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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 11

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and the rocky nature of the coast (with the exception of a few points such as Limasol, Morphu Bay, &c) , rendered the landing of a large force extremely difficult. A s a strategical point, there was no more formidable position than Cyprus ; it formed a common centre within immediate reach of Alexandria and all the coasts of Syria and Asia Minor. It was not only a military place d'armes, such as Malta and Gibraltar now are, dependent upon maritime superiority for the necessary provisions, but it was a country of large area, comprising about 3500 square miles, with a soil of unbounded fertility in a high state of cultivation, a population sufficiently numerous for all requirements of the island, and forests of timber that was in great request for the architect and ship-builder. In addition to these natural sources of wealth, the mineral productions were celebrated from the earliest history, and the copper of Cyprus was used by the Phoenicians in the manufacture of their celebrated bronze. The Chittim wood of Scripture, imported to Syria from Cyprus (the ancient Chittim), was probably a species of cypress at that time composing the forests which ornamented a considerable portion of the surface. There are two varieties of cypress in the island : that which would have been celebrated grows upon the high mountains, and attains a girth of from seven to nine feet, the wood being highly aromatic, emitting a perfume resembling a mixture of sandal-wood and cedar ; the other cypress is a dwarf variety that seldom

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