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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 391

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may be considered as yet untrodden. A few inscribed marbles were removed from Baffa by Sir Sidney Smith. Of two that the Author examined, one was an epitwph, in Greek hexameter and pentameter lines; and the other commemorated public benefits conferred by one of the Ptolemies. But the Phoenician reliques upon the island are most likely to obtain notice, and these have been hitherto unregarded. The inhabitants of Larneca rarely dig near their town without discovering either the traces of ancient buildings, subterranean chambers, or sepulchres. Not long before our arrival, the English Consul, Signor Peristiani, a Venetian, dug np, in one place, above thirty idols belonging to the most ancient mythology of the heathen world. Their origin refers to a period long anterior to the conquest of Cyprus by the Ptolemies, and may relate to the earliest establishment of the Phoenician colonies. Some of these are of terra-cotta ; others of a coarse limestone; and some of soft crumbling marble. They were all sent to our Ambassador at Constantinople, who presented them to Mr Cripps. The principal figures seem to have been veiy ancient representations of the most popular Divinity of the island, the Pantamorpha Mater; more frequently represented as Ceres than as Venus (notwithstanding all that Poets have feigned of the Paphian Goddess), if we may safely trust to such documents as engraved gems, medals, marbles, and to these idols, the authentic records of the country. Upon almost all the intaglios found in Cyprus, even among the ruins of Paphos, the representations are either those of Ceres herself, or of symbols designating her various modifications. Of these, the Author collected many, which it would be tedious to enumerate. Among the gems found in Cyprus, we noticed iutagliated scarabei with similar symbols; and obtained one whereon Isis was exhibited holding a lion's cub, precisely according to the appearance presented by the statue discovered at Larnaca. Since these antiquities were found, the inhabitants have also dug np a number of stone coffins, of an oblong rectangular form. Each of these, with the exception of its cover, is of an entire mass of stone. One of them contained a small vase of terra-cotta, of the rudest workmanship, destitute of any glazing or varnish. Several intaglios were also discovered, and brought to us for sale. AVe found it more difficult to obtain antient gems in Larneca than in the interior of the island, owing to the exorbitant prices set npon them. At Nicotia, the goldsmiths part with such antiquities for a few paras. The people of Larneca are more accustomed to intercourse with strangers, and expect to make a harvest in their coming. Among the ring stones we left in that town, was a beautiful intaglio representing Cupid whipping a butterfly; a common method, among antient lapidaries, of typifying the power of love over the soul. Also an onyx, which there is every reason to believe one of the Ptolemies had used as a signet. It contained a very curious monogram, expressing all the letters of the word ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ, ' * » * The signet stones of Cyprns, although cut in a variety of substances, were more frequently of red carnelian than of any other mineral. Some of the most diminutive size were finely executed in red garnet, the carbuncle of the antients. Others were formed of plasma, onyx, bloodstone, topaz, jasper, and even of quartz. Of all these the most antient had the scarabean form. CHAPTER XI. It will now perhaps be interesting to ascertain from what Phoenician city the antiquities discovered at Larneca derive their origin; and if the Reader will give an Author credit for the difficulties he has encountered, in order to ascertain this point, he may perhaps spare himself some trouble, and render unnecessary any ostentations detail of the volumes it was CLARKE. 381

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