Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
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Nicosia. Lacroix-Lemaitre after Cassas. Paris 1853, steel engraving

Royal Court of Cyprus Kingdom in XIV century

Orient d'Ogier VIII., Seigneur d'Anglure, Marne, arr. Epernay, visited Cyprus 1395—96. His travels were printed in 8vo, Troyes, 1621, and Paris, 18mo, 1858. So much as relates to Cyprus, and is translated here, was printed afresh from the original manuscript in the National Library at Paris by M. L. de Mas Latrie, Histoire de l'île de Chypre, II. 430—432. The later edition by F. Bonnardot and Aug. Longnon, 8vo, Paris, 1878 (Société des anciens textes), is somewhat fuller, and has a good biographical and genealogical preface.

We landed at this same town of Limeso, which was formerly a very fair city, the following Sunday, the feast of S. Stephen, the first martyr, December 26, 1395. And know that this city of Limeso, which is for the most part uninhabited, was thus destroyed of old by the Genoese when they made war on the king of Cyprus, and they still hold a very fair city and good harbour which is called Famagosta in Cyprus. This excepted the king of Cyprus enjoys peaceably the whole island, which has a circuit of seven hundred miles.
In this city of Limeso we sojourned from the said Sunday until the following Saturday, New Year's day, and on that day the king of Cyprus [Jacques I. de Lusignan] sent us one of his esquires, and with him mules, horses and porters to carry our baggage to the city of Nicosia.
This New Year's day our baggage was loaded, and we mounted our horses to go to the said city of Nicosia, where the king was. And we took the road to go as pilgrims straight to the Holy Cross, which is in Cyprus. It is the cross on which the good thief was hanged at the right hand of our Saviour Jesus Christ. This cross is of very great virtue, and a wonderful thing to behold. Know then that this holy cross, on which the good thief was hanged, Madame S. Helen, mother of Constantine, brought it and set it on the highest mountain of all the kingdom of Cyprus, which mountain is in truth very high and painful to climb. On the highest peak is a fair church, and fair dwellings around it. In this church are two altars, to wit, the high altar of the church, and another altar in a chapel behind the high altar. There we were shown one of the nails with which our Lord Jesus Christ was nailed upon the true cross. Behind the said chapel is another small chapel in which is the said holy cross of the good thief. And know that this holy cross is a thing wonderful to be seen, for it is very great and thick, and is borne in the air, yet you shall not be able to see that anything bears it, and when one touches it it shakes much.
After this we left that place about noon and went to rest at a town called Nissa. There we rested in a house which belongeth to the king.
Tuesday following, January 4, about noon we entered the city of Nicosia, which is a very goodly city, and fair and great. And in this city the king of Cyprus dwells more often than in any other town or fortress of this country.
The king of Cyprus is a pretty fine man, and speaks French well enough. He made us good cheer, and showed great signs of love to the pilgrims : for, as has been said before, as soon as he knew that we were arrived at Limeso, and that we desired to see him, he sent us horses and mules to go to Nicosia, that is to the Friars Minor, and thither he made them bring us clean beds from his palace, namely mattresses of wool to lie on, and carpets to put around our rooms.
Wednesday, the fifth day of January, which was the eve of twelfth-night, the king of Cyprus sent us pilgrims a gift of one hundred fowls, twenty sheep, two oxen, four vessels full of a very good red wine, and four skins full of a very good wine of Marboa, and very great plenty of very good white bread.

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