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 417

View PDF version of this page

of Jupiter's second satellite gave the longitude 21i. 0. 9 E. of the Observatory of Paris: and. a lunar distance gave Ih. 59. 10. Hence the mean longitude is lh. 59. 04 in time, or 21° 58' 30" in degrees E. of Paris. The port of Baffa is half a league to the S. of Ktiina, and therefore in latitude 34° 46' 34" X., while its longitude is the same as that of Ktima -9' ÖS' 30" E. The next morning, Saturday, April 20, I received a visit from the venerable Alai" Bey, and left for old Paphos, which lies on the seashore about a nule away. As I approached the town I saw at first nothing but a few scattered rocks standing alone in the plain. My surprise was great when I came up to thein and examined them and found that each rock was dressed ou the inner side with great neatness, and they formed regular houses! and how was it not increased when I found underground the semblance of a town dug out of the rock ! The roofs of these snbterranean houses are vaulted and low; some have no arch at all. The walls are perpendicular, and carefully smoothed, and the angles neatly squared. Some of those buildings give the idea of a palace, with courts, galleries, columns, pilasters, and all possible lux my of architectural ornament, all hollowed and carved out of the live rock, with mouldings exquisitely finished, and a polish still perfectly preserved. One cannot look at the work without admiring the authors of so vast a plan, which dates, 1 think, long before the books and coins of the highest antiquity. The rock is a sandy limestone, of a yellowish white colour and fine grain : the strata slope slightly from the horizontal. In one of the buildings 1 noticed some broken columns, whose capitals remain attached to the architrave, because they are of one block with the cornice—a veiy unusual feature. One might indeed take these buildings to be catacombs, on account of their position, and the many narrow niches which seem to have been designed to receive coffins; the lack, however, of these niches in many of the rooms, and the communication existing in others between one niche and the next, as well as the style of the ornament used in them, make me think that they were designed for human habitation. The vast extent covered by the ruins leads one to believe that many interesting objects might be found in them, if anyone undertook a well-planned and continuous scheme of excavation, such as those of Herculaneum and Pompeii, whose antiquity is nothing in comparison with that of old Paphos. The tradition which marks this place and Yeroschipos as the abode of Venns is too well supported to be called into question now, while the vast grottos still risible quite agree with the current ideas on the mysterious initiations to the worship of that goddess. But that the goddess of Paphos is one with the goddess of Idalium and Cyrhera, and therefore with the queen of the palace whose ruins crown the highest peak of the mountains north of Nicosia— this I do not believe : for the architecture of the palace is of a style far later than that of the remains at Paphos. Admitting this, we can establish with fair probability that Cyprus had two Queens Aphrodite or two Yenuses, of whom the first reigned at Paphos, Yeroschipos and Couclia : and the second, in less remote times, lived in the palace on the mountains near Nicosia, and gave her laws to Cythera and Idalium. Poets confounded these two pra?-historic personages, and made of them one goddess or sovereign of Cythera, Idalium and Paphos. In each of these cities temples were dedicated to her, as to a single being. This at least is the result of iny observations. I leave it to the wisdom of my readers, who, although they may not agree with me, will, I hope, be able to say se non è vero, è hen trovato; for I love truth, and am always ready to sacrifice to her any system which does not rest upon mathematical demonstration or incontestable fact. Unfortunately, when we deal with things so remote one is somehow compelled to be content with probabilities or condemned to silence. AU BEY. 407

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