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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 172

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1IÎ4 EXCERPTA CYPRIA. little breadth of beach between the skirts of the hills and the soa gives to an invader no free access into the heart of the island. The other range of mountains cresses the middle of the island from the ancient city of Solianeighteen miles from Cormachiti, to the mountain of the Cross which overlooks C. Mazoto, and follows the coast as far as Baffo, where it makes a bend and again follows the coast up to Solia. In the midst of these mountains is Olympus, of which the Greek name is Trohodos; it is very lofty, and full of trees of all kinds. Its circumference is fifty-four miles or eighteen leagues, and at eveiy league there is a monastery of Greek monks of S. Basil. In every one of these there are abundance of springs, and fruits of every description, so that the Cypriot nobles are wont to visit them in summer for recreation. Between these two ranges of mountains there is a plain seventy-eight miles long and thirty wide called Messaria, which stretches from C. della Grea to C. Cormachiti: it is fertile and prodnees much grain. In the middle of this is the royal city Nicosia, very pleasantly and beautifully situated. The island has no harbour but that of Famagosta, a city on the eastern shore of the plain, thirty-six miles from Nicosia, and thirty from C. della Grea. In ancient times there were many, but they were neglected and blocked up by silt. However, nearly all round the coast there are landing places, and at Saline, Limisso, Baffo, Crnsoco and Cerines are good roadsteads, where large vessels can anchor and lie; because on acconnt of the winds and the aspect they prefer larger room iu which to swing than they can find on the northern coast. It is said that the island was once the seat of nine kings, though some writers call them kinglets or great lords. It had many cities, of which four were built by Ptolemy Phila-delphus, and called Arsinoe, in honour of his sister. One of these is now the village Audimo, another Famagosta, the third the village Leuca, and the last Arzos. The city of old Paphos, built on the seashore looking south near C. Celidouio, was a royal residence, dedicated to the goddess Venus, with a lovely garden. Here the other goddesses, while Venus was away, caught Cupid (so the story runs), bound his eyes with a scarf, and set him on the top of a myrtle tree. Now the air is corrupted by exhalations from the marshes: such changes befall things, that the most charming spot in the island is now scarcely habitable ! New Paphos, built by Agapenor, the captain of the fleet of Agamemnon, king of My cenai, Avas one of the nine royal capitals, and is even yet standing, and ranks as a city. Here men and women sacrificed naked to Venus, but at the prayer of S. Barnabas the Apostle, a native of Cyprns, the temple fell, and the scandal ceased. Two leagues from this was Cythera, where Venus was brought up, and whence, according to Hesiod, both the goddess and the island took their names. It is now a village called Conuclia, one of the first in the island, for its rich crops of cotton and sugar, and its abundant water. Here are many ancient tombs, like underground chambers, in which have been found many wonderfnl things, as also at Baffo, Salamina and elsewhere. Curias, another royal capital, was near the soa-coast where now stands Piscopia, one of the chief villages of the island. It has more than a thonsand hearths, and is rich in running water, and gardens full of oranges, lemons and the like, which grow also at Baffo and Cythera. Curias, an ancient city, lay in the middle of C. delle Gatta, two leagues and a half from Piscopia : there is a lake to the north of it, full of salt water, with quantities of fish. C. delle Gatte is so named from the large number of cats, reared by the monks of S. Basil in the monastery of S. Nicolo or Acrotiri close by, to destroy the snakes which were very numerous. Large revenues were bequeathed to the convent for the tending of these cats. A math η κ, an ancient city, ime of the four dedicated to Venus, was rich in metals and mines. It lay on the seashore two leagues from new Limisso. It is now called old Limisso, and has a few Roman remains. A royal capital in the days of the nine kings,

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