Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access

page 56

appear to indicate a necklace. The right hand is laid upon the breast, the left hand hangs down at the side, coming through a hole of the drapery. The feet are formal, and placed upon a narrow plinth or pedestal. The inscription, which is vertical, after the style of the Egyptian sepulchral figures, or shabti, commences at the breast, and is continued down the front of the figure to the hem of the robe. The characters, which are in some cases very indistinct, seem to represent the following values:—. me . se . te . se . ta . ka . se . mo . te . si . i . mo . Professor Sayce and Dr. Birch consider the Greek equivalent to be : Μοισίδημος κατάστησε με—"Moisidemos set me up." Moisidemos, apparently a Cypriote form of the Greek name, Musidemos, or Mousidemos, probably dedicated this as an iconic offering or votive memorial to one of the deities of Cypriote cult, in remembrance of a female relative. This figure was found by an ignorant stonecutter, who had goneto search for materials. He damaged the statuette, in order to get possession of a small quantity of gold leaf which covered the inscription. I happened to be passing while he was engaged at his work of desecration, and secured the relic for the collection. A convex piece of calcareous stone exhumed at Soli (fig. 102), measuring five inches by three inches and a-half, evidently the middle part of a statuette of the same conventional form as the previous figure, with the right hand pendent, contains five lines of Cypriote inscription, of which the first line and the last alone are legible, about three intermediary lines apparently having been erased. Professor Sayce, to whose kindness I am deeply indebted for much help throughout this work, transliterates this inscription thus :—

Unfortunately, the mutilated condition of the stone militates against a satisfactory interpretation of the imperfect record which it contained. There are in this subdivision of the Lawrence-Cesnola collection several stone statuettes of a class which is not unfre-quently found, bearing inscriptions in the Cypriote character; but they are not easy of interpretation in the present unsettled state of our knowledge of that language. Besides the perfect statuettes, I found a very large quantity of the heads of similar objects, most of which are Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman, in their characters and origin. The accompanying illustration (fig. 103 a) shews a stone head from Salamis in the Lawrence-Cesnola collection, which may be profitably compared with some similar specimens in the British Museum. In this example the treatment is apparently Phœnician, with Assyrian influence. It is thehead of a statuette representing a player on the double pipe, which was secured in its proper position at the mouth of the player by a broad fillet or strap (the φορβειά, or φόρβιον), passing over the cheeks and fastened at the back of the head. As a curious survival of ancient forms, this broken head of a musician represents the practice of a kind of music even yetin vogue among the swains of the Mediterranean islands. In a communication inserted in the Standard (February 7, 1882), Mr. H. John states:—"I have frequently seen the player of the tibia contriving to play upon two pipes at once in Sicily. In that island, the pastoral life of ancient Europe is mirrored, or, at least, represented with little change. I once lived in a farmhouse in the province of Messina, and I remember how much I was struck with the skill of one of the farmer's sons in constructing and playing on the double flute. The two members of the instrument were fashioned out of the local reed with his pruning-knife. One was designed for the sharp notes, the other for the droning accompaniment. He inserted the two mouthpieces between his lips, close together, the ends spreading out in the manner that is familiar to every one in classical paintings. The music was rude, and, perhaps, to ears that have


Back to Topic
Our banners   Bibliography   Global Folio
All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated.
If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate Cyprus Explorer as a source and place link to us.
Created at June 2008