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

SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
page 92

Fig. 196 represents a drinking vessel (of which the British Museum also possesses an example), moulded with an ornament, consisting of palm branches and chaplets for a victor's brow, appropriately enriched with a Greek inscription on a band in the centre of its height, which seems to point to the fact that the cup itself was a prize or a gift to one who had conquered in a public game or competitive contest. The inscription reads, in elegant Greek capital letters:—ΛΑΒΕ ΤΗΝ ΝΕΙΚΗΝ, i.e., "Take the Victory." Among other specimens of this moulded glass, I have found a deep cup, or drinking vessel (fig. 197), on which are embossed or moulded in relief the heads of Gorgons and the pelta, or shield, used by, and attributed to the Amazons, combined with floral and other ornaments. This vessel is of the late Greek or Roman period.* It is covered with a finely iridescent colour, which varies from gold and opal to blue and purple tints asthe light is allowed to fall upon it. One of the mostinteresting of the smaller objects of glass is that represented by fig. 198 (a, b), a flat piece of glass moulded with the full face of a goddess upon both sides. The expression, which is evidently the work of a good artist, appears to be that usually found upon portraits of Venus; and from the universal cultus of the Goddess of Love in the Island of Cyprus, it may be justly conjectured to be a representation of that divinity. A small object in blue moulded glass represents a seated female figure, with a high headdress and ample robe (fig. 199). It is difficult to decide to what divinity this talisman or toy is to be attributed. In addition to the vases and other objects of glass which I have already mentioned, I found a considerable number of coloured pendants for bracelets and necklaces, composed of quaintly curious heads of men (fig. 200), some of very archaic proportions (fig. 201), and others, perhaps, intended to represent tragic and comic masks (figs. 202, 203).One of these pendants is in form of a bull's head (fig. 204) of very fine workmanship and excellent proportion; another (fig. 205) is in form of a crescent, composed of two teeth or tusks of a wild animal, a favourite design for a necklace, as I have already pointed out in the description of the gold objects,1 and in the notice of the stone iconic bust of a lady of rank.2 The head of a pig, or boar, forms the subjectof another of these objects (fig. 206), and there are others in form of jugs (fig. 207) and vases (fig. 208). They are all of an early date, beautifully iridescent from their contact with terraqueous substances in their places of deposit.

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