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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 53

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F. SURIANO. Fra Francesco Suriano, of a patrician family of Venice, left a work of which there exist two manuscripts in the Communal Library of Perugia (one of them in the autograph of the author, corrected and enlarged by him in 1514) and a single printed copy, preserved in the Civic Library of Lucca, published by F. Bindoni at Venice in 1526 under the title Trattato di Terra Santa. Soriano, born 1450, had made no less than sixteen journeys to the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean before, in 1475, he assumed the Franciscan habit. He visited Cyprus in August, 1484, on his way from Jaffa to Venice, and was still alive in 1520. He mentions in a note on p. 219 an earthquake which in 1480 nearly destroyed the royal city of Levcossia or Nicossia, " a town twice as large as Perugia,1' throwing to the ground a largo number of palaces, houses and churches, particularly the archiépiscopal church of S. Sophia. I translate from the Italian text edited by P. Girolamo Gohibovich, O.M., 8vo, Milan, 1900 (pp. 241—243). We left Jerusalem, or rather Zapho, on the tenth uf August, 1484, with the galley of Messer Augustin Contarmi», and sailing for six days together uver the open sea we arrived at the Salines uf Cyprus. To this place came S. Paul with Barnabas from Selentia. These Salines, as une reads in the chronicles of the island, were thus miraculously made. The whole plain was planted with vines, and as S. Lazarus passed by he asked from those who kept the vineyards a few grapes for the love of God, The alms was refused him, and he asked what there was iu a basket which hung near. They told him it was salt, bnt it was full uf gropes. Then he laid a curse on them and said, "May all these vineyards turn to salt." And so it lief ell, for from that hour the vines dried up, and every year the water (is turned to salt). These Salines aro almost miraculous because the rain that falls collects without any art of man in a space a mile in circuit (and from under the earth some veins of sea water burst up, and mix with the fresh water which congeals, and becomes most perfect salt, white as snow, hard as stone, four lingers thick, and sweet as violets. And such a quantity is formed that were it all collected it would furnish salt in abundance for the whole of Ttaly. To keep ever alive the memory uf the event a church was bnilt in honour of S. Lazarus, in which I celebrated in token of my devotion. Here we stayed two days, and left it sailing always close to the shore, and the following day reached Limissu, α city entirely destroyed and overthrown by ware and earthquakes. Leaving this we came to C. G ava ta, eighteen miles away: we call it the Cape of Cats. And here I saw a great and strange wonder. Of the miracle of the eats in Cypnus. I heard a marvellous tiling. From the said city uf Lyinîssu up tu this cape the soil produces so many snakes that men cannot till it, or walk without hurt thereon. And were it not for the remedy which God has set there, in a short time these wonld multiply so fast that the island wonld be depopulated. At this place there is a Greek monastery which rears an infinite number of cats, which wage nnceasing war with these snakes. It is wonderful to see them, for nearly all are maimed by the snakes: one has lost a nose, another an ear; the skin of one is torn, another is lame: one is blind of une eye, another of both. And it is a strange thing that at the hour for their food at the sound of a bull all those that are scattered in the fields collect in the said monastery. And when they have eaten enough, at the sound of the bell they all leave together and go to fight the snakes. On this account the monastery has large revenues. From this Cape Gavata we sailed np to Paphos, in which city S. Paul by his 4« EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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