forty-one districts
belonged to them in Cyprus. Their knowledge
of husbandry and business-like habits enabled the
Knights of St. John to bring their estates into a
very thriving condition. The cultivation of corn,
oil, vines, sugar-cane, and cotton increased in a wonderful

manner, and because wine was produced only
in the one district, or because the wine of that district
surpassed the rest in quality, it was called
Commanderia wine and Kolossin was regarded as the
centre of the wine-growing region.
We thankfully remembered the brave knights as
we sat at table and tasted the excellent wine still
produced on these hills. From them, likewise, the
islanders learned how to preserve the little birds
called beccaficos, by simply plucking them, and
packing them in jars filled with wine. The wine
soaks thoroughly into the flesh, which becomes
slightly hardened, and of most delicious flavor.
Great numbers of these delicate little birds are
killed in Cyprus.
The export of wine might easily be made a source
of great wealth to the inhabitants; as matters at
present stand, the wine imported has to pay a duty
of one-sixteenth of its value, but fifty times more
than is now grown might be produced from the rich
lands, which at present lie waste and useless.
It is a wonder how, seeing the rude manner in
which the wine is made, that it is so good as it is.
Very little trouble is taken with it. Goats and
young donkeys wander at their own wicked will
through the vineyards during the early part of the
year, and feed upon the young grapes. The clusters
are gathered without the slightest selection, and
thrown upon the ground, where probably they may

remain until soaked with rain. After lying for a
week to rot, they are pressed in the roughest way; the
must is poured into large earthen vessels, which are
frequently put into a room where rancid oil, grain,
dried leaves, fruit, and all sorts of bad smelling
things are standing and hanging around. In this
polluted atmosphere the must has to undergo two
fermentations. Over the earthen pot that contains
the wine a flat slate is laid, or a cover with a little
hole in it, through which at intervals a straw is introduced
and a mouthful sucked out, partly as a
drink, but perhaps more properly to ascertain how
the wine is getting on; it may have grown sour or
it may not. Should the fermentation have proved
successful, the merchants come, ready to bargain
about the price. This wine is kept in casks, through
which the air is allowed to pass, and after a year is
considered to be in good condition. As in many
neighboring countries, it is the custom in Cyprus to
buy wine when a child is born and keep it to be
drunk at its marriage feast.
Commanderia is first the color of a topaz, and
then becomes deep red, finally attaining the hue of
good curaçoa. Muscadine, the second quality of
Cyprian wine, is very sweet and has a slight violet
tinge when new, after some years it attains the
thickness of syrup. Mavro, a dark red wine, is also
much drunk in Cyprus; it is very dry and resembles
Chateau Margaux.

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A Glance at the map shows us that the island of
Cyprus is naturally divisible into three regions, all
widely differing from each other. Along the entire
length of its northern division there runs a long
range of low hills, close to the sea, varying in height
from two to three thousand feet, composed of Jura
limestone, flanked on either side by Vienna sandstone.
The western and southern portions, constituting
at least half of the island, are covered with mountains
from two thousand to six thousand feet high.
These lofty ridges and projecting peaks, as well as
the whole northern half of the district, consist of
greenstone, while toward the south they are principally
composed of marl and tertiary limestone.
Between these two ranges of mountains there is
an extensive plain covered with rich alluvial soil,
which in many places is from ten to fifteen, or even
twenty feet deep, through which run streams, converging
into two rivers, one of which takes its
course to the eastern, the other to the western, side
of the island. Both of these streams during the

rainy season overflow their banks, inundating the
country far and wide, so that a man unprovided
with a boat may be detained for weeks together,
unable to pass from one place to another. When
the water evaporates, or is drained off, it leaves a
slimy deposit which, in its properties and chemical
composition, resembles in a remarkable manner the
sediment deposited from the inundations of the Nile.
All round the island extends a narrow level beach,
flanked by gently rising hills, consisting of post tertiary
strata mixed with gypsum, lime, and marl.
Here we find a most productive soil, watered by innumerable
streams and brooks, which pour down
from the hills; moreover, between the hills are
many fruitful valleys and stretches of fertile land,
which would richly repay proper cultivation.
On account of its many capes the map of old Cyprus
somewhat resembles a horned head, and the
very peculiar narrow peninsula, along which the
northern chain of mountains is continued, may be
compared to the tongue, with which it seems to be
licking the corner, between Syria and Asia Minor.
The extensive plains have been celebrated from
the remotest antiquity for their gardens and cornfields.
On the slopes, around the coast, and in the
deep valleys among the hills, may be found all the
plants and trees that are met with in Europe, Western
Asia and Egypt; these thrive prodigiously indeed.


In former years, the island was celebrated for its
Valuable copper mines, hence is supposed to be derived
its ancient name ξνπρος, from which we get
Cyprus. The most important copper mines were
formerly at Tamassus, in the centre of the island;
at Soli, on the north coast; and Amathus and Cyricum
on the south coast. Gold and silver were occasionally
found. Salt is still made in large quantities,
and coal is found occasionally. Volcanic
eruptions, which were formerly not infrequent, have
not occurred for many years; the island is, however,
subject to earthquakes. Precious stones in great
variety, including the diamond, emerald, jasper,
opal, and agate, were formerly found in this island.
Yellow ochre and amber are also amongst the mineral
productions. Baffo produces a, very superior
kind of asbestos, which is known as “stone-cotton”
in Cyprus. It is quite white and as flexible as silk.
The ancients made it into cloth, which was incombustible.
This manufacture is still carried on in
some parts of the island, where the cloth is employed
to make the sacramental robes of the priests.

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We will now give our readers a general sketch of
the rise and decline of Cyprian agriculture under
different rulers.
For nearly three hundred years the dynasty of
Lusignan ruled over a flourishing and important
country. Monks, knights, merchants, and priests
thronged to its hospitable shores, on their way to
and from adjoining countries, and many fair dames
were conducted so far, and found pleasant refuge in
Cyprus, whilst their chivalrous husbands journeyed
farther east, to assist in the vain attempt to obtain
possession of the tomb of Christ, and earn either an
early grave, or return covered with wounds and
glory. Towns sprang up in all directions. Wine,
oil, silk, cotton, the carob-tree (Ceratonia siliqua),
and the various plants used for the famous Cyprian
dyes, were again largely cultivated, and in the over-flowing
markets of the towns upon the coast, ships
in adjacent seas found the readiest means of victualing
for distant voyages. Mining operations were
recommenced with ardor, and Cyprian merchants
again sent forth the rich products of the island into
all parts.


We have still to notice what was the fate of the
island under Venetian and Turkish domination. The
Venetians, anxious to derive every possible emolument
from their possessions, urged the population
to the most strenuous efforts in the culture of the
land, and when the weary laborers sank under the
burden and heat of the day, used every incentive,
and even punished them, in order to increase their
exertions in bringing their fields and gardens to the
required perfection. There is still a tradition in the
island that the Venetians paid a zechin for every
olive-tree that was planted. Generation after generation,
however, the population degenerated, and
became weaker and more idle.
The Venetians would appear to have considered
the island in the light of a great and valuable farm,
which they endeavored to make as productive as
possible. They appointed three governors, two treasurers,
a superintendent with two thousand men under
him, placed a captain and a company of soldiers
in each of the twelve districts into which the land
was divided, who kept everything in order, and took
care that the fields and gardens were well cultivated,
and the taxes regularly paid. After deducting all expenses,
Cyprus yielded to Venice a clear yearly profit
of two millions of ducats (golden dollars). The
Italian revenue officers seem not to have been much
trusted in their dealings with the Cypriotes, and
were changed every two years.


When the Sultan of Egypt subsequently took
Cyprus, the yearly tribute exacted amounted to
eight hundred thousand ducats (golden dollars); it
now produces only seven millions of marks, a very
small sum, in comparison with what it produced to
its Venetian masters.
During the fifteenth century, the blighting influence
of successive wars was keenly felt, and the best
energies of the Lusignans were devoted to warding
off the repeated attacks of the Mussulmans.
Since the New World had arisen in the West, strong
and vigorous immigrants no longer lent their aid to
prop a declining state. The conquest of Cyprus by
the Turks cost the island the last remnant of its
industrious, enterprising, and independent inhabitants,
and the blood-stained and desolate country
was no longer cultivated. The Turks, always passionate
admirers of flowers, introduced a few tulips
and hyacinths, and planted date-palms in the spots
they occupied; but the soil was not congenial to
them, and in Cyprus the date-palm rarely produced
its sweet and highly-prized fruit.
The tobacco plant was also introduced at this
period, but its cultivation was never carried on to
any great extent, owing to the necessity of planting it
in gardens surrounded by high walls, in order to protect
the plant from the depredations of the locust.
No attempt was made on the part of the Turkish
Government to rouse the dying energies of the people;

slowly, but surely, every art and industry
declined, and the locust swarmed over the barren
and neglected country.
Thus, in ancient times, we see that the island of
Cyprus was celebrated for its varied vegetation, but
of the plants that once grew there, many are totally
lost, others are now cultivated with difficulty, and
very few new ones are added to the list. The vegetation
of Cyprus, like its history, seems to have undergone
many changes, and from the nature of the
soil, is very diversified in different parts of the island.
At the present day, corn is still extensively cultivated;
wheat, barley, oats, and beans flourish well.
Upon the mountains grow fir and pine-trees, and in
the valleys we find fine oaks, ashes, orange, fig, citron,
date, walnut, and a great variety of other trees.
Overhanging shrubs crowd the deep dells and precipitous
cliffs, and amongst them grow the oleander,
myrtle, arbutus, juniper, and mastic. Not less striking
is the lovely carpet of flowers, which clothes
the face of the country with ever-varying beauties.
Roses and jasmine, tulips, hyacinths, narcissus, and
anemones, are but a few of those that I might enumerate.
In Cyprus the use of manure is unknown, but
nevertheless there is but little change in the luxuriant
fertility of the soil, and wherever the earth
is sufficiently supplied with moisture, a thousand
plants spring up in rich profusion. One of the principal

difficulties in the field is to keep the corn from
being smothered by weeds. This task of weeding
falls entirely to the lot of the women.
Olive-trees were formerly very numerous, as is
proved by the large reservoirs for oil to be seen
near Larnaka. The trade was at one time very extensive,
but the island now consumes all that it produces.
This decline would appear to date from the
era of Venetian rule, when the trade in oil was
almost ruined, and the cultivation of the olive
abandoned for that of cotton. Saffron, rhubarb,
and many other natural and valuable productions
are also neglected.
Cyprus had once a lucrative trade with Syria in
the oil extracted from the seed of the jujube tree.
Oil of glasswort was also formerly extracted. Cucumis
colocynth, from the pulp of which colocynth is
made, is also largely cultivated: this plant grows
like the water-melon, and belongs to the same family.
The cotton plant, which was formerly so important
a production, is now comparatively but little cultivated.
The seeds of the cotton-plant are sown early
in April, three or four being planted together, at
equal distances. When the shoots appear above
the ground, the strongest plant alone is allowed to
remain, the rest being weeded out. The plants are
hoed in June or July, and the cotton collected in
October and November. The cottons of Cyprus,
which are four qualities, are much esteemed on

account of their whiteness and thickness of their
texture; a fifth quality, called scovazze, is entirely
consumed on the island. The total export of cotton
in 1871 was 770,850 lbs.
During the time when the silk trade flourished,
mulberry trees were objects of most careful attention,
and still abound upon the island. The finest
and whitest silk is now obtained from the neighborhood
of Famagusta, and Karpasso; the lemon, or
sulphur-colored, comes from Citereau, and most of
the northern villages, whilst that made about Baffo
is of a golden color.
The Greek females of some of the towns and villages
work exquisite embroidery, and make a kind of
silk net, which will bear comparison with the finest
European lace. On the west side of the island the
peasants distill rose, orange, and lavender water, and
myrtle and ladanum oil.
Amongst the birds, snipe, pheasants, partridges,
quails, and thrushes are very abundant, as are also
most of the birds of passage that make Africa their
home during the winter.
Until the commencement of the seventeenth century
150,000 kilderkins of wine were annually produced;
whilst at the beginning of the present century,
only a sixth part of that quantity was made.
The manufacture of wine has considerably increased
in the last few years, but principally for foreign
consumption. The lower order of Cypriotes find

the wine too strong for their heads, and too dear for
their pockets, and drink little or none. The taxes
upon wine are at present very heavy.
The utilization of the fruit of the island as a
means of profit is now never thought of; even the
celebrated vegetables of Cyprus are now almost unknown,
and the inhabitants content themselves with
gathering wild cresses, artichokes, purslane, and asparagus.
The olive-tree, however, as we have said,
is still lagely grown—cultivated we cannot call
it, as not only the planting, but gathering the fruit,
and expressing the oil, are carried on in the most
careless manner. Without the olive, however, sorry
indeed would be the fare of the Cypriotes.
Potatoes flourish in the mountainous districts and
kolokasia in low-lying regions. Melons, pumpkins,
and gherkins are also found in great profusion.
During the last forty years, Greek and French enterprise
has made various efforts to bring about a
better state of things. What may not now be
hoped for when this luxuriant island is again under
a paternal dominion and the safety of individual
rights secured?
At all times, snakes, which, however, are not dangerous,
tarantulas, and venomous spiders abound in
the island, and Dr. Clarke gives a forcible description
of its insect pests. Speaking of the tarantula,
he describes one species of about an inch long, as
having “a body of bright yellow, and beset with

long and prickly hairs. It runs with prodigious
swiftness, and thus more easily escapes its destruction,
in which mankind are interested; its bite being
very dangerous, and its venom very subtle. The
parts which are attacked by it swell in an instant,
and occasion excessive pain, followed by death if
certain remedies be not speedily applied.”
The cultivation of the sugar-cane is now quite
unknown in Cyprus, and the cotton-plant is only
grown in a few districts.
It has been erroneously stated that the natives
will not touch the flesh of the ox, from the idea
that it would be cruel to eat the companion of their
labors. Numerous small, but fat cattle are fed on
the plains, and their beef enjoyed as much by the
Cypriote as by an Englishman. Great numbers of
sheep and goats are also reared. The mutton is
juicy and tender.

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Whilst I was in Kolossin I learnt that some fine
marble pillars, which lay outside in the court-yard,
had been brought from the Abbey of St. Nicholas,
which was only some few leagues off, upon the
neighboring peninsula. Everything I heard of this
interesting ruin made me more desirous of inspecting
it. Visions of European abbeys floated before
my eyes, and I determined to start at once to view
this Cyprian reality.
Next morning I sent on my dragoman and horseboy
to Limasol, with orders to try and get lodgings
for me in the Franciscan cloisters, and then rode
forward with Hussein on the way to St. Nicholas.
After about an hour and a half's hard riding, we
reached the south portion of the peninsula. The
spot was a bare, open plain, and the water by which
it was surrounded full of reeds. We had scarcely
reached our destination than torrents of rain began
to fall, and we were forced to take shelter under a
ruined wall, standing our horses in fornt of us, to
prevent our being literally washed away. Happily
the storm was only of short duration, and the
ground was soon dry again, and we could continue

our investigations. The little church of St. Nicholas,
which was evidently built in the fifteenth century,
is in good condition, and stands in the midst
of the ruined abbey, the rectangular walls of which
surround it. On closely examining the church it
was easy to trace the solid foundations of the ancient
temple, on the site of which it had been built.
Rows of broken pillars, some extending along the
hinder walls, indicated what had once been a covered
walk for the monks. Over the doorway was a
huge marble tablet, on which five coats-of-arms were
chiseled. The ancient temple which preceded the
abbey had evidently been very extensive, and I
could trace its foundations for some feet beyond the
cloister walls. In one corner stood what had been
an alter, and near it a very deep cistern. The old
walls here, which are as hard as iron, had been
taken in large masses to form, evidently, the abbey
walls. Marble pillars lay in all directions, but I
saw none as fine as the two that had attracted my
attention in the inn yard at Kolossin. No trace of
the abbey garden was left, beyond some olive-trees,
the roots of which were buried quite impartially
under the ancient and mediaeval walls. A few
goats were wandering about, and gave a touch of
animation to the melancholy and deserted scene.
The water about this peninsula is as rich in salt as
is that near Larnaka.
I mounted a neighboring eminence, but could see

no trace of life. Not a ship or boat appeared upon
the bosom of the sea beyond, and I could not help
asking myself, as I descended, if this whole country
was destined to remain desolate forever, or if we
could hope that, under a new government, it might
attain fresh vitality, and again take its place as one
of the animated spots of the earth.
The road from the ruins of the temple and monastery
upon the southern peninsula, a distance of
about three and a half hours' ride, winds around
the salt marsh, and then turns toward the sea. Limasol
is more European in its appearance than any
other town in Cyprus. Houses built of clay and
stone predominate here, more especially in the part
inhabited by the Turks.
Clay and wood seem, at the present day, to be
the favorite building materials of these people, and
it is the same wherever they settle. Even a small
party of Turkish women that we encountered were
making a house exactly as in Smyrna or Constantinople.
When these women see a stranger approaching
at a short distance, they cover themselves up,
but as he draws nearer, the pretty ones always draw
their veils a little aside, so that he may have a peep
at their fresh, smiling faces. This use of the veil
appears general throughout Turkey, and was practiced
even during the time of the Crusaders.
We rode through a long street, and as we approached
a stately-looking house, Hussein called my

attention to a flag emblazoned with the German
eagle, which floated over the roof; with delight I
recognized it, and read the familiar inscription. I
then rode on to the Franciscan convent, where the
little monk, who stood before the door, came froward
to receive me with every demonstration of
joy and fatherly welcome. Hardly had I refreshed
myself with a cup of excellent coffee, than he arose
and insisted upon my following him to my chamber
and resting myself after my fatiguing journey. He
afterward came to fetch me, in order that he might
show me over the convent. From the terrace we
had a noble prospect, looking toward the mountains
which, although bare, rose grandly above the surface
of the plain. Behind the garden, we found a little
sequestered churchyard. The small number of
graves indicated that during a long period only two
or three of the brotherhood had here found their
resting-place. It would seem that these monks had
been placed here, more to watch over the place, than
for any pastoral service. For the purposes of worship
a new and very beautiful church was in course
of erection; the money to build this had come from
Rome, where gold is always forthcoming to build
churches with in any part of the world where Roman
Catholics are to be found.
After we had returned to the dining-hall, there
entered a very smart merchant from Tyre, who, like
myself, was a guest in the convent. This man offered

me a gem that he said he had just found, for
which he asked an enormous price. He was not at
all abashed when I told him that the value of the
article might possibly be a couple of piastres. The
manufacture of these pretended antiquities is carried
on in Smyrna, Beyrut, and Jerusalem on an extensive
scale, and appears to be very profitable.
And now the German consular agent appeared
with his canvass, dragoman, and staff of officers, to
greet me on my arrival, and when they departed,
Hussein marched after them, and thus they paraded
about the town, and through the bazaar. People
are very fond of show and parade of this description,
a passion doubtless derived from the customs
of the Romans and Byzantines. The German resident
in Limasol seemed somewhat disappointed because
we had passed his house without calling, and
urgently insisted on my accompanying him home,
where, he said, everything had been prepared for
my reception. The little priest, however, had laid
an embargo on my person, and declared that such
an affront should not be offered to his convent. The
Italian consul also paid me a visit, and also the master
of the Greek school, and I was highly amused,
knowing, as I did, that all these pressing invitations
were given with the full knowledge that the next
steamer for Constantinople left Larnaka in three
days, and that there was no chance of my waiting a
whole week for the next. I then, in company with

the Greek schoolmaster, took a walk through the
town, and inspected the bazaar, the schools, and the
church. In the higher school there were about
twenty scholars, in the lower upward of a hundred;
their number increases rapidly from one half year
to another. Behind the school I noticed a column,
the capital of which was very handsome, and which
I was told had been brought from the monastery of
St. Nicholas. The interior of the town has a very
European appearance; it is, indeed, principally modern,
and has been built—a good augury for Cyprus
—in consequence of the increased export of wines
grown in the country.
Limasol at the present day contains about six
thousand inhabitants, of whom one-third, and these
the poorest, are Turks. Among the Greek population
there are already several well-to-do merchants
who trade in flax and wool.
In the evening, a visit to our consular agent enabled
me to observe the domestic economy of the
Cyprians, in a Greek house of some pretensions.
The agent himself is a young man of polished address
and very engaging manners, the mistress of
the house charmingly beautiful. There was also a
lady whose bright and sparkling eyes gleamed with
intelligence and persevering energy. Her family
belonged to the oldest nobility of the island, and
yet had not been resident there for more than a
century and a half. Under Turkish rule families

do not easily attain to nobility or distinction. It
may also be remarked that, of late years, the higher
Turkish officials who came from Constantinople,
were seldom people of such refined manners as their
predecessors. How can it be otherwise, seeing that
money is now the only key whereby admission to
office can be obtained? Even the multitude of
green-turbaned descendants of the Prophet are
quickly disappearing. In China they manage better.
After the imperial family, ranks that of Kung-fu-tso
(Confucius), and there are about ten thousand
living descendants of the sage—but it is only
the real lineal head of the family, the Prince Kung,
who is benefited by the renown of his ancestry. In
Turkey, on the contrary, the canker-worm has been
long devouring the whole ancestral tree, root and
branch. The curse of the country is, that dignity
and work are thought to be incompatible with each
other, and the descendants of the Prophet consider
themselves too illustrious to do anything.
About ten o'clock we sat down to table, and our
first glass was dedicated to our country's noble flage,
which waved above the roof of the house. At this
time, however, there were few Germans in Limasol,
and during the whole year but two or three German
vessels had cast anchor in the roadstead.
I am, however, pretty well convinced that a good
trade might be established here, even if the cargoes
consisted entirely of wine. The conversation turned

principally on the population and revenue, and I
succeeded in making a few additions to my knowledge
concerning the statistics of the country. As
regards the population of Cyprus, I was told that
the Turks numbered about 200,000, and Greeks
100,000. A European observer, who was long a
resident here, reckoned 100,000 Greeks, 40,000
Turks, and 1,000 Maronites and Roman Catholics;
most probably, however, if we estimate the total
at 150,000, of whom about a third are Turks, we
should not be far from the truth.
Equally at variance with each other were the accounts
that I received concerning the revenue, although
my questions were only put to persons who,
ex officio, were able at least to give approximate information.
The revenue derived from the customs
and taxes, was estimated by one at thirty-five millions
of piastres, by another at thirty millions, and
by a third at twenty-four millions; the figures set
down in the following table are, however, probably
nearer the mark:
Tithes upon all income 7,000,000
Tithes upon all land 400,000
Land tax (tolls upon product) 5,000,000
Military taxes upon Christians 550,000
Head money upon sheep 700,000
Weighing taxes upon sales 300,000
Customs upon salt 1,500,000
Customs upon wines 1,000,000
Customs upon exported silk 200,000
Customs upon exported fish 20,000
Total 16,670,000


Truly, for a country so large, so luxurious, and
so rich (when we consider the small value of the
piastre), this is but a sorry income. From this,
moreover, must be deducted the cost of the mosques,
Mohammedan schools, and other similar institutions,
which even in Cyprus are distributed over a considerable
portion of the island. These are placed
under the superintendence of the Mohammedan
priesthood, and there is a proverb which says,
“Sooner will the eyes of the dead shed tears, than
priests give up money.” In Cyprus it is well understood
that, of all these texes, not above two or
three millions of piastres find their way to Constantinople;
nay, that the inhabitants have, in addition
to these imposts, to pay considerable sums to the
Turkish officials to keep them in a good humor.
Moreover, the Turks are constantly obliged to
bribe one another, in order to keep themselves in
office, and to maintain the dignity of their position.
The sums expended upon roads, bridges, and public
buildings, are of very trifling amount. Even the
cost of the military establishment is exceedingly
small. The population is too weak and too lazy to
require much of a garrison, and the Turks come
willingly from other places, to fulfill the military
duties in so quiet a spot.

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Next morning we journeyed onward toward
Amathus. The day was lovely, one of the most
exquisite I have ever experienced in any climate,
and as we galloped along, my veins seemed to
dance with every breath I drew. At such moments
one readily comprehends why the inhabitants
of Cyprus have never taken any high place in the
fields of literature and art, and why its seductive
and enervating air has always proved attractive to
the Turks, as it did formerly to the ancient Romans.
Our road lay through waving corn-fields,
the rich golden hues of which were finely contrasted
with the deep blue waters of the sea, which in many
places reached the very borders of the fields. Suddenly
a change arose, the sun mounted high into the
heavens, and beat down upon us with such fiery
force and fury, as caused me fully to appreciate the
appropriateness of the symbol stamped upon the
ancient coins of Cyprus, namely, a devouring lion,
backed, in some instances, by an image of the sun's
rays. Terrible, indeed, is the destruction worked
by the ravening jaws of Phoebus Apollo upon the

fruitful gardens and flowery plains of this fertile
island. At these seasons, only such fields as lie
close to the sea can resist the parching blight; in
these tracts on the shore, plants of all kinds flourish
luxuriantly, drawing the moisture which supports
them from the refreshing dews borne to them
from the neighboring waves. In such of these cultivated
portions of the coast as also enjoy the moisture
brought by the smaller streams, as they discharge
themselves into the sea, the harvests and
crops are still more luxuriant. Not only the country
near to Limasol, over which I was now riding,
but the coast about Episkopi, Kition, Larnaka, Famagusta,
beside the north coast near Morphu and Lagathos,
and other places, possess many of these most
valuable agricultural districts. Much land has already
been reclaimed for the purposes of cultivation,
and there is no reason why so successful an
experiment should not be attempted upon many
other parts of the coast.
After about two hours' riding, we reached what
appeared to me to be the ruins of a church, standing
close to the shore, and beside these a heap of
ancient hewn stones, lying ready to be shipped for
Port Saïd, where they were to be employed in the
construction of a new harbor. On our left rose a
mountain, with fields of corn extending to a considerable
distance up its slopes. My dragoman was
most desirous to ride on, without my lingering to

investigate the spot, and when I assured him that
this mount was certainly the site of the ancient
Amathus, positively asserted that not a trace of
anything was to be seen. I believe the rascal was
afraid he should again get more climbing than suited
his indolence, for he declared in piteous accents
that it would take us fully an hour to reach the
summit. By this time, however, I knew the gentleman
I had to deal with, and persisted in my determination
to make the attempt. Our road was
certainly of the steepest, but the way was short,
and in about fifteen minutes we were at the top.
Much did I rejoice that I had persevered in my own
course, for before me lay the spot that I had sought.
The mount was indeed a natural fortress of the first
order, and must have afforded most secure refuge
during the disturbed periods of the island's history.
On the side facing the sea, by which we had
ascended, I could trace the foundations of an ancient
rampart. On the other three sides, such protection
had been quite unnecessary, as the rock rose sheer,
and almost perpendicularly from the fruitful valley
at its base. Here had once stood a large city,
founded by the Phoenicians, which is still called in
Hebrew, Hamath, or the fortified city. The building
appears to have covered the eminence, and from
thence extended to the shores of the sea. Tacitus,
and other ancient writers, speak of Amathus as the
oldest city in Cyprus; at the present day, it may

be described as the one of which the traces have
been most ruthlessly destroyed. With the exception
of the shattered pieces of a gigantic vase, of which
I shall speak presently, and the ruined church upon
the coast, no trace is left of its former greatness.
From the top of the mount to the very shores of
the sea, every sign has been removed, beyond that
afforded by heaps of broken stones and potsherds.
Twelve years ago, the last valuable was removed
by French antiquarians. This relic was one of two
gigantic vases, finely shaped in solid stone, with
sides almost a foot in thickness, and ornamented
with four gracefully arched handles, decorated with
palm branches, and adorned upon its sides by the
images of four bulls. The interior of this delicately
chiseled but gigantic vase was about ten feet in
diameter, and so deep that an ordinary man, standing
within, could just have looked over its edges.
At the time this spot was visited by the French
travelers we speak of, one of these two precious relics
stood above ground, and was quite perfect, whilst
the other was partially buried in the earth. Disgraceful
as it may appear, the fact is certain, that
when the French officers, who were overlooking the
removal of the perfect vase, found that its companion,
imbedded in the earth, was somewhat in their
way, they at once ordered the sailors who were with
them to smash it to pieces. This fact was related
to me by a gentleman of high postion in Limasol,

who was an eye-witness of this act of wanton destruction.
My zaptieh, Hussein, it afterward appeared,
had been present with his master, my friendly pacha,
whilst this monster vase was being pulled down the
mountain, and spoke with enthusiasm of its enormous
size and beauty. He also informed me that the
French frigate, “La Perdrix,” commanded by Comte
de Vögue, had a small steamship to assist in conveying
the valuable relic. I found pieces of a handle
of the broken vase lying strewn about the mountain.
For a thousand years these giant mementos of a
former age had stood upon these mountains, to record
the grandeur of past ages, and would have remained
untouched by the wear and tear of centuries
to come, had it not been for the barbarous vandalism
of a handful of French officers. What may
have been the use of these magnificent vessels is
quite uncertain; the oxen sculptured upon them
would appear to give them a religious significance,
and we know that similar vases stood without the
Temple at Jerusalem. It is most probable they
were in some manner connected with the numerous
sacrifices that formed so large a part of the religious
ceremonies to Venus.
On these heights, the feasts in honor of Adonis
were held. This beautiful youth, the beloved of Venus,
is said to have met his death in the Idalion forest
between Larnaka and Famagusta, where, according
to heathen mythology, he was killed by a wild boar

he had wounded. Anemones are said to have sprung
up from the ground that was moistened by his
blood. These feasts to Adonis, which were first
celebrated at Byblos, in Phoenicia, were afterward
introduced to Greece and Cyprus. In the latter
country they lasted eight days, of which the first
four were spent in howling and lamenting, and the
four last in joyful clamors, as if Adonis had returned
to life. The orgies, in connection whith these
feasts, were immoral in the extreme, and we are
told that Pygmalion, the celebrated statuary of Cyprus,
was so disgusted by the profligacy of the
women of Amathus, that he resolved never to marry.
The affection he had denied to the other sex, he,
therefore, liberally poured forth upon the creation
of his own hands. He became enamored of a
beautiful marble statue he had made, and at his
earnest request and prayers, the Goddess of Love
changed the favorite statue into a woman, whom
the artist married, and by whom he had a son named
Paphos, who founded the city of that name in Cyprus.
The ascent of Amathus would well repay any one
who would attempt it, if only for the magnificent
view presented from its summit. On one side lies a
broad expanse of blue sea, and on the other a semicircle
of dark heights and peaks, whilst between the
two extends the gay and luxuriant valley, stretching
its fruitful fields and gardens to the shore.


“Under the Ptolemies,” says Cesnola, “and in the
later history of Cyprus, Amathus appears to have
lost the ancient importance which it enjoyed, when
ruled by its own kings, and when its natural allies,
the Persians, were all-powerful.”
“On the hill on which it stood nothing is now
visible but a vast amount of stones, plaster, and
broken pottery. Even the hill itself is fast losing its
form, while the rock of which it is composed is being
cut away, to be shipped at Port Saïd, bringing to
the merchants of Limasol a profitable return. From
the great amount of débris which covers the surrounding
fields, for the most part untilled, Amathus,
it would seem, though small in area, must have
been a thickly-populated city. Originally the upper
part of the hill had been encircled by a wall, remains
of which are now scarcely perceptible; portions,
however, of another wall of a later period
may especially be observed on the southern side
looking toward the sea, and following the sinuous
windings of the hill. I found imbedded in this wall
pieces of terra-cotta jars and fragments of granite
columns, which had been used as building materials.
On the southern side, portions of it ran as far as the
shore. It is probable that the square-built ruin at
the southern end of the hill formed a gateway, since,
between the city and the sea-shore, there was, and
still is, the high road to Paphos. On the crest of
this hill I dug at several places, until I came to the

solid rock, but failed to discover any sculptured remains
of importance. I found, however, sufficient
evidence to convince me that most of the building
materials of what I call the Phoenician city, had
been used for the construction of the later Greek
Amathus, when subsequently inhabited by a
Greek population, spread itself in a more southeasterly
direction, and nearer to the sea-shore, protected
by the second wall, which I spoke of, and
though at the time of its destruction by King Richard
of England it was still the seat of the last Duke
of Cyprus, Isaac Comnenas, it had alread lost most
of its splendor and importance.”
“It was on the top of this hill, that M. de Vögue
discovered the large stone vase which is now deposited
in the museum of the Louvre. Near the same
spot, there are fragments of what seems to have been
a similar vase. In the immediate vicinity of the site
where these vases were found, I dug up, on a former
excursion, three large shafts of columns, of a hard
bluish stone, resembling granite. I left them halfburied
in the soil, with the intention of examining
them on a future occasion; but when I returned,
the columns has disppeared, having been broken
up for building purposes. There are thousands of
stones on the top and sides of this hill, which would
equally well suit the purposes of these workmen,
but it seems that they are possessed by some infatuation

or evil mania for destroying whatever bears
the traces of man's handicraft. It is the more to be
regretted, since among the ruins very few architectural
or sculptured remains are now found.”
Far away in the distance is the town of Limasol,
washed by the waters of its beautiful and rounded
bay, behind this, again, a long line of coast, and
then the eye just discerns the promotory of Curias,
stretching its length far into the sea, where it terminates
in Capo delle Gatte. Cesnola gives an amusing
account of the origin of this name, which is too
interesting to be omitted. “On one occasion,” he
says, “my mule was terrified by a sudden leap from
a bush, of what appeared to me to be a cat; my guide
assured me that both at this cape, and near to Acrotiri,
there are wild cats, which hunt and destroy
the asps abounding there. I at once recollected
having read that the ‘Caloyers’ of the convent of
Acrotiri raised and trained a superior breed of cats,
which they imported from Constantinople, to kill
the asps in their neighborhood. That at the toolling
of a particular bell in the convent, these cats
would come in to be fed twice a day, and then return
to their work of destruction. I suppose that
it is called Capo delle Gatte in reference to these
When we had descended the mountain, and were
once more on the shore, I observed a number of
black and half-black Egyptian sailors, all in rags,

who were busily employed in carrying stones to
their ships which were anchored in the roads. Their
captain looked on, smoking his pipe, and shaded
from the sun by a small tent. Stones from the oldest
city in Cyprus, going over to Port Saïd, to help
in the construction of the newest town on the opposite
continent, near which a harbor is in course of
construction destined to receive the ships coming
from every quarter of the globe; whilst here at my
feet lay the ancient harbor of Amathus, of which
nothing remains but its natural basin, formed by
rocks which extend some distance into the sea.

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When we left Amathus, our road lay over a barren
mountainous tract, entirely destitute of every
charm, but as we reached Cape Karubieh, a scene of
great beauty opened up from the left to our view.
Before us lay a little town, looking as fresh and
bright as if but quite recently built, with houses
that appeared much more stately and substantial
than any I had yet seen in Cyprus. To our surprise
these attractive-looking residences were closed and
untenanted, and not a human creature was to be
seen, except a solitary negro at a small inn where
we got a cup of coffee. I afterward learned that
the inhabitants of Karubieh, which number about
one thousand, only return to their homes in August.
At this season many ships anchor here to take in
large cargoes of fruit for Trieste, Marseilles, Smyrna,
Odessa, and St. Petersburg. The fields, from which
all this superabundant harvest is produced, cover
all the declivities of the sea-shore from Limasol to
Mazotos. The once-despised carob-tree (Ceratonia
siliqua) is now much esteemed, and the fruit, which
was formerly only used either as food for cattle, or

occasionally eaten during seasons of fasting, has become
of great value. Of late years it has been discovered
that the fruit is highly valuable for the
making of excellent brandy, and the tree is therefore
cultivated throughout this district with the utmost
assiduity. About April the branches are lopped
off, numerous shoots from fruitful trees are grafted
on the trunks, and in a very short space of time the
tree is covered with succulent pods. I mention this
interesting fact, to prove of what this once fertile
island is capable, when its products receive the necessary
attention. In this instance, as in many others,
gold is literally lying on the ground in Cyprus,
ready to be picked up by those who have enterprise
and energy.
Our road from Cape Karubieh presented nothing
of interest. The mountains gradually receded inland,
and the eye found nothing to relieve the monotony
of the bare expanse of coast, until at length
our further progress in a direct line was stopped by
a rocky promontory, which projected far into the
sea. We were now obliged to turn inland, and
soon reached higher ground, from whence we once
more obtained a good view of the purple and deep
blue mountains, and could see their tints gradually
deepen under the shadow of approaching night. It
was late before we reached Mazotos, and I at once
endeavored to obtain a lodging, in the house of
some well-to-do farmer, from whom I might hope to

learn many interesting particulars concerning the
manners and customs of the people. As we entered
the town, I observed a court-yard leading from a
stable to a small house within. At the left-hand
side was a flight of stone steps, conducting to an
upper chamber, which, it being harvest time, was
now filled with corn.
Opposite this was the large roomy apartment,
that served for living and sleeping room to the
whole family. The floor was covered with tiles, and
the room divided in the centre by an arch. A stone
ledge of imposing appearance projected from one of
the walls, and was well garnished with household
utensils, whilst upon the whitewashed walls hung
the clothes, nets, hammocks, and long baskets belonging
to the family. Large pitchers of red clay,
and numerous calabashes, stood about, filled with
bread, eggs, fruit, maize, and vegetables. The kitchen
was outside in the yard, and I could not avoid
noticing the cheerful alacrity and skill displayed by
our worthy hostess, whilst she prepared our evening
meal. Servants she had none, everything in the interior
of the house being done by the members of
the family, whilst out of doors they were assisted
about the farm and garden by day laborers. In
Cyprus, the soil is so light that a farmer will readily
plow over thirty acres of ground with one yoke
of oxen, and see his land reward his labors by bringing
forth its fruits thirtyfold. The processes of

sowing and reaping are equally carelessly performed,
and when this is over, but few farmers touch the
fields again. For this reason, without a farmer has
really extensive property, he does not incur the expense
of board and wages to regular men. During
the harvest-time a day laborer receives three shillings
a day and three meals. Should a farmer not
be inclined to comply with their demands, he will
stand, as with us, a very good chance of having his
corn spoilt, before he can get it into his barns. At
other seasons the men cannot obtain more than from
elevenpence to one shilling and threepence, and the
women from about fivepence to eightpence per day.
Small as is the sum, it amply suffices to provide all
that the lower class of Cypriotes require, sleeping as
they do for nine months of the year in the open air.
Food, such as they principally consume, is extremely
cheap, and we have it upon the authority of a gentleman
who knows the island well, Consul Lang,
that a family of six persons can be maintained in
perfect health and activity on an allowance of forty
pounds of flour and three pounds of olives per week.
In ordinary seasons the cost of this quantity of provisions
would not exceed three shillings and sixpence.
Cesnola mentions that he has frequently
seen Greek priests in Cyprus working in the fields
like common peasants.
Contrary to all my experience in Cyprus, when
we quitted the farmer's house, the worthy host at

once complied with my request, that he would
make some charge for our accommodation. This I
accounted for by the fact, that the house standing
on the highway between Limasol and Larnaka,
would probably attract the attention of more strangers
than could be comfortably entertained without
proper remuneration. A present to the poor, if
your resting-place has been a convent, or a little
remembrance to the children of a family, is the most
that is expected throughout all those parts of the
East through which I have traveled, whilst should
your entertainer be a man of position and means,
you cannot, without giving offense, do more than
offer a “pour boire” to the four or five men-servants
who will appear at the door to see you start.
Our last day's journey, which was short but delightful,
lay over a wide tract of cornfields, in traversing
which we passed the village of Kiti, with its
little church, embowered in fruit trees, and not far
from it another church standing on a piece of barren
ground, without a shrub or tree near it. On our
left towered a magnificent mountain, which rises
abruptly to a height of two thousand feet, and bears
upon its summit the once celebrated monastery of
the Holy Cross, or Hagios Stavros. This building,
which is rarely or never obscured by clouds or fog,
can be seen from a considerable distance at sea, and
has long been known to sailors as a landmark. St.
Helena is supposed to have presented this cloister

with a valuable relic, which brought many pilgrims
and gifts to the brotherhood. This was a piece of
wood, about as long as a finger, fashioned like a
cross, mounted in silver, and had the reputation of
being a veritable portion of the Saviour's cross.
Whilst it was still light, we came in sight of
Larnakai; the cornfields were crowded with laborers
gathering in the harvest, and these, being principally
Greeks, and therefore very conversational, we
could hear a lively hum of many voices long before
we reached the spot. We dined under the shadow
of a large fig-tree, which grew upon the brink of a
rippling stream. Numerous cranes, and whole hosts
of beccaficos, came within such tempting reach of
our guns, that, as soon as our repast was over, we
started after them, over fields where horses and
camels were grazing, and over marshy ground,
until we reached the rolling, glittering sea. Our
sport was excellent, for my dragoman knew every
call and wile by which the birds could be allured,
and it required some determination, when it was
time to return, to quit our delighful but peculiar
On my return to Larnaka I had the luck to chance
upon some dear friends, with whom I supped. Our
host produced the best his cellar contained, in various
sorts of wine, winding up with a bottle fifty
years old, most delicious, but so strong that discretion
only permitted us to taste it in thimblefuls.


Next day I paid many visits in the town, and was
amused to find with what astonishment the history
of my little journey across the island was received.
I really believe that at that time there was not a
single person in the island who had seen as much of
Cyprus as myself.

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In my eagerness to obtain all possible information
concerning the manners and customs of the
people, I had often to encounter much disappointment.
Imagine my disgust upon one occasion, when,
having heard that a very rare and charming performance
was about to take place, and having hurried
to the spot indicated, a little coffee-house, I found
the anticipated treat was nothing more nor less than
the clumsy antics of a half-naked negress, probably
a new arrival from Egypt, who was performing one
of the hideous dances of which I had already seen
too much. A few Turks sat around, watching her
contortions and tremblings with unruffled dignity,
and amongst the spectators I noticed some really respectable-looking
Greeks. I speedily left the assembly,
and reflected as I retired, as to whether this
species of dance, might not have been the very kind
performed, but in more graceful fashion, by the
worshippers of Aphrodite, in the sacred groves
that surrounded her temples. The next day was
the feast of St. George the Martyr, which is regarded
as a political as well as a religious celebration by
the numerous Grecians in the island. This day is

chosen as being the fête of King George of Greece,
who they still regard as their lawful head.
It cannot but be regarded as a most strange coincidence,
that the tutelar saint of England and her
new possession, should be one and the same. St.
George was regarded by several Eastern nations as
their patron, and ancient Byzantine historians relate
accounts of many battles gained, and miracles
wrought, by his intercession. Among other churches,
five or six were dedicated to him at Constantinople.
He was also celebrated in France in the sixth century,
and is said to have been chosen as the patron
saint of England under her Norman kings. St.
George of Cappadocia, “Martyr and Victor,” as he
is sometimes styled, one of the seven champions of
Christendom, was, no doubt, brought into connection
with Cyprus, under the influence of Richard
and his knights.
The legend of the saint is as follows: St. George,
who was born in Cappadocia, went with his mother
to Palestine, of which country she was a native, and
where she had considerable estates. These fell to
her son, who was a soldier, and became a tribune,
and was further promoted by the Emperor Dioclesian,
to whom, however, he resigned his commission
when that emperor made war against the Christian
religion. He was thrown into prison for remonstrating
against bloody edicts, and was afterward
beheaded at Nicomedia. St. George became the

patron of the soldiers who fought for the faith, and
his apparition is said to have encouraged the Christian
army in the Holy War, before the battle of
Antioch, which proved fortunate under Godfrey of
Bouillon, and he is also said to have appeared and
inspirited Richard Coeur de Lion, in his expedition
against the Saracens. St. George is usually represented
in pictures as on horseback, slaying a dragon;
but this is no more than an emblematical figure,
purporting that by his faith and Christian fortitude,
he had overcome the devil.
The great majority of the population of Larnaka,
as of the rest of the island, are members of the
Greek Church.
The chief points of difference between the Greek
Church and that of Rome, are the following:
The Greek Church does not admit: First. The
supremacy of Rome.
Secondly. The Filioque clause in the creed.
Thirdly. The enforced celibacy of the parochial
clergy (the reason of this being that although the
monastic system had begun before the schism, the
celibacy of the regular clergy had not been enforced
till a later period, and this was adopted by
the Greek Church).
Fourthly. The doctrine of transubstantiation, in
the Papal sense of that term, is not held by the
Greek Church; (Rome itself did not adopt this
strange tenet till the Council of Lateran in 1215).


Fifthly. The dogmas of purgatory and penance,
as taught by Rome, are not held by the Greek
Church, yet some of their views bear a close resemblance
to the papal theories on these points.
Sixthly. The Greek Church disagrees with that
of Rome about the use of leaven in the Eucharist.
In almost all other respects there is little difference between
the churches. The Greek Church is thoroughly
hierarchal, holds the monastic system, worships
pictures (although it rejects the worship of images),
and gives to the Virgin Mary as high a degree of
worship as even Rome can do; its theory of the
Panagia being scarcely distinguishable from that of
the Immaculate Conception.
The officiating clergy of the Greek Church are
the patriarch, archbishops, and bishops; subordinate
to these are the papades or parish priests. All
the dignitaries are taken from among the caloyers
or monastic orders, and are not allowed to marry,
but the papades may be married, with these special
limitations: That they are married previous to
their consecration, and may not marry a second
time, should they become widowers. Hence they
are commonly married before taking orders, and invariably
select young and healthy women for their
wives. The revenues of the dignitaries are raised
by a tax imposed on each family, while the parish
priests are supported chiefly by means of what
they can obtain from the superstitions of the people,

and perquisites of office, such as money paid for
absolutions, benedictions, exorcism, ceremonial sanctifying
of water, sprinklings of streets and tombs,
granting divorces, and innumerable ritualistic observances.
They are almost universally a base and
degraded class, themselves extremely ignorant, and
they keep the people in equal degradation and ignorance,
partly because such is their own state, and
partly that they may secure their own influence.
Their places of worship are built generally in form
of a cross. The choir is always placed toward the
east, and the people turn their faces in that direction
when they pray. Their public religious service
is liturgical, and exceedingly protracted. They
have four liturgies, and the service consists chiefly
of prayers, hymns, recitations, chants, and frequent
crossings, with such numerous repetitions that it
often occupies five or six hours, without any sermon.
During this long service, the people stand, leaning
on the supports of the few seats in the church,
or on a kind of crutches, provided for the purpose.
No images are allowed within their churches, but
they are plentifully decorated with rough and glaring
paintings; the more rough and glaring these
are, the higher they stand in the estimation of the
worshippers. Their music is without any aid from
instruments, and is chiefly a kind of chanting, but
it is said to be often beautiful and touchingly plaintive,
although monotonous. The vestments of the

clergy are very varied in form, often of fine texture,
gorgeous in color, and ornamented with jewelry of
great value. Each of these vestments has its mystic
meaning and virtue, to which great importance
is attaced. The worship of saints, angels, and the
Virgin Mary, is carried to as great an excess as it
can be at Rome, and it is long since the Greek
Church held, that “the Mother of God” as they
term her, “was without original.” It may be said,
indeed, that the Panagia, or Holy Virgin, is the
peculiar deity of the Greeks, as much as ever Pallas
Athene was of the ancient Athenians. Everywhere,
in church, palace, or cottage, a little coarse picture
intended to represent the Holy Virgin, may be
seen, often wth a lamp burning before it, as the
object of special adoration.
Being desirous of seeing something of te festivities
of the Cypriotes on their fête day, I walked out
to a church about half a league from the “Marina,”
and in spite of the scenery arond me, could have
fancied I was again witnessing one of the annual
markets I had seen as a boy in my native land.
Around and about the church, booths were ranged,
and peasants were wandering around, chatting and
eagerly driving bargains, under an impresion very
prevalent amongst them, that there will not be the
usual deceit and rogery so near a house of God.
Bells were pealing, and horses and asses neighing
and whinnying, as their owners, dressed in their Sunday

best, galloped about in all directions. All
those of the better class who appeared on the occasion,
were also mounted, the elders looking on in
stately dignity, whilst the youngsters galloped
hither and thither like the wind.
In such a gathering as this in Central Europe,
one would, no doubt, see many more powerful men,
and more blooming girls, than are to be met with
under similar circumstances in Cyprus. And as I
gazed at the crowds before me, I could not help
again noticing the strange blending of Syrian and
Grecian types in the faces and figures, whilst the
dress of most was a curious mixture of European,
Grecian, and Turkish fashions. Many of the girls
were remarkably beautiful, with magnificent large
flashing eyes; in most cases their eyebrows were
blackened, and their hair, mixed with false, was
piled high on the head. Not a few, as it appeared
to me, had dipped pretty deeply into pots of cosmetics,
for the use and compounding of which the fair
Cypriotes have long been noted. One fashion
pleased me much—namely, the common use of natural
flowers for decorating the head. The very poorest
in the crowd wore some kind of metal ornaments,
whilst the wealthier class of women displayed
ear-rings, chains, and medallions of heavy gold.
The Cypriote husband takes great pride in seeing
his wife thus decked, not perhaps so much from
sentimental reasons, as because the extent of the

show demonstrates what is the depth of his cashbox,
and the chances of his family in the matter of
dowries. For a Cypriote to invest his earnings in
land would, under the late Government, have been
an act involving the utmost risk of capital.
As I returned home on this my last day in Cyprus,
I could not but feel a shade of melancholy
stealing over me. The evening was lovely, the air
pure and clear, and the sun as it went down, tipped
the purple mountains with gold, and gave a tinge of
bronze to the palms and cypress trees of Larnaka,
as they stood clearly defined against the evening
When I reached the town, old and young were
sitting before the doors of the Grecian houses, or
chatting and laughing with each other in lively
groups about the streets. In the Turkish quarters,
on the contrary, not a living creature was visible,
and every house had the appearance of being a
dungeon. Yet, as I have before said, could I have
looked within the high walls, I should probably
have seen the entire family enjoying the fragrant
coolness of their gardens.
Next day, I bade farewell to this lovely island,
which still lay bound hand and foot, in the power of
her negligent and cruel masters, and entirely unconscious
of the great and impotant change that would
shortly burst her bonds.
May we not trust that under British rule her

barren wastes and plains may once more speedily become
fruitful fields, and her people again reap the
blessings and benefits of a pure Christian Church
and a paternal Government?

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So much attention has lately been called to the
concluding chapters of Herr von Löher's most interesting
work, that we feel compelled to present
them, in an English form, even at the risk of incurring
blame in some quarters, for unnecessary repetition.
Throughout the whole of his travels in the
island, our author, shocked at the scenes of neglect
and mismanagement presented to his eyes, was constantly
indulging in reflections on what a different
fate might await its inhabitants could they be annexed
to the mighty empire of his fatherland. Indulging
in this strain of thought, he presents us
with a lengthy account of what was done there by
his countrymen in former days.
In a short and rapid sketch of these pages, we
will endeavor to give only such details as may be
new and interesting to our readers, and suppressing
as far as possible all such matter as has already
appeared in the body of the work. Long after the
Crusaders had been expelled from the Holy Land,
says Löher, they still retained the fortresses of Jaffa,
Akkon, Tyre, Sidon, Beyrut, Caesarea, Antioch,

Tripoli, and other strongholds, the governors of
which ruled over, and gave commands to, a multitude
of knights and people there resident. The
Christian forces, then dispersed over all Syria,
should have united under the imperial leadership,
and opposed their serried ranks to the forces of the
Crescent. This was manifestly the plan of the second
Frederick, Emperor of Germany, whose idea
was, to put the Christian forces under the command
of Hermann von Salza, the renowned Preceptor of
the German order. This was he, who, in a conference
at Ferentino, at which the Pope, the Emperor,
and King John of Jerusalem were present, proposed
that Frederick should marry Isabella, the daughter
of the last-mentioned sovereign, and thus ally her inheritance,
the kingdom of Jerusalem, with his possessions,
whilst her father should merely have the
honor of being nominally a king. The proposal
was received joyfully by all parties. The imperial
marriage took place in the year 1225, at Brindisi,
where the bride's father surrendered the sceptre of
Jerusalem into the hands of his new son-in-law—not,
however, without compulsion. Frederick forthwith
received the homage of all present, and sent a
herald with three hundred knights to the Holy
Land, to ratify and complete the homage paid to
the emperor—who, if he intended to bring the crusade
to a successful end, must necessarily be the
legitimate lord of the soil.


The Cyprians, however, thought that Frederick,
after a time, would be in a position to assume the
feudal sovereignty of their island, for the kingdom
had in former times been an appanage of the Emperor
Heinrich the Sixth, his grandfather. The
late King Hugo the First had been for ten years engaged
in the crusade, and when he died, his only son,
the heir to the throne, was but nine months old.
The Emperor Frederick the Second at length
discovered how powerless he was to remodel the
affairs of the East. The knights and merchants
had ordered matters according to their own pleasure.
The barons with their feudal retainers occupied
their castles in perfect independence; the king
was only their leader, and the feudal parliament the
court in which they decided everything according
to their pleasure. With these uncontrolled nobles
we must rank three orders of knights, forming as
many well-established and wealthy brotherhoods,
in which the military and monkish characteristics
were united. These ecclesiastica] warriors were
armed in complete steel, and claimed princely prerogatives.
In the towns were guilds and corporations,
combinations of merchants and men of business,
who watched over their own interest, and resisted
the innovations of the arrogant nobility.
Among all these petty powers, who were incessantly
quarreling among themselves, Frederick
found it a difficult task to introduce harmony, and

harder still to bring them to acquiesce in his authority.
Frederick had already proclaimed in Ferentino,
that the conquest of the Holy Land should no longer
be carried on in the name of the knights, but of the
king only, thus intimating that the whole of it
should belong to himself. In Cyprus, matters were
arranged upon a very different basis; here the supreme
authority was shared among the barons, and
the power of the king jealously circumscribed.
So long as the authority of the emperor was maintained
in Cyprus, he held the key of all the opposite
coasts of Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and consequently,
to possess the sovereign power in this
island, was from first to last the great object of Oriental
policy. In 1218 the last King of Cyprus died,
having on his death-bed appointed his wife, Alice,
regent. The knights, unwilling to submit to the
authority of a woman, compelled her to share her
rule in the island with Philip of Ibelin as co-regent.
Meanwhile feuds sprang up on all sides, and every
occurrence seemed to increase the discord. The
Franks in the East had been vitiated by Byzantine
manners, and fought each other with the bitterest
hatred, quite unmindful of their original mission,
which was to deliver the Holy Land from the heathen.
Quarrels soon arose between the Latin and
Greek Churches, and Cyprus became the arena
where bloody combats took place.


Frederick now entered the capital of Cyprus, and
there all the princes and barons interceded for Ibelin,
who declared that he and all his followers were
ready to submit to the emperor, and atone for their
delinquencies. The emperor did not seek revenge,
but simple justice; and was extremely desirous of
securing the support of Cyprus, and the wealth
obtainable from that source, and thus the affair was
soon arranged; the barons, under the emperor's
command, acquiesced, and a general amnesty was
proclaimed upon the following terms:
The emperor was to be the sole guardian of the
young king until he completed his twenty-fifth year.
The government of Cyprus and its revenues should
be placed in the hands of the emperor, and all the
fortified places in the kingdom delivered up to him.
All the Cyprian knights who had not sworn fealty
to the emperor should immediately take the oath of
allegiance. Ibelin, in behalf of the ruler of Beyrut,
recognized the emperor as King of Jerusalem, and
did homage to him under that title, and agreed that
all claims relative to the castle of Beyrut should
be settled by the court of Jerusalem, and an account
of all revenues due, since the death of King
Hugo, should be laid before the court of Cyprus.
The hostages demanded by the emperor were set at
liberty. Ibelin and all the Cyprian barons, with their
followers, were to accompany Frederick to the Holy
Land, and serve him there till the end of the crusade.


All these conditions were punctually carried out,
the oath of allegiance administered, and the castles
as well as the revenue, given up. The emperor had
achieved a complete victory. Cyprus remained for
several years under his command, and its king was
formally declared a prince of the German empire.
The emperor next appointed revenue officers and
treasurers in all the castles and bailiwicks of the
island, and made arrangements that the money thus
raised should be sent after him into Syria. To these
offices, as well as in garrisoning the castle, the emperor
appointed his own knights by preference, and
these gladly accepted such desirable appointements.
After all these things were arranged, the emperor
came to Famagusta, and the next day, the 2d of
September, seven weeks after his landing in Cyprus,
embarked, taking the young king with him, and
accompanied by all the chivalry of the island. Their
landing was effected at Beyrut, Sidon, Sarepta, and
Tyre, as Frederick was desirous of becoming more
intimately acquainted with the coast of Syria; he
probably likewise intended that the armies of the
Crusaders, employed upon the fortifications of Sidon
and of Caesarea, should enter Akkon while he remained
upon the coast. In the last-mentioned city,
the most populous and most important in the Holy
Land, the emperor was received with great ceremony.
The Crusaders, more especially those from
Germany, were jubilant; the clergy sang hymns of

praise; the Templars and the Knights of St. John
did homage to their sovereign by kneeling before
him and kissing his knees, according to the custom
of the times. Nevertheless Frederick was well
aware that, to use the words of an old writer, he
was in a land where neither God nor man had ever
yet found truth or loyalty.
The truth of this he soon found out. The Cyprians
formed by far the greater part of the host
of Eastern warriors, led by the High-Marshal Felingher,
but the number of these was not more than
two thousand. Rome had already taken her precautions.
A Papal bull was issued denouncing
Frederick, and he was placed under an interdict.
Messages both from the Pope and the Patriarch
warned the knights not to obey the emperor's commands,
and it was promulgated amongst the soldiery,
that Frederick was under the curse of God,
and of the Church, and that all his acts were of no
effect. Multitudes of the Crusaders, despairing of
the success of their undertaking, deserted. The
Knights of the Temple and of St. John fell away
from the emperor's standard, and the rest of the
warriors of the Cross refused to be led to battle.
The Cyprian barons began to discuss the question
whether the oath they had taken to Frederick, was
not overridden by the feudal allegiance they owed
to their king.
The Germans who had come over with the emperor

under the command of their leader, Hermann
von Salza, kept their plighted faith, and were the
only supporters of the imperial authority; these,
however, taking them all together, knights and
squires, soldiers from Germany, Sicily, and Lombardy,
hardly amounted to twelve thousand men.
With so feeble an army—with the Eastern knights
partly at open enmity, partly vacillating, with the
clergy altogether inimical—it was quite impossible
for Frederick to think of giving battle to the un believers.
He established himself in a camp near
Akkon, and while he strengthened the defenses of
Joppa, gave all his attention to the establishment
of a secret understanding with the Sultan. Overtures
to this effect had in truth been already made
by him from Italy, and during his stay in Cyprus
had been still further advanced.
Immediately on his arrival in the Holy Land, it
became clear what were the necessities of his position,
and what there might be a possibility of his
obtaining. The possession of the holy places; a free
pass for pilgrims in Syria and Palestine, who must
necessarily be under Christian jurisdiction; peace
secured by the strength of the fortress and the solemn
oath of the Mussulmans; all these were secured.
Jerusalem, which for nearly half a century
had been in their hands, was, with the surrounding
country, again placed in the power of the Christians,
who held, moreover, Bethlehem and the intervening

land. Joppa and a strip of country between
that town and Jerusalem; Nazareth and the road
from thence to Akkon; the fertile plain of Sidon;
and in its neighborhood the castle Turon, commanding
the entire coast; all these castles and towns
were permitted to be again fortified, and on the
other side the Sultan promised that he would raise
no new fortifications. All Christian prisoners, some
of whom had been a long while in the hands of the
Mussulmans, were to be set free. This peace was
to last during ten years. All these arrangements
were to be confirmed by the solemn oaths of both
the contracting parties.
When the terms of this peace became known in
Joppa, great joy was manifested by the Christians
who accompanied the emperor to Jerusalem, where,
on the day of his arrival (March 18, 1229), he offered
up thanks in the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
After this, approaching the high altar, he
placed the crown of Jerusalem upon his head, and
then returned to his place. No priest was allowed
to take part in the rejoicings, which included festivities
of every description. Their general, Hermann
von Salza, read before all the soldiers and common
people a manifesto by the emperor, explaining why
he had not been able to come before, and telling
them that the Pope had been compelled to publish
his ban by pressure of circumstances, and that
everything should now be arranged to secure peace

among the heads of Christendom. Next day the
Patriarch of Jerusalem assailed him with the Papal
interdict. Frederick, in order to give no pretense
for suppressing public worship, returned to Joppa,
and from thence to Akkon.
Here the emperor remained for about five weeks,
doing everything which his position allowed to make
peace with the adherents of the Pope, at the head
of whom stood the Patriarch of Jerusalem. The
patriarch, however, found him, to use his own expression,
“unhealthy from the crown of his head to
the sole of his foot,” and seemed rather exasperated
than otherwise at all the good that Frederick had
achieved in so short a time. The proud Templars
and Knights of St. John were furious because the
chief control lay no longer with them, but with the
Germans. Even the ecclesiastics were princpally
from France, very few of them from Italy. Probably
at no period of the world's history has a body
of men existed so steeped in pride, so full of haughtiness,
luxury, and immorality, as the Templars.
Well might they think that in his heart the emperor
had the intention of expelling them from the
Holy Land. The governors of the towns had instructions
to watch them strictly, and from his first
arrival in Syria, the emperor had endeavored to
give the ascendancy to his German followers, while
he scarcely concealed his design of making the huge
possessions of the Templars and Knights of Jerusalem

subservient to the worship of Christ, instead of
ministering to their insatiable debaucheries.
No wonder, therefore, that the burning hatred of
the Templars was aroused. Were it now possible
to trace out all their conspiracies against the life of
Frederick, we should indeed have to deal with a
tangled web, while the enmity of the Pope still further
increased the dangers that surrounded him.
The whole land was filled with the Papal troops,
whose business was to plunder and to destroy, so
that all the energies of the emperor were put in requisition
to govern and defend the unhappy country.
Balian of Sidon, a man universally respected,
a nephew of Ibelin, and Walter d'Allemand, who
deeply reverenced the Church, were appointed chief
governors, and all fortified places received efficient
garrisons and abundant supplies of provisions.
Above everthing else, Frederick had in his mind
the kingdom of Cyprus. That rich island must now
furnish him with money to pay his officials in the
Holy Land, and to supply his army with provisions
and warlike stores. The kingdom of Jerusalem
was no longer in a condition to pay the heavy
costs; it now indeed consisted only of a few straggling
towns, and a narrow strip of the sea-coast of
Syria. Cyprus had already been made to pay considerable
sums, which had been forwarded to the
emperor, and in addition to these, the Archbishop
of Nikosia found himself compelled to contribute

largely; and now, before taking their departure for
Akkon, came Amalrich von Balas, Hugo von Giblet,
Gavain von Chenichy, and Wilhelm von Rivet, all
belonging to the highest nobility in Cyprus, who
had all of them conspired against Ibelin, and so represented
him to the emperor, that he was deprived
of his lordship. Undoubtedly they had all been
sent for by the emperor himself, who thought that
the best way to insure the safety of the island, was
to put it into the hands of his most trusty friends,
under the auspices of the young king. These five
noblemen were instructed to form a regency, which
should continue for three years, during which time
they were to protect and govern the country, and
to send over year by year ten thousand marks to be
paid directly into the hands of Balian and Werner
in Syria.
And now, after these arrangements, the emperor
thought himself secure, and hoped that at least for
a few years he should be able, not only to hold
Cyprus, but also to defend his little kingdom of
Jerusalem. At the end of that time he trusted that
the people would have become accustomed to his
government, or that at least he should be able to
return with a greater force and more freedom of action.
That Frederick did accomplish a great and good
work in the Holy Land there can be no doubt. It
is impossible to read the letters or records handed

down from those times, without remarking that
amidst the whirl of events, where ambition, hatred,
avarice, and national jealousy reigned on all sides,
obscuring and crippling all efforts to do good, the
honest endeavors of Frederick to ameliorate the
condition of the country, were not altogether unsuccessful.
On the 1st of May, after a stay of not more than
eight months in the Holy Land, the emperor took
ship at Akkon, accompanied by the young King of
Cyprus and the Marquis of Montserrat. As the
boat which put him on board left the land, Ibelin
shouted after him a parting adieu, on which the
emperor called out to the assembled multitude, that
his mind was quite at ease, inasmuch as he knew
that he left them in good hands.
The imperial fleet crossed over to Limasol, and
here Frederick celebrated the marriage of his ward,
the young king, with Alice, daughter of the Marquis
of Montserrat. He then put in order the affairs of
the island, arranging that the regency should regularly
transmit to the governors of Jerusalem or Akkon
money wherewith to supply the garrisons and
officials in the Holy Land.
The emperor attached great importance to the
possession of the Cyprian castles and fortresses.
Already in the preceding year he had made every
preparation for their defense, by putting each of
them under the command of some distinguished officer,

and had brought with him from Akkon whatever
could be spared in the way of munitions of
war, for their safe keeping. As he was about to
leave the island for the second time, he stipulated
that the regents should have no power over the
castles until the transmission of the money to the
Holy Land had been regularly completed.
The seaboard of Cyprus at that time had no fortresses,
with the exception of the capital city Nikosia;
even on the south-western coast, where a mountainous
district occupies nearly one-half of the island,
there was no castle of importance; the hills moreover
must at that time have been covered with wildgrowing
forests. The life and wealth of the island
consisted in the rich maritime slopes and fertile
plains, which extended along the shore from Famagusta
and Laranaka, as far as the mountainous tract
which extends all along the northern side of the
Behind the chain of mountains are narrow slips
of fertile soil, producing abundance of excellent
fruit, in the midst of which is the principal haven,
Keryneia. From this town deep dells and rocky
gorges run up into the mountains, leading to the
fortresses St. Hilarion, Buffavento, and Kantara.
These three castles are built upon the smaller chain
of mountains, which, rugged and steep, rear themselves
in innumerable peaks and crags to a considerable


Before the time of Frederick the Second, Buffavento
is scarcely mentioned, but it then became one
of the principal defenses of the island; indeed it
seems to have been quite impregnable, so long as
food and water could be procured on the summit of
the moutain upon which it stood. Victuals were,
however, much more easily obtainable on the heights
of St. Hilarion, a much larger place, situated a little
farther westward. Even Kantara, lying to the
north-east, could boast of more than one wall.
The town of Keryneia, however, where the haven
was situated, was most strongly fortified, inasmuch
as it was well adapted to the reception of food and
military stores arriving from the coasts of Syria,
Asia Minor, or even Italy, which could be immediately
forwarded to the fortresses above mentioned.
Had the eagle eye of Frederick at once seen how
Cyprus could best be defended by a limited body
of troops, he could not have been better prerpared
for the events which subsequently happened. A
war soon broke out, which, during several years, continued
to rage throughout the island, the history of
which gives a most variegated picture of the doings
of the knights beyond the sea, chevalerie d'outre-mer,
as they were called by the Eastern warriors.
Homeric combats upon a fair field, trials by battle,
the beleaguering and defense of castles, codes
laying down the nicest points of honor or of right,
biting satires and new war songs, followed each


other as incessantly as did the victories or the defeats
of the combatants. That all the knights displayed
wonderful bravery is undeniable. As the
head of the imperial forces, we may mention the
knightly Marshal Felingher, Balas, called by Navarra
in his history, “the Fox,” and Hugo de Giblet, who,
on account of his grimaces, was nicknamed “the
Ape.” Ibelin seems to have made himself more
conspicuous than the rest. His brave sons and
their friend, the merry poet, Philip of Navarre, as
also the wild “fighting cock” Anselm de Brie, afforded
materials for innumerable anecdotes.
All this time Cyprus suffered severely, owing to
the discord which existed between two parties of
nobles, whose enmity at length involved Syria and
Palestine, where the Templars and Knights of St.
John, together with what was left of the priesthood,
raged with unmeasured hatred against the emperor,
whose witty jests, aimed at the silly practices of the
monks, had given great offense, more especially when,
after the example of the Templars, they displayed
their insatiable avarice. The dissensions among the
Cyprian nobles were, indeed, the cause why all the
arrangements made by the wisdom and care of
Frederick, in treating with the Mussulmans, fell to
the ground.
Still, for a time, the treaty which had cost so
much trouble continued in force, notwithstanding
that one of the two governors in the Holy Land, in

whom the Emperor had reposed so much trust,
Walter d'Allemand, joined the party of his mortal
enemies, and himself became a Templar. Frederick,
meanwhile, had scarcely set foot in Italy, than he
fell like a thunderstorm upon the Papal soldiers,
and fairly swept them from his territories. He then
began to diminish somewhat the possessions of the
Templars, who had multiplied in Italy with a rapidity
almost incredible. In truth, wherever a chapter
of the order was established, the country
around was immediately put under contribution,
and so many farms, mills, castles, and woods were
taken possession of, either by way of purchase or
exchange, or seized upon as donations, that their
power increased wonderfully. From the Templars,
more especially, a cry soon rose that Frederick intended
to make the kingdoms of Jerusalem and
Cyprus portions of his empire, so that they would
both belong exclusively to the Germans, a cry which
was incessantly repeated by the Jerusalem patriarch.
It is also said that, seeing that the kingdom of Jerusalem
would be inherited by Frederick's little son,
Conrad, his proper guardian would be the nearest
relative of the last wearer of that crown, they, therefore,
wished to put him under the care of the Queen
Alice, and in this way prolong the duration of the
It now became evident that the rule of the emperor
in the Holy Land would not be of long duration,

and his enemies next resolved to endeavor to
wrest from him the kingdom of Cyprus. Still, the
regency of five retained supreme command in that
island, and acted altogether in accordance with the
emperor's instructions. The young king wrote to
his imperial guardian to say how delighted he was
at the advantages obtained over his enemies, but
that he was grieved to find that the emperor did
not write to him more frequently concerning his
views and projects, and still more so, that he could
not explain matters to him in propriâ personâ.
The Ibelins, in the meanwhile, were in want of
some pretext for raising an insurrection in Cyprus.
About the spring of 1230, there was a call for an
extraordinary tax of about three thousand marks,
which the emperor had directed to be sent to the
Holy Land. The knights who were of Ibelin's party
declared against this, assigning as a reason that,
not having been assented to by the feudal court,
the imposition of a new tax was unlawful. As their
stewards refused payment, their goods were seized,
and the amount taken from them in corn and cattle.
And now Philip of Navarre appeared upon the
island, and secretly endeavored to raise adherents.
At first his answers to the inquiries of the authorities
seemed satisfactory, but as they became more
and more evasive, the regency thought fit to compel
him to show his true colors. All the barons were
invited to attend the feudal court, and there, in the

presence of the young king, were asked whether they
were friends to the emperor, the king, and the regents,
or whether they were to be regarded as enemies.
A New Testament was brought, and Philip of
Navarre was invited to swear true allegiance upon
the holy book. He wished to speak privately to each
of his questioners, but this was refused. He then
declared that his fealty was due to the queen-mother,
and to the lord Ibelin. At this Hugo von Giblet
exclaimed in a rage, “If I had my way, you should
be hanged, or I would have your tongue torn out,”
and immediately ordered the arrest of the offender.
On this Philip hastened to where the king was sitting,
and, bending the knee, said that his safety had
been guaranteed by the regents, as he would prove
with his sword, and immediately taking off his
glove cast it on the ground.
Several knights endeavored to pick up the glove;
but Philip cried out that he would only measure
swords with the regents, as they only were his equals
in rank; fetters were, however, soon brought into the
hall, where the contumacious noble was imprisoned
until the approach of darkness. The rest all took the
required oath, and it was understood that all who
refused to do so would forfeit their rich domains.
In the night, while Philip's conduct was the theme
of every one's conversation, he made his escape from
the court-house, and presented himself in the cloisters
of the Knights of St. John, who immediately

afforded him shelter and protection. Here he
assembled around his person about a hundred and
fifty men, collected provisions and warlike stores,
which were stored up in the strong tower of the
castle, and resolved to defend himself against his
pursuers. Meanwhile he sent a private message to
Ibelin, informing him of all his proceedings, which
he described in verse.
The regents dared not to attack the monastery of
St. John, which enjoyed all the privileges of a religious
house, while Ibelin at once landed with a
strong force in Gatria, and marched in all haste to
Nikosia. The few troops which were hurriedly
sent to oppose him were easily dispersed, and in a
very short time he presented himself before the
capital. For the sake of saving his honor, he had
written a letter to the young king, saying how it
pained both him and his followers to have left their
allegiance in the Holy Land, but that they were
unable to do otherwise, in order to defend their
own possessions; should he blame them for their conduct,
they relied upon their rights as established by
feudal law. The regents were utterly surprised;
they at once collected such forces as they could
muster, and marched out through the city gates.
In vain did they seek for priestly interference for
the purpose of establishing peace between the conflicting
parties. On the 23d of June, a furious
battle took place. The regents wore golden tiaras

on their helmets. One of them, Gavain von Chenichy,
slew Ibelin's father-in-law, the old constable;
Walter von Caesarea, Gerhardt von Montagu, and
other friends of Ibelin, likewise lost their lives. The
regents, however, were particularly anxious to get
hold of Ibelin himself, and fifteen knights galloped
forward in search of him. This, it would appear,
caused considerable disorder amongst the imperial
troops; and when Philip of Navarre, with a strong
body of men, made his appearance upon the battlefield
just at this critical moment, the troops of the
regents were completely defeated. Ibelin, in the
meanwhile, had sought refuge in a farm-house, where
he was powerless to defend himself, but from which,
after the battle, he was set at liberty by his son
Balian and Anselm de Brie.
And now appeared the foresight of the emperor
in fortifying the castles upon the mountains, in
which the vanquished troops found a safe asylum.
On the very evening of the battle, Balas, Bethsan,
and Giblet, bringing with them the young king and
their best troops, repaired to St. Hilarion. Rivet,
with his followers, sought protection in Buffavento,
and Chenichy, by dint of spurring, succeeded in
reaching the still more distant castle of Kantara.
From these three castles it was easy to reach the
sea-coast at Keryneia. Ibelin, however, hastened
to prevent their escape. While he himself surrounded
Keryneia, Balian took a position before St.

Hilarion, Philip of Navarre before Buffavento, and
Anselm de Brie before Kantara.
Anselm had devised a new kind of battering ram,
with which he broke down the outer wall, and as
he personally hated Chenichy, laid in ambush
watching for him day and night, until at length,
taking an opportunity when the regent was seen on
the battlements, took deadly aim at him and shot
him with an arrow. Rivet, who knew Buffavento
to be impregnable, came there from Kantara, and
when he saw the fortalice was in good condition
and well manned, went over into Asia Minor to
bring over more troops, and was there killed.
The three other regents occupied the extensive
and strong fastnesses of St. Hilarion; here they not
only repelled every attack, but every now and then
made sallies, broke through the palisades of the besiegers,
and obtained fresh supplies.
Upon one occasion Philip of Navarre was struck
down, and fell as though dead. On seeing this a
man upon the wall exclaimed, “The verse-maker is
dead; now we shall have no more of his bad songs.”
Philip, however, recovered during the night, and
the next day, taking up a tolerably safe position, he
favored the garrison with a new ballad.
The defenders of Keryneia became at length tired
out; for a length of time they had received no pay,
and had suffered much from want of provisions. A
day was fixed, and if by that time no help appeared,

they agreed to surrender, more especially as they
saw that the castles were closely invested, and their
occupants had no chance of escape.
Ibelin was now enabled to bring up more troops
to the siege of St. Hilarion. That fortress, however,
was now no longer in a condition to brave him as
it had done before; the place was closely invested on
all sides, and the garrison in dire want of provisions,
for by this time the insurgents had taken possession
of the whole island; even the young king Heinrich
suffered severely; he frequently made his appearance
upon the battlements and shouted to the besiegers
who had brought him to such straits.
Ibelin next resolved to send Philip of Navarre,
who had shown great ability in conducting negotiations,
into Italy, hoping to obtain help, either
from the Pope or from the King of France.
At this juncture Ibelin proposed to Balian and
his associates to surrender the young king and the
fortress into his power, promising that if they did
so, they should be well treated, and should retain in
all honor whatever property they possessed. The
garrison, which had long suffered the greatest privations,
and saw nothing before them but a lingering
death from famine, at last consented, and Ibelin attained
his object. Balas, Bethsan, and Giblet made
over to him the youthful Heinrich, and took a solemn
oath that they would not again bear arms
against the insurgents.

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The emperor could no longer hide from himself
that Cyprus was lost, and his affairs in the Holy
Land wore a very gloomy aspect. By his command,
the governor of Cyprus issued a proclamation depriving
the Ibelins of all their feudal tenures, and
a fleet was assembled consisting of eighteen galleys
and fifteen transports, in the last of which were embarked
three hundred horsemen and two thousand
foot soldiers. These were all placed under the command
of Marshal Felingher by a manifesto, to which
was appended a golden ball, appointing him Governor,
Lord Chief Justice, and Generalissimo of the
East, and at the same time affording him every facility
for getting his troops tog ther. Ibelin had
taken the precaution to send spies into Italy, from
whom he received secret information concerning
everything that occurred there, and before the imperial
fleet had left Brindisi, a swift sailing vessel was
despatched, by which the spies returned speedily to
the east, and soon reaching Akkon, where Ibelin
was at that time encamped, made him acquainted
with all the Proceedings of the emperor.


Without loss of time, Ibelin assembled as many
men as he and his friends could get together, and
marched upon Beyrut, the defenses of which he
strengthened, and then crossed over to Cyprus,
where it was necessary to take care that on seeing
the emperor's fleet the Cyprians should not rouse
their forces, and get the young king into their power.
He therefore collected all his adherents in Cyprus,
knights and squires, and a considerable number of
combatants, placing part of them at Limasol, under
the command of his eldest son Balian, and retaining
the other part under his own control at Larnaka,
thus getting possession of the only two places
where a landing could be effected. He likewise
took the precaution of bringing with him the young
king, upon whose movements he kept a close watch.
When, therefore, the soldiers of the emperor
were about to land at Limasol, they found the shore
lined with troops forming an army much larger than
their own, who forbade their approach. Their ships,
therefore, moved on a little farther, and cast anchor
in the vicinity of Gavata. Soon afterward, the
Bishop of Amalfi, accompanied by two German
knights, made their appearance in Limasol, and
represented themselves as ambassadors from the
emperor charged with a message to the young king.
They were told that the king resided at Larnaka,
and whilst they were conducted back again to their
ship, Ibelin in great haste called together the feudal

court, in which naturally his own friends and partisans
were in a considerable majority.
Before this assembly, the ambassadors from the
emperor delivered their message, which was to the
following effect: The emperor demanded from the
king, as his feudal vassal, that he should immediately
banish from the country Johann von Ibelin
and his whole family, and no longer afford them
shelter or protection, seeing that they had broken
their allegiance. To this mandate the following
reply was given by Wilhelm Visconta, in the name
of the infant king: “My lords, I am commanded
and commissioned by the king to say to you, that
it appears to him very strange that the emperor
should send such an order to me. The governor of
Beyrut is a relative of Ibelin, and I neither can nor
will do what the emperor requires.”
After waiting many days, it became evident that
it would be impossible to effect a landing, and the
authority of the emperor Frederick over the island
was henceforth set at defiance.
When Ibelin had marched within four leagues of
Akkon, he learned that the Patriarch of Antioch
was sent as Pope's legate to that city, and had demanded
his immediate presence.
Notwithstanding the suspicions Ibelin entertained,
that the legate was about to denounce him as a rebel,
he felt bound, as a good servant of the Church, to
obey the summons. He therefore caused his troops

to encamp near Casal Imbert, and placed his trustworthy
follower, Anselm von Brie, in command,
while he proceeded to Akkon, and endeavored by
every means in his power to undermine his enemies
and strengthen his own cause.
Meanwhile Marshal Felingher decided on making
one decisive blow for his master's interests. Toward
dusk on the evening of May 2d, he left Tyre
with his best troops, and marched toward the coast,
where he was followed by twenty-two ships, bearing
the rest of his army. Toward morning they approached
the unfortunate camp, and before the
slightest alarm could be raised, had fallen upon it
and butchered the soldiers whilst still asleep. Here
and there a slight attempt was made at resistance,
and Ibelin's three sons made a gallant but desperate
effort to drive off the enemy. The attack, however,
had been too sudden to allow the soldiers to recover
from the shock, and all such as did not perish
found safety in precipitate flight. The king narrowly
escaped with his life, he having been hurried
out of the camp at the first alarm of danger.
The imperial victory was complete, Ibelin's troops
were entirely scattered or destroyed, and all the
valuables of the camp were taken possession of by
the enemy. As soon as it was known that Marshal
Felingher had left Tyre, Ibelin and his knights at
once mounted their horses and rode as rapidly as
possible toward the camp, but before they arrived,

friends and enemies had alike quitted the ground,
and nothing remained except a handful of men who
had taken refuge in a small and neighboring tower.
Had Felingher at once fallen upon Akkon, he
would probably have obtained possession of the
city; but he was well aware that his troops were
safer in Cyprus than on the opposite continent, and
therefore immediately despatched them to that
island. Famagusta, Nikosia, and Keryneia were
seized, and all Ibelin's troops dispersed in a series
of victorious onslaughts. The young queen, Alice,
occupied Nikosia, whilst her two sisters-in-law took
refuge in the convent of St. Hilarion. Frau von
Ibelin escaped to Buffavento in the disguise of a
monk, and by her courage and energy roused the
drooping spirit of the old commandant of the fortress,
who was preparing to surrender to the emperor
at discretion.
The followers of Ibelin were now in the depths
of distress and anxiety, their troops were annihilated,
their money gone, and worst of all, many
noble knights belonging to the conquered party began
to lay all the blame of their unfortunate position
upon their leader's head. Some endeavored
to persuade the king, who was nearly of age, that
he might be the means of restoring peace and order,
while others endeavored to commence an alliance
with Marshal Felingher.
At this crisis, John Ibelin showed all the resources

of which he was capable. He tried to sting the
Syrian knights by hinting, that if Cyprus were allowed
to remain under imperial rule, they would be
neither more nor less than slaves to Germany, and
endeavored by bribes and every form of persuasion
to induce adherents to flock to his standard. Ibelin's
sons and relations sold all their possessions in order
to obtain horses and arms, and many devices were
resorted to as a means of obtaining money.
Small scraps of parchment were issued, bearing
the king's seal, and setting forth that the sum
named thereon must be paid to whoever presented
it, and promising that the giver should be refunded as
soon as the prince was firmly established in his rights.
The most important step by far taken by the astute
knight, at this crisis, was that of persuading the
Genoese in the island to rise en masse and join his
cause, under the solemn promise of the king that
they and their sons should enjoy extraordinary
social immunities and privileges. Having fully
achieved this plan, Ibelin at once made ready to
sail for Cyprus at the shortest notice, backed by a
numerous and well-manned fleet. No sooner did
the Marshal hear of the unexpected rising of the
Genoese, than he at once returned to the island
with a powerful army, and was soon again master
of the whole country, with the exception of the
fortresses of St. Hilarion and Buffavento. A portion
of the imperial fleet was anchored in the harbor
outside the ancient city of Paphos.


On Whitsunday, May the 30th, Ibelin set sail
with his forces from Akkon, accompanied by the
Genoese consul, with whom the approaching struggle
now had the aspect of a political victory. Pedalion
Acra, a promontory between Larnaka and Famagusta,
had been pointed out as the most suitable
spot for landing the soldiers, and thither all the
troop ships went. No sooner had the fleet reached
the spot indicated, than intelligence was received
that the Marshal had made Famagusta his headquarters.
The ships at once proceeded in the direction
of that fortress, where, owing to the knowledge
of the shore displayed by their commanders,
they were enabled, after a slight skirmish with the
imperial troops, to take possession of a small island
in close vicinity to the town. Felingher was prepared
to make a brave and powerful defense, but
unluckily for him his soldiers had treated the surrounding
inhabitants with so much roughness and
cruelty, that treachery was rife in all quarters. In
the stillness of the night a few boats left the fleet,
and landed their men close to the fortress; these at
once rushed upon the town with such noise and
force that the defenders were struck with sudden
panic. The Marshal, believing that the whole force
of the enemy was on the spot, and that the citizens
were in revolt, at once set fire to his ships, and
withdrew with all his men to Nikosia.


Ibelin remained a week in Famagusta; this time
he spent in fortifying the citadel more securely, and
in drawing up the deed of privileges to the Genoese,
the promise of which had procured him so
great an accession of friends.
The Marshal now retired to the mountains behind
Nikosia, and Queen Alice and her ladies
sought refuge in Keryneia, the imperial troops being
so stationed as to command that fortress.
Felingher now rapidly pressed on the siege of
St. Hilarion, and was in daily hopes that hunger
must compel her defenders to surrender; all cornfields,
mills, and every available means of sustenance
having been destroyed throughout the surrounding
plains by the Marshal's orders.
Ibelin's army, which was now slowly marching
onward toward Nikosia, received fresh reinforcements
at every stage, not only from the outraged
Cypriotes, who were anxious to avenge their wrongs,
but from large numbers of the higher classes, who
had taken refuge in the huts. Nearly all these
soldiers were on foot, whilst the imperial army, we
are told, had fully two thousand horse. On his
arrival near Nikosia, Ibelin at once encamped about
half a league from the city, and early next morning,
June 15th, 1232, advanced rapidly with all his
troops to encounter the imperial forces, some of
which were gathered around the fortress they were
investing, whilst some were stationed upon the

high and almost inaccessible rocks that commanded
the road to Keryneia.
The Marshal, who appears to have been paralyzed
by the rapid movements of the enemy, at once sent
a party of cavalry to meet the men he saw were
preparing to mount the rocky steps that led to the
Count Walter von Manebel charged down upon
the enemy, but with such fury and indiscretion that
the ascending soldiers, being on foot, readily eluded
the pursuit of their mounted adversaries, who had
no alternative but to seek refuge in the plains below,
and there await further orders. Meanwhile
Ibelin's troops continued to mount, and a severe
struggle ensued, in which the Marshal's troops became
perfectly unmanageable, and had to be withdrawn
to Keryneia. Numbers sought safety in
flight, or refuge in the neighboring churches and
monasteries. Keryneia now alone remained in the
hands of the imperial troops, and the Marshal at
once proceeded to strengthen it at all points, stored
up ample provisions in case of siege, and having
given the command of such troops as could not be
accommodated in the fortress to Walter von Aquaviva,
he himself retired to Cilicia with a large body
of men.
Ibelin no sooner heard that the Marshal had
withdrawn the greater part of his army from Keryneia,
than he proceeded to invest that fortress. A

long and bloody battle at once ensued outside its
walls, and every means were tried, but in vain, to
storm the citadel. At this crisis a short truce was
concluded, in consequence of the death of the young
Queen Alice. Her corpse was decked in royal
robes, and a messenger was despatched to her consort
requesting that she might be interred as became
her rank. This truce was strictly kept on
both sides, until the royal coffin had been conveyed
to Nikosia, where it was placed in the cathedral
with much pomp and reverence.
Marshal Felingher had meanwhile been well received
in Cilicia, and at once proceeded to make
preparations for a fresh campaign. Great sickness,
however, now appeared in his army, and numbers
died from various causes, or were so invalided as to
be unfit for further service. Felingher at once
ordered his army to Tyre, whilst he himself went
to Italy to have an interview with the emperor.
This latter was now inclined to try what could be
done by persuasion, instead of again having recourse
to arms. Marshal Felingher, who had made himself
much disliked, was superseded, and the Bishop of
Sidon dispatched, with full powers to bring matters
to a peaceable conclusion by well-timed arguments
and persuasions, amongst which was the promise
that all past outbreaks should be forgotten on the
part of the emperor if the Cypriotes would return
to their allegiance. The bishop had so much skill

and diplomacy, that in an assembly of knights
called by his order to assemble in the cathedral at
Akkon, all present willingly consented to renew
their oaths on the spot, and recognize the emperor
as the guardian of his son Conrad. At this juncture
the proceedings of the assembly were interrupted
by the sudden appearance of the young
knight, John of Caesarea, nephew of Ibelin, who
with much excitement implored the assembly to
consider well what they were about to do, and not
to sacrifice their country to imperial ambition.
A scene of great violence ensued, in the midst of
which the bell from the citadel was rung, and at
the preconcerted signal, crowds of Ibelin's adherents
in the city flocked into and around the church,
uttering loud cries for vengeance on the heads of
the recreant knights. The latter were now compelled
to seek safety in flight, and it required all
the eloquence and authority of young John of Caesarea
to restrain the violence of the crowd, and
allow the bishop and his party to escape with their
lives. The emperor now appealed to Ibelin's own
sense of right and honor, and assured him that if
he would obey the imperial summons and appear
in Tyre to renew his fealty, everything should be
arranged according to his wishes. Ibelin, however,
distrusted the friendly overtures of the emperor,
and not only refused to comply, but at once proceeded
to levy fresh forces, and prepare for an obstinate

resistance. This done, his first step was to
reduce the fortress of Keryneia, which, however, he
found so impregnable that, after some terrible fighting
about its walls, he was compelled to sit down
before it, and endeavor to reduce its garrison by
starvation. Month after month passed, and yet the
brave band held out; until after two years of great
hardship and suffering, they were at last compelled
to submit, but only on the most honorable conditions.
Frederick still refused to relinquish all hope,
and now had recourse to imploring assistance from
the Pope, to aid in bringing his refractory vassals
again to their allegiance. In the same year as witnessed
the fall of Keryneia, a legate from the Papal
Court arrived at Akkon, bearing a decree from both
emperor and Pope, commanding all knights and citizens
to join the imperial cause, and submit to the
authority of Marshal Felinger. Every indulgence
was promised to all such as should submit.
Ibelin was now hard pressed, but he utterly refused
again to acknowledge his faults to the emperor,
and at once set about preparing for an attack
on Tyre. The Pope sent Ibelin one more written
warning, and the archbishop put Akkon under an
interdict. Two envoys were now sent from the
knights to Italy, in order to endeavor to make terms
of peace. These conditions were hard upon the
Cypriotes, and when the envoys returned to Akkon,
and showed the parchment containing the required

submissions, the whole city was in an uproar. The
ambassadors were thrown into prison, and very narrowly
escaped with their lives. Almost Ibelin's
last act was to summon all to uphold the rights of
their king; very shortly after this he fell from his
horse, and was so seriously injured that he did not
long survive. During these occurrences in the East,
great changes were also taking place in the friendly
relations between Pope and emperor, and the latter
soon found himself overwhelmed with troubles and
anxieties, both in Italy and Germany, which required
his immediate and entire attention. Meanwhile
Ibelin's son and various members of his family
had sent letters, accompanied by rich gifts, to the
Pope and cardinals. This embassy proved entirely
successful, and the envoy, Godfrey le Tort, returned
triumphantly to Akkon, bearing a Papal letter commanding
all to unite with the Genoese in submission
to the wishes and propositions of the party led
by the Ibelins. This direct decree from the Pope
proved final, and Frederick was now powerless to
send an army to assert his claims.
Some years later, one more endeavor was made
by Marshal Felingher, and a small party in Akkon,
to induce the inhabitants of the island to acknowledge
their allegiance to the emperor; but in vain.
Thus ended all attempts to make Cyprus an appanage
of Germany, which if carried out might probably
have saved that beautiful country and her population
from centuries of neglect and tyranny.

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Again must Cyprus bear a prominent position in
the eyes of the world. For many years eminent
statesmen, soldiers, and engineers have been proclaiming
the advisability of making Cyprus the
point through which that grand scheme, the Euphrates
Valley Railway, soon we hope to be a reality,
would receive its principal sources of traffic, and
forming it into the terminal station of a line of railway
and steamers destined to chain us more firmly
to our Indian possessions, and to open again the
long-deserted or neglected land that lies between it
and the Persian Gulf.
Major-General Sir F. Goldsmid, C.B., K.C.S.I.,
who has devoted a considerable portion of his time
to this scheme, has thrown such valuable light upon
the subject that we should be wanting in our duty
to our readers if we did not give some brief idea of
the information his valuable paper affords us.
The geographical position of Cyprus, now under
British rule, makes the island a fitting guardian of
Upper Syria, Coelo Syria, and almost of Palestine,
and in the hands of Great Britain is an invaluable

acquisition, and worth any amount of land which
might be purchased on the neighboring Asiatic
The distance to the several ports on the mainland
is not great; indeed, the island is said to be visible
on a clear day from Seleucia. A railway terminus
for the Persian Gulf line might be reached in a very
few hours, and fair weather boats, calculated to carry
over a thousand passengers, troops or civilians,
might be used at certain times at incosiderable cost.
Of Larnaka, as a port, very little information can
be obtained; but fifteen years ago it received 324
vessels of 54,340 tons, and sent out 321 vessels of
53,458 tons. In 1876 there were entered 457, and
cleared 483 vessels of 92,926 and 91,690 tons respectively.
At Limasol, in 1863, 493 vessels were entered of
32,980 tons. The present harbor of Famagusta has
a superficial extent of nearly eighty acres, to which
a depth of five and a half fathoms might be readily
given; but there is only a space of about five acres
which can be relied upon for the actual reception of
M. Collas, a French writer, experienced in Turkey
and the Turks, thinks that with ordinary engineering
skill, a harbor might be formed here of more
than 148 acres in extent. The opening of this harbor
would also give, in the opinion of M. Collas, an
immense impetus to the export of cotton, which

might be grown up to the amount not far short of
30,000 tons—a high figure of productiveness.
Having thus shown how Cyprus is capable, so far
as harbors are concerned, of fulfilling her position
as the terminus of the Euphrates Valley Railway,
let us look to some of the various routes suggested
for this line. Five different schemes were selected
as the most important by the Committee which sat
in 1872.
1st. A line starting from Alexandretta or Suedia,
near the mouth of the Orontes, passing through
Aleppo to the Euphrates, at or near Jabah Castle,
and thence carried down the right bank of the river
to Kuwait, on the western side of the Persian Gulf.
2d. A line starting from one of the same points,
crossing the Euphrates at Belio, passing down the
left bank of the river, or the right bank of the Tigris,
to a point nearly opposite Baghdad, recrossing
the Euphrates, and proceeding to Kuwait.
3d. A line starting as before, crossing the Euphrates
at Bir, thence going round to Orfah and
Diarbekir, and following the right bank of the Tigris
as the last.
4th. A similar line, only following the left bank
of the Tigris.
5th. A line starting from Tripoli, and proceeding
across the desert by way of Damascus and Palmyra
to the Euphrates, whence it might follow one of the
preceding routes.


Which of these routes will eventually be adopted
is still the subject of much discussion.
Mr. W. P. Andrew, F.R.G.S., who for thirty years
has devoted much time and attention to endeavoring
to carry out this design, has furnished us with
an admirable report on this project. We will give
a short sketch in his own words:
“In the proposal to restore this ancient route—once
the highway of the world's commerce and the
track of the heroes of early history—by the construction
of a railway to connect the Mediterranean
and the Persian Gulf, we have at hand an invaluable
and perfectly efficient means at once of thwarting
the designs of Russia, if they should assume a
hostile character, of marching hand in hand with
her if her mission be to carry civilization to distant
lands, and of competing with her in the peaceful
rivalry of commerce.”
“On every ground, therefore, the proposed Euphrates
Valley Railway is an undertaking eminently
deserving our attention, and the support and encouragement
of our Government.”
“The countries which our future highway to
India will traverse have been, from remote antiquity,
the most interesting in the world. On the once
fertile plains watered by the Euphrates and Tigris,
the greatest and most glorious nations of antiquity
arose, flourished, and were overthrown.”
“Twice in the world's history mankind commenced

the race of civilization on the Mesopotamian
rivers. Twice the human family diverged from their
banks to the east, the west, and the north. Arts
and sciences made the first feeble steps of their infancy
upon the shores of these rivers.”
“Very early in history, we know that Babylon
was a great manufacturing city, famed for the costly
fabrics of its looms. At a more recent date, the
Chaldean kings made it a gorgeous metropolis—the
fairest and the richest then on earth. Alexander
of Macedon made it the port of the Indian Ocean
and the Persian Gulf; and he proposed to render it
the central metropolis of his empire.”
“The countries through which the Euphrates
flows were formerly the most productive in the
world. Throughout these regions the fruits of temperate
and tropical climes grew in bygone days in
luxurious profusion; luxury and abundance were
universally diffused. The soil everywhere teemed
with vegetation; much of this has since passed
away. Ages of despotism and misrule have rendered.
unavailing the bounty of nature; but the land
is full of hidden riches. The natural elements of
its ancient grandeur still exist in the inexhaustible
fertility of the country, and in the chivalrous character
and bearing of many of the tribes; and the
day cannot be far distant when it is destined to resume
its place amongst the fairest and most prosperous
regions of the globe.”


“The wondrous fertility of Mesopotamia was, in
early times, carried to its utmost limit by means of
irrigation canals, with which the country was everywhere
intersected, and some of the largest of which
were navigable. These excited the wonder and interest
of Alexander the Great, who, after his return
from the conquest of India, examined them personally,
steering the boat with his own hand. He
employed a great number of men to repair and
cleanse these canals.”
“Herodotus, speaking of Babylonia, says: ‘Of all
the countries I know, it is without question the best,
and most fertile. It produces neither figs, nor vines,
nor olives; but in recompense the earth is suitable for
all sorts of grain, of which it yields always two
hundred per cent., and in years of extraordinary fertility
as much as three hundred per cent.’”
“These regions need only again to be irrigated
by the life-giving waters pouring down ever cool
and plentiful from Ararat—that great landmark of
primeval history, now the vast natural boundarystone
of the Russian, Turkish, and Persian empires
—to yield once more in abundance almost everything
that is necessary or agreeable to man. Many
acres now wasted, save when in early spring they
are wildernesses of flowers, may be covered with cotton,
tending to the employment of the million
spindles of our land.”
“It is not too much to say that no existing or

projected railroad can compare in point of interest
and importance with that of the Euphrates Valley.
It will bring two quarters of the globe into juxtaposition,
and three continents, Europe, Asia, and
Australia, into closer relation. It will bind the vast
population of Hindustan by an iron link with the
people of Europe. It will inevitably entail the
colonization and civilization of the great valleys of
the Euphrates and Tigris, the resuscitation in a
modern shape of Babylon and Nineveh, and the re-awakening
of Ctesiphon and Bagdad of old.”
“Where is there in the world any similar undertaking
which can achieve results of such magnitude,
fraught with so many interests to various nations?
And who can foresee what ultimate effects may be
produced by improved means of communication in
the condition of Hindoos, Chinese, and other remote
“Although various routes have been suggested
with a view of bringing Great Britain, by means of
railway communication, into closer connection with
India and her other dependencies in the East, and
of securing at the same time the immense political
and strategic desideratum of an alternative highway
to our Eastern possessions, there is none which combines
in itself so many advantages as the ancient
route of the Euphrates; the route of the emperors
Trajan and Julian, in whose steps, in more recent
times, the great Napoleon intended to follow, when

the Russian campaign turned his energies in another
direction. The special advantages which render
this route superior to all others are briefly these:”
“It is the direct route to India. It is the shortest
and the cheapest both for constructing and working
a railway; so free from engineering difficulties,
that it almost appears as though designed by the
hand of nature to be the highway of nations between
the East and the West; the most surely defensible
by England—both of its termini being on the open
seas; and the most likely to prove remunerative.”
“Both in an engineering and a political point of
view, the Euphrates route undoubtedly possesses
great advantages over any of the others which have
been proposed.”
“All the routes which have been suggested from
places on the Black Sea are open to the fatal objection
that, while they would be of the greatest service
to Russia, they would be altogether beyond the
control of Great Britain, while the engineering difficulties
with which they are surrounded are of
themselves sufficient to exclude them from practical
“This has been fully established by the evidence
of the witnesses examined by the Select Committee
of the House of Commons, which lately investigated
the merits of the various proposals for connecting
the Mediterranean and the Black Seas with the Persian


“In the course of the investigation by the Committee,
it was demonstrated that the proposed Euphrates
Valley Railway is an eminently feasible
undertaking in an engineering sense; that the route
of the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf is decidedly
preferable, in respect of climate, to that by Egypt and
the Red Sea; that as regards the safety and facility
of the navigation, the Persian Gulf also has by far
the advantage; that the proposed undertaking
would be of great commercial moment, and if not
immediately profitable, at all events that it would
be so at a date not far distant; and, finally, that it
would be of the highest political and strategic importance
to this country.”
“A railway through Mesopotamia, as a route to
India, would not at first be productive of much income
to a company from traffic, but in a few years
—certainly before the railway could be finished—
the cultivation of grain would increase a hundredfold,
and would go on increasing a thousandfold,
and would attain to a magnitude and extension
quite impossible to calculate, because bad harvests
are almost unknown in these parts, for there is always
plenty of rain and a hot sun to ripen the corn.
Populous villages would spring up all along the
line, as there is abundance of sweet water everywhere.
Cereals can be grown there so cheaply, that
no country the same distance from England—say,
for instance, Russia—could compete with it at all.

And if Great Britain finds it necessary to rely more
on the importation of foreign corn, where could a
better field be found than the fertile plains of Mesopotamia,
which has all the advantages of climate,
soil, and sun in its favor?”
“The establishment of steam communication by the
Messageries Maritimes on the route of the Red Sea to
Calcutta and other Eastern ports, shows the importance
attached by the French to the extension of their
commercial relations with the East. A Russian line
of steamers, also, has lately been established, to run
between Odessa and Bombay by the Suez Canal
route. Even those who see no danger in the policy
of annexation pursued by Russia, will admit that the
Russian roads and railways now being pushed toward
Persia and Afghanistan, if designed with pacific intentions,
prove, at all events, the anxiety of the Russian
Government to compete with us for the trade of
Central Asia, the Punjaub, and Northern India.”
“The substitution of Kurrachee for Bombay as
the European port of India would, even by the Red
Sea route, give us an advantage of some five hundred
miles; but if the Euphrates route were once
established, the adoption of Kurrachee as the European
port of India would necessarily follow, and
India would thus be brought upwards of a thousand
miles nearer to us than at present; while during the
monsoon months, the gain would be still greater, as
the route between the Persian Gulf and Kurrachee

is not exposed to the severity of the monsoon, which,
it is well known, renders a divergence of some five
hundred miles necessary during a portion of the
year on the voyage from Bombay to Aden.”
“When the railway system of the Indus is completed,
Kurrachee will be in continuous railway
communication with Calcutta and with the gates of
Central Asia at the Kyber and Bolan Passes, and it
will thus become the natural basis of operations in
the event either of any internal commotion in India,
or of aggression on our north-western frontier.”
“The grand object desired is to connect England
with the north-west frontier of India by steam transit
through the Euphrates and Indus valleys. The
latter will render movable to either the Kyber or
the Bolan—the two gates of India—the flower of
the British army cantoned in the Punjaub; and the
Euphrates and Indus lines being connected by
means of steamers, we shall be enabled to threaten
the flank and rear of any force advancing through
Persia toward India. So that, by this great
scheme, the invasion of India would be placed beyond
even speculation, and it is evident that the
great army of India of three hundred thousand men
being thus united to the army of England, the mutual
support they would render each other would
quadruple the power and ascendency of this country,
and promote powerfully the progress, the freedom,
and the peace of the world.”


“The Euphrates and Indus lines together would,
moreover, secure for us almost a monopoly of the
trade with Central Asia, enabling us to meet Russia,
our great competitor in these distant fields of commercial
enterprise, on more than equal terms.”
“But it is not on commercial considerations that I
would urge the claims of the Euphrates Valley
Railway. It is on imperial grounds that the
scheme commends itself to our support.”
“I believe that the establishment of the Euphrates
route would add incalculably to our prestige
throughout Europe and the East, and would do more
to strengthen our hold on India than any other means
that could be devised.”
“The Euphrates Valley Railway, as proposed
from the Gulf of Scanderoon to the Persian Gulf,
has been specially designed with a view to its ultimately
forming a part of a through line from Constantinople
to the head of the Persian Gulf; while
it is capable also of being in due time extended
eastward to Kurrachee, the port of India nearest to
“The line from the Mediterranean to the Persian
Gulf has been demonstrated to be eminently practicable
and easy, while the other portions of the route
between Constantinople and India are not. While
capable of forming part of a through line, it would
at the same time be complete in itself, and independent
of any disturbances in Europe—the only portion,

in fact, of a through line of railway which
would be always, and under all circumstances, at
the absolute control of this country.”
“It would always be to this country the most important
portion of any through line; and, indeed, I
believe a through line could not be constructed, except
at overwhelming cost, without the assistance of
a port in Northern Syria. It would, moreover, provide
us with a complete alternative route to India, and
would thus at once secure to this country advantages
admitted to be of the highest national moment.”
“It is for these reasons that during the long period
in which I have devoted myself to the advocacy
of the Euphrates route to India, I have thought
it expedient to urge upon our own Government and
that of Turkey, the special claims of that section
only which would connect the Mediterranean with
the Persian Gulf.”
“The objection that, although the Euphrates Valley
Railway would afford us the undoubted advantage
of an alternative, a shorter, and a more rapid
means of communication with India, it would still
leave a considerable portion of the journey to be
accomplished by sea, and that consequently it would
accelerate our communications with the East in a
minor degree only, is sufficiently disposed of by the
circumstance already pointed out: that a railway
from a point on the Mediterranean, at or near Scanderoon,
to the head of the Persian Gulf, would

naturally form part of a through line of railway
from Constantinople to India, if at a future time it
should be considered necessary or desirable to construct
the remaining sections.”

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Extent and Boundaries.

Cyprus (χυπρος), called by the Turks Kibris, is
a large island in the Mediterranean, lying near the
coasts of Syria and Asia Minor. It is supposed to
have an area of about 4,500 square miles, but all
the different measurements given vary considerably.
Its length is about 145 miles, from the extreme
north-east point, Cape St. Andreas, to Cape
Arnauti, on the west coast. Its greatest breadth is
about fifty miles from north to south; but it narrows
toward the east, where in some parts it is not
more than five miles wide, and, at the most extreme
east point, Cape Andreas, it is only about sixty-five
miles distant from Latakia, the nearest point of the
Syrian coast. The nearest land on the coast of
Karamania, or Cicilia, Cape Zephyrium, is about
forty-two miles north by west of the point of land
in Cyprus, which is near the ancient Carpasia.


There are two ranges of mountains in Cyprus,
one extending along the northern coast, and the

other stretching across the southern part of the
island. The highest summit is the “Troados,” or
Olympus,” which Löher measured, and found to be
6,160 feet above the sea level. The other principal
peaks of this range are Mount Stavrovuni, or Sante
Croce, Mount Makkaeras, and Mount Adelphi ; the
heights of these are uncertain. Equally uncetain
are the elevations of the peaks of the northern
range, the chief of which is Mount Pentedaktylo,
between Kerinia and Makaria.
The most extensive plain is on the eastern part
of the island, and is watered by the river Pedias.
In 1330, this river was so swollen by heavy rain
that it inundated Nikosia, to the great destruction
of life and property. The other plains of any size
are those of Lefkosia in the centre, and Kerinia, to
the west of the island.


The Pedias, or Pedaeus, the principal river, rises
on the range of Olympus, and waters the plains of
Lefkosia and Messaria, and empties itself into the
sea, on the east coast, at the ancient port of Salamis
Constantia. The Morpha has its source among the
same mountains as the Pedias, waters the plain of
Kerinia, and falls into the sea on the north-west
coast, about the centre of the Gulf of Morpha.
There are no other rivers of much importance; the
principal are, the Ezusa, or ancient Borgarus, the


Diorizos, and the Khapotini, all of wich take their
source in the neighborhood of Mount Olympus, and
fall into the sea on the south-west coast; the Kurios,
which empties itself into the Gulf of Piskopi,
on the south coast; the Garilis, rising in the Makkaeras
mountains and falling into the sea at Limasol,
also on the south coast; while the Pentaskhino,
a small stream, enters the sea near Dolas
point, on the south-east coast.


Cape Kormaciti, the ancient Crommyon, at the
extreme north-west; Cape Andreas, the ancient Dinaretum,
at the extreme north-east point of the
island; Cape Arnauti, or St. Epiphanio, the ancient
Akamas, at the most western point; Cape Gatto,
and Cape Zevgari, the ancient Kurios, are the furthest
points on the south coast; Cape Greco, the ancient
Pedalion, lies at the south-eastern extremity.
On the north coast are Cape Plakoti; on the west,
Capes Drepani, Kokino, Limmity, Baffo (Papho);
on the east coast, Cape Elaea, and on the south,
Capes Pyla, the ancient Throni, Biance, and Citi.

Gulfs and Bays.

Famagusta Bay, or Bay of Salamis, at the east;
Gulf of Morpha, or Pendagia, at the north-west; Gulf
of Chrysochou, at the west; and at the south, the
Gulf of Piskopi, and bays of Larnaka and Akroteri.

Harbors and Roadsteads.

Larnaka and Limasol possess good roadsteads.
The ancient harbors are destroyed and filled with

Towns and Important Places.

The following were the towns of Cyprus (A.D.125):
On the north coast of Cape Acamas, were Arsinoe,
and Sali, with a harbor founded by Phalerus and
Acamas of Athens; then east of Caée Crommyon,
Lapethus, built by the Lacedemonias; next Agidus,
Aphrodisium, and Carpasia; east of the last, was a
mountain and a cape called Olympus, with a temple
to Venus upon it, which women were forbidden to
enter. Facing the cape are two small islands, called
Keides, or “the keys of Cyprus.” Turning thence
toward the south, was Salamis, at the mouth of the
Pedaeus, one of the principal, cities of the island, said
to have been built by Teucer, an emigrant from the
island of Salamis.
Proceeding south was another Arsinoe, with a
port; next came Leucolia, near Cape Pedalium, a
lofty table-land, called the table of Venus; west of
Pedalium was Citium (the ancient Chittim), with a
harbor that could be closed. Citium was a large
town, and the birthplace of Zeno the Stoic (301 B.C.)
From Citium to Bertytus (Bairout) in Syria, the distance
was about 130 miles. West of Citium was
Amathus, and inland was Paloea Limisso. Sailing

round by Cape Curias to the west, was the town of
Curium, with a port built by the Argivi. Here the
coast turns to the north-west, looking toward
Rhodes, and on it were the towns of Ireta, Boosura,
and Old Paphos; then Cape Zephrium; and next to
it another Arsinoe, with a port and temple, sacred
grove, and New Paphos, built by Agapenor, five
miles by land from Old Paphos.
Most of the above towns, and others which Strabo
has omitted, have long since disappeared.
The present capital is Nikosia, the residence of
the late Turkish governor. It lies near the centre
of the island, close to the site of the ancient Letra,
or Leucotra, on a plain surrounded with mountains.
The streets are narrow and dirty, and many of the
grand old mansions falling into decay. It is a truly
Oriental city, and is very prettily situated; the air
is balmy, dry, and redolent of the odor of laurel and
myrtle. Every court-yard has its apple and peartree,
and in between these masses of rosemary, peeping
from beneath the flourishing fig. Its population
does not exceed 16,000.
Lafkosia was the residence of the king of the Lusignan
dynasty, and was then much larger than it is
at present, the Venetians having destroyed part of
it in order to strengthen the remainder.
The church of St. Sophia, a fine Gothic building
is converted into a mosque; the monuments it contains
of the Lusignans are sadly mutilated. There

is also a fine bazar, a khan, or inclosed court, surrounded
by apartments for travelers, and the palace
of the governor, on the portal of which is still
seen the Venétian lion in stone; there are also several
other churches and mosques. The bastioned walls,
erected by the Venetians, are still standing.
The Greek Archbishop of Nikosia is metropolitan
of the whole island. Cesnola informs us that, after
sundown, no person is allwed to leave or enter the
town without special permission from the governor-general.
When such a case occurs, the soldiers are
put under arms, and the drawbridge is lowered
with as much ceremony as if we were still in mediaeval
times. The seraglio, where the late Turkish
governor resided, is described by the same authority,
as a large quadrangular building, two stories high,
and in sad want of repair; it has a large court-yard,
inclosed by walls twenty-five feet high.
The principal manufactures of the town are carpets,
cotton prints, and morocco leather. The workmen
of Nikosia prints, that they have a particular
manner of dressing the leather, which they keep a
profound secret; anyhow, the leather is said to be
better dressed, more brilliant in color, and more
durable than that which is made in Turkey. There
is also a little trade in raw cotton and wine.
Larnaka, or Larnika, on the site of old Citium,
near the south coast, is the most thriving, bustling
place in the island, being the residence of the European

consuls and factors, and the chief seat of trade.
The port of Larnaka is at Salines, about a mile and
a half distant; a Greek bishop resides there, and
there are also some Latin churches in the town.
The houses are chiefly built of clay, and only one
story high, on account of the earthquakes, to which
the island is subject. The interiors of the houses
are comfortable; the apartments are paved with
white marble, and almost every house has a garden.
This is the chief sea-port in the island, and has a
fair anchorage for vessels in the roadstead. Near
Larnaka is the well-known inland lake whence, in
ancient days, the Phoenicians obtained the best salt.
During the rainy season this is swollen with water;
in May and June it gradually evaporates, and under
the fiery sun and burning heat of July and August,
the water almost boils off, and leaves behind a thick
cake of nearly pure salt. This once yielded a yearly
income of three hundred thousand ducats. This
town is connected by telegraph with Latakia, on the
Syrian coast, the wires passing through Nikosia.
Famagusta, on the south-east coast, a few miles
south of old Salamis, and not far from the ancient
Tamassus, occupies the site of Ammochostos, one of
the ten royal cities which paid tribute to Esarhaddon,
and possesses the only harbor between Salamis
and Leuculla, and was probably the city called Arsinoe
under the Ptolemies.
“The city of Famagusta,” says Cesnola, “built by

the Christians eight hundred years ago, from the
ruins of Salamis, and destroyed by the Turks in
1571, after the terrible siege in which the Venetian
soldiers so heroically defended their position, once
counted its beautiful churches by hundreds and
its palatial residences by thousands. Once it had
been one of the principal commercial cities of the
Levant, with a harbor in which rode large fleets,
but which now, through neglect, has become filled
with sand, and is able only to float ships of light
draught. It was just outside the mouth of this
closed harbor, that the vessels containing the Venetian
families and their most precious personal
and household effects were sunk by the faithless
Mustapha Pacha, after he had killed the Venetian
“As you approach the massive walls of the city,
which are nearly seventeen feet thick, and of solid
stone, all taken from the ruins of Salamis, you see
how impossible it was to take such a city except
by famine or treachery. The walls stand now as
impregnable and intact as when raised by the
“The old bronze guns of the Republic of Venice
are still on the bastions, in their original places, looking
formidably toward the sea and the plain of
Salamis, but spiked and out of service since 1571.
There are a half dozen rusty iron guns of Turkish
manufacture, pretty much in the same condition.”


“The ruins of Famagusta are not grand and imposing,
yet they are most beautiful and touching.
It is impossible to see the still existing walls of
many of its fine mediaeval churches, with frescoes
plainly visible in the interiors—here a rectory, there
evidences of elegant homes—without a feeling of intense
sadness. Only two out of the three hundred
churches, which are said to have existed in Famagusta,
were left standing. The principal one, formerly
the cathedral and now used as a mosque, is
paved with mortuary marble slabs engraved with
the names and arms of Italian noblemen, once buried
beneath them, whose bones were exhumed and
thrown into the sea by order of the fanatical and
ferocious Mustapha Pacha, the day after he captured
the city. The other church, used as a granary and
a stable by the Turks, contains also a few tombstones,
now all worn out by the horses' hoofs.
There I discovered an inscription recording the day
on which, by the addication of Katharine Cornaro,
the Venetians became the rulers of Cyprus.”
“Within the city walls resides the caimakan*
* Governor.
the province of Carpass, with the Cadi of
and the usual mejilis. There is also a military
governor of the fortress, and a company of artillery.
This governor resides with his troops in a
small fort overlooking the sea, and flanked by a

large round tower called by the natives ‘Torre del
Moro’ (Tower of the Moor). Tradition asserts that
in this tower were the headquarters of the Venetian
Lord Lieutenant of Cyprus, Cristoforo Moro, during
the years 1506 to 1508. In the latter year, on the 22d
of October, Cristoforo Moro was recalled from Cyprus,
and returned to Venice; and from documents
which I have been allowed to peruse, it would appear
that this man was married four times, and that
his private life was not very exemplary. This Cristoforo
Moro was the ‘Othello’ of Shakespeare.”
“The fortress of Famagusta contained some one
the worst criminals of the Turkish Empire. Many
of them are condemned for life, others are sentenced
to from fifteen to twenty-five years' imprisonment,
and all are heavily shackled.”
The harbor of Famagusta would be excellent, if
it were cleared of the filth with which it is blocked
up; but at present it can only accommodate a few
small vessels.
Limasol, on the south coast, is the most European
town in the island, and has a good harbor; but the
old parts of the town are a heap of ruins. It is still
of considerable importance, and is the chief place of
export for the wines of the country, which are much
in demand in the Levant. The surrounding country
is rich in fruit trees, of which the carob-tree is
the most conspicuous.
Near the town formerly stood the Commandery

of the Knights Templars (Commandery of Kolossi),
extending from Mount Olympus to Baffo and Limasol.
Baffo, or New Paphos, was under the Romans
the principal town in the western part of the island,
and is famous in ancient poetry as the favorite residence
of Aphrodite or Venus, and here was her
most celebrated temple.
During the reign of the Emperor Augustus, this
town was destroyed by an earthquake, and was
afterwards rebuilt.
Here St. Paul converted Sergius Paulas, the
Roman deputy-governor, beside many others, preaching
in the Jewish synagogues, of which there were
Here Elymas, the sorcerer, was struck blind for
endeavoring to frustrate St. Paul's attempts to
Christianize the people.
The Church of St. Paul is the only Venetian
building now standing. Baffo has a small but unsafe
port, and is the See of a Greek bishop. Kerinia,
Cerini, or Ghirneh, on the north coast, has a
harbor, from which a limited trade is carried on
with the opposite coast of Karamania. Its ruins
would seem to indicate that it was formerly a fine
town. It is fortified, and the second stronghold of
the island, and like Lapethus (the original capital
of the district of Kerinia), is traced to the Dorian
colonists, under Praxander and Cepheus. This

formed one of the royal cities of the island. “I
passed near the town,” says Cesnola, “several times
during my northern excursions, but never had the
curiosity to enter it. The village itself, with the
exception of the citadel, is a small dirty place, almost
exclusively inhabited by Mussulmans, who,
with the garrison, enjoy a very bad reputation—
second only to that of their co-religionists at New
Paphos. The ancient site of Kerinia is a little to
the west of the present town, and more inland. For
a considerable distance along the western shore,
there are to be seen here and there caverns excavated
in the rock; some, though not all, seem to
have been tombs. South-east of the town, about
an hour's ride from it, and midway up the mountains,
stands an imposing mediaeval ruin called
‘Lapais.’ It was an abbey, built by King Hugo the
Third, and belonged to the Latin Church, but was
destroyed by the Turks when they captured the
fortress of Kerinia. It is a fact worth noticing,
that all the churches belonging to the Latins were
destroyed by the Turks when they took possession
of the island. In this I have no doubt they were
gladly assisted, or at least encouraged, by the Greeks,
who detested the Franks even more than the Turks.
This abbey occupied one of the most picturesque
and lovely spots of the whole island; a large hall is
still standing, one hundred feet long, thirty-two
feet wide, and about forty feet high, which was

probably the refectory of the French abbots; beneath
it is another apartment of like dimensions,
divided into two chambers, the vault of which is
supported by massive columns.”
“In the court-yard, piled the one upon the other,
are two large marble sarcophagi of late Roman
work, one of which has garlands of flowers, nude
figures, and large bulls' heads in bold relief. Both
bear evidence of having been used for a long time
as troughs. Upon the lintel, over the door of the
great hall, are engraved three shields; one represents
the Jerusalem cross, another the royal arms of
the Lusignans, and the third a lion rampant. The
Gothic chapel of the abbey has been partly repaired
with sun-dried bricks and plaster, and is now used
by the Greeks, living in the neighborhood, as their
place of worship; portions of the court-yard serve
as their cemetery. On two high peaks in this range
of mountains stood two feudal or royal castles, one
called St. Hilarion, and the other Buffavento, which
served as state prisons and places of refuge to
some of the Latin kings of Cyprus. They were
both dismantled by order of the Venetian Admiral


The climate is generally healthy, excepting on
some parts of the coast, but this is entirely due to
the neglected state of the country; if the much

needed drainage was properly carried out, the most
satisfactory result would ensue. As in most Eastern
countries, the rain falls at stated periods, commencing
about the middle of October and continuing
until the end of April. After June slight showers
fall from time to time, but have little power to
modify the heat, which is, however, tempered occasionally
by a cool wind. In September the great
heat sets in, but does not continue for any length
of time. At Larnaka, the mean temperature in
February is about 52 deg., and in August 81 deg.
The winters are milder, and the summer cooler than
on the coast of Syria opposite.
The average rainfall is about fourteen inches in
the year. Of late years, droughts have been of frequent
occurrence, owing, no doubt, to the destructio
of the woods and forests.
The south coast is liable to hot winds from the
north-east, from the desert of Arabia in the south-east,
and in the South and south-west from Egypt
and Lybia.
Speaking of one of these winds, Dr. Clarke says,
“We found it so scorching that the skin instantly
peeled from our lips; a tendency to sneeze was excited,
accompanied by great pains in the eyes, and
chapping of the hands and face. The mercury, exposed
to its full current, rose 6 deg. Fahrenheit in
two minutes—from 80 deg. to 86 deg.”
Dr. Unger says, that it is so hot in summer as to

make occupation irksome, and so cold in winter that
the absence of spring and autumn makes the transition,
from one extreme to the other, very sudden.
The climate is, of course, cooler in the more mountainous
portion of the west, than in the flat eastern
side, where the temperature in the height of summer
amounts to 90 deg. in the shade; during the winter,
in the lower parts of the land, it seldom falls to
freezing point. During October, November, and
December the rain falls, and entirely ceases during
the summer, when there is generally a blue sky over
the island. The drier the summer, the damper the
winter; and sometimes it then rains for forty days
together. At such periods the thirsty land recovers
itself. On the other hand, there are winters when
no rain falls, and drought is severely felt during
the summer. In the time of Constantine, we are told
that no rain fell on the island for thirty-six years.
By the middle of May the harvest is over, and
wherever the eye rests the grass is withered and
parched. The temperature has now reached 80 deg.
in the shade, and sometimes in the middle of the
day is even higher; the atmosphere grows thick, and
a veil seems to fall over all surrounding objects; all
rivers are dry; the dew ceases in June or July, and
the hot winds make the air more oppressive; finally
come hosts of annoying insects, from which one may
seek in vain to escape. At this season, all work
is done in the evening and at night.


The number of inhabitants is very uncertain. It
is variously estimated between 100,000 and 250,000
souls, of whom 40,000 to 60,000 are Mohammedans,
including the Linopambagi, or “men of linen
and cotton,” as they are called in derision, who
outwardly conforming to the tenets of Mohammed,
are in reality Christians. The majority of the
people belong to the Greek Church, and the remainder
are either Armenians or Maronites, whose
peculiar religion we will endeavor to describe.
These number about 2,800.
The Maronites are a tribe of people inhabiting
the western declivity of Mount Lebanon, and figure
in history as a sect of Christians. By adopting the
Monothelitic doctrine soon after it had been condemned,
in A. D. 680, by the Council of Constantinople,
they came to be distinguished as a distinct
religious party, and having as their first bishop a
certain monk, John Maro, they were called Maronites.
Maro assumed the title of “Patriarch of
Antioch,” and asserted the ecclesiastical independence
of the tribe.
This sect defended their freedom first against the
Greeks, and afterwards against the Saracens. At
length, in 1182, they renounced the opinions of the
Monothelites, and were re-admitted within the pale
of the Romish Church; the terms of reconciliation

being that the religious tenets, moral precepts, and
ancient rites of the country should remain unaltered.
The Maronites adopted no Popish opinion, except
the supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. By this
slight tie they still continue united to the Church
of Rome. In return for their imperfect allegiance,
the Pope is obliged to defray the expenses of their
public worship, and to maintain a college at Rome
for the education of their priests. He has the power
of sanctioning the appointment of their patriarch,
after he has been selected by their bishops. This
dignitary has his headquarters in the monastery of
Lebanon, and holds the title of Patriarch of Antioch,
and by adopting the name of Peter, claims to
be the successor of that apostle. Like the bishops
who compose his synod, he is bound to remain in
perpetual celibacy, a law, however, which the rest
of the clergy do not observe. The Maronite monks
are of the order of St. Anthony, and live in monasteries
scattered among the mountain solitudes.
Slavery exists, but owing to the increasing poverty
of the Turks, the number of slaves is very
much diminished.

Character of the Inhabitants.

Herr von Löher describes the bulk of the population
as devoid of all energy, of sluggish temperament,
and obstinately addicted to ancient customs.

They are powerful, hospitable, and exceedingly
amiable in their domestic relations. The women
are very good housewives and very active. The
girls are full of life, especially on festive occasions,
are fond of gaudy colors, and dress very fantastically.
Elementary schools are established in all the
larger villages, and others of superior class in the
three principal towns of the island. The Greek
bishops and many of the popes have been educated
in these latter, or at Athens, and are generally men
of culture; but most of the village priests and
monks are as ignorant as the peasants amongst
whom their lives are passed.
Greek is the language used throughout Cyprus,
and has even found its way into many of the Turkish


The cultivation of the country appears to be in
a very primitive condition, and owing to the lightness
and fertility of the soil but slight labor is required
in producing the necessary crops. The cultivable
surface of the island is estimated at 2,500,000
acres, of which not more than 130,000 acres are
under tillage. The annual average yield of corn is
said not to exceed 120,000 quarters, and we are told
that the disposal of the whole has been a monopoly
between the Turkish mulasallin and the Greek archbishop,

who either export or retail it at an arbitrary
price. The vegetation resembles that of the other
islands of the Mediterranean. There is no meadow
land, but a great deal of waste, which is either quite
bare, or only covered with heather and aromatic

Natural Productions.

The principal productions are cotton, hemp, silk,
corn, opium, tobacco, turpentine, liquorice, madder,
several dye-woods, gum tragacanth, and colocynth,
fruits of all kinds, in particular grapes, oranges, lemons,
pomegranates, olives, walnuts, figs, mulberries,
apricots, etc.; the carob-tree (Ceratonia siliqua)
abounds in some districts. There were once extensive
plantations of sugar-cane. Large quantities of
fine vegetables are grown. Cyprus was celebrated
for roses; hyacinths, anemones, ranunculuses, narcissus,
poppies, etc., grow wild. Trees and shrubs
of all kinds grow luxuriantly, including pines, firs,
cypresses, ashes, oaks, beeches, elms, myrtles, evergreens,
oleanders, etc.
One of the most important plants of the island is
the Ferula Graeca, of the stalks of which the Cypriotes
form a great part of their household furniture,
and the pith is used instead of tinder for conveying
fire from one place to another.


Wines of three kinds are made, namely, Commanderia,
Muscadine, and Mavro. Cotton, silk, and
woolen goods of various qualities are manufactured
on a small scale. Olive oil, pitch, resin, cheese,
raisins, and pottery (for home consumption) are
also made. Nikosia is noted for its morocco leather.
The peasantry distill rose, orange, and lavender waters,
myrtle and ladanum oil.

Minerals and Precious Stones.

Cyprus is rich in metals and minerals, including
copper, silver, malachite, lead, and quicksilver.
There are also quarries of asbestos, talc, sulphur,
red jasper, agate, rock crystal, and marble. Soda
is also found. The sald works, near Larnaka, produce
a revenue of 20,000l. per annum. Gold is
occasionally met with in the streams. Diamonds,
emeralds, opals, amethysts, and other precious stones
are sometimes found.

Natural History.

The principal animals in the island are oxen, sheep,
and goats, which thrive well and are abundant. The
most common of the wild animals are the fox, hare,
and wild-cat. The hare feeds on fragrant herbs,
which impart a most agreeable flavor to its flesh.
All the birds that winter in Africa are to be found

in Cyprus. Beccaficos and ortolans are very common
and remarkably plump. Water-fowl are very
numerous; game, such as partridges, quails, woodcock,
and snipe, very plentiful.
Serpents of various species are commonly met
with; these are stated to be, we believe erroneously,
Dr. Clarke states that tarantulas, having black
bodies covered with hair, and bright yellow eyes, are
not uncommon. A large venomous spider is sometimes
seen, called by Sonnini, the Galcode of the
Levant; its body, which is about an inch long, is a
bright yellow, and covered with long hairs; this
creature runs with extraordinary swiftness; its bite
rarely produces death, but causes acute pain. The
extent to which Cyprus was formerly devastated by
locusts has been spoken of in another chapter. Bees
are kept in great numbers in many parts of the
island. Of these Dr. Clarke gives the following interesting
Speaking of the village of Attién, he says: “In
these little cottages we found very large establishments
for bees, but all the honey thus made is demanded
by the governor; so that an apiary is only
considered as the cause of an additional tax. The
manner, however, in which the honey is collected is
curious, and worthy of imitation, and it merits a
particular descrition: the contrivance is simple, and
was doubtless suggested by the more ancient custom

still existing in the Crimea, of harboring bees
in cylindrical hives made from the bark of trees.
They build up a wall formed entirely of earthen
cylinders, each about three feet in length, placed
one above the other horizontally, and closed at their
extremities with mortar. This wall is then covered
with a shed, and upwards of one hundred hives may
thus be maintained within a very small compass.”


Herr Löher found it difficult to obtain trustworthy
information respecting the revenue of the
island. The best estimate obtainable calculated it
at about sixteen and a half millions of piastres.
Half a million of this, being derived from a consideration
paid by Christians for exemption from
military service, would have to be immediately surrendered
by a Christian Government. Three, at
least, of the remaining imposts, yielding an estimated
return of two millions of piastres, are so
execrable in principle that they ought to be abandoned
with the least possible delay. These are the
capitation tax on sheep, and the export duties on
wine and silk. It is satisfactory to learn, on the
other hand, that the annual cost of administration is
not supposed to exceed at present from two to three
millions of piastres, the balance of the revenue being
confiscated by certain high functionaries now

discharged; and that the apparent receipts do not
represent the amount actually collected from the
population, seeing that they have to pay half as
much again in bribes. These abuses will henceforth
cease; the customs revenue will be largely augmented
by importations on account of the occupying
force, and from the stimulus given to commerce
in general; and it may even be possible, by prudent
diplomacy, to make the vacouf, or Mohammedan
ecclesiastical property, contribute its fair share
toward the expenses of the State.

Sketch of General History.

According to Josephus, Cyprus was first colonized
by Cittim, a grandson of Japhet, who settled
in the island, and founded Chittim, in emulation of
his brother Tarshish, who had built the town of
Tarsus, on the opposite coast of Cilicia. The Phoenicians,
it is supposed, invaded Cyprus at a very
early date, and retained possession of the whole, or
a portion of the island, until the reign of Solomon.
Greek colonists also settled on the coast. Herodotus
states that Amasis, King of Egypt, invaded Cyprus,
and took Citium (Herod., ii, 162). The
island then submitted to the Persians, and afterward
surrendered to Alexander the Great, on
whose death it fell, with Egypt, to the share of
Ptolemy Soter, “the son of Lagus.” Having overcome

Cyrene, which had revolted, Ptolemy (B.C.
313) crossed over to Cyprus to punish the kings of
the various little states upon that island for having
joined Antigonus, one of Alexander's generals.
Demetrius, son of Antigonus, conquered the fleet of
Ptolemy near the island of Cyprus, took 1,600 men
prisoners, and sunk 200 ships.
Now that the fate of empires was to be settled
by naval battles, the friendship of Cyprus became
very important to the neighboring states. The
large and safe harbors gave to this island a great
value in the naval warfare between Phoenicia and
Asia Minor. Alexander had given it as his opinion
that the command of the Mediterranean went with
the island of Cyprus, and called it the key to Egypt.
Under the Ptolemies, Cyprus continued sometimes
united to Egypt, and sometimes governed by a separate
prince of that dynasty. The last of these
princes, brother to Ptolemy Auletes, King of Egypt,
incurred the enmity of P. Clodius Pulcher, a Roman
of illustrious family, who being taken prisoner by
Cilician pirates, sent to the King of Cyprus for
money to pay his ransom; the king sent an insufficient
sum, and Clodius having recovered his liberty
obtained a decree, as soon as he became tribune,
for making Cyprus a Roman province. Marcus
Cato, against whom he had a bitter enmity, was
sent to take possession of the new territory, and
achieved this difficult undertaking with unexpected

success. The king, in despair at the attempt upon
his kingdom, committed suicide. Cato at once
seized upon the treasury, and sent a large booty
home. Cyprus thus became a Roman province,
and on the division of that empire was allotted to
the Byzantines, and long formed one of the brightest
jewels of the imperial crown. At length, after
many successive changes, it again became a separate
principality, under a branch of the house of Comnena,
from which it was finally wrested by the adventurous
hand of Richard Coeur de Lion, who
sold it to the Knights Templars. The new government
proved so oppressive that the people were
driven to open revolt, and Richard, having resumed
the sovereignty, placed the crown, in 1192, upon
the head of Guy de Lusignan, ex-king of Jerusalem.
John the Third, of Lusignan, died in 1458, leaving
the kingdom to Charlotte, his only legitimate
child, who married her cousin Louis, Count of Geneva,
second son of the Duke of Savoy and of Anna
of Cyprus. She was solemnly crowned at Nikosia
in 1460, but was soon afterward expelled by her
natural brother James, assisted by the Mamelukes
of Egypt. James married Katharine Carnaro, the
daughter of a Venetian merchant, who brought him
a dowry of 100,000 golden ducats. On this occasion
the Venetian Senate adopted Katharine Carnaro
as daughter of St. Mark, and the marriage was

celebrated in 1471. In 1473 James died, and his
wife, soon after, was delivered of a son, of whom
the Republic of Venice assumed the guardianship,
and the Venetian troops were sent to garrison the
towns of the island. The child dying whilst an infant,
the Senate persuaded Katharine, in 1489, to
abdicate the sovereignty in favor of the Republic,
and to retire to Asolo, near Treviso, where she
passed the rest of her days in a princely style on a
liberal pension. Meantime, Charlotte Lusignan had
retired to Rome, where she died in 1486, bequeathing
her claims to Charles, Duke of Savoy, in consequence
of which the sovereigns of that dynasty assume
to this day the title of “Kings of Jerusalem
and Cyprus.”
The Venetians kept possession of Cyprus till
1470, when Selim the Second sent a powerful force
to invade the island. The Turks took Nikosia by
storm, and massacred about 20,000 people. From
that time until now the Turks have remained in
possession of Cyprus.







Date: (unknown) (Electronic edition revised February 2006) . Author: Löher, Franz von, 1818-1892. (Electronic edition revised LMS).
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