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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 302

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probably invited them to venture from their shore; and though the wost end was the most distant, their landing in that part might be owing to the accident of contrary winds. When they approached the coast, it is to be supposed, they crept along it until they found a place of safety for their vessel; and if they missed Limesol Bay, they conld find no other convenient shelter until they arrived at the place which I imagine to have been the ancient Paphos; and indeed to me it appears very improbable that Paphos should be built at either of the capes which E make Phrurium and Zephyria, and there is not another nntil we reach Drepanum. In Baffo or Paphos Nova, which is now a large, agreeable town, there are no remains of antiquity; but many ruins of christian houses are built upon by the Turks: the churches have been very numerous, not only here, but also through the whole island : insomuch, that though Τ intended te mark them singly on my chart, they swelled so fast that Τ was fain to drop my project, otherwise it would have been a map of churches. The port, or Paphos Antiqua, according to my conjecture, has been large, and contained many noble buildings, as appears by the ruins at this day, particularly by those of the churches Agioi Solomoni, and Chrisoupolitissa ; but they are so demolished that a drawing of them would yield no satisfaction. Great numbers of broken columns are scattered up and down; and of the temple of Venus, which stood on a high place, three subterranean vaults still remain : the traditional account of this temple, taken from an old manuscript, which they told me was stolen by a gentleman-traveller some years ago, imports that it was a palace built by one of the Queens, called Aphrodite, who being extremely beautiful and excessively lewd, allured all the young men to the court, and bestowed her favours upon all those who pleased her fancy. Her example was followed by all the women around; and this disposition soon spread over the whole island. After her death it was consecrated as a temple, and rites were performed to her as to a divinity, because nought but pleasure was known during her reign. Tt was thrown down by an earthquake, rebuilt about one thousand four hundred and ninety-five years before the birth of Christ, and finally destroyed by Saint Barnabas, in the fortieth year of the Christian aera. This account agrees tolerably well with the story of Venus; though it is not at all probable that the temple was demolished by the influence of Saint Barnabas, during whose life it was in very high repute, whereas the Christians, at that time, had very little power and authority: at any rate if it was actually thrown down, it must have been reared again by the votaries of the goddess, for it was an asylum in the reign of Tiberius, and Titus Vespasian consulted the oracle in this very place, upon his return from Corinth, after having heard of Galba's fate; and in consequence of the response repaired to his father in Syria ; so that its last destruction, in all probability, has been in the fourth century, when the general earthquake changed the course of many rivers, and, by swallowing up many others, occasioned an excessive drought. Tt was upon this occasion (say they) that Saint Helen restored water to the island, by virine of the wood of onr Saviour's Cross, which was in her possession. Having found this in the Holy Land, she gave one half of it to the priests of Jerusalem, and brought the other along with her, to sow as it were, its sanctity through the east and west. Accordingly an infinite number of miracles were performed by this hallowed timber; and had not she thrown one of the nails of it (which onr heralds call passion-nails) into the sea, when she was overtaken by a dreadful storm in Satalia Bay, her imperial majesty would undoubtedly have gone to view the wonders of the deep ; but the holy nail bore domi the waves, smoothed the surface of the sea, and procured her a safe landing. Though I do not find that either she or any of her beatified historians tell us whether or not the nail, after baring knocked down the tempest, was pleased to return to ite former station I can recollect nothing else to say about this Paphos, bnt that here 292 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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