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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 45

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afterwards restored to him, but he remained a tributary. When the Sultan was overcome by the House of Othman, the Kings of Cyprus were compelled to pay to the Turks the tribute which they had paid to the Sultan, and they did so until 1570, when the island was wrested from the Venetians. The year 1570 was fatal to Nicosia, and shortly after to the whole island. Selim II, then Sultan of the Ottomans, deter-mined on the conquest of Cyprus. In June of that year, as we learn from the Cypriot Angelo Calepio, the island was invaded by 100,000 men, with 10,000 horses. Mustafa Pasha, the general in command, after destroying all the villages around the city, on July 26 led his army up to the walls. After a siege of 45 days, and 15 different attacks borne bravely by the besieged, at the last general assault on Saturday, September 9, Nicosia fell before the Turks. 56,000 persons were in the unhappy city, of whom 20,000 died, the others fell as slaves to the Infidels. If you approach the city from the southern side of the island, you enter it by the Julian, now called the Famagusta, gate. Of the three gates which break the circuit of its walls this is the finest in plan and execution. A few years since one could not enter the city on horseback; now Europeans may do so, but Greek Christians must either alight or pay some small coin to the guard on duty. Within, on the side walls there are some coats of arms ; among them I saw one with a cross, a rare thing in countries conquered by the Turks, who have everywhere effaced this sign. As you walk round the ramparts you see many pieces of artillery bearing the arms of Venice. When the city was taken there were 250 cannon : the Turks brought a few more, and cast others out of the bells of the churches. They are strewn about in disorder, dismounted, some pieces spiked, others made useless, some few, bigger than the rest, were blown to pieces, and it was told me that this was done by the Pasha's orders because during the siege his camp had been most vi] of the Island and Kingdom of Cyprus 41

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