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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 7

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that the air was bad and unwholesome, a prejudice which causes foreigners to stay here a short time so that they cannot fully test its climate. But it is the general opinion of all who have lived here some few years that the air is good. The tertian and quartan fevers which are seen to prevail so frequently and for so long a time not only in Cyprus but also throughout the Levant, spring from causes other and more avoidable than the air. I learnt from experience that I myself gave occasion to the relapses which made this malady hang about me for quite ten months. The great heat causes constant and copious perspirations, and with these upon one to expose oneself to the least draught produces a check, which is followed inevitably the next day by a fever. The use of strong drinks is another cause, and the free use of certain fruits, particularly cucumbers, pumpkins and water-melons, which are difficult to digest. The villagers everywhere suffer often from these fevers, especially in summer; they let blood and leave the cure to nature without a change of diet except that they abstain from fruit. But this treatment is not enough for Europeans, who have to be more careful lest the malady grow more severe. A relapse can be avoided by taking sparingly of any food, and if this is not effective, riding is a remedy of approved excellence : at least it keeps off the obstructions which frequently follow this kind of fever. Turks and Greeks use the same treatment ; the latter, wearied sometimes of the tiresome persistence of the disease, after the fourth or fifth attack have recourse to a large potion of the excellent and generous wine of the island, which usually cures most of them, if taken just when the shiverings point to an early recurrence of the fever. There are various religions current in the land for, although it is ruled by Muslims, Islam is not the prevailing faith, most of the inhabitants being schismatic Greeks. There are many Armenians, then come the Maronites who observe their own rites in the matter of feasts and fasts, but ι—2 ι] Island and Kingdom of Cyprus 3

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