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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 25

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and where he would, he could pledge it for three thousand florins. In this city in one shop is more aloe wood than five carts could carry away. I am silent touching drugs, for they are as common there as bread is here, and are sold as commonly. Bnt I Aire not speak of their precions stones and golden tissues and other riches, for it were a thing unheard of and incredible. In this city dwell very many wealthy courtesans, of whom some possess more than one hundred thonsand florins. I dare not speak of their riches. Concerning Constantia or Salamina. Near Famagusta is another city called Constantia or Salamina, set on the seashore, where was once a harbour, and a very noble, famous and wealthy city, as its ruins testify. Here Epiphanius, a man of marvellous holiness, was in wondrous wise elected bishop, and here he was buried. Here too S. Katharina was bom, and her chapel still is shown. In this city too S. Barnabas the apostle suffered martyrdom, and near it was burned and there buried. S. Epiphanius gave glory to this city and to all the land by his many miracles, but it is now in part destroyed. Concerning the city of Nycossia. There is another great city in Cyprus called Xycosia. It is the capital of the island, and lies under the mountains in a fine open plain with an excellent climate. In this city, by reason of its well-tempered air and healthfnlness, the king of Cyprus and all the bishops and prelates of bis realm, the princes and nobles and barons and knights, chiefly live, and daily engage in spear-play and tourneys, aud especially in hunting. There are in Cyprus wild rams which are not found in other parts of the world. But they are caught with leopards, in no other way can they be taken. And in Cyprus the princes, nobles, barons and knights are the richest in the world. For one who has a revenue of three thousand florins is no more accounted of there than if he had an income of three marks. Bnt they spend all on the chase. I knew a certain Count of Japhe [Hugues d'Ibelin, Comte de Jaffa et d'Ascalon] who had more than five hundred hounds, and every two dogs have their own servant to guard and bathe and anoint them, for so must dogs be tended there. A certain nobleman has ten or eleven falconers with special pay and allowances. I knew* several nobles and knights in Cyprus who could keep and feed two hundred armed men at a less cost than their huntsmen and falconers. For when they go to the chase they live sometimes for a whole month in their tente among the forests and mountains, straying from place to place, hunting with their dogs and hawks, and sleeping in their tents in the fields and woods, carrying all their food and necessaries on camels and beasts of burden. Yon must know that in Cyprus all the princes, nobles, barons and knights are the noblest, best and riebest in the world. They live there now with their children, but they used to live iu the land of Syria, and the noble city of Aeon, but when that land and city were lost they fled to Cyprus, and there have remained until the present day. Moreover there are very rich merchants, a thing not to be wondered at, for Cyprus is the furthest of Christian lands, so that all ships and all wares, be they what they may, and come they from what part of the sea they will, must needs come first to Cyprus, and in no wise can they pass it by, and pilgrims from every country journeying to the lands over sea must touch at Cyprus. And daily freni the rising of the sun to its going down are heard rumours and hews. And the tongues of every nation under heaven are heard and read and talked : and all are taught in special schools. There too in the highest mountains facing the sun is produced excellent wine. At first it is red, but let it stand in an earthen jar four, six or nine years it becomes white. Yi»t is it not thereby diminished but grows ever stronger, so that commonly men mix one part of wine with nine of water. And were a man to drink a whole cask he would not be drunken, but it would burn and destroy his bowels. Yet many hold it wholesome to drink this wine 2» EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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