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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 364

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return to their birthplace : while the rapacious officials, conscious of the influence the prelates exercised with the Porte, would be afraid to vex the people as heretofore. A proof of some such intention on the part of the Porte is that it receives very graciously their art or petition about taxes, and all complaints they may make, if so be they be sent to it direct under their seals, the Archbishop's name being written in Turkish with red ink, (his seal alone is fouud imprinted in the imperial qayd or register in red ink, while all the seals which accompany it, including those of the Patriarchs, are impressed in black ink) and those of his three suffragans in black. So that we may conclude that the Ottoman Porte was certainly assured after the conquest, the fact being of conrse confirmed by the Patriarch, that the Archbishop of Cyprus enjoyed ah antiquo the privilege, given him by the sovereigns on account of the loyalty and devotion of himself and his flock, and which he bas preserved without a break up to the present day, to sign and seal with red ink : and this same vermilion seal is recognised by the Porte and by all its subjects. And I do not believe that any other red seal will be found in the registers. Thus encouraged the Archbishops of Cyprus often appeared boldly in person before the Grand Yazir, stating their complaints and asking for a diminution of the taxes paid by the rayah, and begging for help and suppuri in other necessities. Journeys of this kind on behalf of the commonwealth were made to Constantinople by Nicephoros, the two James, Germanos, Silvestros, by Philotheos twice, by Paisios and his suffragane, and only a few years ago, in 1783, by the present worthy Archbishop Chrysanthos, with Panaretos, Bishop of Paphos, Meletios of Cition, and Sophrenios of Kyrenia. And they were often listened to, and obtained assistance. But often too through the malevolence of the Cypriote, they suffered imprisonment and banishment in the cause of their country and their flocks. The lato Silvestros, abont the year 1730, in accordance with the general desire of the people, set forth to the capital to complain to the Vnzir of the insufferable burdens of the island, but things took an adverse turn, and the Porte banished him and Joannikios, Bishop of Cition, to Avret-Odnsi. Joakim, of Paphos, and Xicephoros, of Kyrenia, were, X know not how, released, and returned to Cyprus, where Joakim assumed the see of Cition, and Nicephores the Archbishopric, probably as a vicegerent only. But after some mouths the exiles were allowed to return : they resumed their sees, and the cloud was dispersed which was supposed to have disturbed the harmony between these good prelates at Constantinople. Silvestros was succeeded by that accomplished teacher Philotheos, of the village of Galnta, who had lived for some years at Constantinople and uumbered among his pupils the sons of many distinguished families. His great patron was Critias, to whose children he had been private tutor. A man whose practice was not behind his learning, an ardent supporter of education, who adorned the Archbishopric with schools for Greek and music, and for training teachers: α friend to the poor, no miser, of noble character, an ornament to the name and dignity of an Archbishop. He raised the church in dignity, and the priesthood in education, to a degree to which none of his predecessors had attained. His first care was to relieve Ins country from the intolerable burden of taxation, and to curb the insatiable rapacity of its governors. So he set forth for Constantinople and worked npon the Yazir, and persuaded him to have pity on the rayah, and to reduce the assessment of hharaj by a considerable sum. But alas! he was slandered to the Yazir by certain of his enemies, ill-conditioned Turks, and others who were Christians only in name—among these jealous creatures were Kyusse Mehmed Agho, Alay Bey of Paphos, a certain evil minded priest of Paphos, a Harcelles, a Modites, α man of Choirokoitia and others—and sent in chains to Cyprus, where he was imprisoned and accused of exacting from the rayah without authority three and five piastres 354 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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