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 205

View PDF version of this page

Those, speaking generally, look to the south and are on the sea-coast : a continuous mountain chain divides them from the districts on the north, Carpasia, Pentalea, Ceraunia, and Crusocu. One district called the Vicomte occupies the central plain between Ceraunia and Salines. The mountains aro of gentle slope, and not very high. The highest of all is Mount Olympus, now called by the Greeks Trohodos or Trochodos, four thousand feet in height and fifty-four thousand in circuit. It was once famous for a temple of Venns Acrœa, which (Strabo says) women might neither see nor approach. Some think that here too stood the city Olympia. The mountain is now dedicated to the Archangel Michael, and a chapel which bears his name stands on the summit. Greeks devoted to a monastic life began to settle upon it, and founded eighteen convents, so that in course of time vineyards, gardens and orchards sprung up, and this part of the island became noted for its pleasantness, beauty and excellent cultivation. For it is full of streams of purest water, and everywhere clothed with forest. Yet after a while, for nothing in nature is stable, the monks were driven from the place by the barbarians, desolation followed, and now it lies"mostly abandoned and waste. Beyond Trohodos stands a mountain of conspicuous height commonly called Holy Cross. On its summit was a temple of Jupiter, now it is dedicated to the Cross. "When S. Helena came to the island she left here a piece of the Crots, and built a fine church, and gave the mountain its name. It lies about twenty miles from Salines, the road is difficult and irksome by reason of the many hills. On the topmost peak is a small and much frequented chapel, for some believe that even now a fragment of the Cross is preserved there. The island has many promontories: those on the west, south and east we have already set down in their order, so it were superfluous to repeat their names here. On the north are Crommion or P. Crommiorum, now Cape CormachiL or Cornachietti, Callinusa, now Limnito, and Delenum. We mentioned two cities as surviving, one of them is on the coast, the other inland. That on the coast was the seat of a bishopric, and has a remarkable and most safe harbour. It is situated on the extreme eastern shore, near the ruins of ancient Salamis, and took its name from King Costus, father of S. Catharine, or from Augustus, in commemoration of his victory at Actinm over Antony and Cleopatra, thus, as some say, Fama Augusti, Famagosta, whereas it was formerly called after Arsinoe, whom many assert to be its foundress. It is fairly spacious and populous, nearly triangular in shape, and the only defence which Cyprus has. On the land side, fortifications of very great strength, built by the Venetians, make it most secure ; it is founded 011 the hardest rock, and safe against mines and such-like devices, yet through the carelessness and negligence of the barbarians the walls are now full of breaches, and like to fall. The second was once the seat of the kings of the house of Lnsignan, and called first Leticata from Leucas the son of the first Ptolemy, now Leucosia or Nicosia. It is in the very middle of the island, in an extensive plain called Messarea, seventy-eight miles long by thirty broad : the position is a very pleasant one, cultivated hills surround it, water is plentiful and the soil rich. The Cathedral Church, once dedicated to S. Sophia, is a fine building: near it is the palace of the Archbishop, where dwelt the Metropolitan and Primate of all Cyprus, who was also pontificial legate. Now the chureh is profaned by the Turks, turned into a mosque and devoted to the foni faith of Mohammadaus, which is followed throughout the island. The city is veiy large, round in shape, fortified with eleven bastions and surrounded with abroad ditch. In size and situation it is certainly the chief city of the island, bnt is full of ruins, squalid and defenceless, for the walls are breached or decayed, and could not withstand a regular attack or siege. The Pedeus, a river or torrent, flows by. Stone bridges COTOVIOUS.

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