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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 419

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ALI BEY, 409 Couclia is very good-looking, though too stout. Her two servants are equally pretty, hut all three luve the round Greek ligure. At Paphos, Ktinia und throughout the district the women are said to be beautiful. On the 28th, after α storm which lasted until mid-day, I left for Limassol by the road I had followed thence. I slept at Latauiskio where the kindly Turkish mountaineers were waiting for me with a delicious supper of cheese, cream and the like. The next day I reached Limassol. A few days later I went to see the ruins of Amathus, a league west of Limassol. Amathus was once an immense city, built on several hills close to tlie sea: it must have been of some strength too, judging by the heaps of ruin. But everything is broken up, and one finds little of any value. I noticed the remains of a temple of irregular architecture, built evidently at an epoch when art was already degenerate. On some arches oue sees some Christian paintings of good colouring, but wretched drawing. At the top of a hill are the fragments of a column, and at a little distance another singular monument—two vases carved or formed out of the rock, still upright and of colossal size. One is nearly destroyed, the other fairly well preserved. These two vases, of giant dimensions, and placed one beside the other, ought to be destined to one purpose. Tradition about them is obscure enough, but their situation on the top of a hill near the column, and the figure of a bull in relief, carved most delicately on the four sides of each, answering to the four cardinal points, lead me to presume that they were intended for libations or sacrifices to Adonis. There are many tombs hollowed out of the rock, and a large number of inscriptions graven on large boulders. There are catacombs too, or sepulchral grottos to the west outside the circuit of the walls of Amathus. Their entrance is blocked up, but one can just get in through a hole, creeping on one's belly for some fathoms, and lighted only by tlie torches one carries with one. A passage, a central and three other sepulchral chambers make up these catacombs. Thousands of bats, scared by the light of the torches, flittered round ns, and struck our faces with their wings. I was reminded of the famous adventure of Don Quixote iu the Grotto of Montesinos, and my fancy smiled for a moment in this melancholy den. Bnt the thick darkness which encompassed us iu spite of onr torches, the damp which reeked on every side, the sepulchral niches hollowed out of the rock which gaped around ns, the loathsome sight of the bats and their droppings which covered the ground for the depth of a foot and more, the silence of my guide, the only person who had entered with ine, soon made ine remember that 1 was in the home of the dead. As soon as 1 had finished my sketch 1 dragged myself out again, hurrying to enjoy the light of day. Such are tlie relics worthy of notice at Amathus. There are some blocks forming part of the city wall, but they are much dilapidated. The houses were constructed with rounded pebbles collected from the seashore. These were too hard and too smooth to adhere to the mortar, made perhaps of bad lime, so they have fallen out : tlie mortar has disappeared, and you can only make out the site of each house by the great piles of round clean pebbles. The river Amathus flows at some little distance on the west of the city. I fancy* it once ran through it, between the hills which were then within the circuit of the walls. The sea comes right up to the walls. A little village, which still bears the same name, lies half a mile away inland. A Turk and a Greek of this place were my guides over the ruins of the city. An examination of the antiquities of the island of Cyprus confirms me in the notion that at epochs very remote the one from the other there existed two sovereigns called Aphrodite or Venus, First, tlie primitive, prse-historic Venus, sovereign of the catacombs or underground

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