HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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
 
  Previous Next  

CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 98

View PDF version of this page

themselves masters of Nieosia, where were collected the riches of the kingdom. Its conquest wonld ensure them the possession of the island, of which Nicosia, from its position, dignity and wealth, might be called the heart. Famagosta had been held by the Genoese for a space of ninety years without disturbing the Lusignan kings in their safe and peaceable possession of the rest of the kingdom. Supposing the Christian forces to arrive, the place could easily be recovered, for it was weak and situated in a corner of the kingdom. The honour and interest of the Empire counselled the removal of the greater difficulties: nor could they doubt but that were Nicosia taken, the victorious ensigns of the Grand Signor would be planted on eveiy fortress in the island. The eamp was then moved towards Nicosia. The Turks found no opposition on the way : the inhabitants, through inconstancy of temperament, or because the yoke of slavery imposed on them by the Cypriot nobles made them flatter themselves that they might find better lnck under a new master, even offered them provisions, and gave them the fullest information as to the position of affairs and the condition of the island. The confusion of the commanders, and the alarm of the people of Nieosia at the appearance of the Turkish army was incredible : they were as unready as though the event were wholly unexpected. The city, throngh the negligence of its chiefs, was poorly provided with grain: the trenches were not thoroughly dug out; the inhabitants were not disciplined, for up to this time so confident had they been that they would not be attacked that they had quite lately disbanded the island troops called Cernia?, and left the town undefended. Niccolo Dandolo had the chief command, a man unfit for so important a post: but generals were few, and a certain reputation acquired at sea seemed to point him out as competent to aet under the direct orders of the Governor-General. Bnt this post was unfortunately vacant. Everything was in confusion, but what measures the lack of time and of experience allowed the commanders took. The Cemide, who had scarcely got back to their villages, were recalled, and a decree was published allowing everyone who brought food-stuff into the city to sell it on his own tenus. It was of little profit, for the peasants generally had beeome stupid and confused, and a veiy large quantity of grain, which might have been brought in for the use of the garrison, remained outside, at the disposal, and to the advantage of the Turks. Their daring increased accordingly. They pitched their camp, set up their pavilions, and put their guns in position, while not a single Cypriot sallied from the town to interrupt the work. The Ottoman main camp extended from Santa Marina to Anglagia, facing the space covered by four of the city's bastions, while large bodies of horse and foot were posted at various points to prevent ingress to and egress from the besieged fortress. Meanwhile soldiers and citizens were disposed within to the best possible advantage, and they began to discharge their cannon, of which there was abundance, and created some confusion in the Turkish eamp. After many objections on the part of the generals, a skinnishing party of a few Stradiots left the city. They dared not, on account of their scanty numbers, get beyond the protection of their guns : and even so Andrea Cortese, their captain, advanced too far, and was surrounded and killed. But the more the besieged kept on the defensive the more the courage of the Tnrks increased. They harassed the walls with cannon, drew trenches close to the ditch, and with a dense hail of musketry and arrows drove the defenders from their posts; and having with incredible speed run up some forts they fought even at a vantage, filling the city with terror and confusion. There were ten thousand infantry in Nicosia, all untried men collected from the villages of the island, and a reserve of fifteen hundred Italians. The number of pioneers was large, 92 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

View PDF version of this page


  Previous First Next  
 
 
 
 
 
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
              Яндекс.Метрика