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 447

View PDF version of this page

to the Archbishop, who received us very hospitably : he is the primate of the island, and is so respected by the Greeks that he shares the supreme power with the Agha. His enemies in Constantinople having declared that his tyranny and rapacity rendered his name odious to the Cypriotes, the Porte has sent two Turks (whom we fonnd with hiin) to inquire into the affair: bnt he has escaped from the snare by procuring a declaration from the Greeks that they are content with him, and by giving presents (without which no declaration would avail him) to the messengers. He told me that he was entirely independent of all the four patriarchs, for the following cause:— In the time of the latter Byzantine Emperors of Constantinople the chnrch there having no authentic copy of the Gospel of S. JIatthew, issued orders for the seeking of one through-out the Empire. The priest uf a convent near Famagosto dreamed that if he dng under his chureh in a spot pointed out, he should find it. Next day he obeyed the injunctions of the Angel who had appeared to him in a vision, and found the tomb of S. Barnabas, with the Gospel of S. Matthew laid ou the bosom of the dead saint. The Archbishop wrote this to Constantinople, whence the royal galleys were immediately sent, on board of which he carried the treasure to the capital, and in return for his present he was made independent, and presented with a red vest, which he still has the prerogative of wearing, and allowed the privilege of writing with red ink, which he has ever since continued. He has a third privilege, that of bearing the arms of the Greek Church (very like the Russian Eagle) on his chair, like a Patriarch. After sitting and smoking half an hour with the Archbishop, we went to look at the church of S. Sophia, built by the Venetians, and now converted into a mosque, which stands about the centre of the city. It is bnilt in the Gothick style (corrupted by the same triangular ornaments as I observed in that of Famagosto) in an oblong form, with a pentagonal projection at the end opposite the entrance, and the Turks have broken the wall in three or four places, to make doors. The interior is laid out in three aisles, divided by clumsy whitewashed Corinthian columns. There is another insignificant Venetian church in the city, also converted into a mosque. It is astonishing how few Venetian remains there are iu Nicosia. A few foundations, ami half walls of palaces, over which the Turks have raised their wretched houses, are all entire. All the present houses are of mud, which (like those of Larnaea) require yearly reparation to keep out the rain. On the two belfries of S. Sophia the Turks have built two high and handsome minarets. We then walked round part of the walls, which are still entire and strong. The streets of the city are without pavement, and in general between ten and fifteen feet broad : they are now decently clean, but in winter are almost impassable. We returned to the convent and supped with the Archbishop, whom I was astonished to see, contrary to the custom of the east, sit himself at the head of a long table in a great armchair covered with red cloth. He said that there are 5000 houses in the city, but we were not inclined to believe there are more than 3500, and many of these are so wretchedly small as to be little better than hovels. All the information we got however agreed that two-thirds of these are Turks. We slept well on the divan, which the Greeks made into a tolerable bed for ns. October 18. Therm. 88". After loading the mules and charging them with some provisions, with which the Archbishop had been good enough to furnish ns, we left the city at seven, by the western gate : it has three gates. The porter at first would not let us pass, alleging that he had ordere to stop all the Greeks to work at the clearing of a mountain-stream, for which service he wanted to press our guide. I tried fair words and pleaded my firman, as long as my patience lasted, but finding thein of no avail, I forcibly pushed aside the young soldier who opposed our passage, TURNER

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