Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
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page 45

On the evening of that day, I took one of the supposed tubes of lead, in order to make it a temporary receptacle of some small relics of gold which had been discovered at that time. On trying with my knife to remove from the surface of the metal its earthen incrustations, I found that it was

1 See Plate VI, fig. 13.

not a pipe at all, but a rolled sheet, resembling a scroll of paper. I called for a smaller piece of the metal, which might be more easily opened than the somewhat bulky one to which I had originally had access. This not being procurable at the moment, and night approaching, I determined to defer further inquiries, and, meanwhile, I put the metal in one of my pockets, and left it there till the next morning. When this time arrived, I returned to my task with the roll. The warm temperature had rendered the metal more pliable than it had been during the many ages it had lain in the earth of the cemetery. It was thus less difficult to open the roll than had been the case the night before. Accordingly, I succeeded in raising the edge of the sheet of metal from the body of the scroll, and, however brittle time had caused it to become, it soon became apparent that, with extreme care, and cautious handling of the scroll, for such it already proved to be, it might be opened, and thus made to give up the records it contained. At any rate, it might be made to give some account of itself. Profiting by the hint of the softening of the metal under the influence of warmth, I exposed it gently to the heat of fire, and, after about two hours of careful manipulation, succeeded in unrolling the object. The reader may conceive how greatly I rejoiced when, on carefully examining the inner surface of the unrolled plate, I found that it bore a long inscription in Cypriote characters. Since that day, I took great care to collect and secure all the lead which came in my way, because it was easy to see that this common but, if kept dry, almost imperishable metal might add to our knowledge that which would be more precious than gold or silver, unless, indeed, these nobler metals preserved forms of priceless antique art. It was by means of this fortunate sequence of accidents, and the inquiries they have suggested, that—being specially indebted to the courtesy and learning of Professor Sayce of Oxford for the translation he has generously given me—I am able to put before the reader the following details of this ancient Salaminian relic:—

The English equivalent is as follows:—"Theanor, the son of Theokles, has determined me in each point: he shall atone for this pollution of sacrilege by giving in full one half of that which (i.e., in return for that which) Pusiptolos charges against the man." " The forms of many of the characters," writes the Professor,

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